For College Veg Day, Swatties Choose Cookies Over Cows

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

On Tuesday, approximately 100 Swarthmore students pledged not to eat meat for a day as part of College Veg Day, a new event that was started by a student at Princeton. The event’s goal is to encourage students to consider the negative effects of eating meat, and to try vegetarianism out for one day. College Veg Day is sponsored by Students for Animal Rights (StAR), a coalition of animal rights groups of which Swarthmore has just become a member. Swarthmore was one of 33 colleges to participate.

by Finlay Logan

The text of the Veg Pledge, taken from the official website, is “As a university student, I realize that I am a leader for my generation and an example for society. I am concerned about the inherent cruelty of consuming animals for food and the impact meat has on global warming, the environment, and my health. By signing my name, I pledge to abstain from consuming meat on November 13th, 2007, and commit myself to exploring a more ethical diet in the future.” This text was on a flier that was distributed at the party, as well as on a petition that was available at the local food dinner in Sharples.

The number of students who took the pledge, according to the website, is only 96. However, according to Claudia Seixas ’10, that figure is outdated, and the number of participants was actually higher. It is hard to assess whether the event met its goal of getting people to experiment with a different lifestyle for a day. Swarthmore already boasts a significant number of vegetarians. Some students who signed the pledge were already vegetarian and were trying out veganism for a day. Others only signed in solidarity without changing their eating habits. Even so, the Veg Pledge allowed many Swatties to experiment with what may be considered more ethical eating habits.

To celebrate the occasion, ARC threw a party in Shane Lounge with vegan cookies and cheesecake. They showed the short film The Meatrix as well as an episode of a vegetarian cooking show. According to Seixas, the main goal of Tuesday’s party was “just to have some good food and show people that…they’re not actually sacrificing anything to become vegetarian or vegan.” Some of the people who came for cookies were either already vegetarian or not officially taking part in College Veg day, but everyone enjoyed the food.

If you were one of the people who gave vegetarianism a try for a day, you can add your signature to the online petition.

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