Students Say: Being Vegan at WVU

kristen 1
Kristen Arbogast

By Abby Humphreys

Kristen Arbogast is a 20-year-old junior from New Martinsville, WV, who has been vegan since June 2016.

Why did you become vegan?

I became vegan after watching three documentaries: Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, and Cowspiracy. The documentaries touched on everything I care about, such as health, the environment, and preventing animal cruelty. However, my main reason for changing my diet was because of my love for animals.

What were some challenges to becoming (and staying) vegan?

Some of the hardest aspects of being a “new vegan” would be finding convenient vegan foods. There were a lot of things that I could simply microwave and eat before becoming vegan, but after making that dietary change, I couldn’t eat them anymore. It may seem silly, but when I realized that certain breads, cereals and soups were vegan, it became a lot easier because I could always fall back on them for a meal.

Where can you eat vegan on campus?

There are lots of places that I can eat on campus, whether it be in dining halls or restaurants. I can eat fruits and vegetables, burritos, sandwiches, pasta and potatoes — basically my favorite foods, and they are all vegan. There are also vegan options at chain restaurants like Panera Bread, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and many others.

What do you typically eat or snack on?kristen 3

I’m a very busy person, so I like foods that are quick and easy to make. Many of the Cliff bars, Luna bars and Lara bars are vegan; you just have to read the ingredients to check. A healthier option for a snack bar would be a banana, apple, pear or any other fruit.

My favorite thing to get from a fast food restaurant is a bean burrito from Taco Bell, with no cheese and potato chunks added. It’s so good, but I consider it a treat and don’t recommend eating it every day.

One of my favorite easy recipes to make is vegan sausage gravy and biscuits.

Things You’ll Need

  • An unsweetened vegan “milk” of your choice (such as soy, almond or cashew)
  • A can of Pillsbury biscuits — many biscuit brands are vegan if you check the ingredients
  • One package of Lightlife “Gimme Lean” veggie sausage
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
1. Bake the biscuits in the oven according to the directions on the package.
2. Open the package of Lightlife “Gimme Lean” veggie sausage, crumble it and brown it in a pan.
3. Put 3 cups of vegan milk in a bowl and whisk in a cup or so of flour, along with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
4. Bring the soy milk mixture to a boil on the stove, then reduce the heat to low, add in the sausage and let simmer until the gravy thickens.
 5. When everything is finished cooking and the gravy is seasoned as you like, you can plate it up and enjoy!

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