UMD sophomore offers perspective on being a vegan in college
Imagine a juicy, robust burger in a fresh, warm bun breaming full of ripe tomatoes, crisp lettuce, piercing cheese and a subtlety of ketchup. Now imagine watching a video of what those cows went through to get into that cozy bun.
That is exactly what university sophomore Meghan Geier experienced when was 16. She watched a video in health class on how animals were treated and what she was eating. This video prompted more research until she decided to become a vegan.
“It forces you to be more creative,” Meghan says of her vegan diet. “You have to explore different food options.” She often experiments with different food combinations, rarely using a recipe. “It doesn’t always work out,” she says.
Meghan finds that being a vegan can be burdensome at times. She sometimes feels annoying when she goes out to eat with her friends, because she is so limited with what she can choose from. She often has to ask if foods are vegan friendly or ask the restaurant to make a dish differently.
Dana, Meghan’s roommate, shares similar experiences as a vegetarian. She was accustomed to eating meat growing up.
“Once I got to college that changed when I began making my own diet,” Dana says. “Meghan set an example for me, showing that it was easy to be full vegan.”
The changing market
As more and more people become vegan, restaurants are beginning to cater to this niche. College Park is expanding its horizons with the recent opening of Woodland’s Vegan Bistro, a vegan restaurant just below the Varsity, according to the Diamondback. College Park also houses over eight restaurants that boast of versatile vegan options. “I don’t think every campus has as many vegan-friendly options as ours does,” Meghan says of all the options in College Park.
In a market that has an expanding base of individuals who are vegan or vegetarian and individuals who want healthier options, it seems as if these health food chains are here to stay.