Dining Halls to Sponsor Vegetarian Lifestyle Day
Lentils and soybeans will be the order of the day next Tuesday, when Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) and Harvard Dining Services (HDS) sponsor the University's first "Vegetarianism Day."
As part of a national "meat-out" effort, PBHA members are asking students to avoid meat products for the day so as to learn about vegetarian alternatives, said Solomon I. Woods '91, co-chair of PBHA's animal welfare committee.
Wood said he hoped the event would "give people incentive and information so they know [vegetarianism] is a practical lifestyle."
"I have a suspicion that many of the people who think about being vegetarians don't do so because they think it will be unhealthy," Woods said.
Dale M. Hennessey, the assistant director for administration at HDS, said that although Harvard tries to be receptive to special dietary needs, many strict vegetarians--known as "vegans"--cannot eat the standard vegetarian offerings, many of which contain eggs or dairy products.
"If you're a vegan there's no way on our meal plan to get something at every meal," Hennessey said.
In order to address this problem, Woods said he plans to circulate a questionnaire asking students to detail their dietary interests. He said he hoped this information would allow the University to revamp its vegetarian meal plan.
Planners of the national "meat-out" day said they planned the event as a response to "National Meat Week," which one organizer described as "industry propaganda."
"The nutritional value of meat has been greatly exaggerated," said Maynard S. Clark of the Farm Animal Reform Movement. "The protein value of meat is approximately that of soybeans, lentils, nuts and the seeds. The four nutritional advantages of meat products--protein, calcium, iron and vitamin B-12--are readily available in a diverse diet from plant foods."