Veggie movement sprouting  

peta2 chooses Concordia as one of the most vegetarian-friendly campuses

By Anna Sarkissian

Peta rep Lucas Solowey (right) hands out vegan food during ASFA’s Green Week Veggie Festival last week. Magnifying glass

Peta rep Lucas Solowey (right) hands out vegan food during ASFA’s Green Week Veggie Festival last week.

If the thought of mung bean sprouts, végé paté and soygurt gets you all fired up, Concordia is the place to be.

peta2, the youth wing of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, recently named Concordia as one of the most vegetarian-friendly universities in the country.

In parallel competitions in the United States and Canada, students vote online for their top picks. Though we were edged out by Mount Allison after intense competition in round 1, vegetarians and vegans alike have ample choices on campus.

Sociology student Lucas Solowey has campaigned for animal rights since he was 17. Now, as a representative for Peta and co-president of the Concordia Animal Rights Association, he is hoping to convince people to consider animal-human-earth friendly alternatives.

He points to a United Nations documents which demonstrate that raising animals for food creates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, planes, ships, and trains in the world.

“To simplify it, a vegan driving an SUV is better than a meat eater riding a bicycle,” he says.

Acknowledging that there is no perfect model to follow, Solowey says each person should do what works for them, whether that means eliminating animal products or reducing consumption.

As a CSU councillor, he is also working on a motion to push the student union to provide more vegetarian and vegan options at all of their events.

For those who are trying to reduce their meat consumption, Concordia is rife with options. Le Frigo Vert, the cooperative food store on Mackay, offers low mark-up on bulk items, organic fruits and veggies, medicinal products, and more.

Both campuses offer free or by-donation meatless lunches. Now in its 10th year, the People’s Potato was created to address student poverty. Gustavo Rodriguez, a member of the soup kitchen’s collective, says their mandate is to feed as many students as possible.

“Our food is vegan to address diverse dietary needs but also to make it accessible to everyone,” he says. This semester, they also started wheat-free Wednesdays to accommodate those who have allergies to wheat.

Students at the west-end campus need not despair. The CSU started the Loyola Luncheon, a free vegetarian meal at the Hive.

“Concordia University’s success in offering great vegan options is good for students’ health and for the school’s bottom line,” says peta2’s senior college campaign coordinator Ryan Huling.

The winner will be announced later this month and will receive a certificate.

For more about peta2’s 2009 Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges competition, visit see their site.


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