By Katheryn Bourne
Eerie music filled the street outside of the Johnson-Obear apartments. Dark shadows and cobwebs covered the walls of the common room as creatures dressed as Chinese takeout and super villains laugh and toast cups of a mysterious potion. The creatures toast the coming of fall and the Halloween season.
UTC’s Veggie Club hosted a vegan and vegetarian Halloween party on Tuesday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Johnson-Obear Common Room at 501 Oak St. in Chattanooga.
The party featured a costume contest, cookie decorating and screenings of Halloween movies. The club also offered an array of plant-based snacks including graveyard tacos, “blood” punch, and spiderweb hummus.
The Veggie Club is UTC’s only plant-based diet club on campus and, according to the co-founder of the club Katrina Johnson, seeks to show students that a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is easier to access than some think.
“There are so many plant based options people don’t know about or are not willing to try until it’s in front of them,” Johnson said. “Altering your diet, even minimally, is a great way to care better for the planet and your own body.”
Johnson also addresses the issues of sustainability and healthy eating in the world today, as well as the club’s goals in showing students that it is possible to make a lifestyle change when it comes to food.
“Sustainability is a hot topic right now and many people see it as a haughty and monumental change to their lives, but it’s not,” she said. “It’s something everyone has the opportunity to try, no matter your background, economic status, or dietary restrictions.”
According to Johnson, the Veggie Club was formed in 2018 because of a need the founders saw on campus: more options for plant-based eating. While the club offers events that are vegan-friendly, they also encourage students to expand healthy choices into their own lives and the lives of their friends and families.
“In Veggie Club, we try to foster a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where we emphasize that being vegan or vegetarian is not for everyone,” Johnson commented. “That’s okay, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a hand helping the earth regain its strength and what it needs to continue providing for us and future generations.”
For more information about the club and future events, students can visit the Veggie Club MocSync page or the club’s social media pages. Johnson also welcomes students to attend the club’s Thanksgiving celebration near the end of November.