Maya the Vegan

by Bao Yi Tan

Photo by Bao Yi Tan

This week’s blog post will be an interview with a fellow Bruin and good friend, Maya. She is an English major and she is a second year at UCLA. She has been a vegan for 2 and a half years and stands strongly in support of it.

Why do you like food?

Maya: It is a human thing that we have to eat to survive, you know? It’s the most human thing, makes us human. The fact that we can choose what to put in our bodies is very interesting. It makes it a part of life. I have fun when I eat!

When did you choose to become a vegan?

Maya: I started 2 and a half years ago. I was vegetarian for 4 years before. I always knew I wanted to be a vegan, but I also didn’t know. I thought “I am a vegetarian — I could never be vegan”. I was one of those people who didn’t think I could do it. All of sudden, it was easy. “F**k this shit,” I told myself, “I am not eating anything”. The date was 7/7/17 when I first started.

Why are you a vegan?

Maya: I am a vegan for a couple of reasons. The first is because of love. Animals have heartbeats, veins, and eyes that speak things that words cannot. We have the ability to spend time and energy with animals and pets, so we should treat all of them with the same level of respect. We shouldn’t be judging which animals are better than others, letting some get killed and brutally consumed while protecting others.

There is also a health incentive for being vegan. It’s simply better for my body to not put animals inside of it; eating meat is proven to lead to heart disease and America is a great example of the consequences when a proper diet isn’t followed. So I stay as natural and green as possible for my mind, body, heart, and the hearts of other beings.

What places would you recommend for vegan food near UCLA?

Maya: Grocery stores! It is so fun to make your own food, and when you are a vegan the possibilities are endless. Any combination of beans, rice, vegetables, fruits, oats, and more can turn into a great meal. Experimenting with food and seeing what you can come up with, DIY-ing things on your own, is the best part about it.

When I do eat out, Thai and Indian restaurants are very accommodating to vegans and always have fantastic options.

Any last advice for your vegan/non-vegan fans out there?

It’s important to be aware of the fact that we have the ability to be socially conscious and spiritually progressive in many of our daily lifestyle decisions. We can understand that it is morally incorrect to be consuming living entities that have the capability to love. Our habits should reflect that understanding.

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