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The North Wind

The North Wind

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Katarina Rothhorn
Katarina Rothhorn
Features Writer

The first message I ever sent from my Northern Michigan University sanctioned email was to the editor-in-chief of the North Wind asking if there was any way I could join the staff. Classes hadn't even...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Vegan student group shows animal activism


To attain proper nutrients, vegans must be knowledgeable and informed about their food choices. An NMU student organization, Students Against Animal Exploitation (SAAE), was formed last semester to educate others on the meat and dairy industries, as well as create a community for vegans, vegetarians or others who have sympathy for animal welfare.
Some go vegan to limit their carbon footprint on the earth by not consuming meat, as 20 percent of the world’s methane is produced by cattle, according to the Environmental Working Group. Others make the dietary change out of compassion for animals. For SAAE member Quamae Hall, junior art and design major and photography minor, the decision to go vegan was made overnight.
“I first [became vegan] for health reasons and eventually got into animal cruelty. The big thing for me is that you don’t need [meat] to live,” Hall said. “So there was no reason for me to continue to eat meat. I have always loved animals and I can’t say that I love animals if I eat them.”
Hall was in the process of starting his own vegan club when he discovered that SAAE existed, and since then he has pooled his efforts into promoting the club. He said the club is a great way to connect with other students who are vegans or animal activists and creates a sense of belonging.
“There’s a big stigma against veganism in general, and people don’t see it as a serious thing. When you have all this information it’s good to have people that also relate to that,” Hall said. “You can feel like an outsider because people think it’s weird, when it’s really not that weird when you want animals to be treated with respect.”
Although the name may lead some to think the club is pigeonholed to animals, club members are open to discussing environmental issues as well. A part of their educational efforts, SAAE will host a documentary screening of “Cowspiracy” in the coming weeks about the destructiveness of animal agriculture on the environment. Hall said a few vegan companies, such as Enjoy Life, Vegan Rob’s, Tofurkey and SoDelicious have sent samples of their food for the screening.
Although the group is composed of students, community members from the Northern Vegans club attend SAAE meetings, which are held at 4 p.m. bi-weekly on Thursdays in Jamrich Hall. Hall said meetings typically commence with an activity to break the ice for new members. On a large white spreadsheet, members brainstorm ways to engage with the community and plan events. The club has recently been going out to eat at new places to enjoy food and have a good time together, Hall said.
Hall said the mission of the club is to have people become more aware of what’s happening to animals and the planet.

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