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"Cows" by megnut is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Interviewing the Trent Vegan Society

Written by
Aras Mommertz
and
April 14, 2021
Interviewing the Trent Vegan Society
"Cows" by megnut is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Vegetarian and vegan diets are seen as a fad or something young people try out, but they hold essential to many cultural and religious traditions. Have you heard of seitan or tempeh? I'm sure most of us have tried soy milk at some point. Many of these traditional practices originate from China and Indonesia. Other religious sects that have plant-based diets are common in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Jainism. As of 2018, 3 million Canadian consumers are vegan or vegetarian, and as of 2020, 9.6 million Americans are eating plant-based.  In the last 15 years, there has been a 300% increase in plant-based diets in the United States. With this came the boom of the production of plant-based milk. Oat milk beverages are seen at most local cafés because it is less impactful to the environment. 

The Trent Vegan Society (TVS) was founded by Shira Rubinoff and Eliaz Tavares in 2018. It was started to show how veganism can highlight animal welfare, the environment and create community through food and recipe sharing. Below is a brief interview with TVS where you can learn about their group and what has been occurring since COVID-19. 

Aras Mommertz: Who are the current members of TVS? 

TVS: Our three co-presidents are Catherine McDonald, Maria Jose Gonzalez Becerra, Mridul Harbhajanka, and Jocelyn Van Halteren as the Publicity Officer. 

A: What were some past events you’d like to highlight? 

TVS: In the past, events included cooking workshops from chefs at Lady Eaton College, movie screenings of documentaries like game changers about how veganism has many health benefits, especially for athletes. We also held bake sales to fundraise for animal sanctuaries. There was also a trip being planned to go to a donkey sanctuary before the pandemic hit, but that trip could no longer happen when it did. So hopefully, we can do something like that in the future!

A: How has COVID-19 affected the group/what changes have been made to make this more accessible?

TVS: Things moving online changed our operation significantly. We created a new Instagram page and a discord server to try to remain engaging with our members. This was a significant change from our online presence before, which only existed on Facebook and through monthly emails. We also partnered with Champlain College Cabinet to present some vegan recipes in their live cooking show segment on Instagram. We did a recipe for banana ice cream and one for vegan feta cheese pasta. We also interviewed with Trent International Student’s Association (TISA) on Trent Radio, where two of our co-presidents spoke of veganism and animal exploitation. We are hoping to begin doing in-person events in September if the COVID situation allows for it.

A: What will your future events look like?

TVS: We hope that as COVID-19 calms down and more people can get the vaccine, hopefully, classes will resume in person, then we will be able to do cookouts, festivals, and more significant group activities to meet other people! We are also planning on doing fundraisers so we can donate to animal shelters. Also, one of the events we're super excited about is our chalking event! We will go around campus and downtown, drawing and writing slogans about veganism on the walls with chalk!

A: Are your events open to anyone (including community members and non-veg folks)?

TVS: Of course, our events are open to everyone! We are here to encourage a vegan lifestyle in the Trent community, and everyone is welcome - whether you want to learn more about veganism or even just try vegan food! The more, the merrier.  

A: How can people engage with your group or get more involved? 

TVS: Currently, we are mainly operating through our Instagram, where people can always reach out with questions, concerns, and if they are interested in joining and collaborating! We also have a Discord where everyone can just chat and hang out, which is located in our Instagram bio.

Join them for our upcoming events, try out some delicious vegan recipes at home, and be sure to follow them on Instagram or give them a like on Facebook to stay tuned for upcoming events!

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