A minority of American college students follow a vegetarian lifestyle, but at Wooster there is a growing interest in lessening one’s meat intake and exploring vegetarian alternatives.

In a recent survey conducted by a team from the Greenhouse committee, 67 percent of over 450 respondents said they are willing to consume meatless meals in Lowry one day a week for the rest of the semester.† Over 84 percent of students said they would be willing to refrain from eating beef one day a week for the duration of the semester.

The purpose of the survey was not only to learn about students’ eating preferences, but also to encourage students to reduce their consumption of meat, especially red meat, for health, animal rights and environmental reasons.

In addition to conducting the campus wide survey, the team worked with the school cafeteria manager to create green labels placed on the buffet food sections to designate both vegetarian and vegan choices. They are currently working with members of dining services to spread overall awareness of vegetarian options.

Informal reactions from the students have been overwhelmingly positive. Students have approached members of the vegetarian group and commented on how much they appreciate the vegetarian labels and† would like to see more vegetarian and fewer meat options in the various food stations in Lowry.

The team of environmental activists initiated the survey and new food labeling system for the primary goal of reducing the carbon footprint of The College of Wooster campus.† The meat industry is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.† This industry is also associated with problems relating to environmental topics such as water quality, waste management, and land development.

This week Greenhouse displayed posters advertising its optional Meatless Monday, which is taking place on April 12.† The club will also have some informational cards in Lowry regarding the benefits of eating less meat and instead consuming alternatives such as lentils, various kinds of beans, tofu, eggs and other many other kinds of foods.

This is the second of five articles which Greenhouse will contribute to the Voice.† Eric Stein can be reached for comment at EStein11@wooster.edu