How hard is it to go vegan at BU? Kara Mihm investigates

To some, a tear is provoked by the end of a heart-wrenching melodrama. To others, it might be caused by the final completion of an intensely sought-after goal. For me, it was the reaction to the “vegan” label on the dining hall chocolate cake. 

Yvonne Tang | Graphic Artist

But let’s start from the beginning.

As a member of the club of indecisiveness, I am at my prime when it comes to the dining hall. As I amble from one station to the next, I am in full glory as I add plates to my spot at the table. The smaller portions allow me to sample a collection of meals as it is almost impossible to be satisfied with only one dish. 

However, last Wednesday I swapped my normal eating habits to join my friend Zoe on her daily journey of veganism.

Per her recommendation, I started my day out with a vegan protein bar. Stopping by City Convenience to select the tastiest one, I found myself longingly glancing at the Chobani Flip Greek yogurt across from them. The s’mores flavor caught my eye. I almost dropped the vegan gig right then and there. 

Eating yogurt is an average breakfast for me, but that would have to change for the day. With my restricted knowledge on alternative options, I accepted my fate as I grabbed the bar and secretly hoped for a wider array of choices for lunch and dinner.

My prayers were answered when lunch time rolled around. I followed Zoe to the stir fry station at Warren. With the option of tofu, the exclusion of meat was simple. Plus, the addition of all of my favorite vegetables — spinach, carrots, peas — made me feel satisfied. Vegan or not, this is a meal that I will repeat in the future.

Feeling good, we tried our luck at the black bean burger and vegetable pizza. Both were slightly dry and lacking some flavor, but overall it was a decent experience. 

With the addition of a few more spices, I would not be surprised if plant-based indulgers enjoyed these two meals. Though, I’ve got to say that personally I would take a pepperoni pizza and a cheeseburger over them any day. 

Fast forward to dinner, where the change of location brought a sense of excitement. Described by many students at Boston University as the best dining hall on campus, Marciano’s was our final stop of the night.

But our hopes were soon slammed to a curb as we found very few meal options. Picking and choosing from different stations, we were able to assemble a conglomerate of partial meals.

As a whole, our final meal consisted of vegetables, beans, a rice and guacamole burrito, french fries and chocolate cake. 

The thought of skipping dessert for a night was upsetting, but Zoe and I didn’t have much hope for anything good. However, the dragging of our feet suddenly turned to jumping when we scanned the dessert screen. “Vegan cake” was all we needed to see as we high fived and shrieked in excitement. The meal could not have ended better.

While the entirety of our Marciano experience wasn’t the most nutritionally balanced in any way, it definitely satisfied our dinner needs. 

Based on just a twenty-four hour span, I would say that this challenge was pain free. There was an internal battle between me wanting to eat the fried chicken and mac & cheese versus the plant-based options. However, it was nothing that would have inhibited me from finishing the day. 

While BU does a good job at presenting at least a few alternatives for those on a plant-based diet, I will have to admit that this is not a change that I can see myself making in the near future. It is one thing to cut out meat, but eggs and dairy pose a different level of limitation. 

As one of those people that eats everything in sight, it would be torture to stop this cycle. To have to read the ingredients or limit myself to only certain food items would be personally impractical.

Thus due to my poor self control, the day after the challenge ended I dove into a huge hot fudge sundae.

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