Alliance helps vegans live healthier

The Vegetarian Student Alliance at Florida A&M University is creating awareness for both students and the community about dietary alternatives. VSA also educates members on how to live a healthier life through a better diet.

VSA President Joy Dixon, 22, a fourth-year healthcare management student from Tampa, said it was originally created for the Tallahassee community to have access to information about healthy dietary alternatives.

VSA has about 20-25 members.

Dixon said the alliance members are aided in the move from unhealthy to healthy eating.

“We provide students with [a] local nutritionist to help them with their transition to vegetarianism,” Dixon said. “We introduce them to other meat alternatives such as tofu, a soft food made from coagulated soybean extract pressed into cake. We teach them about supplements so they can [get] all the nutrients they need for their diet.”

Dixon talked about the lifestyle change involved in the vegetarian transition process.

“I’ve had family members who suffered from diabetes and after seeing them go through the troubles of medication and hospital visits, I decided to change and make my life healthier, starting with my diet,” Dixon said. “Since I switched to vegan, I have more energy, my vision is better, and even my skin is clearer.”

Some students believe that becoming a vegetarian is difficult.

“It was a hard change,” said Bianca Smith, a 21-year-old senior pre-nursing student from Oakland, Calif. “A lot of places don’t cater to us [vegetarians]. We have to find other ways to get food.”

Smith said the club is a good way for students that have the same interest to come together.

“I love to get involved,” Smith said. “The VSA is basically involved with other people who are vegetarians. You have someone to talk to [that has] been through the same experience.”

Members of the club are trying to make the club more visible to the campus community. “We do word of mouth, flyers and that’s about it,” Dixon said.

For more info on the VSA, contact Joy Dixon at (813) 767-4002.