Vegging out at Canisius

By Nathan Ress

Assistant Features Editor

There will be a new addition to the arrangement of clubs active within Canisius, with the all-new Canisius College Veg Club making its debut this spring semester. The Veg Club will focus on providing a group presence for any vegan or vegetarian students, as well as provide information and tips for any student considering a switch to this lifestyle.

The club was founded by ABEC major Rachel Pawelski, herself a vegan since 2008. Pawelski has been working with, caring for, and generally loving animals for the better part of her existence, and sees it as only natural that she not eat any of her companions.

The club will hold its first meeting next week, Wednesday 3 February in room OM 104. The meeting will be mostly informational, but will also feature discussions on the groups breakout initiative, “Meatless Mondays.” This initiative, advertised throughout the tunnels with large flyers, challenges students to incorporate a little dietary change in their lives. “It encourages people to start small,” says Pawelski. She acknowledges that such drastic changes in one’s diet can be intimidating, but hopes that if people start with only one day a week, they will be able to ease into the new eating habits.

The meatless Mondays initiative will be on an honor system with students signing a pledge towards participation. While this is a small step, Pawelski hopes it will lead into further changes. “The next step is to swap out existing foods in favor of vegan options,” Pawelski said. This process is perhaps the longest on the road to veganism as it means cleaning out any non-vegan item from one’s diet and replacing it with the vegan equivalent. For example, one may switch their butter with a vegan option, or even make their own.

Furthermore, all who sign the pledge for weekly veganism will receive personal tips from Pawelski and the Veg Club. For example, students can look forward to some of the club’s favorite recipes and dishes. In the future Veg Club hopes to organize monthly “feed-ins” outside the on-campus dining hall. These feed-ins would feature club members passing out samples of vegan dishes for students, as well as vegan cooking options. Less distant is the clubs “accidentally vegan” Valentine’s Day sales. These sales will include name brand candy products that happen to also be vegan. The candies will be sold on campus with a holiday card for $1.

When asked about any advice for people considering a dietary change, Pawelski had this to say, “Start small.” No one becomes vegan overnight, and slowly guiding one’s self into the change is definitely much easier. She also encourages anyone seriously considering the change to stop by Veg Club’s first meeting and pick up The Vegetarian Starter Guide. This is a small magazine-esque publication dedicated to informing and assisting those new to dietary change. It offers an extensive collection of articles, tips, testimonies, facts, and other generally helpful literature.

Pawelski also recommended several of her favorite local restaurants for vegans and vegetarians. First, is Grindhaus Café at 160 Allen St. Though the name is misleading, Grindhaus features a completely vegan menu, as well as quality pour-over coffee. It boasts a solid 4.5/5 on Yelp (out of 28 reviews). Second is Amy’s Place Café at 3234 Main St. Amy’s Place features a wide selection of Mediterranean vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as a cozy interior feel. Amy’s Place holds a respectable 4.0/5 on Yelp (based on 294 reviews).

If you’ve been considering a dietary change, or are just curious about vegan and vegetarian culture, Pawelski encourages you to come on the 3rd and be a part of one of Canisius’s newest and fastest growing student organizations.

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