TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


March 20, 2017

Myung and Ma’s green diets

veggie kids

Eating plant-based foods has become a lifestyle for Senior Jeremy Myung and Junior Leslie Ma. They choose to restrict their diet in order to become healthier and to protect animals and the environment.
Vegans do not consume foods from animal products, including meat, fish, cheese and eggs. Their diet relies on plant-based foods, and since they do not eat animal foods, they must make sure they eat enough protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. In contrast, although pescatarians also focus on a plant-based diet, they eat seafood.
Myung became a vegan at a young age and was inspired by a close friend. It takes effort, but by maintaining a vegan diet, Myung is able to avoid unhealthy foods while also bettering the environment by decreasing the environmental footprint, conserving water and energy, and creating less methane, which comes from cow waste.
He enjoys buying extra food for himself when his family does not buy vegan foods. However, he sometimes has trouble when trying to find food that satisfies his needs due to the small amount of plant-based restaurants nearby. Vegan food tends to be more expensive than regular food, and the process of checking the nutrition label is tedious.
“Being a vegan has helped me grow,” Myung said. “I had to learn self-control, and I still crave many desserts. However, being a vegan has also taught me to be more aware of what I eat and has stopped me from gaining excess weight.”
On the other hand, Ma is a pescatarian, someone who abstains from eating all meat except fish. She was inspired to change her eating habits after watching videos and documentaries about meat processing plants and cruel treatment of animals at factory farms and slaughterhouses.
“It broke my heart to see what happened to them, and it made me feel disgusted about how the whole process went,” Ma said. “The whole purpose of being a pescatarian was so I can slowly transition into becoming a vegan.”
Ma has learned that she can live without animal products, and that there are a lot of beneficial health factors that help with her diet. Her motivation to keep her away from unhealthy food helps her goal of becoming a vegan. She became iron deficient, causing her cross country training on and off season to be slowed. Even so, Ma has recently tried the vegan diet and is loving it.
“It’s more than just vegetables,” Ma said. “We as vegans and vegetarians, also eat burgers, pizza, cake and other comfort food. If people really educate themselves about the harm done to the animals and how eating meat contributes to global warming as well as damage to environment, there’s a possible chance that they may take this diet into consideration.”
Since our school does not offer a vegetarian option, Ma does not eat during lunch. Occasionally, she brings some snacks like apples, bananas and granola bars when she gets hungry. Her favorite foods include açai bowls, bread and noodles. On the other hand, Myung goes home to cook up a lunch for himself. He enjoys eating tofu, rice and Korean side dishes.

About the Author

Christina Zhang



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