A Healthy Palate

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A Healthy Palate

Photo By Pryor

Photo By Pryor

Photo By Pryor

Photo By Pryor

Annie Williams, Flash Reporter

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Many people have different type of diets. Some eat 2 meals, some eat 5 meals, some don’t drink milk, some don’t eat chocolate, some eat mostly sweets and candy, and some eat mostly healthy foods. Then there are few that completely cut out animal products from their palette, such as Lauren Pryor, a fraser high school junior that follows veganism.

Lauren  became a vegan about 2 years ago, around her freshman year, and decided to be one after finding out about the process of what happens to the animals.

“I became one mainly because of watching documentaries and learning about what happened to animals,” said Lauren Pryor,  “Also, I learned about how a lot of processed meats and stuff is linked with cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses so I just wanted to avoid that and be healthier.”

Unlike being a vegetarian, being vegan means that a person cuts out all animal products while being vegetarian means cutting out certain animal products.

“I used to get confused about the difference between vegan and vegetarian too,” Lauren laughs,”but basically a vegan doesn’t eat milk, meat, honey, or anything that comes from animals, but being a vegetarian you just don’t eat meat, but they can eat fish, dairy, and eggs.”

Being vegan doesn’t just help animals, but is also beneficial for  health reasons.

“A lot of vegans and people who don’t eat a lot of meat have lower cholesterol because plants don’t have cholesterol. We make it naturally, but you also get it through foods by animals, so when you cut that out it like significantly decreases. You also tend to get more fiber being vegan cause you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Because of the health benefits, many people become vegan to help with their illnesses such as diabetes to counter it.

“A lot of people  go vegan when they get diagnosed with cancer or diabetes, and reversed it by going vegan.”

It’s a strong commitment Pryor made, but in the challenges of being vegan, the toughest part about being vegan is sometimes feeling out of place in the crowd and being taken as a joke to some people.

“The most challenging part about being Vegan is fitting in with people most of the time. Like going to restaurants for example. Some restaurants have been getting better about having Vegan meals and options, but other places will just hand you a bowl of lettuce and go ‘here ya go’ and that’s just not it,” said Pryor.

Along with restaurants being sometimes exclusive, Pryor also deals with issues of being a black vegan.

“Another big issue I have is when people find out I’m vegan, they are surprised because I’m a black girl. People are surprised a black girl is a vegan cause when do you ever hear that? Never. Like I don’t know any other people like that in real life, “ Pryor laughs, “Maybe vegetarian, but I don’t know any other black people who are vegan.  Especially cause everyone expects you to eat what’s everyone else is eating and do what everyone else is doing, but I always been kind of different and I don’t give a crap.”

Pryor always was judged for the hobbies she has and things she likes, but she doesn’t let any of the  judgement get to her head, and continues to do her own thing.

“I never really let that define me and never care what people say I should be. I just do me I guess. People made fun of me for being Vegan or liking alternative music and say I’m trying to be white or something, when I’m just being myself,”  saids Pryor.

Fortunately, her family fully supports her decision, and they all enjoy trying different vegan foods.

“It’s cool to be vegan cause everyday  is a new food. I just go over on the internet and find delicious recipes, and my family enjoys some of those foods as well so it’s pretty cool,” saids Pryor.

Vegan soul food that Lauren loves to eat. Photo By: Pryor

At first, converting to being a vegan is difficult, but through small steps it becomes easier for anyone to become a vegan if they want to.

“I would say just cut out things little at a time,” Pryor saids,  “You don’t have to completely convert into being Vegan right away, and you should just start taking things out in small portions like cutting out eggs or cheese, but if cheese is too hard just cut out eggs. Then go a few weeks to see how you do. Just keep what you want to eat just take a little effort to do a couple days a week of just eating vegan and see how you do. Take it easy at first.”

Being a vegan is an important aspect of Lauren Pryor life, with a bit of judgement from others, but in the end she’s happy with her eating style, and continues to be herself without minding all the negative comments from people.

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