The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog


Posted on June 23, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


Lauren Hickey was a vegetarian since seven years old. She stated, “As my mother tells it, one day I looked up from my dinner plate and blurted ‘Mommy, what’s this made out of?’ … When my mother so gently explained that the meat I was eating was once an animal, I was suddenly alarmed and upset. I simply couldn’t understand how I would eat something dead that I coo at and cuddle with alive… As a second grader, I soon realized that although being different took a dose of courage, it was strangely thrilling … Since seven years old, I have unwaveringly abided to my principles… In third grade, I stood in front of my enrichment class, beaming as I enlightened them on my area of expertise: vegetarianism… After presenting my slideshow to the class, my mom and little sister strolled into the classroom on cue with samples of mangos and hummus.”

Lauren joined the Colchester Board of Education as a student member in 2014. She states, “Two years ago I initiated a Farm to School program in my town and established our high school’s first organic garden. Colchester’s Farm to School Initiatives is a program that reaches every school in the district with fresh vegetables from local farms and multiple school gardens. I initiated a weekly program at the intermediate school in which I teach a weekly class of 39 students in grades 3-5 about fresh food and environmental consciousness. I wrote and received a grant for fruit trees that the kids planted in the spring. I helped coordinate collaboration between the AP Biology students who took a field trip to the elementary school, where the second graders taught THEM how to compost.”

When teaching the third to fifth graders, “It moved my heart to hear a student tell me that he wants to save the environment and all the animals. I was filled with joy when every kid jumped out of their seat with both hands in the air when I asked, ‘So who liked the kale?’ I even teared up watching the kids take enormous pride in planting trees with their own hands that will bear fruit for generations.”

“My vegetarian journey began when I was 7 years old when I… realized that I could not agree with killing animals… I have made a conscious effort to frame my vegetarian mission in a very positive way rooted in encouragement…” When I was in fifth grade, I wrote an essay for the Connecticut Higher Education Trust on my future career goals and how college would help me achieve them. I declared I would become an ‘animal activist.’ In retrospect, I was not too far off the mark. I plan on going to college and majoring in Environmental Studies… In college and beyond, I plan on promoting vegetarianism by engaging in an environmental or animal activism club, working in the organic garden, and ensuring dining hall food promotes values… Maybe one day I will live out my 5th grade dream of giving speeches around the world.”

The deadline for the next Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship for graduating high school seniors is February 20, 2017. For details, go to

To support Vegetarian Resource Group internships and scholarships, donate at

See an update from Lauren here:

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