UNF Vegetarian and Vegan Association getting the word out there

Tristan Reyes

IMG_0972Jaclyn Glosson is a junior psychology major who decided to become a vegetarian when she was a freshman in high school after watching the film “Food Inc.” 

“The change for me wasn’t really hard just because I was so determined to do it,” said Glosson, the president and founder of the Vegetarian and Vegan Association.

Then she became vegan two years later after seeing a video on the internet of a calf being taken away from its mom.

“Routinely in the industry, baby cows are taken away from their mothers because they’ll drink the milk and the workers want the milk to go to humans,” Glosson said. “Just seeing the cow cry out to it’s baby was heartbreaking and I just didn’t want to support it [by eating dairy], so then I went vegan.”

By definition, veganism means refraining from consuming meat, eggs, dairy, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products. Being a vegan sounds difficult by this definition, as these products are used in most of our everyday lives, but the UNF Vegetarians and Vegan Association helps inform students on vegan culture.

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Photo by Tristan Reyes

Glosson became healthier ever since she turned to veganism.

During Glosson’s high school years, she had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). She went to multiple pediatric specialists and they prescribed three or four different treatments that didn’t work. She said she didn’t think that she would be able to go to college, but ever since she became a vegan, her symptoms have disappeared.

“I definitely have a miracle story for my health,” Glosson said.

One of the events that Glosson hosted was “Effective Animal Activism.” Rachel Atcheson, Senior Campus Outreach Director of the nonprofit Humane League, spoke at the event.

Atcheson said being a vegan can help improve animals rights by creating less of a need for animal products from places like farms, slaughterhouses, and companies that create produce for grocery stores.

She discussed how the audience can persuade people in a fair and reasonable way, rather than hostility. She wants vegans to “step outside the vegan bubble” so they don’t feel like outcasts to others.

“Don’t blame people who aren’t vegan when they aren’t knowledgeable,” said Atcheson.

Atcheson has been a vegan for six years and is comfortable with her lifestyle.

Glosson also hosted a screening of a movie called “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” later that night, which is one of the events that UNF Vegetarians and Vegan Association hosts to promote the cause of animal activism, which is an important facet of veganism.

Sophomore psychology major Thomas Nguyen attended this event. He’s not currently vegan, but he said a “Pay Per View” that the Vegetarians and Vegan Association held gauged his interest.

“It was on my way to class and these people said that they will give me a dollar if I saw this video about animal activism,” Nguyen said. “It got me interested.”

Another student at the event was John Clarke, a junior studying coastal environmental science. He became a vegetarian after reading an article by utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer, called “All Animals are Equal.” He said that he cared about environmental issues and is currently interested in a vegan diet.

Glosson sets up events, and promotes animal activism and veganism, which Glosson said keeps her motivated in her studies. Overall, the Vegan and Vegetarian Association’s aim to educate.

“We are always here as a club for resource and they can always contact me and sit down for questions,” Glosson said. “I just encourage people to be informed about animals and what’s going on in our world.”

You can find out more information about the Vegan and Vegetarian Association on their Facebook page.

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