The absolute number one rule of becoming vegan is telling everyone and anyone you can find – a delight I took very seriously, of course. Rather surprisingly, the first response I received when telling someone I would be turning vegan for a month was a baffled look and one simple question. Why?
It all started on a Wednesday night. I fancied something to watch that a) would not need to much of my attention and b) is somewhat interesting and actually might take up all of my attention. The balance is precarious, but it works. Thus, I set about finding a documentary about the food industry.
It featured nutritionists and food scientists besmirching all things dairy and meat filled. At one point they actually compared drinking milk to eating bacon. It’s the same thing they said. You might as well eat bacon they said.
This shook me. My interest peaked. Both eyes were on the television at this point. What happened to the days of our cartons of Jersey milk with the thin blue straws? Wasn’t there an outcry that we were all too brittle, too breakable and that it was a must that we all consumed as much calcium as we possibly could?
Upon further research, apparently our overconsumption of dairy and thus calcium was actually having a detrimental effect on our health. It was making our bones more brittle and thus more breakable. In our quest to be indestructible we have been making ourselves vulnerable.
Or so a quick google search told me.
Suffice to say I wandered into work the next morning and regurgitated the documentary to my fellow colleagues. Then came the idea from my boss; why don’t we all try going vegan for a month?
Please remember that in this moment of enthusiasm I saw no task ahead of me. We’ll start tomorrow we all declared. Actually… how about Monday? we suggested to one another. Yes, Monday is more appropriate and as anyone who has ever been on any diet can attest, it’s the perfect day to start any dietary change. Starting even a second before this would mean we would all be doomed.
And so, we set off on our vegan journey. Having emptied my entire bank account on replacements (there are both vegan cheese and eggs available; who knew?), I felt ready. This month would be smooth sailing. I. Was. Ready.
I wasn’t ready. I later found out that honey is in fact not vegan. A slight oversight on my part and a wonderful start to each day of my first week. What really made me terribly unready was the fact that I was not organised. In fact, anyone who decides to challenge themselves to turn vegan, my advice to you; be organised. This I cannot stress enough.
I didn’t make a single lunch. My lunch hours consisted of looking for places that sold vegan food without avocado. I’ll repeat that one more time. Food WITHOUT avocado. This in itself is a challenge these days, what with the avocado now holding the esteemed title of health and wellbeing champion. I had a plain bread roll for each lunch. Not the image of healthy eating but the only thing I could find that I’d like to eat (on a budget).
The real challenge came on day 5, when faced with something that would either make or break this experiment. Alcohol. While a joy, this also brings with it temptation. A few too many and all inhibitions fly out the window and flying back in is crispy squid that you’ve ordered at two o’clock in the morning. Or so I’ve been told.
While everyone at work was praising this lifestyle change and embracing how they felt, I stayed silent. Aware that the weekend had been filled with squid and a roast. A chicken roast. Non-vegan chicken. If any of my esteemed colleagues are reading this – this is my confession. A blistery, shame filled, non-vegan confession. Signed, sincerely yours, the worst vegan of all time.