Vegetarian Students at Downey

Isabella Galvez, Editor-in-Chief

Vegetarianism has grown in popularity over the years, with more vegetarian-friendly restaurants and products being advertised. There are countless variations of how people choose to follow a vegetarian diet, but the most common is restricting consumption of eating animals.


Health, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare are some reasons people choose to adopt a vegetarian diet. Having been vegetarian for 6 years already, sophomore Sarah Sarofeem shares the reason she changed her diet and the changes she has noticed since then.  


“I had watched a video in 5th grade showing how meat was prepared and from that day on I told myself that I was not going to eat meat anymore because of how bad it made me feel,” Sarofeem said.  “Ever since I became vegetarian I have lost a lot of weight, but I also noticed that I have felt more active, healthier, and lightweight with my body.”


There are supposed benefits eliminating meat from your diet has, like lowering your chance of colon cancer and heart disease.  It also leads to healthier eating habits because vegetarians tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than non-vegetarians.  Ailani Bonilla, 12, is a pescatarian but eats a plant based diet for the most part.  She gives insight on how her diet has affected her life.


“Giving up meat prevented me from eating out at fast food places,” Bonilla said.  “I feel happier and my body feels cleaner. It’s given me the motivation to prioritize my health.” 


If you’re not careful, a vegetarian diet can be just as unhealthy as a regular one.  Vegetarians are more prone to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies than meat-eaters.  These deficiencies can cause health problems and cause some to go back to eating meat.  


Luisa Medina, 10, is still new to being a vegetarian, but shares whether or not their new diet will become a long-term part of their lifestyle.  


“I wouldn’t go back to a regular diet because I already didn’t like meat and there are similar plant-based alternatives.” Medina said.  “I’ve noticed that I have a lot more energy and I don’t get hungry as fast.”


With the plant-based community growing, it’s easier than ever to switch from a regular diet. Finding people who follow a vegetarian diet is a great place to start if you are thinking about changing your diet.