I've always been one of those people who eats what they want, whenever they want without really thinking about what's in the food I'm eating.
But according to Health24, "a non-vegan diet contributes to global food shortages and perpetuates poor farming practices that hit the poorest hardest."
So I had to reconsider my eating habits (even if just for a week) and I decided to try out veganism. Soon it became apparent that figuring out what to eat became a task more tedious than transcribing a 45-minute long interview.
It was a tedious task because being a vegan requires a constant level of consciousness about any animal products which may be present in anything you consume.
I'll be honest, I wanted to quit a couple of times. Not because I don't see the value in being vegan, but because vegan meal options also seem counterintuitive to someone like me who's trying to gain weight. I need my dairy, okay.
I really underestimated how much I would have to cut out of my diet - no more full cream milk, no toasted cheese sarmies, no yoghurt, no chicken, no cake...
And this is why I have a new found respect for the level of self-control vegans have. Moreover, I respect them for being relentless about what Health24 said is one of the "most profound statements you can make against what you know to be intrinsically wrong."
During my short vegan stint, I also started following a vegan account on Twitter called @veganvexation, which responds to all your vegan related questions and engages actively with people about it.
And from this account I found that a recurring argument within the vegan community is not necessarily that whole "if you eat meat, you're evil," rhetoric, but rather it's based on a "least harm done" principle, which entails a holistic lifestyle change.
So what this means is that even products tested on animals are out of the question.
I may have managed not to wear leather shoes during the week, but I know I failed the cosmetic product component of veganism because I actually didn't check until the second last day of the week and an article I found on Cruelty-free Kitty pretty much deemed my entire makeup bag hazardous to animals.
And while it definitely is tragic that so many cosmetic products are tested on animals, I don't know enough cruelty-free skin products and makeup alternatives besides Lush Cosmetics, who stock a 'veganese' hair conditioner by the way.
Anyway, you're probably wondering what I ate so I'll tell you, but I must admit that none of it was glamorous.
So here's a quick overview of my meals:
- Cappucino (yes, I wasn't meant to)
- 'Vivacious vegan' salad from Food Lovers Market: butternut, chickpeas, onion, basil leaves, sugar
- A bean dish, which reminded me of those last few days before you get your allowance as a student
- My colleague offered me cake and I didn't decline. Sometimes the craving is bigger than us, hey.
- Avo, olives, lettuce and cucumber salad. Not filling. At all.
- Bean dish again.
Only had one meal because I woke up with a throat infection and could only really swallow anything at around 7pm, so I had fries.
- Cappucino (I know... again)
- Couscous and roasted veggies, which I actually enjoyed.
- I forgot I was vegan for a second and ate non-vegan finger snacks, of which some had beef and I'm not proud.
- Banana. And that was the last vegan thing I ate.
Going vegan was actually much harder than I thought and while I fully respect the cause, I don't think it's a lifestyle choice I will be able to keep up.
If you're a vegan newbie, you should try out these delish-looking recipe suggestions from Food24. And maybe you'll be more disciplined than I was.