Students, Peta activists demand all-vegan dining halls at university

A campus outreach branch of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is advocating for an all-vegan dining hall at Arizona State University.

The petition, which has received nearly 800 signatures at time of publication, demands that ASU provide a cafeteria with plant-based options in order to accommodate vegan students.

“Every year, billions of animals are slaughtered in the oppressive factory farming industry, but the wonderful news is that we can thrive off a plant-based diet, and ASU students can make a difference by telling dining that they support a vegan dining facility,” President of VegAware and Peta2 campus representative, Christina Gross told The State Press, ASU’s newspaper.

But ASU student and Global Health major Sarah McMinn told Campus Reform that the low number of students who have signed the petition is not enough to offset the cost it would take to run and supply an all-vegan dining hall.

“No one is forcing vegan students to eat at the other dining halls,” McMinn said. “They are able to bring their own meals, and there are vegan dishes they can purchase on campus. While there might not be as large of a selection of vegan dishes for them as there would be if they had a dining hall, there is still stuff they are able to eat.”

“I'm lactose intolerant. That's something that is on the rise in Americans, but I'm not trying to have anyone set up a dairy-free dining hall for me because that's ridiculous. I don't want my tuition to help pay for this ridiculous and worthless idea,” McMinn told Campus Reform.

McMinn also noted that only 800 students signed the petition with a student population spanning 76,000 students—a little more than 1 percent. The total percent of the US population that is vegan is 3.2 percent according to a Vegetarian Times study.

Previously, Peta2, the campus-activism branch of PETA, gave ASU a “C” grade for its poor vegan options. ASU was judged for its involvement—or lack thereof—with participating in meatless Mondays, offering an all-vegan dining hall or station, and having a vegan member on its student advisory board.

ASU provides a list of Vegan and Vegetarian options available to students across campus, with the contact of a full-time nutritionist to answer any dietary questions.

Additionally, on-campus restaurant Engrained Cafe, labels its menu choices as vegan or vegetarian, and pairs with local partners for fresh and sustainable ingredients.

ASU meal plans range in price from $965-$2,400 each semester.

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