With the number of vegetarian and vegan students on the rise, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is sensing a leverage point in their campaign to create more vegan-only dining on campuses across the country. Their latest initiative is a contest that will pay $1,000 to the first student group that converts a meat-serving dinning hall into a vegan-only one.
Peta2 — the student-outreach arm of the animal rights organization — is promoting the contest.
PETA firmly believes that all meat and animal product consumption constitutes cruelty to animals, even if it comes from a producer that claims to be free-range or cruelty-free.
“Many of those products are as bad if not worse than conventional meat and dairy,” says Ryan Huling, the manager of college outreach for PETA. “Many of those animals are suffering, and the producers aren’t allowed to give them any sort of pain relief, because that would violate the organic standards.”
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PETA also claims that vegan-only dining halls will provide a health benefit to nonvegetarians on campus.
“We’re hearing amazing reports from these schools. The vast majority of the customers were not vegetarian students,” says Huling.
“They were just seeking fresher, healthier dinning options, which also happen to be cruelty-free. It’s pretty clear that these options appeal to all students.”