Ann Arbor is a good place to live if you don’t eat meat.
In a survey released last week by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the city was ranked among the top 10 vegetarian-friendly small cities in the country. This ranking was based on an examination of the vegetarian options available in the city, including those offered by the University, as well as personal testimonials.
Asheville, N.C., home to a campus of the University of North Carolina system, ranked first in the survey. Four other college towns – Santa Monica and Santa Cruz, Calif.; Boulder, Colo.; and Madison, Wisc. – round out the rest of the top 10.
Vegetarians and vegans are significantly less likely to be overweight and are 40 percent less likely to have cancer than non-vegetarians, PETA spokeswoman Reannon Peterson said. They also have a lower risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, asthma and allergies.
Ann Arbor restaurants such as Seva, Amer’s, Mysore Woodlands and Earthen Jar provide students and residents with vegetarian and vegan options. Seva, an entirely vegetarian and half-vegan restaurant located on East Liberty Street, serves entrees like yam fries and enchiladas.
Campus restaurants aren’t the only places where vegetarian and vegan students can eat.
Residential dining halls offer a variety of vegan entrees. The World Harvest Bar at each dining hall allows students to select vegetarian options from around the globe. Vegetarian and vegan selections are labeled in the dining halls and on University Housing’s website.
Despite these efforts to meet student needs, some are dissatisfied with the selection. “There aren’t very many choices. I generally like vegetarian food, but I don’t think it’s up to par,” LSA sophomore Kate Hoin said.
The East Quadrangle Residence Hall cafeteria, which caters heavily to vegetarian and vegan needs, is led by chef Matt Hall.
“Many feel that we aren’t providing enough vegetarian meals, but resources are limited because vegans want meat-like choices,” Hall said. “That’s not true to the vegan persona – you’re going to eat tofu, fruits and vegetables.”