Vegetarian or Vegan?


Stella Brewer, Staff Writer

A long time ago being a vegetarian was an unusual lifestyle choice, but recently it has become more popular for different reasons. The rising health and heart concerns in America have led to an immense growth in the American vegan and vegetarian population. The Vegetarian Resource Center states that only around 4 percent of Americans are vegetarian or vegan. According to The Economist, in 2019 there was a 24 percent increase in the population of vegetarians and vegans in the United States. 

     People that are vegetarians don’t eat any meat. Vegans don’t eat meat or meat products. They also don’t wear clothes made from animal flesh. Most vegetarians and vegans practice this lifestyle to lose weight or purely for humane reasons. Most people believe that becoming vegetarian or vegan restricts someone to only eating plants and foods that are considered healthy. Most of the time, this isn’t the case.

     Sophomore Sierra Sharp practices pescetarianism along with her mother. Pescetarianism is a type of vegetarianism that allows people to eat seafood but not any other types of meat. Her mother has been a vegetarian on and off for almost two years, and Sharp introduced a new dietary  regimen to her eating habits in June .

     “I saw a video of a cow getting mistreated over the summer, and I told myself that I couldn’t support this industry anymore,” Sharp said.

     Sharp believes that being a vegetarian is making a very positive impact on the world and she works to influence others through her eating habits.

     AP Biology teacher, Krissy Rehm is vegan. Her love for animals persuaded her to change her eating habits. 

     “I was originally pescatarian when I was younger. I ate eggs, dairy and also fish.”  Rehm said. “I’ve always had a passion for animals … That’s where my motivation to be vegan came from.” 

     In primary school, she was forced to watch a video about how meats were processed and produced, and she despised every second of it.

     “Veganism, by definition, is an ethical standpoint. A vegan is somebody that is opposed to animal cruelty. Someone who is vegan does not buy or consume and animal products.” 

      When Rehm goes shopping, she often has a hard time finding products that fit in with her lifestyle. It is extremely hard to find clothing and foods that have no animal by products in them. 

     “I try not to buy leather, suede, wool, or silk. … I am ethically opposed to the slaughter of animals for my own entertainment.” Rehm said.