By Bekah Wright
Published Jul 1, 2012 8:00 AM
Ethics, health and the environment are some of the reasons these Bruins have become vegan.
It was the commute from her hometown of Berkeley to the UCLA campus that got Bruin Victoria McBride '09 thinking about veganism. "I'd driven up and down the I-5 enough times and seen (and smelled) the feed lots to know that's not what I wanted to put in my body," she recalls. "I also became a vegan on a moral and environmental basis."
Nevertheless, she found herself bouncing in and out of veganism/ vegetarianism over the years. It was a friend's health scare that got McBride, a project and operations manager for a young San Francisco start-up, Conference Hound, back on the bandwagon. "Last fall, my boyfriend's father was diagnosed with prostate cancer," she says. "To combat his cancer, he became vegan, as did we in solidarity."
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Health was also Mayim Bialik's impetus to switch to a vegetable-based diet. Bialik '00, Ph.D. '07, a regular on the hit TV series The Big Bang Theory who found fame as a child actress with her star turn in the sitcom Blossom, also writes and teaches neuroscience. She became a vegetarian at 19 after suffering from a sinus infection. "I haven't had a sinus infection, nor needed antibiotics, since cutting out dairy," says Bialik. Ethics and the environment also came into play for the self-proclaimed animal lover. "I never felt comfortable eating and using animal products. I'm finally guilt-free and eat so many more foods than I ever did when I was filling up on meat and dairy."
By 2010, Bialik had gone completely vegan and was a mother. Her two sons, ages 6-1/2 and 3-1/2, also follow a 100-percent vegan lifestyle. "They're thriving, healthy, have a fantastic palate and also get to eat plenty of 'fun' foods," Bialik says.