Animal rights, population control among rationale for change in diet.
source: South Bend Tribune
By KATRINA BABIN
Beef, chicken, pork, veal, whatever animal stock one can think of -- it is the staple of diets worldwide. It is also the antithesis of the diet and lifestyle of those select few known as vegetarians.
Vegetarianism is a rapidly growing trend, especially as more information about the effects of rendering animal products becomes available.
It is evident that several students at New Prairie High School give their dietary decisions considerable thought.
Bryce Hooper, a sophomore at New Prairie, became a vegetarian after working this summer at a local Frosty Boy. "I saw how meat was processed and stored. It's horrible and disgusting -- a big, giant pile of merde!" he complained. "It pushed me over the edge."
Sophomore Amy Feller has been a vegetarian for nearly two years, but her reasons for abstaining from meat differ from Hooper's. "I read some pamphlets from PETA and decided that I didn't want to eat meat anymore because it's cruel," she explained.
Vincent West, a sophomore, shares Feller's opinion. "I'd prefer not to be a walking grave for another living creature; I mean I just don't understand how somebody could eat another living creature."
Health benefits of a vegetarian diet were discovered by freshman Ashley Simpson. Having not eaten meat in more than a year, Simpson explains her vegetarian rationale, "I don't like killing animals; I'm a tree-hugging hippie."
Caleb Jackson, a junior, is a two year veteran of vegetarianism and sees his diet in a different light. "It's not that I don't like meat. It's that I hate vegetables," he snarled. "I want them to be shredded to bits, then disintegrated by my stomach acids."
Perhaps the most interesting explanation for vegetarianism comes from science teacher Bill Spier, who has avoided meat products but not seafood for more than 28 years. "My first reasons were stupid and immature," he stated. "It began as an animal rights issue -- when I was young and ignorant -- but it has since evolved into a sustainable earth issue."
Spier described sustenance as taking the world's current eating habits and applying them to future living conditions. "By 2050 there will be nearly 12 billion people on this planet -- do you really think we can all live off cows?" he asked. "You should be thankful that everyone doesn't eat like an American -- otherwise we'd have nothing left."
Jackson's perspective on the global food situation is the inverse of Spier's. "The plant population is getting out of hand," he said. "It's my job to keep it in check."
Simpson supplements her diet with bread, yogurt, and Boca products, while Hooper enjoys pasta, seitan, tofu, and beans.
Still, many believe that vegetarian food can be an expensive hassle.
While New Prairie vegetarians may have different reasons for their choices, it is apparent that all are content with their decisions. "It [vegetarianism] is not hard," said Feller. On the same subject, Spier concurred -- "It's not an issue."