Thanks to the relentless efforts of student activist group Association Sentience, the Pariselle cafeteria at the University of Lille-1 (northern France) is now offering a daily plant-based hot meal. The eatery started experimenting in early January by offering vegan pasta dishes, sandwiches and pizzas. It was so successful that management decided to make it a daily option.
Axelle Playoust, co-president of Association Sentience, says once management warmed to the idea, implementing the change was fairly easy since Pariselle prepares all food on the premises. It was just a question of teaching them which ingredients are appropriate for vegans and where to order them, as well as suggesting meals appreciated by most vegans. Only one area could use some improvement: desserts!
Association Sentience, which has representatives in the cities of Lyon and Rennes as well, is hoping this first strong success will make it easier for other cafeterias at French universities to offer vegan options. Their mission is to spark a public debate on the issue of animal equality, particularly within learning institutions, where speciesist concepts are taught from an early age. The association wants to educate the public by sharing existing ethological research on animal sentience, and also shedding light on animal exploitation.