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Vegetarian Dinner Organized by Richland Yoga Club, Dallas

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Vegetarian dinner a hit for everyone
By Acarya Shubhacetanananda Avadhta
Most Americans may not know that throughout history many wise and knowledgeable people have adopted a vegetarian diet. The Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, The Greek mathematician Pythagoras, The Dalai Lama of Tibet, Albert Einstein, and other famous people were vegetarians.
Richland has its share of vegetarians among students, staff and faculty. About 50 of them, including some from North Lake College, attended a vegetarian dinner April 23 organized by the Richland Yoga Club. The dinner included such foods as Chinese noodles, Italian pasta and varieties of Indian food.
Neal Abramson, an adjunct lecturer and academic advisor, a vegetarian for over 30 years and a vegan for over 12 years, attended the vegetarian dinner again this year.
“I became vegetarian because I was told that I would feel lighter and that vegetables would move through my system faster than meat,” Abramson said. “I became vegan because it seemed like the next intelligent step to make. I liked being a vegetarian because that meant I did not have to eat dead animal flesh. I became vegan because I learned that many human beings do better by not consuming diary products.”
Alice Lee, English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) instructor, a vegetarian for about 14 years, also in attended at the dinner. She said she changed her diet because she was impressed with a vegan friend’s health and kindliness while working at the Dallas zoo as a volunteer.
“I saw how he seemed to be a very healthy and kind person,” Lee said. "I have always had a love of animals, but working closely with many of the animals there allowed me to get to know wild animals on a close basis.”
Some people would say that a vegetarian diet is healthier than a meat-based diet. Others think that it is somehow difficult to get enough nutrients and protein from a vegetarian diet.
“Personally, I don't really have any problem," Lee said. "I eat a wide variety of food and take supplements such as multi-vitamins and flax oil [which is a substitute for the Omega 3 you get from eating fish]. There is a false idea that a person needs to combine certain foods to get complete protein."
There are strong environmental reasons not to eat meat. It takes a lot more resources to produce a pound of meat than a pound of grain. Additionally, the meat-producing process causes much air and water pollution, as well as land degradation.
Jay Wooldridge, Yoga Club co-advisor, likes the event and wants to organize it again.
“The vegetarian dinner is getting bigger every year," Wooldridge said. “This semester we had more students than last semester. I really liked rice pudding, Indian curry, and Pakora. I met with people from Hawaii, Mexico, Phillipines, Brazil, India, Italy, Malasia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia and enjoyed talking to them."
Anyone wishing to join the Yoga Club can attend meetings from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Fridays and from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. For more information, call Dada at 972-699-3838/214-315-0869 or e-mail him at shubhany@yahoo.com.