/ Friday, October 19th, 2012

by Angie Carriero

There are many reasons people choose to eat vegan or vegetarian. The most popular of those reasons can be narrowed down to three categories; ethical, environmental, and health. The way you choose to eat can impact all three!

I don’t necessarily want to go in depth on the impact a vegan diet has on these three factors for a few reasons, including, that this is first and foremost a Disney blog and also, I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to force my beliefs on anyone else.

With that said, in honor of Epcot’s 30th anniversary, I thought it would be fun to relate these three categories to some of Epcot’s attractions, activities, messages, and, of course, food.

(Just to be clear, I’ve extracted these three categories to relate Epcot to their core meanings, and not necessarily how they relate to veganism, so when I say, for example, an Epcot attraction is reflecting care for the environment, I’m not assuming that it has any vegan undertones.)

So how does Epcot relate to these three themes? Let’s first look at…

Ethics

“I am interested in entertaining people, in bringing pleasure, particularly laughter, to others, rather than being concerned with ‘expressing’ myself with obscure creative impressions.” -Walt Disney

Usually ethics relates to your moral standings; what you think of as being right or wrong. This can usually go hand-in-hand with compassion, understanding, empathy, and caring

The Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, or Epcot, was Walt’s dream, and like most of Walt’s dreams, it was made with people in mind. He wanted to create a better world, full of education and helpful technologies. Walt wanted to solve our problems for us, because, not only was he a visionary, but I’d like to think that Walt CARED. Although his original design wasn’t the final outcome of the project, a hint of his heart is still behind the Epcot we know today.

Living by your own moral standards in everyday life can make you a more ethical person, but damaging behavior can weigh heavy on your conscience. One way to reduce having a negative impact on your morals is by doing your best to take care of the…

Environment

“EPCOT will be an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise.” -Walt Disney

In my opinion, environmental concerns have a huge impact on many themes repeated throughout Epcot, including:

-Universe of Energy- Prominently featuring Ellen DeGeneres (who’s vegan, by the way!) and Bill Nye the Science Guy, this whole ride is about energy sources and concerns. The roof of the pavilion is lined with 2 acres of Solar Cells, which, originally, supplied some of the power used to move the ride vehicles!

-Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable- This short film in the Land Pavilion is about the consequences of destroying the environment for selfish reasons. Timon and Pumbaa plug up a river to create their own paradise. Simba intervenes. Eventually realizing what they’ve done, (spoilers!) Timon and Pumbaa restore the river back to its original state.

-Living with the Land- In the Land Pavilion, this attraction is all about farming. The way food is grown is so important to the environment and learning how to grow your own fruits and veggies or at least be conscious about and understanding where your food comes from can influence how you treat food, which can have a huge impact on the environment!

When you choose to be mindful of the environment, it can kickstart you to be more mindful in other parts of your life. The happier you are with the choices you are making, the more good choices you make, and one positive focus might be your….

Health

“Laughter is America’s most important export.” -Walt Disney

The quality of a person’s health has many factors. Many aspects of a person’s life can be healthy, including your body and mind. A physically healthy person generally eats a moderate, well balanced diet and has an adequate amount of physical activity. A mentally healthy person doesn’t dwell on the little things, balances their emotions, and laughs, among other things.

-Journey into Imagination with Figment- It’s important for adults to practice using your imagination. Often setting goals and having dreams can fuel your health, by feeling like what you are doing has meaning.

-Spaceship Earth- The decent at the end of Spaceship Earth has recently installed a new activity. I don’t want to bring any spoilers to what happens at the end, but it had me cracking up! A good dose of laughter is always good for your health! Laugh often.

-Sunshine Seasons and Garden Grill- Sunshine Seasons food court is known for having healthy options! Freshness is a huge factor in nutrition quality of food, and The Sunshine Season food court proudly holds itself to those standards! They offer grilled sandwiches, salads, soups, and tofu along with the oh-so-common fruit cups and apple slices! The Garden Grill looks upon the Living with the Land attraction and features food straight from the greenhouses you see on the ride!

-World Showcase and Innoventions- Both good learning experiences, these 2 features of Epcot can be healthy for your mind. It’s important to learn about other countries, cultures, and customs throughout World Showcase. Innoventions always has interactive learning experiences whether they help you learn how to save money or maybe learn what to do in a fire, in a fun way!

-Walking- Many people walk for their daily exercise! Take a stroll around World Showcase to help get in shape!

Question: In what ways do you think Epcot relates to environmental, ethical, and heath concerns?

 

Angie has been a WDW addict since her first visit at age 8, and since then her life has never been the same! She lives in upstate NY with her boyfriend, Kevin (fellow Disney lover), and their 3 dogs, Flip, Josie, and Hildy, where she works at Farm Sanctuary as an animal caregiver. Please join Angie every week in “Fish Are Friends, Not Food: Eating Vegan in WDW!” Angie believes that WDW is the most magical place for people with special diets, so, should you have any special diet questions (especially about vegan and gluten-free dining) she’d be happy to help!

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