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Student Org Spotlight: Student Advocates for a Vegetarian Ethic

By Alexes Spencer
On December 6, 2010

  • Dr. Benander, advisor, and Rekha Reddy, president of SAVE
  • Members of SAVE at the vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.

The Student Advocates for a Vegetarian Ethic, or SAVE, are clear on one thing: You don't have to be a vegetarian to join.

Founded on the basis of compassion and education, SAVE's official mission is to educate people on the benefits of a plant-based diet and the cruel treatment of factory farm animals. They also hope to instill compassion for all living things and explore healthy alternatives to meat-based meals.

"I would say, in a word, EDUCATE--educate people about the advantages of adopting a plant-based diet, and to show that these advantages accrue to people, animals and the planet," says faculty advisor Dr. Barbara Benander.

Still, according to SAVE's Web site, they want people to make their own educated decisions on whether or not a vegetarian lifestyle is the right choice for them.

The education comes in various ways. SAVE often hosts guest speakers. Last year, the group brought lawyer John Sproat to speak on the effects that factory farms have on communities including pollution and health issues caused by the farms.

The group has also screened movies related to farming and meat-based diets including "Food Inc." and, last Wednesday, "Fast Food Nation."

"If people saw the videos and pictures of how meat was being raised, the outrage would be overwhelming," says Benander. "I believe SAVE and its members are doing a great service in exposing the dangers of factory farms."

On top of the educational aspects of SAVE, the group holds other events that encourage students to try vegetarian food. The organization's most recent endeavour of this nature was their annual Thanksgiving dinner (sans the traditional turkey, of course.)

"To me, this event was the highlight of our activities because of the huge turnout and the exuberance and laughter that was evident all evening," says Benander.

The group will also have a vegetarian feast in the spring. They hope to continue their education campaign by having a speaker from the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine visit campus.

"The philosophies of many great minds throughout the centuries...have concluded that we can achieve a cleaner, higher level of living by not inflicting pain and suffering on creatures, who like us, simply want to live," says Benander who goes on to quote Buddha, "'all beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life.'"

To learn more about SAVE, visit www.saveatcsu.com. Click the "join us" link for contact information. 


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