Free vegan chow lures students

By Troy J. Acevedo
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, March 25, 2005

Students gathered on the UA Mall to sample a variety of vegan food that was being given away as part of the "meat out" event hosted by Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals yesterday.

For more than an hour, group members passed out literature and vegan dishes, which are free from animal products including meat, dairy and eggs, to educate people about animal cruelty and dietary alternatives.

"This is a great event to raise awareness about cruel practices in food production and alternatives to eating meat," said Nicole Smith, a fine arts senior.

Students and community members alike gathered to participate in the production and execution of this time-consuming event following activist Rod Coronado's lecture at the James E. Rogers College of Law.

"Mr. Coronado's talk may have drummed up business a bit, but compassion is delicious too," said Suzanne Haws, a participating community member. "I spent all night cooking and getting ready for the turnout."

Often, animal rights activists and their causes can be misunderstood and interpreted as extremist. Groups like SETA are making an effort to clarify some of this confusion and stereotype, said Kristen Drumm, president of SETA.

"We were able to give out tons of literature about vegan lifestyle and animal rights. Everyone who got food got some literature as well," Drumm said.

SETA was able to finish the day by giving away most of their food supply. Remaining items were donated to charity.

"People were asking why we were giving away free food," Drumm said. "We were here to say why you should consider vegan and by the end, we had a lot of people asking how they could get more involved."