The Struggles of Being Vegetarian/Vegan at AU

Aliyah Sheppard, Multimedia Editor

As the restaurants on campus open back up to full capacity and full service, many students go to the two big dining places: Convo and Eagles Nest. You will always see students in these locations eating their food and talking with each other until their next class, or until it is time to go back and finish up some class work. Lately there has been a group of students, they are unhappy with the lack of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. Very little is being done about this issue by either Convo or Nest. 

The Eagle’s Nest, located on the first floor of the student center, only offers the blackbean burger to vegetarian and vegan students. This is a great lunch for in between classes but it does get rather boring for those students since it is the only thing they can get that fits in with their needs and beliefs. The blackbean burger is also not advertised as a vegetarian or vegan option, this is most commonly shown with a little ‘v’ next to the item’s name on the menu. There are also many concerns that the blackbean burger is being cooked on the same grill as regular burgers. This cross contamination of grease from meat might not bother all vegetarians and vegans but it does bother some that wish to remain 100% true to a plant based lifestyle. 

Convo, located by Kem Hall and N Claremont Ave, is a slightly better option since they do offer a ‘make your own salad bar’, but that too does grow boring. Convo is famous for their rotating menu so there may be vegetarian or vegan friendly options and adds a little bit more flavor to the students day. However, vegetarian or vegan friendly meals can be few and far between, making it difficult for students to get a nice flavorful meal. 

As a whole, campus dining needs more vegetarian or vegan options. Ones that are fully guaranteed to be plant based, and ones that are more consistent with the demand of the students that are vegetarian and vegan. A few recommendations to add to the menus are: Spicy kale and coconut fried rice, vegetarian tortilla soup, spaghetti squash burrito bowls, these are just some of the ideas. All these are obtainable for campus dining.  The dining on campus needs to be more inclusive  and provide more and consistent vegetarian and vegan options. 

The Eagle’s Nest is a popular spot for students, but limited options can make eating here hard. (SUBMITTED BY: EMMA RAMSEY)