UNH loses out on PETA's 'Most Vegan-Friendly College' contest

By Brittany Schaefer
On October 26, 2012

The Most Vegan-Friendly College Contest of 2012, run by PETA, has been underway since early October. This year, for the first time, UNH was chosen as a contender in the contest.

The contest has been rising in popularity due to the 50 percent increase of college students who recognize themselves as vegetarians. Additionally, the number of vegan and vegetarian students has more than doubled in the past seven years.

Because there is much more emphasis on vegetarian and vegan eating habits, determining the best colleges will be harder this year than in any previous year. UNH was said to have a very good chance of winning the entire contest, but was recently eliminated in the second round of the contest.

"When picking the nominees, we look at both the quantity and quality of vegan options available on campus by reviewing dining hall menus and contacting schools for the latest updates," said Ryan Huling, a PETA representative. "Vegan food is more popular than ever because students don't want to support an industry that slaughters 1 million animals every hour and devastates the environment. Schools are responding by rapidly increasing their cruelty-free options."

PETA is "an animal rights group that takes on anyone who abuses animals," according to the organization's website.

"It's better for the animals most of all, and it has many health benefits. I think UNH has a great variety for me. The vegetarian options definitely factored into my choice for picking a college to attend," said Katelyn Monroe, who has been a vegetarian for a year and a half.

Many vegans and vegetarians believe they are saving animals from being raised and killed for food as well as helping their bodies. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegetarians are less prone to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer than those who eat meat.

UNH has been making many improvements in recent years to expand its lunch options for all of its students. Some of the university dining's vegan options include: vegan chicken with fig sauce, vegan yellow pepper soup and vegan chicken fajitas.

The contest began on Oct. 8, and the second round of voting ended Oct. 23. UNH was eliminated at the end of this round. Remaining in the contest are Cornell University, University of Connecticut, Towson University, University of Florida, University of Illinois, University of North Texas, University of Colorado-Boulder and University of California-San Diego. The winners of the contest will be announced on Nov. 15. To follow the results of the contest, visit features.peta2.com/vegan-colleges-2012/#.

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