By Taylor Dobbs, News Staff
“Clueless” actress Alicia Silverstone spoke to a large crowd of Northeastern students Tuesday night about living simply and eating well – namely, by avoiding meat and dairy products. Visibly seven months pregnant, Silverstone sat cross-legged on stage and told the story of how she arrived at – and maintained – her vegan lifestyle.
When she first adopted veganism, Silverstone said she was frustrated by the lack of attention people paid to their food and environment.
“You’re so mad, you wanna scream, like, ‘Does everybody realize what’s going on?’ And you just want to go around screaming ‘rape’ and ‘murder,’” Silverstone told The News. “And then everybody’s not interested.”
Becoming vegan had its upsides for Silverstone, who said that she felt happier and more energetic after making the change. Beyond that, she said being vegan put an end to her cystic acne and asthma.
“I made these changes and suddenly all these things changed,” Silverstone said. She added, “I thought I was giving up everything for this love of animals, but actually I was given the greatest gift of all.”
The event was sponsored by the Husky Energy Action Team (HEAT), NU Vegetarians United (NUVU), Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, and the Political Science Student Association. HEAT’s executive director, middler environmental studies major Jessica Feldish, said she was happy with the event’s turnout despite the winter storm.
“I think we had a really great turnout and a fun crowd,” Feldish said.
She said the group wanted to put on an event that would appeal to a broad range of students, while still being educational for those who already know about environmental issues.
Silverstone gave The News tips on how students can live healthily on a college budget.
“Burritos,” said Silverstone, laughing. “Burritos are cheap and they give you action-packed food.”
The actress also encouraged students to “steal food from the cafeteria,” taking extra oranges or apples for a healthy snack later.
Stopping short in the middle of her interview, Silverstone giggled, feeling her baby kick. Despite her strong feelings about veganism, she said she will let her children make their own choices about food.
“I probably wouldn’t say, ‘You can’t eat that,’ but I’d be like, ‘You have a tummy ache, I wonder why you think that is?’ I’ll probably torment them,”she said, laughing.
Being vegan isn’t Silverstone’s only alternative lifestyle choice; she also tries to have a low environmental impact. After claiming her outfit was made up entirely of used clothing (except for her tights and underwear), Silverstone spoke critically about consumerism.
“There’s too much stuff out there,” Silverstone said. “Having the newest thing, what does that mean?”
Silverstone said she hopes that people will continue in this direction, living healthier lives and being more conscious of their impact on the environment.
“It’s a force to be reckoned with: being veggie and feeling this good,” she said.
– News Staff Anthony Gulizia, Anna Marden and Rachel Zarrell contributed to this report.