Vegan Dining Takes Root on College Campuses

roots.jpgCruelty-free eating is catching on at college campuses across the country as more and more students learn of the devastating consequences that raising animals for food has on the environment, human health and animal welfare. In fact, vegetarianism has gone up 50 percent and veganism has doubled on college campuses in the last several years. According to a recent report, 1 in 5 college students is ditching meat in favor of healthier and more humane plant-based alternatives.

Noticing the growing veggie trend, campus dining services are increasingly stepping up to the plate and adding vegan and vegetarian options that all students can enjoy. Last year, the University of North Texas made headlines after responding to student demand by making its Mean Greens dining hall menu 100 percent vegan. And now, San Diego's veg-friendly campus dining scene is getting a boost thanks to Roots!

Roots is a completely vegetarian and primarily vegan eatery and lounge that just opened on the University of California, San Diego campus. Diners can select delicious plant-based dishes ranging from colorful salads to a hearty grilled vegan "chiken" sandwich with all the fixings. Given the venue's sustainable and cruelty-free fare, it comes as no surprise that Roots is located in Muir College - home to the university's Environmental Studies program.

If you're a student and your cafeteria could improve upon its plant-based meal offerings, why not nudge your school in the right direction? High schools and colleges across the country are expanding meat-free meal options, adopting Meatless Monday programs, and, in some cases, even welcoming totally meat-free eateries.

Check out this helpful Guide to Veganizing Your University's Cafeteria and related video for tips on how to keep vegetarianism growing in your area.