The Diet Debate: Vegans discuss why they choose to exclude meat


Rachel Ackerman

Being vegan has been a topic of debate for a while. While some think that going vegan is beneficial, others argue that you won’t get the nutrients you need.

Freshman Jaelynn Middleton was vegan for over a year, but has just changed to vegetarian because it got to be too much work for her. Middleton said, “I became vegan because I saw a documentary on Netflix… and I found it really interesting about how our food is processed in the United States and how people choose to consume it or buy it.”

Sometimes it can be harder and more expensive to access vegan foods. Middleton said, “It can be really expensive if you’re buying like a large portion of tofu and it depends on the food.”

Middleton said she would recommend people to become vegan, but only if they don’t have a busy schedule. “It’s really hard to meal plan and stay on track. The cravings also make it hard.” Middleton said.

Sophomore Grace Church is also a vegan. She said she started off being vegetarian then gradually became vegan by cutting out meats and processed foods. What pushed her to become vegan was watching a documentary on Netflix and Church said, “It made me very sad. I remember just being absolutely upset and absolutely disgusted by the thought of eating anything that had any type of animal product.”

Church is the only vegan in her family and said that it can be hard to find restaurants that cater to vegans. The only restaurants she said has good vegan food is the Mediterranean Cafe in downtown Independence. Middleton said, “ I like Houlihan’s. They have really good fries and veggie burgers. I also like to go to Noodles and Company because you can get zucchini pasta.”

While there may be some struggles of being vegan, Church and Middleton both say there are many benefits. Middleton said, “I’ve had more clear skin and I had a lot more energy when I got up in the morning. I used to feel sluggish even after coffee, but I don’t anymore.”

Even though Church recommends people becoming vegan, she still warns against quickly changing your diet. “I recommend gradually, definitely not abrupt. It’s not a good idea for your body because your body won’t have time to adjust to the change” Church said.