March 6, 2017. by Heather Hay
To learn about how food choices affect health, the environment, and animals an information presentation with a question and answer session is scheduled for March 23rd at 10:30 am in the Richard Barr Room on Main Campus, according to Anna Rose Daigle.
Daigle is a Humane Educator from the Ethical Choices Program , and said the educational organization’s goal is, through school presentations, to stimulate critical thinking while giving people the information and tools they need to make informed food choices.
She said “We often don’t realize what a profound impact our choices may have on others. If one person decides to change the course of their health and their footprint on the planet, a dialogue begins with family and friends, and with that dialogue, a chance to share the science behind all those seemingly harmless decisions we make so many times a day.”
Daigle advises students interested in getting involved in environmental issues politically to “start meet up groups, engage in friendly dialogue, ask questions, share your research with friends, family, and strangers, engage with your community, meet like-minded individuals, and be kind!”
She recommends that those interested in ethical choices education take courses in environmental sciences and nutrition.
Daigle said “I love my job. I remember the exact moment I was made aware of the impacts of animal agriculture. I felt betrayed and alone in my hurt and anger. My goal is to make sure my audience knows that they are not alone in any of the feelings that come up in the presentation.”
Daigle elaborated on what students may see as obstacles to transitioning to a plant based diet.
“At first, switching to a plant based diet may feel inconvenient; asking if this has cheese or if that is made with milk. Like any lifestyle change, there is a period of adjustment, but luckily our complex and intelligent bodies make those changes a little easier for us,” she said.
She also said that friends and family “may find your decision strange or difficult to comprehend, but often those initial feelings of apprehension dissipate once your healthy choices become the new normal.”
Eating foods low in cholesterol and saturated fat will give you more energy, make you feel better and even reverse the process of disease and inflammation, she said.
Colleges across the country have been adding more plant-based options to their regular menus and a great example is The University of Northern Texas which has just opened a fully-plant based dining hall, she said.
According to the Vegan Report Card Ranking the University of Northern Texas received an A+ ranking with a student satisfaction rating of 94% of the availability of vegan food on college campuses by creating the Mean Greens Cafe, an entirely plant based cafe.
As a comparison, the only college in New Mexico to receive an A rating is New Mexico State University, although none of the colleges in New Mexico responded to their request to be surveyed.
Daigle now lives in South Carolina as a result of participating in the National Student Exchange through the University of New Mexico, where she majored in University Studies.
When asked what led to her decision to move after graduating she explained that because of her love for the show True Blood she said that everyone the show “looked so glistening and beautiful in that small Louisiana town. I had never been to the deep South, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I picked the dot (the school on the exchange map I was shown) closest to the ocean on the other side of the country and before I knew it I was standing in Charleston, SC on a particularly balmy August day. I sweat through two shirts that day and have never once mastered glistening.”
Promotional photograph at the top of the story was provided by Anna Rose Daigle.