For years, Jennifer Karches was a proud vegetarian.
It sounds healthy, right? And by eliminating meat from her diet, she was not contributing to animal cruelty.
“I kind of felt virtuous being a vegetarian,” said Karches, of Bowling Green.
Then in 2010, through her job at WBGU-TV, Karches met Dr. Neal Barnard, an author, researcher and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, who came to the station for a fundraiser.
“I got to meet him when he was there and I got to take him to the Detroit airport. We talked a long time in the car. Everything he was saying to me, he just surprised me in a lot of ways.”
At his urging, Karches said she read about the dairy and egg industry and discovered that its treatment of animals was worse than the meat industry.
“For dairy you have to have this production line of female cows and you have to keep them continually pregnant.”
The “girls,” Karches said, go right back into the system, while the “boys” get locked in a crate and are turned into veal.
“That just really affected me. And it’s the same way with chickens too,” she said. “It’s just nightmarish, the whole thing, for me.”
Karches said she decided to really examine her diet and nutrition.
“I was really a junk food vegetarian. It’s kind of embarrassing. Candy was a major food group,” she said.
With the support of her husband, Todd, she decided to become a vegan, eliminating dairy from her meals and adopting a plant-based diet.
She said the change has been “a joy. I never realized how creative it was to cook.”
By DEBBIE ROGERS, Sentinel Staff Writer