North Texas Daily

Students push for vegan options at Apogee Stadium

Students push for vegan options at Apogee Stadium

Students push for vegan options at Apogee Stadium
August 23
15:26 2017

Apogee Stadium, the nation’s first stadium to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, as well as boasting some of the most environmentally friendly construction methods, has been criticized regarding its green food options, or lack thereof.

“This exclusively meaty menu is totally at odds with the philosophy behind apogee stadium, and [is] likely costing UNT a lot of green,” UNT graduate student Lewis Crary said. “The rise of veganism and vegetarianism is showing no sign of slowing down, and UNT has a responsibility to students, and to the planet, to provide sustainable food options.”

Crary has published a YouTube video promoting his push for vegan food options at Apogee Stadium, and has also contacted the sustainability committee, as well as John Gibson, the director of concessions for the athletics department at UNT, about his concerns.

“[Veganism] is obviously a growing part of our fan base here at North Texas,” Gibson said. “As we move through this year we are going to keep evaluating fan feedback and what they’re looking for.”

Gibson said there have been new items added to the healthy options menu, such as hummus and pita chips. They are also adding a vegan hot dog option this year.

Veganbits, a popular blog promoting veganism, has found in a study sampling over 11,000 people that only .05% of Americans are vegan in 2017. Regardless, veganism continues to become more popular among college campuses, with a 90 percent increase in Google searches for the term in 2016 over the previous year.

“I think it’s good to encourage vegan options,” English freshman Meghan Vaquera said. “Everybody should have the choice to eat what they want, where they want, when they want.”

Apogee Stadium seats 31,000 spectators, was designed by HKS Sports and Entertainment Group and was constructed by Manhattan Construction Company. Completed in 2011, the stadium was built to comply with the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment agreement, which was poised to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2040.

“We have such a huge vegan and vegetarian market just on campus,” Crary said. “There’s lots of people who live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, and they’re sneaking in Clif Bars to the stadium. I think there’s just a lot of purchases that are being missed.”

Crary argues that Apogee Stadium is not only failing in its duty to provide environmentally friendly food options to students, but that it is also missing out on a large UNT demographic, along with their potential revenue.

“I don’t think everyone has a moral obligation to eat vegan,” art and performance junior Angela Cheryl said. “It just depends on your beliefs as a person. Many people believe that animals are here [as] part of our food source.”

UNT has been at the front of providing options to students in terms of meal choices. In 2016, UNT became the first University in the United States to feature an “all-vegan university dining hall.” Receiving national acclaim, vegan options were incredibly well received at the Mean Green Cafe.

“I’m always welcome for any feedback about our operation,” Gibson said. “We want to make our operation better because it’s for the fans.”

Featured Image: Students are concerned about the lack of vegan options offered at Apogee Stadium. File

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Alexander Willis

Alexander Willis

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1 Comment

  1. Veggie Happy
    Veggie Happy August 24, 11:34

    Veggie Happy celebrates plant based options in sports venues. We know which options are doing well and can liaison to get samples Gibson’s way for tasting, if he’s interested. Also, Crary might contact the volunteer VH Manager in Texas Twalla: check out her Veggie Texas Rangers Fans FB page. She can further advise based on her experience in helping open a vegan stand at MLB’s Globe Life Park 🙂

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