Students go green, eat right


Caroline Bruns

CRUNCH. Over recent years, becoming a vegetarian or a vegan has become popular. Many students at SHS have adopted this lifestyle. Luckily, the high school has made sure to add options for students going green in the cafeteria and vending machines.

In 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that Americans ate an average of 54.3 pounds of beef, 92.1 pounds of chicken, and 50.4 pounds of pork, per person, per year according to This estimate encompasses almost all of the population, excluding the 3.2 percent of people who are vegetarian.

Around 7.2 million people in the United States are vegetarian, and around one million are vegan. These two types of lifestyles are grouped together but are very different. Vegetarians just steer clear of meat; vegans avoid meat and animal products altogether.

“Being a vegetarian looking at veganism, I am pretty intimidated. A lot of times these two are grouped together, but in reality, I think being a vegan is way harder than being a vegetarian. One of the biggest struggles for vegans is finding options suitable for them at restaurants and it’s not too hard being a vegetarian. Also, there are so many foods that are animal based that I couldn’t give up. Being a vegan takes a lot of determination and self-control,” said Clare Knife, 12.

Although these two are different, in many ways the drive to make that lifestyle change is the same. Some of the reasons behind this change are wanting to be more environmentally friendly, disliking the inhumane treatment of some livestock animals, or just wanting to live a more naturally fueled life.

“I used to be vegetarian and then went fully vegan. Honestly, it hasn’t really been a huge change in my life because I’ve been doing it for so long, but I know it can be hard. It’s good to try out being either vegetarian or vegan just to see what it’s like before making a big decision. Although, the decision isn’t extreme like many people say it is because if you get tired of it, you can just start eating meat again,” said Audrey Dyvad, 11.

Vegetarianism and veganism can be hard after first transitioning from an animal sustained diet to a plant and bean based diet. Usually, meat is replaced with beans, lentils, legumes, and nuts.

It is vital after first going green to keep caloric and protein intake high because switching from a high to a low-calorie diet can be extremely harmful to your energy levels, digestive system, and overall bodily functions.

“It can be really hard to eat right when you’re first becoming plant powered. When I first started I had to do a lot of research to figure out what was best for me to eat and what could basically take the place of meat in my life. After sticking with it, it has become a lot easier,” said Knife.

Overall, these two types of lifestyles are ones that are very much misunderstood. Being vegetarian or vegan does not mean that you hate meat and everyone who eats it; it simply means that you have become more conscious of the world around you and want to make a difference starting with yourself.