UAlbany receives top mark from animal rights group
By Kassie Parisi
The University at Albany has recently received a “A”rating in PETA2’s vegan report card.
The rating is a result of a new study where PETA2 surveyed every four-year school in the United States about the vegan and vegetarian options offered at the school.
PETA2 ranked the schools based on vegan friendliness. Schools were sent surveys and after the school filled out the survey, a letter grade would be reached based on the answers of the survey.
According to the survey, UAlbany received a score of 12 points out of 20. This numerical score was equal to an A. There were ten categories in the survey, and UAlbany filled eight of them.
All of the categories pertained to veganism or vegetarianism. The categories that UAlbany filled successfully were offering at least one vegan entrée at every meal, offering non-dairy milk, labeling vegan entrees, labeling vegan deserts, including a vegan member on the student advisory board, promoting vegan options, partnering with students to distribute vegan options, and offering a non-vegan station. The two categories that UAlbany did not pass were participating in “Meatless Mondays,” and having a dining facility that is specifically vegan. UAlbany achieved 100 percent student satisfaction.
“You can always find something because there are so many choices and a store on campus,” said Emily, a student who wrote a review of UAlbany on the PETA2 website.
Steve Pearse, executive director of University Auxiliary Services said that he feels that UAlbany deserves the rating it received.
Options for vegan and vegetarian diets are emerging more and more on college campuses. Recently, UAlbany held a focus group with students who were vegetarians or vegans. There are students and dieticians at work at schools to help transform college diets. Recently, UAlbany had a global chef from Brazil doing cooking demonstrations that included a vegan friendly salad.
“Today, more college students than ever are concerned about finding food that’s is healthy, humane and delicious, and as PETA2’s survey shows, the University at Albany is working hard to offer students some of the best vegan meals around. From pouring soy milk on their breakfast cereal to topping off a delicious meat-free dinner with a slice of vegan cake, students at the University at Albany can enjoy vegan meals fro breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” said PETA2 director Marta Holmberg.
UAlbany has taken visible steps in the healthy, vegetable based direction. The 518 Market offers vegetarian wrap, granola, and other healthy snacks like nuts and healthy cereal. It has cut back on the large bags of potato chips and processed food it has had in past years.
PETA is an organization that focuses on ending cruelty to animals and searching for alternative sources of food that are not meat products. PETA2 is the youth division of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). It was founded in 2002 by PETA. It is the largest youth animal rights group in the world. More information about PETA, PETA2 and rankings of other schools can be found at www. peta.org and www.peta2.com.