August 2011. That’s when I made the decision—which in my opinion, has been the best one of my 22 years so far. It started off because I wanted a cleaner diet, and as none of my previous “diets” had worked (I mean honestly, how did I think giving up bread and pasta was going to work?) it was sort of my “last resort.” After a few weeks of not eating meat (nope, not even fish because fish is meat, but I digress), I realized I had never felt better.
This new lifestyle of mine brought new waves of information and research I never even imagined would come. Before I knew it, not only did I feel physically better, but I was invested in new causes and phenomenons, ranging from animal rights to the environment, consumer culture to nutrition. In a sense, being a vegetarian taught me to think about the world in a new, much more analytical way: Everything is connected and complexly so! Little did I know, three years later I would learn this same lesson of critical thinking at Arcadia.
Arcadia’s Free-Range Herbivores
Naturally, as anyone with a dietary restriction or lifestyle, I was terrified to relocate myself to a new environment of unknown food options (one can only eat so many salads). Fortunately for me, what I found was an open, accepting campus, that had tons of vegans and vegetarians, and, therefore, tons of veg-friendly food options.
As I write this, I’m enjoying a much-needed iced almond milk latte from the Easton Café. After my upcoming class, I’m going to make my way to the Chat for one of their vegan pineapple, chickpea, beet veggie burgers, which always make my heart sing. Just one of the many delectable eats I can find on campus.
When I want something different, there are a plethora of choices for vegetarians off campus, too. Down the street, Anne’s Kitchen Table offers café classics of soups, sandwiches, and salads, as well as some vegan desserts. Speaking of dessert, Dreams Ice Cream makes phenomenal vegan ice cream (and even delivers to campus—yeah, we’re that spoiled here). For those of us who love to cook, Produce Junction across the street offers all the fruit and vegetables our collegiate budgets can afford (and then some!). And, of course, Whole Foods—the healthy lifestyle “Mecca”—is just a short car ride away.
So, in the end, we college vegans and vegetarians don’t just eat pizza and lettuce — we eat ramen, too! And ice cream… and veggie burgers… and pad thai… and the list goes on and on.