by Shreyas Rao and Swathi Bhat
What is PAVE all about and how did it come to be?
PAVE hopes to spread awareness about the different motives that people have to become vegetarian and the diverse vegetarian options available. We also organise activities like cookouts and movie screenings. Our cookout for this semester will be happening on 25th October (you can sign up for it at this link).
PAVE started at the suggestion of Prof. Johan. On hindsight, it might have been catalysed by the declining quality of vegetarian food in the dining hall. More importantly, some of the founders felt that there was a genuine lack of awareness about the degree of impact our food habits have on the environment. At the same time, we felt that we shouldn’t become a closed community but instead be open to people with various dietary habits. And so PAVE was born.
What do you guys do?
We started out last semester trying out various avenues to raise awareness about such issues. These include but are not limited to: hosting cookouts where we make and eat vegetarian food, watching documentaries about factory farming, and pasting posters about the environmental impact of meat consumption.
Is PAVE even relevant in today’s times?
PAVE is especially relevant in today’s times. Unbeknownst to many, our food habits are causing severe ecological damage to the planet. Meat consumption continues to grow relentlessly while the process of raising meat devours resources. We believe that we must be aware of the mechanics and consequences of the industrial processes that bring our food to the table. And we are not the only ones worried; take a look at Future of Food by the Gates foundation which talks about the urgent need for innovation in the unsustainable factory farming industry.
Cookouts? What does it have to do with PAVE?
Cookouts serves to dispel the notion that vegetarian food is just salads and beans. Really, it isn’t just salad and beans. At the same time, we are also imparting a useful skill – cooking! For vegetarians, it is important to know how to cook as it is hard to find places outside that cater to their dietary preferences.
Every semester we aim to represent vegetarian dishes from various cultures. Last semester, we cooked Greek and American recipes. This year, we plan to have cottage cheese (or paneer, a type of cheese common in South Asian cuisine) burgers and bread pudding!
What are PAVE’s future plans?
We plan to expand to the other colleges in University Town, especially Tembusu college since we share the dining hall with them. This semester, we are trying something new – an eye-catching static display to question the intricacies of our dietary habits. Be sure to look out for it in Week 11!
To join or find out more about PAVE, check out our Facebook group, or contact Swathi (91993504) or Zi-Yu (91283607).
Editor’s note: The bread pudding is amazing. This is one cookout you cannot miss.