New Veggie Club holds first meeting

Meredith Oldham

The newly formed ARS Veggie Club held their first meeting on Wednesday in club sponsor, Ms. A-G’s, room with President Sierra Melomo (11) and dozens of high school student “Vegheads” to promote an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

Marissa Gonzales (12) and Ms. A-G eat vegetables and discuss their cookbook during the Veggie Club meeting last Wednesday. A-G hosted the club meeting in her own classroom and will continue to do so in the future.

“I was thinking about it [the club] a lot, in the shower,” said A-G. “And then last week, Ms. Nelson [my student teacher] was playing a game with my advisory and we discovered Sierra was a vegetarian, and I asked her if she wanted to help start the club.”

Melomo and A-G aren’t the only vegetarians or “vegheads” (as they refer to themselves) in the school. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians attended the first official meeting last Wednesday.

On why she joined the club, Maya Messinger (11) said, “I’m vegetarian, but I really like food, so the idea of learning new vegetarian recipes sounded cool.”

During their first meeting, the members discussed future plans over veggie plates and A-G’s homemade veggie muffins.

“For the future we want to write a cookbook and maybe start meatless Mondays in the cafeteria,” said A-G. “I also think we should broaden the community– there are a lot of vegetarian teachers who could be interested.”

President Melomo had similar plans for the future of her organization.

“I see a lot [for the future],” said Melomo. “I see a cookbook, I see volunteer work, I see big things. We have a lot of great people and a lot of determination.”

Sierra Melomo (11) leads the Veggie Club in a discussion.
Sierra Melomo (11) leads the Veggie Club in a discussion. Melomo is going on her eighth year of vegetarianism.

Although only 5% of Americans identify as vegetarians, the percentages are higher among women, particularly young women, such as those here at ARS.

“I’ve been a vegetarian since third grade,” said Melomo. “It’s something I keep up every day, every year, and it’s like, wow, I’ve come this far. It’s a lot better for my health too, and it makes me feel better when I hear about environmental issues, especially with livestock, and I know I’m contributing less to that problem, being a vegetarian.”

There was one more thing Melomo wanted to share with potential “Vegheads.”

“The emails have dancing veggie gifs. Why wouldn’t you join?”