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The Vegan Campus


By Laura Perry, Photos by Dwight Eschliman

Published Jul 1, 2012 8:00 AM

UCLA experts in diverse disciplines are exploring how vegetarianism can boost human health and alleviate a host of environmental challenges, including global warming, deforestation, pollution and overfishing, among others.


VBQ Beef Sandwich with Coleslaw

For Coleslaw:

  • 1/8 cup Coleslaw Blend
  • 2 tsp. minced Red Onion
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped Fresh Dill
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegan Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Mix all ingredients and keep chilled until ready to serve.

For Sandwich:

  • 4 oz. Beef Analog
  • 2 oz. Barbecue Sauce
  • Crusty bun such as a Kaiser roll or Baguette (about 4")
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil

Heat beef analog in barbecue sauce. Split bun in half, drizzle with olive oil and grill, cut sides down, until golden brown.

Heap warmed beef on bun. Top with coleslaw and top half of the bun. Serve immediately.

Thinking about turning over a new leaf? Or maybe eating one? Here are some things you may not know:

Research has shown that you smell better when you don't eat red meat; that a love of veggies contributes to sharp memory and great intelligence; and that Chinese people (eating mostly a vegetarian diet) consume 20 percent more calories than Americans, but Americans are 20 percent fatter. Also, vegetables are sexy! Though the science is not definitive, aphrodisiacs from the vegetable kingdom include chilies, asparagus, celery, fennel, garlic and Andean mustard.

Recent headlines on the unhealthy impact of red meat and that President Bill Clinton has gone from omnivore to vegan has a lot of individuals thinking about whether this might be the time to make some serious changes to their diet. At UCLA, meanwhile, adopting healthful habits is becoming de rigueur.

The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has adopted "Meatless Mondays," a national campaign to encourage people to forgo meat for one day each week. The campus dining halls for students promote Beefless Thursday. And in 2010, PETA named UCLA the most vegan-friendly large campus in America.

We talked to UCLA experts to learn more about the science behind the lifestyle and how choosing a meat-free diet can be a good thing in many ways—for the environment, for animal welfare, for physical health and even for spiritual balance.