Kat Namon ’22
Last February, I contributed an article recounting the vegan experience at Trinity College, and I relayed my frustration with the fact that there were few options available for those who chose to adhere to a vegan diet and lifestyle. This year, I am happy to say I feel like many changes have been made to the variety of options available at Bistro and Mather. I find the Bistro to be a much quicker, easier experience. Further, I am almost always satisfied with the options available for vegans, and I am always happy with my meal.
The variety of to-go options this year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, have definitely contributed to my change of heart regarding Trinity’s ability to provide for its vegan students. Now, I no longer have to wonder if a pre-made salad or wrap is vegan because it is clearly labelled on the packaging for all to see. Although I am on a reduced meal plan because of the fact that I was unable to have the same number of options as other students because of my dietary restrictions, I feel confident I could find enough to sustain myself just be going to the Bistro, and in turn I save a lot of money and time in that I no longer have to buy groceries as often.
The self-serve aspect of Mather was once a negative part of being vegan at Trinity—as I pointed out in my last article—because of the abundance of cross contamination of non-vegan food items with vegan food item. While I am not personally bothered by this, I know of many other vegans who would find the possible cross contamination unacceptable. Fortunately, this is no longer a concern because there are no self-serve options left on campus this semester. I did enjoy the self-serve aspects of Bistro, but feel like the replacements of newer to-go items and fresh produce have made up for this loss.
At a certain point during my freshman year at Trinity, I considered putting a stop to my vegan diet because it was difficult to continue with the lack of options Trinity made available to me. I would constantly get questions on how I managed to get enough food to function and still get these questions to this day! I am not one to preach about veganism, which may seem like a lie since I am writing an opinion article about it, however, I am glad that I am contributing to a cause that puts the environment before myself. My reasons for being vegan have shifted as time has gone on from purely dietary and health-related, to more centered around my moral and ethical values. I am elated that I no longer feel as if I may have to give up these values while at school. I feel confident in Trinity’s changes—especially since now is not the time to be making numerous grocery store runs. Now, if anyone asks me how hard it is to be vegan at Trinity, I will honestly say it just takes some getting used to and—most importantly—patience. Thanks to Trinity’s devotion to providing vegan options to students, vegan students can thrive successfully and healthily. I sincerely hope that this more vegan-friendly system will continue in a post-COVID world.