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Vegetarian Society President Discusses Making a Lifestyle Change on World Vegetarian Day

Quick Facts

 World Vegetarian Day is Oct. 1. October is also Vegetarian Awareness Month.
 Simone Mayers decided to make a lifestyle change after taking an ecological psychology course at Winthrop.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – A Winthrop University ecological psychology course prompted student Simone Mayers to make a life change: she became a vegetarian.

The psychology major from Columbia, South Carolina, will encourage others to do the same on Oct. 1 for World Vegetarian Day. As president of Winthrop’s Vegetarian Society, she and club members will host a “VegPledge” on Scholars Walk from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Students can pledge to try vegetarianism for one day, one week or one month in exchange for a chance to win cash prices of up to $1,000.

October is also Vegetarian Awareness Month.

Mayers’ own “VegPledge” took effect on June 2, 2014, after Associate Professor of Psychology Jeffrey Sinn's ecological psychology course, which explores the relationship between the notion of self and an ecological understanding of the world.

“During the course I learned about the impacts of meat production on the environment, common unethical business practices of meat production companies, how their workers are treated and the hidden truths about factory farming,” she said. “Soon after learning of the environmental benefits of vegetarianism, I began to research the health benefits.”

According to, people choose vegetarian diets for several reasons, including health concerns, a belief that a plant-based diet is better for you, religious beliefs and ethical reasons. The 2015 American Dietary Guidelines also support more of a plant-based diet with smaller amounts of protein.

“Since [June 2, 2014] I've felt happier, healthier, more energized, lost weight and helped others on their path to a healthy lifestyle,” Mayers said.

According to, there are four types of vegetarians:
• Strict/vegan: diet excludes all animals and their products, such as eggs, milk and cheese;
• Lactovegetarian: basic vegetarian diet excluding animals and eggs, fish and eggs, but includes dairy;
• Lacto-ovovegetarian: basic vegetarian diet excluding animals, but includes eggs and dairy;
• Flexitarian: semi-vegetarian diet with occasional meat and fish consumption.

For more information on the Vegetarian Society, e-mail or stop by 220 DiGiorgio Campus Center every Tuesday at 11 a.m.

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