Vegans engage in edible activism, enjoy health benefits from their lifestyle

Bowling Green State U. | Becky Tener | 04/09/10

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Read More: Health, Lifestyle Choices, Nutrition, Veganism

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Blaise Morrison is saving the world one bite at time, free of meat, eggs and dairy.

"Veganism, a lifestyle without the use of all animal products, is possibly the most healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle," said Morrison, the graduate adviser of the University Veggie Club.

A vegetarian for 13 years and a vegan for four, Morrison said the environmental and health effects are just two of the reasons he decided to become a vegan. But while many students might be discouraged by a lifestyle free from animal products, Morrison said veganism is a completely "doable" change that can make a huge impact.

"Veganism is not a diet of restriction, it just takes a little learning," he said. "It is one of the most important and powerful acts of activism."

Jane Crandall, University dietitian, said that a vegan diet is a safe and healthy way to live.

"There are a whole slue of health care professionals that promote a vegan diet because it can help fight cancer and obesity," she said. "But unlike radical diets, veganism is a lifestyle change that doctors not only deem safe but maybe the healthiest way of living."

Crandall said vegans also tend to have lower body masses, blood pressure and high risk for stroke.

But she said vegans can eat poorly too.

"Some don't like fruits or vegetables so they just eat peanut butter," she said. "To live the vegan lifestyle, you have to change your attitude about the food you eat so you get the nutrients you need."

She said the only setbacks of being vegan are getting the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals not naturally found in produce or grain, like B12 necessary for digestion. But she said supplements and fortified foods can help bridge the gap.

Nick Hennessy, the University sustainability coordinator, said the vegan lifestyle is also environmentally sustainable.


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