Anderson: Thoughts from a happy vegan

But what are you going to eat up at school?" My mother was dismayed when she heard of my plans to remain a vegan while at college.

She'd supported me throughout high school with vegan chili and tasty tofu dishes, but she didn't believe it was possible for me to maintain my dietary preferences at Geneseo. I myself was a little skeptical about college food, and made peace with the idea of eating french fries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As I sampled the campus cuisine, however, I was pleasantly surprised by all the options that Campus Auxiliary Services had to offer.

Fresh vegetable sushi, deliciously-packed burritos and microwavable vegan nuggets have become staples in my day-to-day diet, and I'm able to pick up a quick snack no matter where I am on campus. The Geneseo University Store usually has a delicious vegan soup warm and ready, and Books & Bytes Café has fruit cups and carrot sticks for when I need to eat on the fly and an exquisite peanut butter and apple panini when I don't.

The Red Jacket and Letchworth dining halls have rotating vegan and vegetarian options during their "all you care to eat" hours, and Mary Jemison dining hall has Beanstalk a vegan bar that serves up different dishes every day. It's safe to say I haven't had to live off of french fries, and many of the vegans and vegetarians that I've encountered are having a similarly positive experience.

My roommate and fellow vegan, freshman Jodi Bentivegna, said of Geneseo's vegan cuisine: "I eat healthier here at Geneseo than I ever ate at home. I especially love Letchworth Dining Hall, where you can customize your own burritos and get vegan nuggets at all hours of the night."

A vegetarian friend of mine, freshman Laura Karpas, is able to eat the buffalo chicken wrap offered at Southside Café by substituting chicken with delicious faux chicken nuggets. Reasonably priced and surprisingly tasty, the food here at Geneseo has made maintaining our diets easier than any of us could have hoped. And with Wegmans a mere bus ride away, I have access to vegan options that I never experienced at home - can you say coconut milk ice cream?

Anyone who's ever thought about trying out vegetarianism or veganism should take advantage of all the options that CAS has to offer. Freshman Chris McGinn said he has successfully been a vegetarian for over a week, and he plans to continue with his new diet as the year rolls on. The variety of vegetarian options, he said, has made his transition into vegetarianism a smooth one.

If any student out there has always wanted to cut meat out of his or her life but found it too difficult, I suggest taking a crack at it while here. After all, college is all about finding yourself; maybe there's a grass-eating vegetarian or vegan locked up in there somewhere, just waiting to bite into a faux chicken nugget.