Plant Based Canes aims to educate and promote benefits of plant-based lifestyle

Members of the Plant Based Canes club pose at Fresh Fusion on the UM's Coral Gables campus on Sept. 15.
Members of the Plant Based Canes club pose at Fresh Fusion on the UM's Coral Gables campus on Sept. 15. Photo credit: Instagram, @plantbasedcanes

Plant Based Canes (PBC) is the University of Miami’s student-led voice for plant-based eating.

PBC, which has been on campus for several years now, aims to provide education and outreach to promote the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and to provide a sense of community to those who currently follow the lifestyle.

The club holds events on campus, although the majority of the organization’s initiatives take place around Miami. Their initiatives include group outings to celebrate predominantly small, vegan businesses and trips to vegan events.

Their most recent trip was to the Vegan Block Party in Virginia Key Beach. The event included several vendors and celebrity guest speakers. The organization has a trip planned for the Aguacate Sanctuary of Love, a place that not only serves as an animal sanctuary, but also promotes mindfulness and plant-based eating with a 100% plant-based menu.

With goals of promoting environmental consciousness and community service, PBC incorporates several service events within their organization. When they aren’t trying a new vegan spot around town, members can be found collecting trash at the beach or stockpiling Miami’s food pantry with plant-based options.

On campus, PBC primarily works with other student organizations, like collaborating with a yoga group on campus looking to combine mindfulness with a plant-based diet. PBC also works with the dining halls on campus to ensure vegan options for all students and teaches several plant-based recipes to students.

Alexus Jackson, a senior outreach chair for PBC, said the club is not just an advocacy group, but a close knit family.

Already a vegan when arriving on campus, Jackson wanted to find a community of like-minded people. Jackson decided to join PBC and immediately fell in love with the organization.

“It was a way of doing another form of activism and getting the information out there and educating people while having fun,” Jackson said.

Jackson stressed PBC’s inclusivity and talked about how although the club is geared primarily towards vegans, anyone is welcome.

“We never want our members to feel like they can’t be included so we always tell them no matter what you are, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, exploring or you just like food or want to learn more about something and have a community to do that with, we always welcome them,” Jackson said.

Jessica Colon, a junior majoring in elementary education and teaching and studio arts, has had some of her best college experiences as president of PBC.

“I love bonding with fellow members about how the food tasted and just getting to know people. It’s a lot of fun,” Colon said.

Colon was first introduced to PCB when she attended a plant-based farmers market where PCB was tabling.

“After seeing they had a plant based club on campus, I knew I wanted to get involved and meet other vegans or vegetarians,” Colon said.

Colon hopes to expand the club further this year and meet more people interested in the meals that PBC members eat.

“I would love to have plant-based guest speakers at UM or have different events that promote plant based living,” Colon said.

PBC meets every Monday at 8:00 p.m. in the Mahoney-Pearson dining hall. Further information can be found on their instagram @plantbasedcanes and Engage.