Will I Change My Diet?

CSI Students contemplate the impact of their diets on climate change and animal cruelty.

Photo Credit: The Healthy Home Economist

A recent New York Times “Guest Essay” by Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer argued that eating more plant-based meals will help to slow climate change and save the planet. The opinions of CSI students varied—from fanatic vegan to unapologetic meat-loving.

“I will try to limit my meat consumption, with the goal of having half of the meals I eat be plant based. I think this is doable because I don’t eat meat that often, so I don’t really have a problem cutting it out.”

                                                —Kelliann D’Ambrosio, Sophomore

“I would be willing to cut down my consumption of animal products, but I don’t think I would fully be able to switch to a plant-based lifestyle. If it helps bring down climate change and helps stop the burning of tropical forests, it should be a bigger story in the news.”

                                               —Ali Shehadeh, Senior

“I do not see myself going completely vegan or even vegetarian. I enjoy the different types of meat that are cooked in my family and it’s an important part of my Argentinian culture. It’s possible that I can lower my consumption of meat and opt for plant-based meals, but overall I do not think I would fully cut out meat from my diet.”

                                               —Rachel Rosario, Junior

“I enjoy eating meat as well as plant-based items because in order to have a healthy body and mind you must have an equal balance of food intake. I won’t switch to plant-based full time, but I would enjoy other meal options besides red meat. like pasta and salad more than just twice a week.”

                                                —Andrew Reich, Junior

“I will not buy into the delusional thinking of Peter Singer. Yes, factory farming is wrong but Singer fails to mention as alternative solutions pasture-raised animals, regenerative agriculture procedures that replenish soil and reduce carbon emissions, and of course those who could hunt their own meat. Animal products are nutritionally superior to plant-based products in terms of protein, vitamins and minerals. Singer demonizes animal products but fails to mention the pitfalls of monocropping and its contribution to depleted soils, the deforestation associated with many “plant based” food items such as seed oils which are unhealthy and exist in many if not all of the meat alternative products, and also the fact that making these seed oils takes pounds of the crop just to make a few tablespoons of the oil. Carnivore diet all the way.”

                                                —Greg Fazio, Senior

”For health reasons, I have slowly begun to reduce consumption of animal-based products. I no longer eat eggs, and I consume oat milk, all for health reasons more than the ethical reasons as presented by Peter Singer. Part of my diet doesn’t have much meat in it as well, as I am of Mexican descent and most food that my family eats consists of corn and vegetables and sometimes cactus, all in place of meat. I would not be against reducing my consumption of animal-based products as I know of alternatives that I can eat in place of them, I would be healthier if I reduced how much meat I consume as well. I eat more pork and chicken than I do steak.”

                                               —Arnold Lopez, Junior

“Chicken or steak is considered part of a healthy diet. Weight gain could be a problem for someone who is vegan.”

                                               —Michael Pirozzi, Junior

“As a result of the rise of vegan, vegetarian and plant-based diets I have gained a lot of information on the benefits not only for my health but for the world, relating to climate change and animal cruelty. A couple of  years ago I made the change and have been altering what I eat and switching to plant-based foods or cutting out meat or switching to non- dairy milk. It has been a slow process. I have been experimenting with what works and what does not and I have noticed that my body feels better, stronger, and less tired. Implementing even small changes like these over a course of time can produce benefits.

                                                —Klaudia Wiacek, Freshman

“I will not change my diet. I will not stop consuming meat.”

                                               —Guadalupe Calpeno, Senior

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