Popularity of Vegan Food More Than Doubles on College Campuses


peta2’s ‘Vegan Report Card’ Documents Huge Rise in Healthy and Humane Plant-Based Meals at Universities in Just Two Years

Popularity of Vegan Food More Than Doubles on College CampusesLos Angeles — The results are in for the 2016 Vegan Report Card from peta2, PETA’s youth division, and the newly released findings—in which some 1,500 four-year colleges and universities nationwide were surveyed on the vegan-friendliness of their campus dining programs—show a skyrocketing demand for plant-based meals. The number of schools offering at least one daily vegan option has more than doubled over the last two years to 62 percent—compared to 45 percent in 2015 and 28 percent in 2014. In addition, 9 percent of colleges now have an all-vegan dining station—and American University, the University of California–San Diego, the University of North Texas, and Warren Wilson College have dining facilities on their campuses that are entirely vegan.

“From small rural colleges to large state universities, vegan options are showing up everywhere as a direct result of student pressure,” says peta2 Director of International Youth Outreach Ryan Huling. “Students don’t want to support an industry that slaughters nearly 2 million animals every hour, devastates the environment, and contributes to human disease, and schools are responding by rapidly increasing their cruelty-free options, from vegan ravioli to nondairy chocolate mousse.”

Maisie Ganzler, chief strategy and brand officer for Bon Appétit Management Company, notes that plant-based meals have long been a priority: “For decades we’ve been committed to offering robust vegetarian options at every meal, and for many years now our chefs have been adding vegan ones as well. … Studies show that plant-based proteins are better for our guests’ health and better for the planet.”

Meredith Bracken, director of brand voice and digital strategy for Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, echoes a similar sentiment, saying, “Chartwells Higher Education is committed to increasing the amount of vegan food options available to our guests.”

In addition to grading every school’s dining program on various criteria, including the availability of vegan food at every meal, peta2’s Vegan Report Card features an interactive map that helps students compare their school’s score to those of campuses nearby. Students report that they seek out vegan meals out of concern for their health, the environment, and the billions of animals who are killed for food every year.