Being Vegan At ESJ

By: Kiki Revels ’18

I first decided to go vegan after being on and off of a dairy-free and pescatarian diet. So far it has been around two and a half months, and I really enjoy it and feel great! Though I’m sure there aren’t many other students who are vegan, for the few who are, or are thinking about it, I want to share my perspective and experience.

One thing about the Buck Center that I really admire is that in the hot food line, it now lists the options along with the allergens in contains, so I can easily avoid anything with milk, cheese or eggs. This did not exist a couple of years ago, therefore it was always a guessing game as to if something was allowed in my diet or not. However, the hot line does not usually have a lot of options that align with my diet, besides the veggies or rice that are occasionally served. My go-to lunch when I’m on campus is a black bean or veggie burger, from The Beak, with all of the toppings and no bun. I use the big lettuce pieces as a bun, just in case the provided bun contains dairy or eggs. I also live for the few nacho days that are allowed a year because I put rice and beans on the chips, then all of the salsas and lettuce.

I will say that having senior privileges has made my veganism a much easier process. At almost every restaurant in the San Marco area (and The Town Center for doubles), I’ve figured out what to order that’s vegan-friendly. For example, at The Loop I order the portobello mushroom burger, with no cheese or mayo. From Ajeen and Juice, I get an amazing acai bowl or a vegan gyro that tastes just like a regular lamb one. From Firehouse Subs, I get a veggie sub with Italian dressing and no cheese or mayo. I also have to make breakfast and dinner for myself most days at home, and I have a lot of recipes that are delicious and easy to make.

I will say that if you’re not a senior and want to try it out, most of your lunches may have to come from home; however, I have really loved these past two months being vegan.

Image courtesy of Kiki Revels ’18.