Tigers on going vegetarian

Lizzie Himmelfarb and Edith Corricon

While protecting the earth is something we all strive to do, it’s easier said than done. But the vegetarians at Wilson have proven that prioritizing the environment is not only possible, but enjoyable. So what compels someone to give up dino chicken nuggets? We went on a hunt—scratch that, gather—to find out. 

Freshman Adler Amolsch took charge and turned vegetarian during the start of the pandemic. 

“During COVID, there were a lot of activism movements going on, and there was a lot of talk about [the] climate,” Amolsch said. She wanted to lower her personal carbon footprint and, “being vegetarian seemed like the most efficient way to do that.” Amolsch also turned to vegetarianism for health reasons, but luckily can still enjoy her favorite dish: tofu “chicken” nuggets. 

Since she made the switch, Amolsch’s family has adjusted with her as well, reducing their overall meat intake. “They’ve definitely tried to help me on my path,” she said.

On the other hand, sophomore Joey Schneider started being vegetarian in sixth grade. “I just never really ate meat in the first place,” Schneider said. “My sisters were vegetarian and I followed them.”

When asked about how being vegetarian has affected family dinners, Schneider replied that her “parents have to make a vegetarian version of the dish, maybe by replacing the meat with tofu.” 

Schneider believes that her turn to vegetarianism brought about a new awareness to nutrition. “I feel like being vegetarian has allowed me to think more about the lack of iron you get when you’re vegetarian and compensating by getting protein from other supplements.” Overall, Schneider is very happy being vegetarian and doesn’t see herself stopping anytime soon.

Math teacher Nicole Forth shared similar views about the health side of vegetarianism. “I was watching ‘What the Health’ on Netflix, and it talks about the science of what meat does to your body,” she said. After this, Forth decided to become vegetarian and has not looked back. 

Even her kids made the transition along with her, with the compromise that they can still eat meat once a month, as well as on holidays and birthdays. Forth recently discovered Abby’s Bistro in Baltimore, which serves fried green tomato burgers. Forth emphasizes that there are exciting ways to turn classic meat dishes such as hamburgers into a delicious, vegetarian meal.

Although not a full-time vegetarian, English teacher Sarah Schrag has also significantly reduced her meat intake. “In college, I was in an entirely vegetarian co-op, where students cooked meals together. That was a really different way of eating than what I grew up with. It was nice to get some experience with it and it made me realize that there were a lot of options out there that I hadn’t known about.”

Schrag remarked that vegetarianism has opened her mind to new ways of looking at meat consumption. “It’s something I’ve always been motivated by because the research shows us that in order to cut our carbon emissions, cutting down our meat production is [essential].”

Schrag aims to cook at least three to four vegetarian dinners a week. She mentioned that she would love to go fully vegetarian one day. 

It’s true that protecting the environment requires big name corporations to take responsibility. But one thing’s for sure: our vegetarian classmates and teachers keep on inspiring us to do what we can to help preserve our beautiful earth.