The Student News Site of East Grand Rapids High School

The East Vision

Ellie Haun ’16: journey to veganism

Annie Meyer-Rasmussen, Opinion Editor

“Veganism is just my little quirk,” Ellie Haun ‘16 said.

Haun has been a vegan since November of 2012. Her first vegan experience was during  a 28 day cleanse at the beginning of her freshman year. At first she didn’t know exactly what she was doing, but she slowly began to find more vegan recipes that she liked. Although she enjoyed the cleanse, she returned to her regular lifestyle afterwards.

“I went back to eating meat and dairy just because the rest of my family did, but I didn’t feel as good and [meat] didn’t taste as good,” Haun said.

However, this phase did not last. Within a month, she was back to veganism.

“Vegan food tastes better,” Haun said. It’s not as simple, however, for many of the people that she runs into on a daily basis. During social settings, it is not uncommon for people to question her.

“I think people are just curious as to what I’m doing and why I’m not eating what everyone else is, but it’s good because it strikes conversation,” Haun said.

On other occasions, people inquire about the nutrition of a vegan diet.

“A lot of people think that with a vegan diet you can’t get the nutrients you need,” Haun said. This is not the case for her. She makes sure to consume protein at every meal, get calcium through non-dairy milk, and take B12 supplements.

In a typical day, she might eat a pumpkin date scone or green smoothie for breakfast, fruit and sauteed vegetables at lunch, and a grain and vegetable dinner with dessert.

“I’m more of a health vegan than an ethical vegan,” Haun said. This means that she is not vegan to help animals, but rather, she sees it as a healthier way to live. In fact, she doesn’t believe that an omnivorous diet can be as healthy as a vegan one based on research she’s read.

“The closer things are to nature the better they are for you,” Haun said. She still acknowledges that there is plenty of vegan junk food.

“If you just live off that, you’re not going to be healthy. It’s not good fuel. It’s like putting vegetable oil in your car,” Haun said. One reason Haun aims to eat healthily is because she needs good “fuel” to exercise, which is another large component of her life.

“I love to play tennis. I love to do yoga, and I’ve been really into running lately,” Haun said. “I just feel like my life is better because of exercise.” Exercise is something she sees as the perfect stress reliever and it’s something she’s always loved.

Exercise isn’t her only extracurricular, though. She’s also the president and founder of Veggie Club, an actor in theater, an elementary school tutor, and a blogger.

“I have a vegan food blog: Peanut Butter and Ellie,” Haun said. “If anyone wants help becoming vegan, I’m your gal. Just come to me and ask.”

Her passion for veganism is one of the many things that makes her stand out against the average group of people.

“I’m really glad I became vegan. Everything happens for a reason. I feel like it’s helped me become who I am. I’m unique because of it, and I like that,” Haun said.

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