July 15, 2019 | 73° F

Rutgers Veg Society discusses vegetarian lifestyle

Photo by Chloe Coffman |

Photo Illustration | The Rutgers Veg Society connects various vegans and vegetarians on the Rutgers campuses with a place to meet. The group believes sticking to a vegetarian diet is not only humane, but also helps the environment.

Despite their busy schedules, some Rutgers students are trying to save animals as well as the environment by simply going on a meatless diet.

The Veg Society provides an on-campus meeting place where vegan and vegetarian students can meet to support each other and grow the Rutgers veg community, according to the group's website. The reasons for adopting a meat-free diet are varied and can come from a moral standpoint, a health standpoint or an environmental one.

About 70 billion animals are consumed each year, according to a video posted on the Veg Society’s website. Eating less meat reduces carbon emission, so those abstaining from meat eat healthy, help reduce the amount of animals killed and help slow pollution.

Roughly 1.06 billion animals were consumed in 2015, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

“I was really passionate about animals, the environment and people’s health,” said Ngoc Kim, the society's president.

Kim, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior, became a vegan after she watched a video called “Mercy for Animals,” three years ago. The video depicted the gruesome reality of the meat-making process, she said.

Protein deficiency is a commonly cited pitfall of meat and dairy restrictive diets, but adhering to these diets does not mean limiting these nutrient, she said. Protein, Omega-3, calcium and other essential minerals can easily be obtained from other food.

Going vegan was a great decision, Kim said. She said she has become a lot more active and is happier with her life because she has started living a more compassionate lifestyle after becoming a vegan.

“I went vegan three years ago and wanted to meet like minded people which is why I joined the Veg Society” said Willie Marte, a Rutgers Business school senior.

After making the transition, Marte feels much better, has more energy and is better able to concentrate in class, he said.

Rajvi Mehta, a School of Engineering first-year student, joined the Veg Society this semester because she wanted to surround herself with like-minded people.

“I was brought up as a vegetarian so I didn’t have a choice, it is part of my religion," Mehta, an adherent of Jainism, said.

Mehta said she loves animals and would still maintain a vegetarian diet if her religion did not require her to do so.

Watching videos of animals being slaughtered in a cruel manner sparked something in her that led her to want to give up meat and other animal products, she said.

In first grade, she went on a field trip with her classmates. They took care of freshly-hatched baby chicks. The experience left quite an impact. After playing and taking care of them, Mehta decided to stop consuming eggs and any other food that contains eggs including cake, she said.

Like Kim, Mehta said her life has improved from her change in diet, and after switching, she has felt healthier and become more active.


Sofiya Nedelcheva is a School of Engineering first-year student. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @n_sofiyaaa for more.

Sofiya Nedelcheva

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