I would say a little less than half of my friends are vegetarians,” says Colliton. “People are interested in vegetarianism even if they’re not vegetarian. I think it’s socially applauded. It is really weird that the dining hall, Emerson’s, and the dining hall in Piano Row aren’t trying to get vegans or vegetarians to eat there. They don’t actually offer any vegan replacements like vegan yogurt and vegan cheese. They don’t have that.” Singer says veganism will continue to grow because if it doesn’t society will be in a much more detrimental position. “Young people are really holding it in their hands. It’s really up to college students to become aware of this so as you go on to influence society or if you choose to have a family, you’re doing so with your eyes open,” says Singer. “Eating animals is a completely unsustainable way of living. It affects human rights, world hunger, world poverty, human health, the environment, and of course it affects animal rights. We live in a time where it’s easy to go vegan. We have resources literally at our fingertips. I’m sure that as the media continues to follow stories about E-Coli and Swine Flu and about obesity and other diseases continuing to rise and about animals continuing to suffer more and more, people will open their hearts and minds in going vegan.” Tedeschi strongly believes that students at Emerson will put more thought into what they eat than other college campuses just simply because they are identified as being creative thinkers. She says adults are more set in their ways and are not as likely as young students to change, but that it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not completely receptive to change. According to Eric Prescott, the Director and Co-founder of the Boston Vegan Association, younger people are more aware that animals want to live and feel. Prescott says, “The interesting
part and a big part of it is that I don’t think young people are incredibly worried about their health so it’s nice that there’s concern about the animals. I like seeing kids who are out there doing the right thing. Young people seem to get it more easily compared to our older generations.” In Singer’s experience, politically outspoken students are much more aware of the animal rights and environmental issues than a few years ago. “I think that Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth in 2007 left out the true inconvenient truth that livestock production is responsible for most of the greenhouse gases emitted that directly contributes to global warming. It left out that huge piece of information and that was in 2007. Even since then it has been popping out all over the place. People are finally talking about it. You’re having books coming out talking about the fact that our planet cannot survive if we continue to eat animals.” David Havelick, a twenty-year old volunteer for the Boston Vegetarian Society and an Executive Assistant in the Epidemiology Department at the Harvard School of Public Health says that if the goal is to be healthy, students will resort to vegetarianism, and if the goal is to protect animal rights and become aware of political and economic issues, the student will turn towards the vegan way of living. “I feel like I have a different relationship with my food. The more people talk about the food they’re eating, the more they understand how their actions are affecting the world around us. Food isn’t everything, but it is a lot. The more that people are talking about it and the more restaurants preparing their menus differently, the more people will able to become healthy and live a healthier life,” said Havelick. “I think colleges are becoming the place now to have these discussions. And maybe I’m wrong, but I think now people are realizing they can make their own lives even better. They’re realizing they can stand up. I think now it’s just going to get better. Once we can see ourselves from the outside we can continue to make better choices.” As a student with an appetite, you know that you do have a choice. Although on the rise, vegetarianism and veganism may not be the right decision for everyone. But if you do decide to change your diet, take the time to do it right. Look at labels for the right nutrients because protecting your body is important too. “We’re part of that wave…the younger generations… we are the ones stimulating these discussions,” says Havelick, “Not like those old white haired guys in Washington D.C. They don’t talk about what they’re eating. They just talk about making French Fries into Freedom Fries. That’s the extent they talk about food, I think. They don’t talk about how it is affecting the world.”
I think that Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth in 2007 left out the true inconvenient truth that livestock production is responsible for most of the greenhouse gases emitted that directly contributes to global warming.
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