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Most of my life, I enjoyed meat – I’d eat hamburgers, work at meat-producing companies, and never gave a second thought about it. At the end of my second year of college, I became aware of the ethics behind the meat industry. I first gave up meat when I realized that I did not personally feel okay with eating something once living. I had adopted two pet pekin ducks and realized the individual personalities both had and could not find a separation between them and my pet dog or cat. A couple months into being vegetarian, I felt like I could do more and made the switch to vegan. 

I, personally, feel so much more happy and healthy 

Before going vegan, I did not seek out the knowledge I needed to make the choice of being vegan. Now, I feel so confident in my decision and wish I had made the switch way sooner. I lost a healthy amount of weight after switching, which does not happen to everyone, but it made me a lot more conscious of what I put into my body. I feel more energized and excited to experiment with different meals. And most of all, I feel positive knowing my choice contributes to creating a more sustainable world. 

I am positively impacting the world each day

For me (and others!) the process was simple, I had been eating meat about every single day, and animal products with just about everything that I ate. But by making the change I knew my actions were having positive results According to the Vegan Calculator, a vegan will save about one hundred animal lives per year. It feels good for me to know I contribute to this number!

I realized the importance of supplements 

Something very important to know about becoming a vegan is you will need a balance of supplements due to the changes in your diet. Not all supplements need to be taken forever but while getting started it is important to have these. Personally, every day I take Iron, B12, a B Complex, Zinc, and a Vitamin D – however, consult a professional to see what specific needs you have considering your diet. It is important for just about everyone to look into their vitamin intakes, I recommend getting bloodwork done to make sure you are on the right path. 

I also recommend seeing a nutritionist at least once – cooking vegan can be trickier on a college budget, so they will help you fit your diet to your lifestyle. One extremely important thing to remember with vegan supplements is to take B12 – without this supplement, you could have permanent side effects. Also, being a woman, I find it even more important to keep up with my iron, as I do not get enough after eating iron-filled meat for so long and lose iron through my cycle. 

I am helping save the environment

One thing that a lot of people don’t take into consideration about diet is how it impacts the environment. I first became vegan for ethical reasons with animal lives, however was enlightened after my switch of how much good a vegan diet does for the environment. Meat production is the leading form of deforestation and climate change. Also, the amount of water usage given to livestock compared to plants is alarming. Switching to a vegan diet helps save the world around us. 

 

The resources are out there for anyone to make their own decision. Most of my friends are not even vegetarian, and we all maintain a mutual respect for each other’s decisions. I hope that everyone considers making the change and does it healthily.

Maggie Deller

Cincinnati '22

Maggie Deller is a third year Environmental Studies major with a Biology minor. She loves bird watching, being with her friends, and hanging with her pet ducks.
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