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Veganism Gains Popularity

Dahlia Bray, Staff Writer

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There are 16 million vegans or vegetarians in the United States, according to the Raw Food World. This leaves 302 million people to eat meat. So why go without meat in a society thriving on it?

Senior Robyn Duncan’s life changed when she made the switch from eating meat to being vegan.

“This coming March will mark a year of me being vegan,” Duncan said. “Veganism to me is about ending suffering and doing all that I can to help end it. The final push for me to go vegan was when I finally looked at the big picture. I thought about how animal products were made, how they got on my plate and how many lives both human and animal had to suffer for such a selfish preference.”

While some students celebrate year milestones in their diets, others are welcoming new beginnings.

Sophomore Rachel Watts is excited about becoming vegan.

“I have only been vegan for a month and a half,” Watts said. “I went straight from meat-eating to being vegan. I just started researching it online one day, and I’ve always [loved] animals, so I started to see the hypocrisy in it. I stopped [eating meat on] January 12 and it’s been really easy. I want to be an animal rights activist, and I want to advocate veganism as well.”

A big motivator for transitioning to veganism is that cutting meat out of the diet can positively impact animals.

Junior Madison Kennedy is passionate about the fight for animal rights.

“I went vegan because I hate how animals are treated, and I hate what animal agriculture does to our environment,” Kennedy said. “I have loved animals all my life, but it wasn’t until I was much older when I started thinking, ‘If I love animals so much, why am I paying for their slaughter?’ That was honestly my turning point.”

Though those who eat meat and those who do not often disagree, sometimes they are able to understand each other peacefully.

Senior Gavin Patterson sees the benefit of going meatless, but personally does not agree with it.

“I think vegetarianism and veganism are healthy and cool life choices, but there are ways of being extreme,” Patterson said. “While I agree it’s an environmental plus, I don’t think it provides the opportunity to get as many proteins as eating meat does. I respect the choice to not eat meat, it is just something I would never consider for myself.”

Junior Jack Suarez became vegetarian to benefit both animals and himself.

“I try to keep in shape, and being vegetarian helps me,”  Suarez said. “But ultimately, it’s more about the animals. My way of looking at it is that if I couldn’t kill an animal, I shouldn’t be eating them. They also have lives, and we all came from the same kingdom, so why hurt them?”

 

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