Veganism is more than just a fashion trend

Difficult lifestyle of veganism proves rewarding for students

Alyssa Pak

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In recent years, veganism has become something of a trend.

There are those who see it as a way to make themselves appear environmentally aware, health-conscious or cool. There are also those who see it as a way to lose weight.

Whatever the reason, the fact that veganism may be seen as trendy may be a good thing, according to junior Hannah Kadin.

“I think it’s the best diet choice, and my favorite part is feeling better about not supporting unethical animal treatment,” said Kadin, a vegan of about two years.

Veganism becoming more mainstream over the years has led to a more pronounced stereotype of the dieters, especially when it comes to preaching their diet to others.

“There’s a whole stereotype around vegans that we always try to push our beliefs on others and talk about the fact that we’re vegan, which isn’t true. If someone offers us something not vegan, we’re going to have to explain that we can’t eat it because we’re vegan,” said senior Lauren Yousha.

Senior Nicole Pofcher expressed frustration with the fact that veganism is sometimes laughed at or looked down on.

“I don’t think that everyone needs to be vegan, but people could be more supportive of those who are vegan because it’s an awesome thing to do for the environment, for the animals and for your health,” she said.

Junior Sabrina Morris stated that the idea of vegans only being able to eat foods such as salad is an inaccurate portrayal of what vegans truly eat.

“Being a vegan doesn’t mean I’m going to throw red paint on your fur. It also doesn’t mean I sit around chomping on leaves— I still eat my fair share of sugar, I’ve just become more mindful of it,” she explained.

Morris also said that each diet varies with each person. Pofcher voiced a similar opinion, saying that Ben and Jerry’s makes awesome vegan ice cream.

Many vegans get their start through watching documentaries about the truth behind the animal farming industry, so if you want to know more about why people switch over to veganism, you might want to start there.

“I’ve been vegetarian since I was about ten just because I really like animals and also began to learn about how terrible industrial farming is both for ethical and environmental reasons. I realized that the dairy and egg industries were basically the same as the meat industry and also that animal products aren’t particularly good for your health, so I stopped eating them,” said Kadin.

Although aware of the insidious aspects of animal farming industries, Morris noted that watching documentaries provided more insight into the topic. She was shocked by what she learned and decided to transition to veganism once she found out that animal products are directly correlated to diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

“I like knowing that what I’m putting into my body is good for it and helping it fuel properly. I’ve become much more aware of what I put into my body, and I just feel better mentally and physically. I’ve become a much more healthy eater and have been open to trying so many more new foods,” said Morris.

Though veganism often seems “trendy”, it is important to understand that it is a major lifestyle change.

“It’s way too much of a commitment to just be something fashionable,” said Yousha.

Pofcher noted that being vegan definitely makes eating out harder, but looking at menus online before she goes out makes it more manageable.

Despite the difficulties of keeping up with the diet, it is ultimately a rewarding experience for vegans, knowing that they aren’t harming animals as well as feeling better about what they put in their bodies.

“I feel like I’m making the world a better place every day,” said Yousha.

“My favorite part of veganism is the fact that I can eat larger quantities of food and it can be healthy and nourishing, but I don’t feel gross after I eat it,” said Pofcher. I feel like I have a better relationship with food, and along I know that I’m positively impacting the environment by not contributing to a larger carbon footprint and not harming animals.”

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