This is just the Vegan(ing)

Being vegan isn’t just an everyday diet for some, but more of a life changing experience to better themselves and the environment. The biggest drawback for vegan food, is that people are sure it taste terrible.

There’s a group of people at Pierce who spent the whole day trying to change that.

The Vegan Society hosted its first Pierce Vegan Day in the Great Hall Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event consisted of speakers discussing environmental issues, what it means to be vegan, animal rights, and offered a taste of plan-based snacks to participants.  

The “Ask a Vegan” panel discussion had panelists Denise Robb, Vegan Society Vice President Matt Phelps, and Vegan Society Treasurer Galit Ashkenazi.  

The event was created to bring awareness to a vegan lifestyle to students on campus. Ashkenazi said it is important to introduce something that students might not understand.

Students were able to enjoy vegan food from the restaurant, “Follow your heart,” and goodie bags with vegan snacks and coupons.

“They don’t really understand what it is, and I think the first step toward becoming vegan is understanding what the point is and why we’re doing it,” Ashkenazi said. “A lot of people might be interested in going vegan if they knew what it’s all about and what the reasoning is.”

One of the speakers was Paige Parson- Roache “Vegan Rama Mama,” who brought up issues about recycling and encourage students to eat healthier.

The Vegan Society does outreach and advocates a vegan lifestyle on campus, Ashkenazi said.

“We invite people to have a conversation with us so they can make knowledgeable decisions about whether they want to become vegan or not, and whether they are interested in helping dissolving animal mistreatment,” Ashkenazi said. “We’ve invited guest speakers who are social media influencers in the vegan community to talk about something they are passionate about.”

Ashkenazi’s said she is vegan because she would like to leave Earth knowing that she has caused the least amount of harm to the world.

“I see a lot of harm being done to animals in the farm industry, and the truth is, at this point in time, there’s no way to eat animal products without causing harm to the animals,” Ashkenazi said.

Vegan Chef Josue Solis worked in the national health industry for over a decade and was giving students advice on eating healthier, drinking enough water and being more active.

Matt Phelps, who has been vegan for four years, said he can’t morally justify eating animals.

“This is an issue that affects everyone. This affects the environment, this affects the nutrition, the food that we eat, it directly affects the animals,” Phelps said. “There are so many injustices that are attached to this industry of eating meat.”

Speaker from vegan outreach Gwenna Hunter spoke to the audience about love, compassion and spirituality of veganism.

Vegan Society Advisor Stephanie Winnard said being vegan is one action that can make a huge difference.

“Being vegan can solve a multitude of extremely serious urgent problems that we are faced with, including climate change and animal cruelty,” Winnard said. “By going vegan, we can make a more peaceful world for all.”

Vegan Day brings awareness and hopefully inspires people to take action with their lifestyle, Winnard said.

“The vegan movement is exploding, it’s growing exponentially, and the demographic that’s exploding the most is college students,” Winnard said. “The young people are leading the way with this movement, this gives me hope.”