How to Win Meatless Mondays, From Someone Who Has
With spring-semester classes starting up, it’s time for new goals—and exciting campaigns to help us reach them! Our guest blogger today is our very own Eric Deardorff. Before he joined us at PETA, he was hard at work for animals at the University of California–Santa Cruz. His student group was able to get the school’s dining services to implement a super-successful Meatless Monday program, and you can too!
Sooooo, you’d like to get your campus to join the growing number of schools that offer Meatless Monday programs? Well, here’s our step-by-step guide on how I got it done!
Step 1: I downloaded peta2’s Meatless Monday campaign pack, which is filled with recipes to give to dining services, feedback from other schools to sweet-talk the campus chef, and petitions—just in case officials won’t budge!
Step 2: I cheerily went to the dining services office with other members of our campus animal rights group and asked to speak with the dining services director and executive chef. I had to set up a meeting because they weren’t available, but when I met with them, I let them know that students are demanding vegan options like soy chicken Parmesan, black-bean enchiladas, and vegan ravioli. I told them that dozens of other schools and workplaces are already getting in on the action and that they should too!
Step 3: I provided dining services with recipes and worked with it in other ways, and I worked with students to get them to fill out comment cards in the dining halls so that dining services received direct feedback. It took a couple of months and many meetings, but it was worth the effort! If officials are really into it, you can even ask if they’ll devote one entire dining hall to serving meat-free dishes.
Step 4: If dining services doesn’t see the light and needs some extra “motivation,” you can campaign outside the dining halls and set up a table in the busiest area of campus with peta2’s Meatless Monday petition. Writing letters to the editor of the school newspaper and contacting the campus radio station will help develop a buzz on campus. The key is to keep the pressure on the school to meet student demand. Let peta2 know if you need assistance rallying support because it may be able to send peta2 staff members to your campus to help!
Step 5: Once our school launched its Meatless Monday program, we thanked dining services. Our club is continuing to work with the school to promote and increase the number of vegan offerings!
—Eric, Action Team coordinator