Students explain what it means to ‘go vegan’

A+nacho+plate+appetizer+%28left%29+and+a+chocolate+cupcake+%28right%29+are+two+%22comfort+food%22+items+featured+on+Kindred%27s+fully+vegan+menu.+Kindred+is+located+on+Maple+Street+and+is+a+near+15+minute+walk+from+main+campus.+Photo+credit%3A+Shadera+Moore

A nacho plate appetizer (left) and a chocolate cupcake (right) are two “comfort food” items featured on Kindred’s fully vegan menu. Kindred is located on Maple Street and is a near 15 minute walk from main campus. Photo credit: Shadera Moore

Blakeley Cathey

Students at Loyola who have made the switch to go vegan believe that it’s about more than eating healthy by proving that they care for protecting the planet.

Veganism has seen a spike since vegetarianism hit an all-time high in 2020. Vegan meals are now starting to be popularized in restaurants and even in the fast-food industry. It has been is a celebratory moment for vegan eaters because places such as Burger King and Subway have introduced advertisements for vegan alternatives.

Loyola juniors Agata Casanova and Isabel Becdach are both passionate about their vegan lifestyle and vegan cuisine.

“As a living being, what I produce and consume has an inevitable experience on other living things, whether good or bad. Because of this, I think it is vital for us, as a society, to really think through the actions we take and the effects they can have on the planet, ourselves, other people, and other species,” said Casanova.

Environmental science junior Becdach said being vegan not only fulfills her, but it helps protect the environment.

“I want the standing habitats to be protected and be restored for future generations to enjoy. I also have a huge passion for animals and their particular characteristics that make them more than food.”

Becdach said she feels some vegan friendly restaurants should have more selections outside of salads.

Bearcat Cafe is one of Becdach’s favorite restaurants. It’s a vegan-friendly restaurant, and they specialize in comfort food and serve breakfast as well

“I love Bearcat. They have vegan options for every meal. I personally go to brunch whenever I can and order almond chai coffee and vegan ranchero plate,” said Becdach.

Being vegan not only includes plant-based meals, but substitutions for classic comfort foods as well. The vegan triple chocolate chip cookie offered at Nola Cookie Co. is Casanova’s favorite.

“It’s so warm, and it literally melts on your tongue; It’s heaven on earth: well, more like heaven in your mouth.”

Both students said that living a vegan lifestyle gets easier over time.

“If you get too strict with this lifestyle, especially at the beginning, you’re not going to last very long. Let yourself screw up, learn from it, and develop personal strategies to make the process fun: not stressful!” said Casanova.

“There is no best way to start. It comes from within. Have discipline and remind yourself why you do it. Do not be scared to try new things. When I first started, I did not like many vegetables and now love most of them,” said Becdach.