Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Catching up

I'm finally back after five days without Internet or cable service at my home! Rather than bore you with the cable company fiasco, I want to share with you my personal effort to raise awareness for veg*n food in my community. (Back to veg*n food postings tomorrow!)

I work in higher education. There are many "free food" opportunities on campus throughout the year. In the past, the organizers of these events have been accommodating to vegetarians. For instance, they've served veggie burgers at campus picnics. However, one of the last events held this past summer left me completely disappointed because all three of the main dishes offered were meat based. No attempt was made to serve a meatless dish. I expressed my disappoint to the organizers by sending them an e-mail outlining my concerns and offering to meet with them to talk about vegetarian options for future events. I never received a reply to that e-mail.

Last week, campus dining sent out an e-mail announcement advertising the third annual holiday brunch. This is an event with a $10 cost to attend. Of course, memories of the summer event came flooding back in my mind. Instead of complaining again that the menu is not veggie friendly, I decided to take matters into my own hands! I e-mailed the head of campus dining to ask exactly what items on the brunch menu were vegetarian and/or vegan. The response I received was that the corn and carrot dishes were vegan, but everything else had either dairy, eggs or meat in it. The woman from campus dining indicated that if 25 people expressed an interest in vegan dining, and paid for the brunch in advance, they'd be more than happy to add a couple vegan items to the brunch menu. That sounds like a challenge to me! So, I took the liberty of sending out a campus e-mail, asking if anyone else was interested in animal-free food choices at the brunch. Responses are still slowly coming in... but overall, the result has been positive. There are six people (me included) so far who will commit to buying a tix for a vegan food option. I'm not sure if we'll make the required 25, but what I'm hoping to accomplish is just an overall awareness that alternate food choices are desired at events like this. I've had several people e-mail me to say they can't attend the event, but they agree with what I'm trying to do. I've even had support from meat eaters, who themselves cannot believe there's not even a green salad on the menu.

If I don't get a commitment from 25 people, I won't be attending the event. Instead, I plan to create my own mini taste fest; I've received permission from my department to use its conference room for animal-free food sampling. I plan to make several different yummy animal-free goodies and bring them in for anyone on campus to stop by and sample. Again, I just want to begin to raise an awareness on campus about veggie food options. My hope is that someday there might be more of an acceptance of yummy animal-free food!! :)

I'll keep you all posted and let you know what happens in December. :)


Vegan_Noodle said...

That'a awesome! We have a bi monthly breakfast social at work, and it switches who brings breakfast everytime. I can't wait till it's my turn (Feb) to wow them with vegan breakfast foods! We all need to take as many opportunities as we can to show omnivores that vegan food rocks!

Rural Vegan said...

That is absolutely fantastic! Good for you, taking the initiative for change. I hope you make it to 25 signatures!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I saw your comment on vegyogini's site-- that grape jelly sauce sounds terrific; I think I'll give it a try!

VeggieGirl said...

welcome back!! I hope your internet continues to work!!

wow, kudos to you for exposing others to the wonderful world of vegan eating!! I wish you luck, and hope all goes well with your taste-fest in December :0)

Ashasarala said...

Hey there! I really like your blog. :)

That's such a great idea, what you're doing. I think that having your own animal-free food sampling is awesome. It sounds like fun too!

It can be so frustrating when organizations and event staff never think to offer meals for vegetarians or vegans. What you're doing is a great and positive way to inspire others and make a good change.

Holler said...

Good for you, you go girl!
That is a disappointment though isn't it, that in this day and age a vegetarian or vegan option isn't the standard!

Vegyogini said...

Good for you...that's an awesome challenge for you to take on. I hope you succeed! I think it's pretty ridiculous that a college/university would have such a meager vegan selection in 2007!

Alec said...

Just came across your blog from Suzie's Metal Femme blog, and I most thoroughly like what I see. Great to read that you're bringing more awareness to your college for vegan food options. At the annual summer bbq at my company, they luckily started serving veggie burgers upon special request this year, but all else they have is burgers, chicken, hot dogs and nasty potato salad (drenched in mayo)! No other fruits or veggies or anything else vegan! Blah!

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