Examining vegetarian diet


One of the hottest trends of the decade is the movement to go green. Students are adding their own spin to the movement, including wearing natural hair, vintage shopping and eating natural foods.

More than ever people are beginning to adopt an “all natural” lifestyle, and being a vegetarian doesn’t appear to be unusual anymore.

Andrew Demil, 26, Tennessee native and 10-year veggie veteran, said he knew the importance of living a strict vegetarian lifestyle long before it became the newest fad.

“Most livestock aren’t allowed to graze on farms because they are trapped in small cages, causing them to develop unnecessary fat due to the lack of exercise,” Demil said.

Despite the popularity in being more health conscious, some still say there are better alternatives than becoming a vegetarian.

Adjunct Florida A&M nutritionist and licensed dietitian for the Florida Health Department, Dykibra Gaskin, cautions students to not fall into the hype of thinking students can’t be healthy and eat meat.

“Just because someone eliminates meat from there diet, doesn’t mean they are healthy, or making a healthier choice,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin doesn’t deny there are some benefits to being a vegetarian, but said there can be benefits to eating meat, if balanced correctly. 

“If you want to do red meat, limit consumption to two times a month and stick to lean portions only,” Gaskin said.

Since recent studies have revealed the harmful effects a meat-based diet can have on the environment, environmentalists have begun adopting the vegetarian lifestyle as well.

Florida State University environmental studies graduate and transitioning vegetarian Kathryn Stark said anyone who considers themselves an environmentalist should start making the transition to a veggie-only diet. 

Second year FSU student and transitioning vegetarian, Kate Feit, said her main reason for transitioning are for environmental reasons as well.

Feit said she understands the need for some cows but doesn’t approve of the excessive human dependence on beef.

“If everyone tried to eliminate red meat from their diet, that would reduce the amount of cattle being produced and raised,” Feit said.

Even though Feit eats fish on occasions she said she’s well on her way to going completely veggie.