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| Courtesy of Brianna Krejci

Learning how to follow a healthy, balanced diet in college is arguably one of the most difficult transitions that a new student must make. For a particular set of vegan eaters, finding affordable and nutritional options is made that much more difficult by the condition that all of their food must be free from animal products.

The Penn Vegan Society, an academic society that actively promotes and conducts research on such diets, is a student-run group that helps students learn how to get all the plant-based nutrition they require.

The group’s academic distinction means that it focuses on trying to teach members about the greater health benefits of avoiding animal products. College senior Brianna Krejci, co-president of PVS, said that the group has helped engage and broaden her academic interests.

“We truly approach veganism from an academic point of view,” Krejci said. “We focus on the logical reasoning behind following a vegan lifestyle using reasoning from bioethics, environmental sustainability, and personal and public health perspectives”.

The group, composed of an executive board and a larger general body, has weekly meetings during which they discuss their vegan lifestyle choices throughout the week. PVS also plans various social and outreach events including trips to vegan restaurants in Center City as well as catered events on campus.

Members of PVS enjoy the camaraderie of spending time with fellow students who follow similar lifestyles. Students learn from each other the different lenses with which to look at veganism, as not all people come to this diet for the same reasons.

Anna Balfanz, a College sophomore and co-internal chair on the board, found that the group provided her with the support and advice she needed to transition.

“Before entering freshman year, I followed a vegetarian diet but wanted badly to transition into veganism,” Anna said. “I joined this group right away, and it was through meeting an amazing group of like-minded people and attending PVS’s events that pushed me to become completely vegan after less than two months in PVS.”

PVS aims to show general members who attend their events just how easy being vegan on an urban campus like Penn can be. There are many options beyond the obvious of Hip City Veg and Sweetgreen.

“Philly is an incredibly vegan city,” Brianna said. “In my time at school, PVS has helped Bon Appetit to implement dedicated vegan stations in Hill and 1920 Commons and work with them on recipes and labeling.”

Students interested in transitioning to or better learning how to follow a vegan diet may consider keeping an eye out for the events that PVS will be holding in the next weeks.

“It’s nice to connect every once in a while with people who make the same nutritional choices as I do,” said Engineering sophomore and long-time vegan Kerry Hollis. “We can bond over ordering curly fries (the best out there) instead of pizza on a late night at Allegro’s. Or get excited about the fact that Starbucks on 39th always has coconut milk.”

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