Heather Wilkins | Staff Writer


According to meat lovers everywhere, vegetarians and vegans have been protesting animal cruelty for the sake of insignificant animals.

There are people who don’t understand why vegetarians choose to alter their diets because they believe we’re scared of a ‘necessary’ scientific experiment, known as genetically modified organisms. They also argue that we can’t comprehend the economic importance of what it truly means to be modified for the survival of the human race.

On behalf of people who dislike GMOs and have seen them as the threat to agricultural business and therefore our way of life, I have my own opinions on some of these “rabbit-food” diets and some of reasons why we choose to do it anyways.

People who wish to find a silver-lining while stuck between a rock and a hard place should look at the consequences of each action separate from the grander scale of things. For some people, veganism and vegetarianism is a modern utilitarian concept used to reduce the slaughter of animals or prevent cruelty toward them.

The point is to avoid murdering an animal by trying to find alternative routes to obtain the nutrients they would get from meat and to make sure big companies don’t profit from it. However, there is a slight problem with this picture for the people who haven’t decided to make that lifestyle change.

Veganism and vegetarianism can be misleading to people who don’t know the difference. Vegans get their nutrition on plant-based diets and typically any food item that did not come from an animal. Vegetarians eat dairy, eggs and cheese while also eating a variety of vegetables.

To most people, if you take milk from a cow it does not seem like cruelty because you’re not hurting the animal which is false in some cases. Either way, these companies that genetically modify their animals profit from these products so vegans refuse to consume it. Vegans avoid all parts and products that come from cows and could opt for the soy based-items or milk substitutes that has been processed like regular milk.

For most people protein and iron are questionable in these diets since they would normally gain it by eating meats of some kind but taking supplements, eating eggs, tofu or even eating spinach can get you the iron your body needs.

Recently, P.O.D. market underneath University Towers on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus has been offering to its vegetarians and vegans edamame snacks, fruit juice strips, toasted fruit chips and even chia seed power-bars – all of which are delicious in my opinion.

However, people besides vegans and vegetarians are also enjoying the new snacks so try it out when you have the chance.

If you’re opting for a switch in your diet, don’t try and do all the different fads such as juice cleansing or completely change up your meals immediately. Sticking to all super fruits or even going for those green tea cleansers to supplement your transition is the safest bet. You can easily add more protein and vegetables to your diet if it seems too drastic and switch back and forth if you want.

It’s hard for someone to avoid the foods they probably grew up eating but the benefits are worth it. Personally, I have been going on and off a vegetarian diet if I think I’ve had too much meat or too little.

However, I like being a vegetarian because not only do you end up getting awesome healthy snacks from the fridge, but you also get to enjoy the joys of eating delicious coconut and mango fruit chips while protecting the animals who don’t deserve being mistreated. Bon appetite to all my veggie lovers.