Tuesday, May 5, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

The diary of a collegiate vegan

By
From page A6 | December 13, 2012 |

By Catherine White

After being recruited to Duke University for the women’s crew team during my senior year of high school, I felt it was not only my job to take care of my body for my athletic duties, but that this great privilege came with great responsibility.

It was after watching a documentary called “Forks Over Knives” by Lee Fulkerson about the factory farming industry that I found my passion as well as my responsibility to society. Realizing that my food choices were imposing great suffering on thousands of animals annually, I found it hard to justify my eating habits as acceptable. The more I looked into the industry, the more I realized that my food choices were not only leading to immense animal suffering, but human suffering as well from environmental decay to potential diseases.

It didn’t take more than two days after watching the film for me to go vegan. Given the fact that I was fresh from qualifying for Junior Nationals for the women’s eight varsity boat with the Upper Natomas Rowing Club, my decision to change my lifestyle came with great resistance from my all-American, Costco-shopping, Suburban-driving family, who thought my career depended on my consumption of animal protein.

Knowing this was yet another corporate ideal supported by our media, I decided to let my body do the talking and not all of those commercials insisting that I needed to stalk up on milk products to have strong bones. To prove to my skeptics that I could still have a pulse with a plant-based diet, I decided to run the San Francisco Marathon on a vegan diet. I had never felt more alive or healthier in my entire life. I was able to run the entire marathon without walking, and I placed 30th in my age group!

Furthermore, being a young woman and a reluctant product of my society, veganism was a great alternative to stay slim and lose that stubborn pouch we all know about. I can honestly say that all of those late-night cravings for ice cream and cookies were gone once nature fueled my body instead of factories.

However, as college started, I found it difficult to maintain the lifestyle that made me feel fully “alive.” Not only did I lose the luxury of cooking all of my foods — since freshmen are required to eat at the dining hall twice a day — I found that the world outside of my home life was not very supportive of my veganism. Being a vegan started to feel more like a full-time job than a passion, with processed foods around every corner, animal products in just about everything except water and lettuce, alcohol galore and a lifestyle that disconnected me from nature completely and transformed my running hours to library hours in the fluorescent-lit rooms with vending machines to aid in my late nights.

Now that I am in my studious collegiate mind-set where I observe everything and question everyone, it is obvious that our large food producers do not support a nutritious, plant-based, organic diet since it is easier to reach for chips and a burger than it is to get my hands on a crisp organic Fuji apple. Then again, let’s be real. Who are these corporations looking out for? Our health or their profits?

So here I am today, urging you to let your body, not the media, be the guide to your health. Getting back in touch with nature and harmony with animals was one of the most enriching experiences I have had. I hope I will soon be ale to balance my veganism and my Duke life with greater ease.

My hope is that as vegans become a more dominant culture, it will be easier for passionate young people such as myself to continue to do what they believe is their duty to humanity and the planet without feeling that it is becoming a burden. If the environmental, health and welfare aspects of factory farming are not enough to promote a plant-based diet, how about losing that pouch and looking good while doing some good!

— Catherine White attended Davis High School for her sophomore and junior years, and graduated from St. Francis High School in Sacramento. She is a freshman at Duke University.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
Sexual assault awareness campaign recognizes teens

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Mother, daughters killed in crash caused by wrong-way driver

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
New comic allows readers to ‘Carpe Diem’!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Fire damages Woodland apartment

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Watering bans, conservation mandates on tap for regulators

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
A blessing of the bikes

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A2

Capitol drive collects essentials for young lives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sunrise Rotarians honor student role models

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Vet Med Large Animal Clinic has a new director

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B3

 
Party celebrates release of Lescroart’s new novel

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Grace Valley hosts open house

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B3

 
Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Learn to use walking poles effectively

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Davis families take a spin at the Loopalooza

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Davis Municipal Fiber will give people a choice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Independent study enrollment underway

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Faulkner featured at Poetry Night on Thursday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Sunset Rotary hosts Thursday-afternoon bingo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Winters agri-tour visits Four Winds Nursery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Fresh cherries at Sutter market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Speakers cancel for health reasons

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Special KDRT broadcast celebrates Grateful Dead’s 50 years

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Tour de Cluck participants can get here by train

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Dance, dance, dance for a great cause

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A10

Information offered on city tax refund program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
Monthly tour set at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Forum

Think long and hard about our town’s future

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Whom will our council represent?

By Michelle Millet | From Page: B4

Weeds pose a threat to pets

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Is your bike waiting for you?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Tips to reduce student stress

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
John Cole cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

New rule: No dough, no art

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Ready to cut her off

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

.

Sports

 
DHS celebrates Senior Day with a fun victory

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Visiting Eagles edge Blue Devils

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Majors roundup: Thompson, D’Angelo lead Brew Crew rally

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggies baseballers fall in 13 innings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Student filmmakers showcased at UCD Festival

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Stellar acting brings home Capital Stage’s dark comedy

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Student choreographers, dancers stage festival at UC Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
From Bach to rock, Regal Beezers will entertain

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Emma Sallie Wing Hale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Robert Simpson Loomis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7