Going vegan for 22 days to prove Beyoncè wrong: a spiral into madness. (Part One)

In case you missed it, Beyoncè came out on Good Morning America recently and proclaimed to the world that she practices a vegan diet and you were all fat but that going on her amazing new diet for 22 days would solve all of your problems or turn you into actual Beyoncè or something to that effect. Give her your money. Give.

I call bullshit.

In fact, I’m calling bullshit so hard that I decided to take her little challenge and go completely vegan for 22 entire days of my life. This is a pretty big deal for me, being such a manly dude whose dining experiences can usually only be made tolerable by the hurting of an animal. I’ve never even seen tofu in real life, let alone put it in my mouth in rejection of all other meats. Could I really do this?

They’re like little white cubes of misery

The only bit of research I did in preparation was to verify beyond all shadow of a doubt that beer was vegan. Because I could maybe go 22 days without animal products, but take away my beer as well and you would probably find me hiding in a cave in a loincloth, bereft of most of my hair and plotting the night-time throttling of Baggins-es and such.

Alcohol withdrawals are no joke.

Most of what I drink totally is, I discovered, a wave of relief washing over me like an ice-cold pale ale on a Friday afternoon.

And so, my desire to make that overrated emu Beyoncè look foolish burning inside me like a thousand fires, I set off on this quest into the unknown vegan lifestyle. Would I emerge triumphant, or descend slowly into meat-deprived madness…

Some notes before I begin. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great deal of respect for the way vegans live, even if I don’t agree with it. I simply resent Bey for blatantly trying to cash in on their lifestyle like this, presenting it as some kind of part-time thing you can do to get thin when many out there dedicate their whole lives to it. I’m therefore not following her money-grabbing meal plans and instead will simply adopt my own version of the vegan lifestyle.

To that end, everything I have eaten on this journey I Googled prior to consuming to ensure its vegan friendliness; however, there are a lot of varying opinions online as to what is and isn’t truly vegan. If anything on this list actually isn’t, blame both Google and my laziness to research beyond the first few search results that pop up. I have also continued to use what are probably non-vegan hygiene products such as shampoo and hair wax because there’s only so much modifying of my life that I can do at such short notice. I’m sorry.

Day 1:

I am 100% ready for this. I wake up and have a fresh mandarin for breakfast, and I never even bother with breakfast usually unless it comes in Fruit Loop form or involves bacon in some way. I have at least one coffee a day to get me through my day job though and there’s my first real hurdle, because I love the shit out of a big delicious awakening cappuccino, made with real, no-fooling milk, of a morning.

My options are: go without coffee and risk the office turning into a blood-soaked murder-suicide very quickly; black coffee, which I feel like I’d have to have a cigarette with and also be a deep in contemplation 53-year-old divorced guy whose bookie is after him and whose children don’t have time for him anymore, or… soy milk.

I’ve never let soy milk hit my lips before. It’s by far the wussiest of all the milks. Also, there’s something about a milk made entirely out of beans that simply scares the shit out of me. But some of the girls in the office have soy coffees and they haven’t turned into screeching wraiths yet so I’m going with that.

Drinking it is an unspeakably awful ordeal. It’s a mixture of cardboard and evil spirits. It’s like if somebody made a coffee without ever having tasted it before, only had it described to them by a Steven Seagal cover of a Coldplay song.

‘When you try your best but you don’t succeeeeeeeeeeed’

Day 2:

I am so relentlessly hungover. I went and saw The Durries at their EP launch last night. It got so bad I found myself throwing back Jägerbombs at 2:30 in the morning like a goddamn college girl. I roll over and, my head is absolutely throbbing. It’s 1 in the afternoon, the perfect time to go and cure this hangover with some of the Colonel’s secret herbs and sp-

Mother of God…

It’s like a bad dream. Did I really decide to do this? What can I even have to eat that’s going to fix this? This was a complete spur-of-the-moment decision I arrived at yesterday, so it’s not like I went out and bought a whole bunch of vegan food in preparation, I thought I’d be fine just winging it.

I check the packet ingredients of everything in the pantry and everything, everything, either flat out does or simply may contain traces of milk or egg products, which apparently is not good enough for those precious vegans. Goddamnit.


Somehow, by some divine miracle, Oreos are known to be ‘accidentally’ vegan and my life is saved. They do not cure hangovers though. At all.

Day 3:

It’s my great aunt’s 90th birthday party tonight and there’s roughly 70 relations of mine both distant and immediate packed into her backyard. There are plates of sausage rolls and party pies and cured meats and all kinds of meat-themed deliciousness just flying around everywhere, and I have to refuse every single one. Not only that, but I have to tell these people I barely know the insane reason why I have to refuse the delicious, animal-murdering food they have prepared. The judgement is palpable.

Literally the only thing I can eat while everyone else is eating lasagne and washing it down with my tears is lettuce and rice. Look at this dinner.



Lettuce and rice, together at last. This truly is the darkest timeline. It’s a good thing beer is vegan and I can drown all of my sorrows in it.

Day 4:

In an effort to stave off hunger and feel better about not eating any animals, I decide to spend a hungover Sunday in the darkness of my room, watching the documentary Earthlings. I’m sure it’ll be a delightful romp and-

Oh no.

Good God, no.

Don’t watch that. Ever. Not unless you want your soul ripped in twain. Fuck.

Day 6:

Things that are also accidentally vegan: Ritz crackers, hummus, baked beans, Frosty Fruits. I have had liberal amounts of all of those in the last several days.

I have vainly read more ingredient lists in the last six days than books in the last six months. I will spend five minutes carefully poring over these lists, my hopes rising to a near screaming crescendo, only to suffer the worst kind of disappointment as they come crashing down like the Hindenburg at the very end when I see the fine print ‘has been processed on machinery which also processes milk and peanuts’.

Oh the humanity!

I cannot fathom how anyone lives life this inconveniently. If they wipe the machinery down before they process the potato chips, doesn’t that count? Why must you make life so difficult for yourself, vegans? I feel like that hippie kid on that episode of The Simpsons who can’t eat anything that casts a fucking shadow.

I went to the gym yesterday and damn near died trying to do my normal exercise routine. I am in a great deal of extra pain today and I blame this diet. I also have felt so physically weak, like, to the point where even the simplest of tasks like opening a semi-heavy door or going up more than one flight of stairs become some kind of Herculean effort. I was trying to type at my job today and struggling mightily due to an involuntary case of the shakes. I found out it’s probably because I am currently severely lacking in essential things we get from meat such as iron, so looks like it’s more baked beans for me.


To be continued…