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Student Spotlight

A student discusses the difficulties and benefits of being vegan.

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Meet Carmen Westra

Carmen Westra / Via Facebook: CARMENVIVIANNICOLE

If hearing from one college student wasn't enough to make you consider going vegan, here's another one!

Carmen Westra is a junior at UNC Charlotte majoring in communication studies with a focus in mass media. She has been fully vegan for several years and advocates for the benefits the lifestyle provides.

Having been a vegetarian for eight years prior to her switch, Westra is a wealth of knowledge on all things plant-based.

I had the opportunity to ask Westra some questions about her life as a vegan and also learn a bit about her favorite vegan dining options.

Q: What inspired you to become a vegan?

A: Animal cruelty was the main reason, but the health benefits were definitely a plus.

Q: What challenges did you face and what was most difficult [about the transition]?

A: Giving up coffee creamer and cheese was really hard for me.

Q: How have you overcome these challenges?

A: I found alternatives for cheese and creamer which helped so much. I stopped craving all of those foods shortly after though! I would also just think about the good I was doing for the animals and environment and that kept me on track.

Q: What are some of your favorite places to eat or get vegan products?

A: I love Luna's Living Kitchen, Clean Juice, Chipotle, and Fern.

Q: What is something you wish people knew about being vegan?

A: It really isn't as hard as it seems! I wish people knew the environmental benefits of eating a plant based diet.

According to Westra, being a vegan in college is affordable and easy. She swears by prepping her meals each week and taking advantage of inexpensive produce at local grocery stores.

To her, being a vegan is much more than a dietary change. It means caring for the environment, animals, and personal health.

If you want to hear more from Westra, check out her articles in the Niner Times and the online magazine, QC Exclusive.

Mock tweet: "One More! Check out another college student's testament to veganism."

Morgan Pike

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