Vegan 101: UMD

Vegan 101: UMD

By Danielle Peterson



As you may or not know, April 22nd is Earth Day. Earth Day is a worldwide day to demonstrate support for the environmental protection of our precious home. Many people feel that just one day is not enough and celebrate the whole month of April as Earth Month. This is a great time to go the extra mile when it comes to sustainability, eco-friendliness and just overall appreciation of what our Earth has to offer.


One of most significant things you can do to help out our environment has to do with what you eat. The animal agriculture industry is the most destructive industry facing our planet today ( :


  • 51% of greenhouse gas emissions are from livestock and their byproducts.

  • To make just one single hamburger it takes 660 gallons of water. This is equivalent to showering for 2 months.

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of the Amazon rainforest destruction.

  • For every one pound of fish caught, five pounds of unintended marine animals are caught and discarded as bykill.

  • Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction.


Given these facts, you can see that even just eliminating your meat or dairy intake by just one meal would be significant difference. Of course, eating as few animals and their byproducts, or following a vegan diet, would be the most sustainable and environmentally friendly diet. Some may not know where to start, which is why I have created a list of foods on campus that align with the a vegan diet:



Northern Shores Coffee

  • Just ask for soy or almond milk in any latte and BOOM! You can remain caffeinated and have a sustainable beverage.


Food Court

Taste of Italia:

  • Have a filling meal of spaghetti with meatless-marinara and a side salad. Don’t forget to have a dairy-free dressing like italian or french!

Great Lakes Grains:

  • Enjoy either the multigrain or white sub bun with guac’, artichoke hummus and as many veggies as your heart desires. Choose either a bag of original potato chips or hop on over to Burger Hub and ask for a side of fries.

Fresh Works:

  • Create your own salad. Get a base of your favorite leafy greens, add on chickpeas and sunflower seeds for protein and as many veggies as you’d like, and don’t forget about the dairy-free dressings.

Dining Center:

  • Breakfast: Big bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter, raisins and/or brown sugar. Have some hash browns to go with it and don’t forget to grab either an apple, orange or banana on the side.

  • Lunch: Make your own veggie sandwich with mustard, hummus and oil as the dressing. Have a side of chips and salsa or a side of fries and call it a meal.

  • Dinner: Try out the creation station! Toss a bunch of veggies with tofu, add Szechuan sauce or soy sauce over a bed of rice. Have a tall glass of chocolate soy milk for dessert.

  • Also, never hesitate to ask any of the staff for more vegan options or what’s in any of the dishes! If the kitchen sees support towards more plant-based options, they are more likely to bring more options to UMD!

Join the movement and start by participating in Meatless Mondays by eating these meals! Once you see how easy it is, you’ll see just how simple it is to have a huge positive impact on the environment by eating these yummy plant-based options!

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