Photo by Katherine Huang

Ngo, inspired by mother, maintains vegetarian diet for ethical reasons

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Growing up, junior Sophia Ngo had always been fond of animals. Ngo’s love for animals combined with her mother’s diet led her to convert to vegetarianism two years ago.

“I’ve always attended classes about vegetarianism because my mom is [a] vegetarian,” Ngo said. “[The classes] kept teaching me about the same thing, like how animals are being killed for their meat. It’s what made me try to become vegetarian.”

When she first tried to change her diet, she did not find the transition very difficult despite not knowing how to cook many vegetarian meals for herself.

“I just tried to eat food that my mom would make that was vegetarian, so it was pretty easy to transition into vegetarianism [since] I like her cooking,” Ngo said. “I just didn’t eat meat from there on. I didn’t really have trouble; I didn’t really have any desire to eat meat at all.”

Her favorite restaurant is Souplantation because it serves a large variety of vegetarian items. Ngo likes its proximity to where she lives and also appreciates how her whole family likes it despite their differing diets.

“[My family doesn’t] really have any conflicts over what to eat,” Ngo said. “We just accept who we are. Even though my mom and I try to persuade [my dad and my brother] to turn vegetarian, we don’t force them; we let them choose their own diet.”

Ngo recommends the diet and addresses the common misconception that the diet is not healthy because of its lack of protein. Ngo says that she eats tofu and some certain vegetables for protein. However, she respects people who choose to not switch into vegetarianism.

“Most of the time I would just accept the diet of other people,” Ngo said. “I’ve been taught that I should inspire other people to be vegetarian. I could do that; it’s just I don’t want them to be mad at me because it’s like I’m judging their diet, so I just accept it.”

She intends to continue being a vegetarian “until the point where [she would] have to eat meat since [being] vegetarian is expensive.”

When Ngo is an adult, she plans to try to stay vegetarian for the rest of her life.

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