By Laura Calderon
Vegans and vegetarians rejoice as County College of Morris welcomes a new club dedicated to them.
The Vegan and Vegetarian Club’s mission is to inform students about societal, ecological and ethical impacts of human-animal interaction, according to the club’s constitution.
According to Vegetarian Times, 3.2 percent of United States residents or 7.3 million people follow a vegetarian based diet. Vegetarian and Vegan Club President Daniel Twili has been a practicing vegetarian for four years now and is excited for the responsibilities the club is expected to entail.
“The definitions of vegetarian and vegan varies between cultures and individual people,” Twili said. “Typically, a vegetarian is a person who doesn’t eat meat and a vegan is a person who doesn’t eat meat or any animal products. This means that every vegan is also a vegetarian, but not the other way around.”
Choosing to live life as a vegetarian in his youth, the club’s faculty advisor, Professor Philip Chase, now chooses to live as a pescetarian – an individual who doesn’t eat meat, but does consume different types of seafood.
“The club’s purpose is that it exists to celebrate vegetarian and vegan food,” Chase said. “And to provide a positive venue for social interaction for students who follow a vegetarian/vegan diet or are interested in one. In addition to meetings, there will be gatherings that include food, which is a wonderful way to bring people together.”
Twili, as well as Professor Chase, looks forward to future campus events that will hopefully, get more students interested in the club accompanied with delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes.
“It’s safe to say that all our events will,” Twili said, “in some way focus on having students think about the ways they interact with animals and how that changes the world.”
Nursing major Amanda Lerner is excited for the club’s arrival to the CCM campus. There are numerous academic clubs on campus, but not enough dedicated to healthier lifestyles, according to Lerner.
“Vegetarianism looks extremely difficult,” Lerner said. “I think it would be really interesting to hear different experiences from other people and learn how to make the transition to a vegetarian lifestyle easier. Exercise is an important part of being healthy but so is clean eating.”
Any student interested in the club is encouraged to join regardless of dietary preferences.
“The club is for everyone,” said Twili. “We only ask that students be respectful and keep an open mind.”