Tag Archives: vegetarian

The Big Question: To Go Completely Vegetarian, or Not?

Vegetables

Photo: Michael Hänsch Flickr/CC

By Danielle Gillette

After trying my hand at part-time vegetarianism for the past couple of months, I have come to the conclusion that full-blown vegetarianism and/or veganism isn’t really for me.

I know, I know, there are so many proven benefits to it- this article from the Vegetarian Times outlines several of them, including living longer, saving money and keeping your weight down.

One of the other benefits they cite is that it’s easy to make the switch to vegetarianism, and this ten-step transition guide tries to make the switch as easy as possible too.

Though it may not have been that easy for me, personally, to do even half-time vegetarianism this semester, that’s not to deter anyone else from trying! There are tons of vegetarian recipes out there, and making at least one meal a week vegetarian can have a big impact on your health and on the environment: according to Kathy Freston, if everyone in the U.S. went veggie for one day, we’d save 100 billion gallons of water.

So, though I may not be converting completely to vegetarianism, I will strive this summer to have at least one vegetarian day a week. Lots of great produce will be in season, and I’m looking forward to getting more veggie cooking experience from the comfort of my kitchen at home.

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Celebrating Vegetarianism in Connecticut

By Danielle Gillette

I may go to school in Boston, but I live in Connecticut. I’ll be going home soon, so I started to check out what vegan/vegetarian things are going on in my home state. As it turns out, Connecticut is having its first annual Vegetarian and Healthy Living Festival or “VegFest” this weekend, April 28-29, at the Convention Center in Hartford.

Carrots

Photo: Russ Glasson/ Flickr CC

The festival was founded by Ani Tirpan, owner of Wholesome Creations (a company that makes vegan, gluten-free, all-natural salad dressings) in North Haven, Connecticut. According to articles on the festival, Tirpan wants the event to focus not only on just the vegetarian/vegan diet, but the lifestyle in general.

There are speakers, cooking workshops, yoga classes, and film screenings scheduled over the two days, all intended to educate the general public on all things veggie.

So if you’re in the Hartford area this weekend and want to learn more about vegan/vegetarianism, the festival is free (with your donation of a vegetarian or vegan food item for local food banks) and runs from 10 to 6 on Saturday and Sunday. More details can be found here.

I wish I was going to be home so I could go check this out, but the semester’s not quite over. If, like me, you’re in Boston but you still want to see what a “VegFest” is all about, the Boston Vegetarian Society will be having their 17th annual Vegetarian Food Festival this October (the 27th and 28th, to be exact).

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Go Vegetarian and Go Green

By Danielle Gillette

Low Carbon Diet Day

An example of a Bon Appetit poster for Low Carbon Diet Day. Photo: Vince Maniago/Flickr CC

Today in the Emmanuel College cafeteria it was Bon Appetit’s fifth annual Low Carbon Diet day, where the food served is chosen for the purpose of reducing our carbon footprint. Food items like meat, cheese, and processed and packaged snacks can have a negative impact on the environment because of the greenhouse gases given off in producing and shipping them.

Bon Appetit outlines their five main principles for a low carbon diet on their blog, and they include not wasting food, buying local and in-season foods, and “mooooving away from beef and cheese” (their play on words, not mine).

But, you might ask, what does this have to do with vegan/vegetarian-ism? (Or maybe you aren’t the kind of person who asks blog posts rhetorical questions, I don’t really know.)

The answer is that adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet is one of the best ways to help lower the carbon footprint of the food industry. In one of PETA’s articles on the subject, “Fight Global Warming by Going Vegetarian,” they cite the following impressive and/or scary statistic, depending on your point of view:

 Producing one calorie from animal protein requires 11 times as much fossil fuel input—releasing 11 times as much carbon dioxide—as does producing a calorie from plant protein.

If “eleven times more” doesn’t mean a whole lot to you, consider the following (also from the same article): “a vegan is responsible for the release of approximately 1.5 fewer tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year than is a meat-eater.”

1.5 fewer tons of greenhouse gases per person can really start to add up if more people adopted vegan/vegetarian diets, even a few times a week. And as I learned in the Emmanuel cafeteria today, low carbon food does not mean lower quality.

With Earth Day coming up (April 22nd), it’s the perfect time to try going veg or at least going local when it comes to food.

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