What’s a vegan Rattler to do?

Keith Weir photo courtesy: Weir

Kieth Weir, who is in his fourth year as a political science major at Florida A&M University, converted to a vegan lifestyle during his time on “the hill.”

“I truly appreciate being taken vegan. I got started on it around three years ago and haven’t stopped since,” he said. “I feel more energetic and I am able to focus more easily on my work.”

Veganism is described as a way of life in which people avoid all animal life as much as possible. Vegan diets take things to the next level by eliminating anything derived from an animal. Vegans abstain from meat, dairy products, eggs and even honey.

African Americans are more likely to be vegetarians or vegans. Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank, revealed in 2016 that under 3% of the American population is classified as vegan. However, among African American adults, that number rises to roughly 8%. Many African Americans claim to have moved to a plant-based diet for environmental, animal rights, and health reasons, according to the Pew study.

Unfortunately, finding vegan meal choices at FAMU is difficult. The university’s vegan menu seems to be limited to fruit smoothies, black bean burgers and vegan breadsticks. More vegan food options on campus would be beneficial, Weir said.

“On Wednesdays, we are fed fried chicken in the dining hall, which is not my favorite. I believe students like myself would benefit from a dedicated plant-based dining day,” Weir added.

A poll was done by McKinsey & Company and concluded that Gen Z and millennials are the generations most interested in vegetarian, vegan and mindful eating alternatives.

Alexis Knowles, who is in her third year as a business administration major at FAMU, ids a proud vegetarian.

Alexis Knowles photo courtesy: Knowles

“Veganism has changed my life in so many ways. My entire health has improved, my skin has cleared up, I have more energy than ever before, and I’ve discovered that I’m more focused and level-headed,” Knowles said.

“Being vegan has taught me how to keep myself responsible and to not let particular foods control me. Eating healthier will assist others by lowering their illness risks and enabling them to not only look but also feel better,” she added.

According to Supermarket News, 79% of Gen Z want to be vegetarian one day each week, and 65% prefer a more plant-forward diet.

Knowles said that eating better has helped her in many ways, including lowering her chance of developing serious illnesses and improving her overall health and well-being.

For more information about vegetarian and vegan eating, go to betterhealth.vic.gov.