by Hyunjee Lee
Living life eating bacon for breakfast, a hamburger for lunch, meatloaf for dinner and wings for those late-night munchies, most of us aren’t aware of the environmental impacts of meat consumption.
Livestock production is responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Livestock, Environment and Development Initiative. With hopes to lessen such impact, many people cut meat and/or any animal products from their diets. The NU Veg Society is the place for these proud vegetarians and vegans at Northwestern to gather and celebrate their lifestyle.
NU Veg Society President Sydney Doe, a Weinberg junior majoring in biology, shares about the club and her experience with it.
What is the purpose of the organization?
“We have two goals. The first one is to provide a community of vegetarian and vegan-interested people on campus so we do social events to work towards that. We do potlucks, we have outings to restaurants. Our second goal is activism. We do things like documentary screenings, and with campaigns in the past, we partnered with Mercy For Animals, which is a Chicago-based animal rights organization. We also do something called a pay per view, which is when we set up at Norris and we pay people a dollar if they’re willing to watch a two minute video on factory farming.”
How did you get involved with the club?
“I was a freshman and I was always really interested in vegetarianism and veganism. I went vegetarian at a very young age and it was important to me so I wanted to find people involved in activism. I was at the club fair, and put my name on the email list and started going to meetings.”
What would you tell students who are interested in joining?
“I would encourage people to join because you can really get whatever you want out of it. If you’re looking for a casual group of friends to do casual things to do with, you can do that. If you want to be really active in it, you can do that too. It’s not difficult to get on executive board and become a regular member if you want to do that because we’re a small club. And if you’re interested in activism, there’s definitely that aspect of it too.”
What is a typical the meeting like?
“Meetings are pretty casual. If there are new members, we go around and introduce ourselves. People can tell stories and talk about different ideas for social events and activism events. Then we make a plan for how we’re going to organize the events.”
When are the meetings?
“The meetings are once a month. This quarter, we’re playing around with different dates, but right now we’re doing the second Friday of every month. I recommend people stay on the Facebook page and listserv to stay updated. Even though the meetings are only once a month, we have regular events approximately every week.”
What is your favorite memory with the club?
“Last year, we had a lot of meetings that were very low key. We would buy a vegan pizza at Whole Foods beforehand. It was a lot of fun because the people who came to the regular meetings were all people I knew really well. It was a fun group. I felt like a made a lot of friends that way.”