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Vegan and Vegetarian Life At Deerfield

Scattered among Deerfield Academy’s student body is only a handful of vegetarians and vegans. Despite all the accommodations that the dining hall makes, eating enough can sometimes be difficult for vegans and vegetarians. “For me, being a vegetarian is harder at school than it is at home, because at home I have more access to food that meets my needs. The dining hall definitely gives you options, but at home it is much easier,” Allie Roberts ’16 said.

The size of the vegetarian portion at sit-down meals also appears to be an issue. Six-year pescatarian (only eats fish not meat) Tabata Viso ’14 said, “ Sit-down meals are the meals where I normally don’t get enough to eat, especially sit-down dinners, where there is not salad bar. When I choose to eat the vegetarian option, it is bothersome to go up to get seconds, because I’m not at the leisure to take some before my second waiter begins. Most times, I cannot get seconds.”

Former vegan Tora Hallstrom ’13 said, “Being a vegan at Deerfield is definitely possible, but you need to keep a bunch of snacks in your room, because the vegetarian portions are so small. I’m way too hungry to just have one piece of eggplant at dinner! Though, I definitely think the dining hall has done an amazing job of providing delicious alternatives for vegans which makes it easier to make smart food choices.”

Former vegetarian Nolan Bishop ’13 believes that it is fairly easy to be a vegetarian at Deerfield. He said, “The salad bar downstairs has a lot of good options and I was also very impressed with the choice to serve a vegetarian meal to the whole school. The more Deerfield can do this, the better.”

And it does appear that Deerfield has increased the number of vegetarian and vegan options available. Place Wilson ’14 said, “I’ve definitely noticed an increased effort in availability of options, especially since my freshman year. The vegetarian options keep getting interesting, and I really love the salad bar.”

The quality of the salad bar has gotten high marks from all the vegetarians and vegans. Hannah Antonellis said, “The salad bar has gotten really good this year. It’s great!”

Long time vegan Mr. Thomas-Adams said, “Mr. McCarthy has been more than supportive; he’s been tremendously creative, and while vegans find things to be hit-or-miss, there is usually something to eat, and often times something delicious. But we need to move from ‘accommodating’ people with particular preferences to recognizing food as a community, ethical, and, yes, educational issue.”

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