Obviously, you were quite successful in that endeavor. What was the feedback you got from faculty or maybe fellow students once you achieved your goal?
Blanco: Well, first of all – especially from nutrition services – they were extremely hesitant about moving forward with a more plant-forward diet because the budget for the cafeteria was getting cut, or at least they were having to have more expenditures over the years. So they were extremely hesitant. But then when we started putting effort into releasing plant-based meals that students were actually interested in and showed engagement in – I mean, I remember we spoke to the nutrition services director, and she was extremely pleased with student feedback. Also, I’ve been talking to many students who, in the past were – I mean, they were relying on school meals, but they couldn’t ever find meals that were culturally accurate. And once they started seeing representation of their culture, they were extremely pleased.
Morgan, you’re a member of YLC at Farm Sanctuary. Can you tell me a little about how you found your way into that program?
Greenlaw: I got an email about it, and then I looked it up, and I was, like, “Oh, my gosh. This looks amazing!” So then I applied, then I joined. Then Chloe (Manager, Sanctuary Experience and Learning Chloe Fuller) emailed me, then asked if I would be interested in being interviewed, and I was, like, “Of course, but you’ve got to also talk to my friend Margot because she started the campaign.” So that’s how we ended up here.
Blanco: When we first started the campaign, we sometimes would go around during lunch asking people to sign our petitions for more plant-based lunches, and so many people would be put off by hearing the word “vegan.” Just because there’s so many stereotypes around veganism and the insinuation that vegans polarize and criticize people who don’t eat like them. I started adapting my language, and we started using the language, “plant-based” and “plant-forward.” We also started talking about the environment, and yet, few talk about or know about the effects of plant-based eating, so we started bringing that in the conversation, and from there, we noticed a lot of response.