While students dressed up to celebrate Halloween, members of the Vegan Society joined the fun handing out vegan candies and brochures to students to create more awareness of the society they live in.
“We are spreading awareness about veganism, environmental issues and animal ethics,” said Matt Phelps, president of the Vegan Society. “It’s a simple outreach where we pass out candy that has no animal products and some pamphlets with information about the issue.”
Phelps has been vegetarian since 1987 and became vegan four years ago when he came across a documentary that he said opened his mind.
“Watching a video was more eye-opening versus just hearing about it. It’s probably the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen,” Phelps said. “From that point, I had no desire to eat animals or wear them. I guess I just didn’t want any part of the system.”
Phelps believes the mistake that most people make is that they have a selected compassion with animals. Cats and dogs are deemed as worthy and deserving to live and then the rest of the animals are unworthy to live.
“Our goal is to help people see the big picture that these animals are just as sentient and I think under the right circumstances can be just as loving and loyal,” Phelps said.
According to Phelps, his transition to vegan made his social life a little more complicated. People’s reactions are priceless. Some people get upset when talking about food and eating animals. However, he believes that we should be able to talk about what we’re doing with animals.
“I think veganism is for people who are trying to be proactive and it kind of encompasses a series of different issues more than just health. It also encompasses environmental issues as well as animal ethics,” Phelps said.
Club member Alexis Bader said Halloween is a great time to hand out vegan candy because it gets people interested in asking questions and they learn how great of a decision it is to become vegan.
“I want the students to be curious about being vegan or open to the idea of being vegan, because it would really help the environment,” Bader said.
Jasleen Membreno, an animal science major, likes the fact that the vegan society decided to do this because it makes everyone open minded due to the information they give out.
“I really love animals and I don’t really support the fact that we humans use them for our needs when we can just eat something else and get protein from other things,” Membreno said