What we eat can make up who we are

Chloe Mangham, Opinion Editor

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As you eat your dinner, you may not think twice about what it is or what it was. Maybe it once was a chicken or a stalk of celery. Others may indulge into  their food as they think about the turkey they saved by switching it out for soy, or vise versa. The turkey they could be eating might have been the one they shot that morning on their hunt.

The phrase “you are what you eat” is used on the daily, most likely by an elementary school teacher or a parent, so we as teenagers and adults don’t think twice about the dual meaning to this saying. Sure, it could be about how eating healthy makes you healthier, but it can also mean that your personality or beliefs could have something to do with what you eat.

In the past few years, going vegan has become a popular lifestyle that many people around the world are starting to adopt. However, stereotypes come into play when you hear the word “vegan”. Many people believe all vegans do yoga at 5 a.m. and practice new age beliefs.

This happens with your everyday meat enthusiast as well. Most people picture meat eaters as gun wielding, Rob Swanson “memers”, with “Murcia” tattooed across their chest.

These could all be just stereotypes, but what if what we eat really is what we are? Could our diets affect our beliefs?

Junior Summer Jennings, believes so.

“Like in any other culture, what you eat affects what you believe and do in life,” Jennings said.

Studies have shown that the rise of veganism has been increasing by a whopping 320 percent in teenagers since 2006. This means teenagers’ beliefs have also been changing. Teenagers this day and age have more freedom to convert to religions outside of the ones they grew up with.

That being said, many religions and beliefs coincide with being vegan and/or vegetarian, and many of these religions are growing more and more popular. Some of these religions are Buddhism and Jainism. These religions center around peace and protection of animals, seeing as people who are a part of these religions believe that all creatures have souls.

“I believe they [animals] have souls and they have feelings like us [humans],” sophomore and vegan Katie Snelson  said.

However, when it comes to meat eating, more beliefs accept eating meat and animal by-products. Along with that, more people find hunting and wearing things such as animal skins and furs okay with their beliefs. These beliefs are not as centered on animal rights like the religions that do not accept eating meat.

“I chose to eat meat because it’s just the food that I’ve always enjoyed and has been my favorite,” junior and meateater Alexa Hathorn said.

Many people who do not eat meat are more centered along animal rights and activism. Most are more involved in organizations such as PETA, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. Many  are also more educated in environmental issues and protests for animal rights.  People who eat meat are more inclined to hunt and use products made from animals.

Taking these factors into account could lead to the thought that you really are what you eat.

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What we eat can make up who we are