It wasn’t exactly grease seeping from the strips of meat in her frying pan. Instead, there were little white worms that looked like maggots.
“They just came out of the bacon,” Charvelle McClendon said.
“That was it for me.”
After putting the vegan-legend of pouring coke over bacon to the test, McClendon quickly became a committed non-pork eater. This was quite a turn around for the senior psychology student from Charleston, S.C. who was once an avid meat eater as a freshman.
Although the coke-over-pork assessment had something to do with her split from swine and beef, there was more to it than that.
“It’s just about health,” McClendon said.
“It’s about knowing what you put into your body. For a healthy body, you’ve got to eat right.”
According to William Hudson, student affairs director for the School of Allied Health Sciences, eating healthy is something that many women are coming to grips with as they scratch pork from their diets.
“Students are becoming more and more aware because they have more information,” Hudson said.
Obesity and heart disease are a few of the known health risks related to a frequent intake of pork.
“As they matriculate through college, that information is provided to them more frequently and they’re now interacting with individuals who know a little bit more about the effects of pork.”
Dionne Simms said she has also noticed a shift in the diets of young women.
Many of the pizzas delivered to Simms’ collegiate ministry meetings are void of pepperoni and sausage.
“A lot of the girls in my college group prefer to get beef or just cheese toppings,” the senior economics student said. “I think more women in general are starting to stop eating pork because it smells, it’s nasty, it’s fatty and it clogs the arteries.”
Because pork tends to be very salty, other contributing health risks for habitual pork eaters include high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Hudson said veins are likely to become clogged for those who eat a lot of saline-rich foods. While people who keep this type of diet get older, they may also increase their risk for heart attack and obesity.
In addition to health concerns, a few others refrain from eating pork because it is considered unclean.
“The pig is an animal ridden with toxins because it doesn’t have any sweat glands,” said Sitoorah Israel, a Soul Vegetarian restaurant affiliate.
Israel advised not to ingest the animal because it’s not fit to eat
“It doesn’t have a way of eliminating toxins from its system. So the toxins that are in the pig’s body are encompassed in its makeup,” added Israel, a vegan-follower of seven years.
But according to Hudson, students don’t have to go as far as picking apart a pig’s metabolic makeup to know that what they are eating may cause disease in the future.
“All the parts of the pig that carry diseases are what we tend to want to eat,” he said. “Because that’s usually all our ancestors got from the slave masters-the leftovers from the hog. So we took those parts that they gave us and made a meal out of it.”
For those looking to alter their diet, there are pork substitutes at almost all grocery stores. Bacon, sausage and hotdogs come in variations of turkey, chicken and beef.