Statement of Goals and Choices
· I chose this project because I was curious why there are so few vegetarians in our American society and I wanted to identify some possible influences for this such as cultural influences and the influence of pop culture and the media. I also wanted to showcase information and facts on my poster board in order to better inform students about the basic facts of vegetarianism. The basic information that I displayed included, the definition of some of the different types of vegetarianism, the basic history of vegetarianism and some of the main ideologies of the lifestyle.
· The purpose of my project is to get other students thinking about vegetarianism. I want to invite students to consider how they feel about vegetarianism, what they believe to be true about vegetarianism based on what they have seen in popular culture, and also to share with me some of the reasons why they believe so few Americans are vegetarian. This might be due to the fact that they don’t know much about it or have been misinformed about vegetarianism. Students may also be misinformed about vegetarianism considering there are rarely any commercials, advertisements, or positive portrayals of the lifestyle in the media. I am not asking that students become vegetarian after viewing my project, but I would ask them to consider that being vegetarian is not only a sustainable and healthy diet but it is also environmentally significant.
· My intended audience includes college students such as myself, who attend Eastern Michigan University and have an interest in their personal eating habits and well-being. In order to better appreciate my project they should be curious about eating habits different from their own and open to examining cultural influences that they face everyday about food in our society.
· The ideal context for my project would similar to what we experienced at the CSW but on a much smaller scale. Ideally, I would present my poster in a classroom setting to others who participated in making projects. Then I would have one to two students approach my poster at the same time. I would first want them to decide what they thought my project was about and ask me any questions they came up with. Then I would tell them that if they wanted some candy they could answer some trivia questions about vegetarianism. I think it would be better to present my project to my fellow classmates because we have all worked on our projects together and so we can see how the final multi-genre composition turned out.
Strategies/Choices for Project:
· I will display a large tri-fold poster board which showcases the title of my project about vegetarianism and uses bright colors, and pictures of food to draw attention to my work.
· I chose to portray a collage of images of both meat and vegetarian foods because not only is that what we are subjected to in everyday life and in the media but it also represents the amount of decisions we have to make regarding food everyday. Every time we eat something we are making a decision. For every meal that we eat, we are also choosing whether or not to eat meat as a part of that meal. For many individuals, they might feel as though they are not eating a complete meal if it does not include some type of meat in the dish.
· At the top of the board, I chose to present a map of part of Michigan to show how many McDonald’s there are around us. I decided to print out this map and show students this information on my board because I wanted people to consider how easily accessible it is to not only eat fast food but also meat. In order to become a vegetarian, you really have to focus on creating meals that do not have meat in them and you have to plan ahead and I wanted to showcase this idea in my work.
· On the left side of my board, I included basic information about vegetarianism bordered in purple paper. This information includes a definition of vegetarianism, according to one of my sources. It also includes information from two of the studies I read about in my research which discusses the primary motivations for becoming vegetarian that they found. Finally it includes a statement from the American Dietetic Association which supports vegetarianism as a healthy lifestyle.
· On the right side of my board, I displayed opinions from different people that I read about when conducting my research bordered in blue. These individuals include authors who are mainly vegetarian themselves. I wanted to represent the voices of people that have chosen vegetarianism to provide a better idea of how they may feel about their decision, and how they feel about the way that vegetarianism is primarily portrayed in this country.
· Underneath my poster I printed out menus from Jazzy Veggie and Seva’s. I provided examples of vegetarian menus from local restaurants in Ann Arbor because I wanted students to get an idea of what they might order at a vegetarian restaurant. Also to get a better understanding of the types of food that would be served at such a restaurant.
· I also will have a trivia game set up so that any students visiting my project can answer questions and receive a dum-dum lollipop. I chose dum-dums because they are a vegan friendly candy. Some people may not know that a lot of candies contain gelatin, which is made from animals.
· The trivia game asks questions about the different issues I addressed in my essay such as the types of vegetarianism, the purposes for choosing vegetarianism and cultural influences.
· The trivia game began by my selecting of one of eight notecards with multiple-choice questions on it, and I will read the card aloud to the student and they pick the answer they believe to be correct.
· I am a visual learner so I wanted to create a poster for this project which included pictures so that not only would students be drawn to my poster but also interpret my ideas about vegetarianism visually. As I mentioned before, the purpose of putting pictures of meat on my poster was not to create confusion or misrepresentation but to create visually, what we experience everyday culturally.
· Another reason why I chose to portray images of food is because I believe subconsciously looking at images of food makes people hungry, and if an individual is standing in front of a poster about vegetarianism, and they begin to feel hungry by looking at images of meat, they might consider if that’s because of what we have been told to crave based on the media, or where the basis of this craving for meat comes from. I want students to question this feeling of seeing meat as so important.
· I wanted to incorporate the trivia into my poster because it’s more hands on and I think if people can literally touch the concept they will be more likely to understand it as relevant to them. I also chose to incorporate menus so that students could pick them up and look at them and also be able to interact with my project.
· I decided not to only present facts about vegetarianism on my poster board but also opinions because I think it’s important to recognize that there are a lot of controversial feelings about vegetarianism in our country because there is such a focus on eating meat and I wanted to give a voice to those who support vegetarianism.
· At the end of viewing my project, I want students to take away that vegetarianism is not such a foreign concept. That the ideas about vegetarianism that we have are very rooted in what we have seen culturally. Vegetarianism is not just a diet but it is a lifestyle and it is based on the ability to have to make decisions about what we eat everyday. Finally, that vegetarianism is not only a sustainable lifestyle but it is also very important to the environment. I do not ask that students become vegetarian because of my project, because it has to be a decision you make on your own but I ask that they rethink the way they have always felt about vegetarianism.