Vegetarianism offers meatless option

Many people across America are trading in their steaks and pork chops for more vegetarian meals like tofu and kale bone.

Several students on campus are even embracing a “less than meaty” lifestyle.

People who are vegetarians do not eat meat. However, a person could also be a vegan, someone who refrains from eating any animal products.

Marika Whack, a senior sociology student from Warwick, Bermuda, said being a vegetarian was an easy decision to make.

“I’ve been (a vegetarian) for a year and I decided to do it because of health and spirituality reasons,” Whack said.

According to the American Heart Association, people who consume animal products are 40 percent more at risk for cancer and are susceptible to many other illnesses, including stroke, obesity, appendicitis, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes and food poisoning.

Some restaurants around town are even adding vegetarian meals to their menus for healthier eating.

Bennayahoo Israel, a cook for The Soul Vegetarian Restaurant in Tallahassee, serves all natural 100-percent vegan cuisines.

Israel recommends following a strict vegan diet in order to eat well.

“A person will have more energy and your mind and body will actually feel healthier, ” Israel said.

He said some healthier foods that vegetarians eat include, soybeans, kale bone and tofu.

Soy and protein is used to prepare many vegetarian delicacies. Kale bone is wheat, flour and water baked for three or four hours and is used as a meat substitute while Tofu is made from curdled soybean milk, which is high in protein.

On campus, the Vegetarian Student Alliance offers support for students considering or trying vegetarianism.

VSA promotes a holistic lifestyle through realistic and applicable activities.Student Jonathan Luna, an environmental studies and anthropology senior from Garzon, Colombia, has been a vegetarian on and off for about three years.

“I became more aware of the environmental and social effects with eating meat and I don’t agree with the way food animals are kept in this country.”

Luna advised prospective vegetarians to “try meat substitutes, some actually taste better than meats, like veggie bacon.”

There are plenty of health advantages to being a vegetarian or vegan including having a lower cholesterol level.

Research done by the American Journal of Cardiology proves that the average vegan cholesterol level, 128, is the level below which no one has ever been documented as having died from a heart attack.

Israel said becoming a vegetarian is not an overnight procedure. It is a gradual process that requires dedication, knowledge and determination.Israel said for people to “Give yourself a day.”

“Say today I won’t eat any beef or pork.”