What is the difference between veganism and vegetarianism? When asked, most students either didn’t know what veganism was or they couldn’t entirely say how it differed from the latter. The fact of the matter is that most people generally don’t know what it means to be vegan.
On Wednesday, September 23, an event called Get Vegucated was held in room 219 of the Blum Student Union. Guest speaker Derek Evans showed up with one goal in mind: To teach students what it means to live a vegan lifestyle and the purpose behind doing so.
Evans started by asking students what they knew about veganism and for the most part everyone who answered had a general idea. Not eating meat or anything produced by animals was the main focus. Evans would soon reveal that there was much more to the lifestyle as he began showing students the “Vegucated” documentary.
The documentary follows three individuals who have taken on the challenge of becoming vegans for six weeks.
Like the students, the trio have a basic idea of what it means to be vegan in the beginning. It is explained that aside from not being able to eat meat, vegans are not allowed to eat any food that is a product of an animal. This includes: milk, cheese, mayonnaise, marshmallows, or even honey.
Vegans also don’t wear articles of clothing made of leather, fur, wool, silk or feathers otherwise known as down.
The documentary really takes off when it goes into depth about how badly animals are treated. The living conditions are poor and the animals aren’t properly cared for. The animals that don’t produce or aren’t used to make food will literally be thrown away, dead or alive.
Farm animals, birds especially, technically aren’t covered under the animal rights act; for this reason, many animal rights activists are vegan.
“I’m a huge animal lover,” says ex-vegan Jackie Motts, “so I became a vegan because I didn’t believe animals deserve to be killed just to become food.”
Although it was Motts’ passion that drove her to veganism, she was only able to maintain the lifestyle for six months.
“The vegan lifestyle is a very challenging one,” Mott’s says. “If you don’t get the right alternative you may not get enough protein , which can cause you to get really sick and weak.”
Motts ran into the protein problem and therefore couldn’t continue being purely vegan.
Patrick Kelly, a non-vegan, says, “The video was for shock value, but there’s no way you can see something like that and not feel anything.”
While Kelly does agree that farm animals deserve better treatment, he also shares that he could never be vegan.
“I could probably be vegetarian; but I don’t think I could consistently keep eating the right alternatives. . . I would probably miss meat.”