So, you want to be vegetarian or vegan?

Leenika Belfield- martin | Lifestyle Editor

Beyoncé’s newly vegan lifestyle in preparation for her upcoming Coachella performance has her fans ready to go vegan, too. Are you considering a lifestyle change?

The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as someone who “does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal.”

Benefits of going vegetarian, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, include prevention of cancer and heart disease, decrease of blood pressure, reduction of possibility of osteoporosis and diabetes.

Some people may also experience aesthetic changes, such as Imani Thomas, a graduating senior, liberal studies major from Detroit. Thomas said that since going vegetarian this year, “My body feels lighter and cleaner. My skin has never been bad, but it’s just looking a lot brighter.”

Sophomore psychology major Ashley Childs said that going vegan has caused her to not only become more conscious of her physical self, but also her spirituality. Childs has been vegan for over a year and said that her mom being diagnosed with breast cancer is one of the reasons she adopted the lifestyle.

“I’ve started becoming more conscious of myself; having more knowledge of self and knowing that what you eat affects not only your physical body, but your spiritual body as well,” Childs said.

Adopting a vegetarian lifestyle can not only cause a change in your body, but also can help the environment and world around you. According to Time Magazine, vegan and vegetarian diets can cut 63 to 73 percent of the global greenhouse emissions produced by livestock. Time Magazine also reports that “changing dietary patterns could save $1 trillion annually by preventing health care costs and lost productivity.”

College students often have a limited selection when it comes to food choices. Most of these options are extremely processed and are rarely vegetarian-friendly.

“I cook all my food at home,” Childs said. “It’s hard eating out because you can’t really trust any [place] or anything.”

Jill Davis, a sophomore elementary education major from Maryland, has been vegan for over a year.

“At first, it was pretty hard because I wasn’t getting enough food and I was being hard on myself.” Davis said. “You have to really want it in order to succeed and resist certain cravings or substitute them.”

Childs said the thing she struggled with the most was “attending family events” due to the “cultural change.” You’re not only getting adjusted to your new diet, but your family is, too.

If you live on campus, the cafeteria offers a variety of vegetarian options. If you live off campus, consider purchasing a couple of vegetarian cookbooks to help you.

Some other great resources are Pinterest and YouTube, where you can find a number of great recipes and tips for becoming vegetarian.

Changing anything about your daily routine, especially your diet, can be a hassle.

Davis’ best piece of advice to students considering becoming vegetarian is: “Don’t give up even when it gets hard, and don’t let others tell you how to live your life.”

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