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UMBC’s War on Herbivores

This Fall, UMBC introduced Masala, a small Indian restaurant, in place of Fresh Fusions, an oasis of meat-free options for the campus’ vegan and vegetarian community to eat more than veggie wraps from Outtakes or a Salsarita’s burrito bowl without the beef.

There have been murmurs of strife and anxieties in the past regarding the growing lack of vegetarian options, and it appears that these premonitions are finally coming into fruition as herbivores scramble for diversity in their breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Unfortunately, this issue will go unnoticed by the general population at UMBC, due to one golden phrase: “Vegetarian and vegan options available.”

For years, restaurants have tried to keep meat-free communities satiated with this phrase. It is worth mentioning that Masala also uses this phrase, but they have only succeeded in satisfying everyone else but the vegetarian and vegan community. If there are meat-free options, vegetarians have nothing to worry about, right?

No, as the real problem lies in what these meat-free options have to offer: a burrito filled with refried beans, a bell pepper sandwich wrap or a limp salad. What UMBC tells its meat-free students is that they are not a priority and, therefore, don’t deserve an array of vegetarian options.

By ridding the campus of Fresh Fusions, UMBC has not only ignored the vegans, vegetarians-by-choice and those who just can’t eat meat. Leaving UMBC without a targeted vegetarian or vegan restaurant makes it nearly impossible for many students to find the perfect meal.

Rory Maymon, a junior mathematics major, is both vegan and gluten-free. “Fresh Fusions was the only place that had options that satisfied both of my restrictions. The food wasn’t spectacular, but it did its job,” he said about the loss of the restaurant.

Without Fresh Fusions, those who live this alternative lifestyle are left in the dust with the beginning of a new, ironically important year at UMBC, as we approach the school’s 50th anniversary, and ultimately, this does not fare well for the image as an inclusive, diverse university.

Install a Sweetgreen, Hrabowski.