Local News: Campus Vegetable Enthusiasts Group Sprouts (4/2/19)

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Freshman Mahala Pruett-Pittman, president of the VEG club, folds clothes donated to Clothing Swap.

Photo by Madison Little ~ Arrow Reporter

Moms may not be there to make sure Southeastern students eat healthy, but they may be happy to know someone like freshman Mahala Pruitt-Pittman is on campus.

Pruett-Pittman recently founded the Vegetable Enthusiast Group (VEG), a club aimed at educating students about plant-based diets while promoting healthier dining options on campus.

Club president Pruett-Pittman said she has been a vegan for four years and it has always been a passion for her.

Freshman Mahala Pruett-Pittman, president of the VEG club, and freshman Jacob Welch, another member, fold clothes received from clothing donations for a clothing swap on March 29.

Photo by Madison Little ~ Arrow Reporter

According to its statutes, the club was started to reach out to other students pursuing a plant-based lifestyle, such as vegetarians and vegans, as well as anyone who wants to learn more, no matter what. be their food choices.

?? When I got to the Southeast, there weren’t a lot of options to eat, and I wanted to change that, ?? said Pruett-Pittman.

She said it’s hard to be vegan in the Midwest, a place where meat is culturally important (hunting, barbecues, etc.).

?? We can change the stigma, not by forcing our ideology on people, but by educating them more about what factory farming does, what meat does to your body, and how it harms animals ?? food for thought, rather than creating an argument? she said.

Pruett-Pittman said that despite the club’s dietary goals, the club does not discriminate.

?? I grew up in a family that ate soul food, so when I made this change I wanted to make sure that those I loved didn’t feel judged by my decision, ?? she said. ?? I want to continue activism in this club; I just want to be careful how we do it. ??

Freshman Anastasia Novak, vice president of the club, said their main goal is to raise awareness of this topic and get more food options for those who are vegans, vegetarians and pescitarians, those who don’t. do not eat meat but eat fish.

?? It’s a struggle to adjust to college on a vegetarian diet, ?? she said. When I was visiting colleges, the only thing I paid attention to were the vegetarian options; I think if the South East got more, it could increase registration rates.

Pruett-Pittman said she had a meeting with campus nutritionists to discuss more options for those on plant-based diets, and after their conversation, she noticed more options available this semester. , but there could still be more.

She said she wanted to reach out to people and see how many people on campus are vegans, vegetarians or pescetarians; before this club she only knew one other vegetarian here in the southeast.

?? I want to change the emotion around the idea because I feel like there is a separation between people who have an omnivorous diet and a herbivorous diet, ?? she said.

On March 29, in the lobby of the Dobbins River campus, the club held a fundraiser called “Clothing Swap”. This event was open to all students.

Pruett-Pittman said the event demonstrated the negative impact shopping at places like H&M and Forever 21 can have on our environment due to child labor and factory waste; whereas buying clothes from a thrift store or recycling them can have a bigger impact.

In order to participate in the event, people were invited to bring clothes and for each item of clothing brought, they were given one item of clothing at half price.

?? Hope our club will continue to grow with more students wanting to join the vegan / vegetarian lifestyle, ?? said Novak. ?? Isn’t that as difficult as you might think ?? and it helps our environment. ??


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