The Colonel Roosevelt High School Kent, OH
Issue Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Issue: Volume 83 Issue 8 Last Update: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Current Conditions Rain Showers
Temperature: 71.8 °F
Wind Speed: 6 mph S
Gusts: 14 mph S
Rain Today: 0 "


Chocolate, Pizza, and Other Things I Can’t Eat: My Week as a Vegan
I’m no stranger to tricky eating choices. Seven years ago I made the choice to become a vegetarian at the young age of eleven. I didn’t quite know what I was doing, but it seemed easy enough to cut meat out of my diet. Even before then, I had never eaten red meat before, so the overall switch only involved cutting out chicken and a small amount of fish. To be honest, it was easy. It made me feel good to know I was saving a my share of animals, along with having a bit of a healthier lifestyle. I was proud of this, just as I am now.

Reaching high school, I became more involved and knowledgeable with this choice. I did a good share of research, talked to many fellow vegheads, and viewed Meet Your Meat  (if you want to kick start a vegetarian diet, watch this NOW) and many other PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) videos. What can I say? I was hooked on my choice.

I was always curious, though, about the even more extreme dietary choice: veganism. I’ve been a member of PETA for quite some time now, and the heavy slew of information thrown my way always pointed out the benefits in this choice. For those  who don’t know, vegans don’t consume any animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. It seems to many lifelong vegans, the lifestyle is effortless. I had always wished I had this kind of dedication. So that’s what I wanted to try: one week living my life as a vegan would.

Let me tell you, it was definitely not effortless. Starting out, I made several trips to Kent Natural Foods Co-op and the local grocery store, picking up more than enough healthy vegan choices (among the purchases: fruits and vegetables, chili mix, LOTS of peanut butter, assorted crackers and snacks, Morningstar bacon, chicken, and burgers, soy milk, and Tofurkey). Vegan food makes quite the dent in your wallet (thanks, mom!), about as much, if not more, than organic food is. By far, the trickiest part about shopping was ensuring there was no milk or egg products in anything I was buying.

As a high school senior, I am SUPER busy. My meals tend to be fast food grabbed between school and work, a quick pasta dish that I can whip up late at night while tackling piles of homework, or a slice of pizza brought home from the shop my parents own. There is definitely a limited amount of vegan options for this, and I found myself packing lots of snacks for the day instead. I definitely felt better physically, though, eating an apple and pretzels instead of a cheesy bean and rice burrito from Taco Bell (even though they are delicious). Being forced only one time to find a meal not put together by myself, ironically at a journalism conference, I managed to find a delicious lunch of hummus, veggies, and pita. Other days I enjoyed things like chili (Chicago style, of course!) and pizza bagels. Snacks ended up being things like granola bars, assorted fruits, pretzels and peanut butter, or delicious chocolate chip cookies (made with soy chocolate and no eggs).

Everyone has a different reason for the vegetarian or vegan diet choice. Some are brought up that way, knowing that lifestyle only. Others adopt it later in life after finding out the endless amount of facts about the animal industry (did you know approximately 660,000 animals are killed an hour for meat?). Others do it for the health benefits (you can reduce your chance of a heart attack by 15% if you cut meat, dairy, and eggs out of your diet). But no matter what the reason, it still requires immense dedication and drive to keep up the choice. Kudos to you, vegans! I admire the choice you’ve made!

Back to the articles list

0 COMMENTS - Add your comment below

Comments, recommendations or suggestions.

Staff View

Pam, Harr

Email Me


Email Me


The Wayback Machine

There are currently 64 editions on-line. Click on edition name to view articles.