I went vegan for 22 days to prove Beyoncé wrong: a spiral into madness. (Part Two)

For those just tuning in to my back-breaking vegan quest and wondering why I’ve decided to do this, it’s in response to the revelatory announcement by Beyoncé that eating a vegan diet for 22 days is the secret to her otherworldly beauty. I’m calling bullshit and testing it out to see what really happens. Read the first part here.

Day Seven:

Well, the response to part one was interesting. Comments ranged from helpful advice and encouragement, to spiteful photos of delicious-looking vegan food I don’t possibly have the culinary ability to cook, to flat out suggesting I’m shit for finding my first crack at veganism hard.

I know a lot of vegans probably find their lifestyle a breeze, but maybe they’re also a minority because the majority of people like myself simply find what they do to be insanely difficult? It’s hard to just abruptly go without all these things I’ve been eating my whole life. Take that as a testament to your strength of character that I am having a rough time with this transition, the majority of non-vegan people I’ve spoken to have doubted whether they could do this as well.

Also, I’m not actively trying to be shit and only eating white trash pleb vegan food, I swear. Like most things in my life I simply stumbled into this decision hungover and ill-prepared. I did approximately zero shopping before deciding to do this and I’ve never even tried a diet with any kind of rules before, let alone just cut out the meat I love cold turkey. Cut me some flippin’ slack.

I’ve been very tense in my meat-deprived state

In all seriousness, the feedback is so greatly appreciated, keep it coming.

Life hasn’t been entirely Oreos and beer. I’ve had a metric dick-ton of fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts. I’ve actually had some pretty sweet vegan meals too. Today for lunch I enjoyed a lentil and rice dish that tasted exactly like a curry and even had crispy fried onions sprinkled throughout. Its quality could definitely be improved with the help of meat and lentils give off this odd perfume-y aftertaste that takes some getting used to, but hey, at least I ate something that was vegan on purpose!

One of my saint-like co-workers also made me vegan chocolate slice to help numb the pain of morning tea. By God, it’s like Kate Upton and Emily Ratajkowski are having a party in my mouth. Unfortunately somebody still invited soy coffee, who’s also at the party skulking around roofy-ing people’s drinks and generally looking like Steve Buscemi in Billy Madison, but this vegan slice is too awesome for me to truly care.

Same time tomorrow, soy?

Day Eight:

Finding myself dreaming of vegan food prepared by people who actually know what they’re doing, I decide to Google vegan restaurants in my native Brisbane. The results are saddeningly bleak. There’s probably one restaurant within convenient distance to home that fulfills the criteria of being an actual restaurant open for dinner and not a café or a food stand as well as being completely vegan-dedicated instead of the catfishily ambiguous ‘vegan friendly’.

The first review merely says the words ‘cult-like’, which are not the words you look for first when choosing a restaurant or even anything at all, and another review elaborates that this restaurant is run by followers of someone called the ‘Supreme Master’. In my head, at best that could mean this:

At worst, vegan Jonestown.

The menu at ‘Vegan Jonestown’

I kid, I kid. I’m sure this restaurant isn’t actually a murderous cult, but I don’t really fancy going there alone just in case…

For dinner instead I’ve got vegan pumpkin soup made on vegetable stock, with pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top and some vegan bread. I feel like I’m actually doing it kind of right! And I’ll have to admit to feeling a whole lot more energised than I did last week.

Day Nine:

Had lunch with one of my vegan friends at work today. Not only is she vegan but she’s also straight edge. She is living both of my nightmares and just not giving one shit, I admire her for her dedication to making her life as difficult as possible. It’s also encouraging to see someone who has lived as a vegan for an extended period of time without turning into a batshit insane person.

I’d like to think there’s hope for me but every time I smell meat I feel like punching somebody and it’s been less than a fortnight.

Ever get so angry you could just hurl a grizzly bear?

For instance, I went to see a gig at West End tonight. I made the horrible mistake of not having anything to eat before I leave, then catching a bus there and having to walk about a kilometre to get to the bar.

