Meet Madison Cartularo!

Why did you decide to go Vegan?

    When I was in sixth grade my friend was vegetarian and she told me about a video she watched on YouTube called “Meet Your Meat” that made her become vegetarian. It was basically depicting the horrors of factory farms and the abuse that animals go through. So that night, I went home and watched it and stopped eating red meat. My parents didn't want me to become fully vegetarian so that was our compromise. I was 11 then and I told myself when I was 16 I was going to become vegetarian whether or not my parents wanted me to. So I stopped eating all meat in January of 2016. I got more into the diet and started watching more videos on YouTube to give me meal ideas for being vegetarian, I was doing int all alone and my parents weren't cooking for me. I watched these documentaries that delved into the health, environmental, and ethical reasons behind veganism and after watching these videos I made the switch to vegan in July 2016.


How easy was it being vegan at home?

    At home, I would make breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself. Sometimes my mom would put plain pasta or vegetables aside for me but for the most part I made everything myself. This was probably the hardest part about being vegan-- meal prepping and learning how to do it all while balancing my time.


Have you ever cheated?

    People always ask me “How do you not eat cheese?” or “How do you not say no to things like that?” For me I never have a problem with that because I have that ethical connection. I believe that with this connection there’s nothing that can persuade you otherwise to eat something with animal products in it. For me, I don't view meat, eggs and dairy as food necessarily because I’ve disassociated that as being food. In the beginning, it was more of an inconvenience than a temptation, for example seeing my friends ordering pizza or getting McDonalds and I was unable to because there aren't many vegan options. It was annoying but never once did I want to cheat.


What are your favorite things to eat on/ off campus?

    I just recently went to Pandora’s Pies and so I got their gluten free pizza dough (which is vegan) with avocado, cilantro, Sriracha and tomatoes which was really good. The Root has the best vegan burger ever it’s so good! Also, the dining halls always have rice and they always have tofu, especially at Lakeside. French fries are vegan, so I definitely eat french fries a lot.


Any tips for Elon students trying to become vegan/ vegetarian at college?

  • When I first went Vegan I was really shy and nervous asking the waiters at restaurants if anything had milk or eggs in it because these things hide in a lot of things you wouldn't expect them to be in. You just have to become really comfortable asking and know that you deserve to eat at a restaurant just as anyone else. Don't ever feel that you are being annoying. Watch documentaries and really be committed to it before  you try and go vegan because you are just going to be miserable if you don't have a real reason as to why you're doing it.

  • Make sure you are conscious of all the nutrients you're getting. I take a B-12 supplement because it’s really hard to find in plant based foods. DHA, Omega 3’s are also really important so if you're going vegan make sure which supplements you may need to take.

Madison also suggested that if you are vegan she would definitely recommend +7 or +14 as a dining hall plan so you can enjoy all the vegan options Elon’s retail locations have to offer.