PETA pledge turns into lifestyle change for student

Breianna Morgan, a junior at Howard University, made a pledge on New Year’s Day 2011 to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. She promised to be a vegan for 30 days. On Sunday evening, January 30, she and a group of friends completed making good on her pledge at Washington, D.C.’s Sticky Fingers Bakery. “It’s the best vegan bakery in D.C. We all ate a vegan red velvet cake that was so good it could make a lion become vegan,” she said, laughing so hard that her face turned red.

Becoming a vegan was the last thing on Morgan’s mind. All she knew was that she wanted a New Year’s resolution that would be beneficial to her and the world as a whole.

While on Google, she somehow found herself on PETA’s Web site.

“I watched a video called ‘Meet Your Meat’ and it was horrifying,” she said. “The video showed animals being treated cruel and unjust. I began to feel bad and wanted to make a change.”

There and then, she signed a petition on titled, “Pledge to Be Vegan for 30 Days!”

“I studied the petition and it read, ‘I want to eat better, feel better, and stop supporting cruelty to chickens, pigs, cows, and other animals raised for food,” she said. “By signing my name, I pledged to be vegan,’ and just like that I became a vegan.”

She later received an e-mail from PETA with top tips on the best places to eat out, vegan recipes, the tastiest animal-friendly snacks, and delicious pre-packaged vegan meals. She also got a vegan starter kit in the mail, which came with a magazine on how to make a transition to a healthy eating lifestyle.

“It was so cool when I received updates from PETA through email,” she said. “I felt as if they were my support group throughout the entire month.”

The transition hasn’t been easy. But PETA emailed her information on ways to make the switch smoother. According to Jenny Lou Browning, PETA Vegan Special Projects Coordinator, the top five ways to making the transition to veganism are making vegan versions of your favorite meals, exploring delicious vegan recipes, trying tasty “faux” meats and diary alternatives, sampling microwaveable meals and convenience foods, and finding vegan-friendly restaurants in your area.

“My favorite step was finding vegan restaurants in the DC area, and trying all types of different meals,” Morgan confessed. “I constantly would eat at Soul Vegetarian Café, which is right across the street from Howard. I would usually order a veggie sub or tofu nuggets. I also liked eating at Java Green Café, near Dupont Circle. The soy chicken there is to die for.”

Today, Morgan faithfully practices veganism. “I did not plan on staying a vegan past my 30-day petition, but the lifestyle has really helped me become a healthier person,” she explained. “I hope that I can continue being a vegan and not go back to my old ways because I enjoy supporting animal rights and environmental prosperity.