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Brandilyn Tebo ’15

Meet this week's Campus Celebrity, Brandilyn Tebo! She started up Occidental first ever Veg Club!

Name: Brandilyn Tebo
Hometown: Schnecksville, Pa
Year: 2015
Major: Undeclared; Pre-Med
On-Campus Activities: All of my extra time on campus goes toward Veg Club!
Off-Campus Activities: I sell Dave's Korean food at the Farmer's Markets! Thursdays I work on Sunset Strip and Sundays I work in Studio City! I also volunteer with Animal Rights groups off campus, and I am a Model with Industry.

Why did you choose to come to Oxy?

I knew that a small liberal arts college was where I needed to be. The smaller the class sizes, the better. I wanted professors with which I could form personal relationships-- this is the way I excel. So I had it narrowed down to 13 of these colleges across the country that had a good reputation, a good location and a happy and healthy student body. Out of these colleges, only one was in Los Angeles. Only one had warm weather year round. Decision. Made.

What is the Occidental Veg Club? What kind of events do you hold?

What is Veg Club? It's EVERYTHING! It is the building of the community, the spreading of passion, the improvement of lifestyles and the formation of a support system for those who choose to consume compassionately. The intent of Veg Club is to spread the message that a plant-based diet can save us and our world. Veg Club hosts weekly Saturday night potluck dinners, fundraises for animal rights causes, distributes literature to the public concerning the health and environmental benefits of a plant based diet, organizes trips to Vegan restaurants and animal sanctuaries, screens documentaries, hosts several speakers throughout the year, and puts on a "Go Veg!" week in April (Vegan events EVERY DAY that week!!) to encourage people to try out a plant based diet. This year we are also implementing a mentoring program for those who want support in making the switch!

Why did you decide to start Veg Club?

During my junior year of high school, my eyes were fully opened to the HORRORS that go on in factory farms. My life was changed forever. The hellish cruelty that these animals experience continue to keep me up at night. So I am doing everything that I can to make a difference for these animals. I did not realize until later that by not eating animal products, we can not only save the lives of these animals, but we will reduce our carbon footprint and become much healthier!

Are you a vegan/vegetarian/pescatarian yourself? When and why did you decide to become one?

I'm VEGAN!!! And it is the best decision I have ever made. I can live every day knowing that I have not contributed to the pain and suffering of other living beings. Plus, I've been vegan for 2.5 years and I have never felt better!

Are meat eaters also welcome in Veg Club?

OF COURSE! Our motto is that the more you can contribute, the better! So even if someone decides to eat meat a little bit less, we feel that they have made an impact. Plus, how will you know the problem with eating meat if your eyes are never opened? That's why our favorite members are meat eaters, because they can learn from us! But we never force changes upon anyone… even the most emphatic carnivore is welcome to come enjoy one of our deliciously home made Veg dinners on Saturday nights.

Does Veg Club ever collaborate with any other clubs/ organizations on campus?

Heck yeah. We love collaboration. Last week, we held a potluck with Feast and Well Fed and this week we are having a "Halloween Extravaganza" with Film Club and Craft Club!

What inspired your dedication to food justice?

The growing realization that the food we eat (and the other products we consume, wear, etc.) can either contribute to or minimize every problem that our world faces.

What advice would you give to first-years who aspire to become leaders on campus?

DO IT!!! If you are passionate about something, get out there and make it known. It might require a LOT of effort on your part (i.e. you might have to bear most or all of the responsibility), but it's so worth it! Veg Club has by far been my most rewarding experience at Oxy. Good Luck! And I'm here if you have any questions. 

Photo Source: Brandilyn Tebo

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