As volunteers from Peta2 hit the campus of UCF this past week, many students may be left wondering: what did they aim to do here? A growing demand for vegetarian and vegan options all across campus, including in the Marketplace student dining service and the popular Knightros bar, has led the UCF student group BARC (Body of Animal Rights Campaigners) alongside with Peta2 to actively represent students who seek change in regards to healthy meatless meal options for students. So, what better way to gain support for these changes than to petition for signatures that call for more options in campus-wide food establishments? Peta2’s goal was to get 2,000 signatures from students, of which they received nearly double the amount (3,793 signatures in total). Like Peta2, BARC views animals rights as an essential issue that needs to be addressed more by the general public, as well as the substantial environmental impact that meat-farming and industry has on the environment, including pollution and wasted resources. They have chosen to focus on the topic of food for this campaign as it directly involves many areas that they feel is a vital concern in the present and near future.
In the four days that Peta2 has spent at UCF, they’ve managed to hand out 100 free t-shirts to students that read “I support meatless Mondays at UCF” as well as free literature for those interested. It’s perhaps important to note that Marketplace has taken away the station that previously offered vegetarian food. Also, with the ongoing expansion and boastingly high student population at UCF, it only makes sense to have vegetarian and vegan options open for all who wish to participate in alternative diet, whether it be solely for health reasons, saving money, supporting animal rights or the environment, the choices should not be restricted. BARC is currently looking to present the signatures that Peta2 generously offered to school administration and vendors in hopes of bringing back the vegetarian station in Marketplace and to offer more meatless food options at Knightros and various other establishments around campus. They’re even looking to have the fish sandwich item on Burger King’s menu removed as a “meatless option” that is currently being offered at a discount, a challenge that will undoubtedly prove to be difficult.
Peta2 has been making stops at many other college campuses across the nation and was visiting the University of South Florida prior to UCF. They also plan on visiting schools in South Florida in order to gain support for similar initiatives.
If interested in learning more about Peta2, please visit their website at http://www.peta2.com/ or if interested in learning a little bit of information regarding vegetarianism and veganism, visithttps://projectlit.wordpress.com/vegetarianism-and-veganism-why-should-you-care/. We also encourage anyone who may be interested to come on out to Tent City from February 6th-12th on Memory Mall. BARC will be cooking the meals and it should be a lot of fun!
Also, feel free to stop by at any of our many BARC meetings. You can find us underneath the gazebo, directly west of the Barnes and Noble student bookstore on Wednesdays at 5:00PM. If anyone is perhaps interested in learning more about BARC, our website iswww.barcdontbite.org. Feel free to check us out there.