In my History of the Documentary class this past quarter I watched a documentary about slaughterhouses in Paris in the 1940s called Blood of the Beasts. The graphic film featured four gruesome scenes of butchers slaughtering horses, cows, calves and lambs. Although I spent about 40 percent of the film covering my eyes, I saw enough to convince me to become a vegetarian (at least for a few days).
It’s one thing to know the meat you’re about to eat may have been killed inhumanely. It’s quite another to see a row of young sheep lined up and decapitated.
The film’s activism sparked my interest in the humanitarian no-meat trend. In an age when recycling is cool and buying a fuel-friendly car is hip, veganism and vegetarianism have emerged as other ways to promote sustainability and respect the environment.
Take Paul McCartney, for example. The former Beatle recently joined with animal rights organization PETA to launch a series of print ads about the reasons to go vegetarian. In the ad, McCartney is pointing to the logo on his T-shirt, which reads, “No Eat” followed by a picture of a cow.
The world’s largest youth animal rights organization, peta2, has also made it a point to publicize those groups and organizations supporting animal rights through vegetarianism.
Peta2 named UCLA the second most vegetarian-friendly college in the Most Vegetarian-Friendly College competition in November of last year. UCLA lost only to UC Santa Cruz.
UCLA and other colleges have made an effort to reach out to those students and faculty members with strict vegetarian and vegan diets. Main dishes available at each of UCLA’s four main dining halls always include a vegetarian option: pasta hold the meat sauce, stir fry with tofu instead of chicken, baked potatoes without the bacon bits. There are also extensive salad bars and fruit tables at each with plenty of other options.
“UCLA does an incredible job of providing tons of yummy options for vegetarians of all types: pescatarians, ovo-lacto vegetarians and vegans,” says third-year UCLA student and vegetarian Cailin Crockett.
Vegan options, on the other hand, may be a bit more limited.
“The dining halls have a pretty decent selection, and they do a pretty good job of labeling what is and is not vegan. It’s not a huge selection, but it is decently healthy and edible,” says second-year UCLA student and vegan Julie Hedberg.
And with on campus eateries like Jamba Juice and the Greenhouse salad and soup bar, UCLA has further established itself as a vegetarian and vegan-friendly campus.
The vegetarian trend is also mirrored just off the UCLA campus with restaurants like Native Foods, Nature’s Way Café and the Good Earth.
As college students seem to be stepping up as leaders of humanitarian trends, vegetarianism and veganism is a way to take animal rights issues into one’s own hands. According to the PETA Web site, each vegetarian saves 100 animal lives a year.
Try going vegetarian for 30 days by visiting goveg.com.
Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly Hot Spots:
1110 1/2 Gayley Ave., Los Angeles
(310) 209-1055; nativefoods.com
Real Food Daily
414 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
(310) 289-9910; realfooddaily.com
707 N. Heliotrope Drive, Los Angeles
720 S. Allied Way, El Segundo
Nature’s Way Café
10917 Lindbrook Drive, Los Angeles
The Good Earth
1037 Broxton Ave., Los Angeles
(310) 209-1351; goodearthla.com