Student Voice

New Vegan Club promotes humane lifestyle

Anjali+Khandelwal%2C+left%2C+and+Bianca+Bonilla+represent+the+new+Moorpark+College+Vegan+Club+during+Club+Rush+2017.+The+Vegan+Club+promotes+living+compassionately+through+adopting+a+plant-based+diet+and+lifestyle.+Photo+credit%3A+Rachel+Desimone
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New Vegan Club promotes humane lifestyle

Anjali Khandelwal, left, and Bianca Bonilla represent the new Moorpark College Vegan Club during Club Rush 2017. The Vegan Club promotes living compassionately through adopting a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Photo credit: Rachel Desimone

Anjali Khandelwal, left, and Bianca Bonilla represent the new Moorpark College Vegan Club during Club Rush 2017. The Vegan Club promotes living compassionately through adopting a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Photo credit: Rachel Desimone

Anjali Khandelwal, left, and Bianca Bonilla represent the new Moorpark College Vegan Club during Club Rush 2017. The Vegan Club promotes living compassionately through adopting a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Photo credit: Rachel Desimone

Anjali Khandelwal, left, and Bianca Bonilla represent the new Moorpark College Vegan Club during Club Rush 2017. The Vegan Club promotes living compassionately through adopting a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Photo credit: Rachel Desimone

By Rachel Desimone

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The Vegan Club is brand new to campus and serves to educate students on how to help the environment, become healthier, and save animals through adopting a vegan lifestyle. According to PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a vegan is a person who does not consume meat, dairy products, eggs, honey, or any product derived from an animal. Vegans also tend to not use any products made from animals, such as fur.

Members of the Vegan Club stress that students do not necessarily need to become vegan in order to join the club, as it is catered to every individuals’ needs and offers support for those interested in learning about the growing trend of veganism.

Ten of the members gathered on Nov. 15 to participate in the second-ever meeting of the club. Taylor Cook, founder and President of the club, explained that her motivation for starting the Vegan Club was simply to get the word out and spread awareness about the lifestyle.

Cook has been a dedicated vegan for four years. She expressed during the meeting how adopting this lifestyle has changed her outlook on life. Cook has noticed an increase in popularity and interest in the lifestyle more recently.

“When I first went vegan it was much less popular,” Cook explained. “But now it’s exciting because people are learning more about the lifestyle.”

Although the club is new this semester, members are already brainstorming ideas for outreach to get members of the community and students involved and enthused about veganism. The Vegan Club plans to make t-shirts for next semester, host a “not your mom not your milk “ outreach event, and hopefully share educational videos around campus about the hidden truths within the meat and dairy industry.

Megan Corwin, 20, Nutrition major and Vice President of the club, reassured students that despite widespread belief, adopting a vegan lifestyle actually is not as difficult as most people think it is.

“Instead of thinking about what you can’t eat, think if what you can eat,” Corwin said. “Even just shifting your mindset and then going from there. I think the biggest thing is doing your own research because nothing is more powerful than that.”

During the meeting, many members of the club raised an important concern about staying vegan around the holidays, which is something that members feel most people struggle with. Being vegan around the holidays can be especially challenging. The biggest recommendation from the group that was discussed was to bring your own vegan dish if you’re planning on attending a party this holiday season. This way, you’ll know that there will be an option for you and you can also educate people about the lifestyle if they express interest in it.

Corwin said that talking with non-vegans about veganism can be tough if they don’t understand the lifestyle.

“In my experience, some people and even family members can be super critical and it can be hard to not get defensive,” Corwin explained. “The best way to respond is to simply give them information and approach the situation with compassion.”

Teddy Brown, 18, Sociology major, explained that many people fall from this lifestyle simply because they are not doing it correctly and make it more difficult for themselves by not sticking to the same food.

“I’m very healthy and it’s not hard in my opinion,” Brown said. “It’s just about checking all the products you’re eating and making sure that they’re vegan.”

Although adopting a vegan lifestyle may be challenging for some, it’s important for students to note that Moorpark College does offer many vegan options on campus, aside from fresh fruit, There is “Lenny and Larry’s” vegan cookies and different flavors of macaroon cookies at the student store. In addition, smoothies and salads are also offered.

Corwin mentioned that aside from the positive health benefits and saving animals, adopting a vegan lifestyle is also extremely helpful to the environment. She explained that even those who are not planning on cutting out all animal products can benefit from joining the club and learn more about ways to reduce plastic and create a more compassionate way of interacting with the world.

Cook recommends anyone interested in this lifestyle to checkout YouTube videos, educate themselves through personal research, and are welcome to come to the meetings to learn more about veganism.

More information can be found on the Vegan Club’s Instagram page @moorparkcollegeveganclub.

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