Wednesday, December 24, 2014
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

Make that box bark: Studies show pets are good gifts

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Want some company? Enjoy food, fellowship at Holiday Meal

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

Hit-and-run victim hopes for driver’s arrest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
No reindeer games for this student researcher

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Travel looks rough into Christmas Day

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Applications for jobless aid fall to 7-week low

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Faithful flock to Bethlehem for Christmas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Gary Lee Yoder featured on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Supplies collected for victims of abuse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Luminaria display planned in West Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Nobel Prize winner will discuss research related to autism

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Why not give a shelter pet as a gift?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Merry Christmas!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

He isn’t ready to listen yet

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Davis comes through again for UNICEF

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
There was much to think about

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Thanks for the winter shelter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Great experience for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Carrs drive DHS wrestling weekend

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
River Cats to show off Giants World Series trophies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Legacy announces huge add-on to youth soccer complex

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
College Bowl roundup: Navy nips Aztecs in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Devil JV hoopsters take third at Les Curry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Busy 2015 tourney slate unveiled by Legacy soccer

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

Plenty of local party options on New Year’s Eve

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Wineaux: Here’s to a sparkling new year

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

.

Business

.

Obituaries

James J. Dunning Jr.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Floyd W. Fenocchio

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics