Vegans and vegetarians at Wheaton have some food choices available to them in the cafes and cafeterias around campus. However, to make these lifestyles more possible it’s important that variety continues to improve and develop.
Both vegans and vegetarians exclude meat from their diets for health and/or environmental reasons. Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes as many forms of animal exploitation and mistreatment as possible; therefore, vegans do not consume any food or product that is associated with any animal. Vegetarians, on the other hand, do not eat meat but consume dairy products and eggs.
Vegetarians and vegans generally differ in their beliefs regarding the use of animals by humans. This is why some vegetarians may consume animal-derived products, whereas vegans do not. Moreover, the restrictions associated with these lifestyles can make finding food options a challenge.
Chase Dining Hall has a selection of both vegan – and vegetarian-friendly specialties. The vegan station added this year offers sides such as beans, cooked veggies and vegan hamburger patties. The omelette station, available in the morning, also offers a tofu scramble and can stir fry anything students bring from the salad bar. There is always a variety of dairy-free milk, cheese replacement and nutritional yeast in the refrigerator next to the allergen solutions station. The kitchen crew is also planning on adding a couple of new features to the vegan-friendly stations soon.
The dining administration intends to put up more signs around Chase in order to point out the different options and new additions. The kitchen crew hopes to try a “Meatless Monday” theme twice a month. This would involve changing the entrée station into a no-meat station to add more variation to the non-vegan spaces in Chase. The program’s General Manager, Scott O’Rourke, said, “This way, we can expand the footprint for vegans on those days.”
In addition, specialty items such as vegan pizza will be offered every Thursday. A vegan dessert, meat replacements/tempeh, dairy-free cheese and dairy-free yogurt are also upcoming additions to the vegan options at Chase. Any staff member can retrieve anything that is not already set out upon request.
Thai Koenig ’21, who is currently following the vegan lifestyle, said, “Eating vegan can get boring when there is a lack of variety and options. I am excited to hear about the new improvements being introduced to Chase and the other locations on campus.”