The word vegan carries dozens of connotations. It can refer to animal-rights activists, health nuts, or downright hippies.
To Corona del Mar (CdM) freshman Lexi Davin, being vegan means not consuming any animal products whatsoever.
Davin switched to the vegan diet a little over four months ago. Between bites of brown rice veggie sushi and apple slices, she explained “I became vegan because I think it is unfair that we are using other animals for our own consumption and to better my own health,”
A month after taking animal products off the menu, Davin created an Instagram account (@plantbasedlex) to document her vegan choices. “I started my vegan account because I wanted others to see how many delicious and beautiful foods I get to eat every day,” she said. In an early post, Davin explained why she made the switch.
“Coming from a diet of calorie restriction, it was a hard transition for me to stop counting every calorie I consumed.” she wrote. Now, being vegan is more than Davin’s diet. It has become her lifestyle. “I can eat as much as I want to whenever I want to,” she said.
Davin’s Instagram feed which has both original recipes (homemade pizza, pumpkin spice waffles, and vanilla “nice cream”) and meals she orders at restaurants like Seabirds Kitchen, Pressed Juicery, and the Veggie Grill. With each new post, followers are left feeling hungry for more.
Though she initially considered becoming a vegetarian, Davin ultimately chose the vegan diet after watching documentaries such as “Forks over Knives” and “Cowspiracy” and reading articles about animal cruelty.
“The difference between being a vegetarian and a vegan is that vegans do not eat any part of the animal, whereas vegetarians can still eat eggs and dairy products,” explained Davin. “Going vegan can seem scary, but trust me, it is all worth it,” said Davin.
Science seems to agree with her. An experiment conducted by Huffington Post showed that besides weight loss and having more energy, people who go vegan have reported less from acne and sleeping better. These obvious benefits have made “veganism” something of a Hollywood craze; several celebrities, including Usher, Ellen DeGeneres, and Carrie Underwood, have adopted the vegan diet.
Unsurprisingly, the animal-rights organization PETA, (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,) also strongly supports the vegan lifestyle. On their website, prospective vegans can learn more about on the cause and even order their free vegan starter kit.
Davin encourages people to try going vegan, if only for a few days.
“Some people think ‘Oh my gosh I could never go vegan’ or ‘It’s too much work’, but just look into how much the meat and dairy industry is ruining our planet and you will feel different,” said Davin.
Davin says that though a raw diet is one step toward a healthier lifestyle, exercise is still important too.
“I stay fit by just exercising and getting my heart pumping by going to Soul Cycle.” she says. Davin also stays fit by playing lacrosse for CdM.
Being vegan is just one of the ways Davin gives back to her community. She is involved in National Charity League (NCL), a local organization that works with a number of different charities. Last year, Davin served as the president for her age group and helped support the local shelters providing care for families who experienced domestic violence.
Davin is a fantastic example of a student who is socially aware and has made life-altering decisions that affected her for the better. She doesn’t even long for the ice cream and hamburgers of her pre-vegan days.
“Honestly, I do not miss any [food] from being vegan,” she said.
Davin believes that everyone should educate themselves on the food industry, regardless of their stance on the issue It’s nice to know that there are still teens out there using social media to change the world for the better, one vegan pizza at a time.