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Being a Vegetarian (or vegan) On Campus

Hello fellow students, herbivories and omnivores alike- 

As of now, I have been a vegetarian for around one and a half years. I was lounging around one day watching a re-run of Sex and the City and eating some chicken tenders that I had slaved over the hot stove for. Mid-bite, I realized that what I was putting in my body honestly repulsed me and I couldn’t do it anymore; so here I am almost two years later, completely meat free.

Being a vegetarian at home wasn’t all too hard because I knew how to cook and could drive myself to the grocery store to get what I needed, when I needed it. But when I first came to college I didn’t have that luxury, so my mom was very concerned about the food that was available for me to eat on campus. I have an iron deficiency, border lining anemia, and the lack of red meat does not help this. When heading to school, my mom tried to load me up with protein powder, bars, iron supplements and anything else she could fit in the car. But I soon realized all of this, although very kind and sweet, was unnecessary because there are so many vegetarian/vegan options on campus!


There are four places to eat on campus; Bruno’s, Dobbins, Elements and Clarke Café. Bruno’s, located in the Reed building, is more of a build-your-own kind of quick and easy place to eat. They have your standard salad options, but a girl has got to eat. At Bruno’s you can also build your own sandwiches with options like veggies, cheese, hummus, and they even have black bean burgers! Two other great places are Clarke Café, located in the Burke building, and Elements Café which is in the Nick building. At both cafes, you can build your own sandwiches and paninis, which is lovely to have for busy college students on the go. Though these three places are only grazing the surface, if you want even more options, try eating at Dobbins. If you go online and the entire day’s menu is displayed. On the side, there is a little key that shows which items are meatless and which items are vegan, making the menu light up like a Christmas tree. There are options like vegetable lo mein, hummus and roasted pepper paninis, vegetarian chili, black bean bowls, gnocchi and so much more! Not only are there vegetarian/vegan specific options, but there is also a wok where you can personally pick what you would like to be cooked. Also, the main special changes daily and there is almost always something vegetarian friendly there as well. If all of this doesn’t suit your tastes, there is always an extensive salad bar to fall back on. But like I said before, a girl has got to eat, and with all these options, who wouldn’t want to be a vegetarian?


Photo Credit: 12, 3

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Kayla McEwen

PS Behrend

Kayla A. McEwen: President and Campus Correspondent  Senior at Penn State Behrend Marketing & Professional Writing Major Part-time dreamer and full-time artist Lover of art, fashion, witty conversation, winged eyeliner, and large cups of warm beverages.
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