Be ethical. Eat ethical.

The Project

The recent healthy trend in the U.S. has raised the level of awareness of our health and what we eat. The trend has also rapidly increased the vegetarian and vegan population in the country, contributing to the trend to spread worldwide. The once foreign diet is now becoming familiar to us, and may one day become the norm.

The Purpose

The most common reason for one to become vegan is the ethics behind it. It is difficult to commit without considering the ethical side. Once you truly accept what is happening behind the scenes to make that piece of steak on your plate, you will never be able to look at cows the same way again.

Michelle Keidel, a second year English major, sitting on her bed in Poly Canyon Village. “For me, eating ethically is not eating any animal-type products,” Keidel said. She is the former president of the Ethical Eating Club on Cal Poly campus. October 11, 2016. Keidel cuts carrots for her vegan pasta in her kitchen. Influenced by her mother who began her vegan diet for health reasons, Keidel has been vegan for a total of five years. October 11, 2016. Keidel cooks the cut carrots and red bell pepper by steaming them with a small amount of water. She has been cooking for herself since freshman year and did not eat at campus dining. “A lot of people don’t know about what goes into the process of getting the dairy,” Keidel said. “They don’t realize how the animals are being treated, and I just don’t want to support that industry. To me, eating ethically would be not supporting any of those industries.”October 11, 2016. Keidel adds a jar of organic tomato basil pasta sauce from Whole Foods to her cooked carrots and red bell pepper. She says that she prefers to make her pasta sauce from scratch, but her busy schedule does not allow it. October 11, 2016. A view of Keidel in her kitchen that she shares with three other roommates. She is the only vegan. “Sometimes I’m scared to tell other people that I’m vegan, just because of the reaction that I get,” Keidel said. “Vegans have a very bad rep of being viewed like preachers...I want to educate people about it and I want people to transition into it, but I’m not going to force my views upon anyone.” October 11, 2016.
Keidel scoops some of her finished sauce on top of the pasta. She tries to buy most of her food organic, especially vegetables with thin skin, but is difficult to do so as a college student on a budget. October 11,2016. Post-its of things that Keidel is thankful for, put up around her room. “I would never want to go back eating meat or dairy,” Keidel said. “I feel better eating this way. When I stopped being vegan for a short time, I felt very sluggish and tired. I just didn’t feel the same and as soon as I went vegan, I felt so much better.” October 11,2016 A finished look of Keidel’s quick and easy vegan pasta. “There is no way that I would ever go back to eating meat or dairy based on what I’ve learned,” Keidel said. October 11, 2016. Joseph Lynch, philosophy professor at Cal Poly in his office. “Our desire because we like tasty food...a being has to suffer a lot,” Lynch said. “We're adding to this huge amount of suffering. In the end I think ethics requires the consideration of other beings.” December 1, 2016. Books about animal ethics on the shelves of Lynch's office. “The morally relevant property in question is, 'Can the being suffer?’” said Lynch. December 1, 2017. Jessica Cowan, a fourth year Nutrition major, eating her homemade pasta in the Cal Poly Kennedy Library. “Ethical eating to me means understanding the whole system involved in how your food comes to you, and being ethical okay with every step of that system,Cowan” Lynch said. “We're adding to this huge amount of suffering. In the end I think ethics requires the consideration of other beings.” December 1, 2016. Cowan's lunch; pumpkin seeds, pasta, salad with homemade dressing, and carrots. December 7,2016.

The Message

The public image of vegans in the past has not been positive. Many people think they are crazy animal activists who pushes their views upon people, or believes that they are superior to meat-eaters. The recent healthy trend has changed that image, but many are still not convinced.

The Chefs

Being a vegan is a challenge since there are still very few vegan options in the food industry. Although it may be hard work or time-consuming, cooking your own meals is a necessity to maintain a healthy and happy vegan life. Take a look at what these students eat on a normal basis and how they manage to keep their vegan diet while being in college.


The Favorites

The food that vegans eat is a mystery to many. If they don't just eat salads all the time, what do they eat? Here are the top favorite source of protein, vegetable, fruit, meal, and ice cream of the vegans at Cal Poly.

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"The greatest ethical test that we're ever going to face is the treatment of those who are at our mercy." Lyn White

Poly Ethical, inspired by the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Ethical Eating Club, introduces the culture of veganism and what it means to eat ethically through the vegans of Cal Poly.