Vegetarian initiative offers more options

Screen shot 2011-09-27 at 12.55.59 AMMeat lovers should explore the options  available at   J&H on Meatless Mondays. Edwards argues that this new initiative will increase awareness regarding people’s eating habits.

Whether they’re vegan, vegetarian or someone who eats mindfully, Meatless Mondays will surely move students to lead by example.

The mission of this movement is to encourage people to eliminate meat from their diet, at least on Mondays. The rest of the week should consist of hormone-free meat from animals fed on a vegetarian diet.

Sodexo, Temple’s international food service provider, has joined this nationwide initiative. More than one dozen universities and more than 900 hospitals are current participants, including the Johnson and Hardwick cafeteria.

More vegetarian options and environmentally friendly products will be offered every Monday. The intake of meat and other animal products are not only harmful to one’s health, but detrimental to the earth. Studies show that people who eat meat are more likely to be at risk of high cholesterol, too.

On an even bigger scale, global warming is a serious threat to the environment. Scientists have shown that living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is the most efficient way to fight this.

As a vegetarian, I fully support the initiative of this movement. However, vegetarian dishes are usually expensive. As a result, fewer people turn to the vegetarian lifestyle. Unfortunately, it is more convenient and somehow cheaper to buy a hamburger at McDonald’s.

The process of making a hamburger is intense, energy consuming, and in all honesty, cruel. Yet, you can purchase one for approximately $1. In contrast, a black bean burger takes less time and energy to produce, but costs more than twice the amount.

I am sure no one is entirely opposed to eating healthy, so long as the meal follows two guidelines–tasty and affordable.

Andrew Lebo, Sodexo’s marketing director at Temple, said that price will not be an issue.

Students don’t need to worry about the price, Lebo said.

As far as taste is concerned, Lebo urged non-vegetarians to try the vegetarian options.

“You never know what your taste buds may like. It is always a good thing to try new things and you may surprise yourself–you may just like it,” Lebo said.

Sheila McNally, a senior biology and anthropology major, said this movement is a good idea.

“It builds awareness,” McNally said. “It’s a good way for people who do eat meat to understand the impact of meat production so they can help this issue without changing their entire diets.”

Of course, some people could not imagine a day without meat on their plates, but that’s just it, one day. This slight change can make such an influential and universal difference.

You do not need a “vegetarian starter kit” and there are lots of alternative options to eat other than tofu and salads. In fact, there are brands of food that are just as good, if not better than the “real thing.” All it takes is an open mind.

Rachael Edwards can be reached at



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