Veganism Heals Mind, Body

Whoever said herbivores were extinct told a little white lie.

Florida A&M graduate Craig Beacham has lived on fruits and vegetables for the past four years.

The big change came to him after being inspired by different documentaries on meat and slaughterhouses. “Earthlings” is the documentary that really opened his eyes on to people’s use of animals. Craig knew becoming a vegan would be the next best move.

Growing up, he ate meat and other animal products. “My family is from Gainesville, so we love to eat southern food,” Beacham said.

Becoming a vegan was not simple. He started by dropping meat and then all other products.

Craig thinks the best way to go vegan is to take small steps, such as going meatless a few times a week.

“People who tend to make big transitions beat themselves up for making step backs than forwards, but you have to remember its a process and step backs do happen,” Beacham said.

Nadine Benjamin, who is becoming vegan, is starting just as Beacham did. Nadine first started her process as a pescatarian (a vegetarian who will eat fish) then became a vegetarian. “My weakness is surrounding myself with meat eaters,” Benjamin said. “Being a vegan is the healthiest lifestyle, and this is my ultimate goal.”

Remember people are different so going vegan this way might not be best for everyone.

Being vegan heals mind and body.

Cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease and even cancer are reduced in a meatless lifestyle. Craig believes he thinks more clearly since becoming a vegan.

“Your body’s mood and energy have a better flow too,” Beacham said. The most frequent phrase Craig says he hears is, “You are missing out on so much.” The only thing Craig believes he is missing out is its inconvenience of eating fast food. Most meals vegans can eat as well. There are substitute meats and lots of alternatives for vegans. Vegan pizza, spaghetti and black bean burgers, is some of Craig’s favorite foods.

FAMU has become more vegan-friendly in recent years, with the on-campus cafeteria offering more diverse meals.

Katrine Hambrick, who is a supervisor at the Cafe, thinks FAMU has a great selection for vegans.

“I think we could have more variety, but its good,” she said, adding that the cafe has become more careful to label its food correctly. “Maybe in the past they have gotten it wrong, but not any more.”

Being vegan helped Beacham become more conscious of food labels.

Beacham said he knows about 30-plus vegans and takes credit for converting about 10 of them. He recently graduated from FAMU with a philosophy degree.