It’s like strolling through my own version of hell. There are restaurants of all varieties littering the street on either side of me, patrons inside happily stuffing their stupid fucking faces silly with delicious, sustaining meat. The smells, my God, the smells are killing me. Every step feels as arduous as Sam having to haul Frodo’s bitch-ass Hobbit carcass up the side of Mount Doom.

Frodo being a metaphor for veganism.

Here’s the top five, in ascending order, of the ever-fluctuating list of my least favourite people and things in the world at this point:

5. People who fuck basic spelling and grammar up, like saying ‘defiantly’ instead of ‘definitely’

4. Spiders

3. Anyone who says ‘yaaaasss’.

2. Spiders a second time.

1. Beyoncé, and it isn’t even close.

Thankfully, I get to the bar and can have beers. Beer fixes all. My intent is to at some point go and get something vegan from somewhere in West End because there are a few places I’m aware of, but I get a little wrapped up in the whole beers thing and forget until it’s too late and they’re all shut. Fuck. Another night then.

Day Eleven:

Surprise surprise, hungover again on a Saturday. Weighed in and I’ve lost a little over 3kg, I really need to do better to stick it to Beyoncé. What Google has taught me, is that apparently if you get a veggie burger from Oporto without cheese or mayo on it, it’s totally vegan.

Me, sprinting to the nearest Oporto

I don’t give one fuck. I’ll brave a Westfield food court on a Saturday at noon if I get a burger out of it. The girl serving me asks if I want avocado on that. My internal reaction to realising that I’ve been able to have avocado this entire goddamn time can be summed up in this series of Stone Cold Steve Austin gifs:

How the fuck could I forget about avocado? Hell yeah I want some goddamn avocado on that. I want every bit of avocado you’ve got on that. You go back there and you get all the avocados you possess and you slap them on that there burger.

Eating it is every bit as ridiculously good as I thought it would be. I may actually only get veggie burgers from Oporto in the future, even once this diet is over, I honestly think they’re better than chicken.

I have another slightly large night out and I’m stumbling towards the cab rank in Fortitude Valley at 5am when, drunk as a lemur, I remember that one of the people who commented on part one mentioned that 5 Dogs does a vegan hotdog. Sold. Making a quick detour, I buy the shit out of a vegan NYC dog there. The old lady about empties half a bottle each of ketchup and mustard on top and I am so excited, then I bite into it and that terrible bastard, soy, does the Charleston all over my tastebuds.

Remember me?

I’m sure it could be way, way worse but, as a carnivore who loves the shit out of a good hot dog, I want to banish this soymeat impostor to the land of wind and ghosts (I think it’s soymeat, I’m trying to verify this but can’t, so let’s go with soymeat, it tasted like it).

I’m feeling even more down as I’m forced to finish it while standing in the cab rank waiting to go home, behind a couple of dudes wearing bootcut jeans and pointy leather shoes (the uniform of terrible people) rubbing it in my face eating their chicken nuggets. The busker who resides there always remembers me though (a sad indictment of the amount of time I spend in Fortitude Valley), probably because I give him whatever change I still have in my pockets at the end of the night in exchange for his rendition of either Rip Rip Woodchip by John Williamson or Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas. I slip him a fiver and I’m in line long enough to be serenaded with both, easing my soymeat-induced agony.

That chorus has never been more appropriate.

Day Twelve:

Having finally caved and gotten Netflix, I’m also now craving pizza, because pizza and Netflix go together like spaghetti and meatballs if you believe terrible people on Tumblr. There’s a Dominos a minute away from my house, so, lazy and hungover again, I put together a totally vegan pizza online. It’s basically a margherita without cheese but with added spinach and a few other vegan-friendly toppings.

I get it back to my house, open that box and, wouldn’t you know it, they forgot pretty much everything. No delicious basil, no awesome vegetable toppings, nothing, this pizza is literally just the base, the sauce and tomatoes. How do you fuck it up that bad? I’m too socially awkward a person to ever make a fuss about food that I’ve ordered, so I just shut up and eat it and suddenly I’m craving a soymeat hotdog. I’d rather the slop they’re eating in prison as I watch Orange Is The New Black.

I greatly underestimated the role that mozzarella plays in the grand scheme of a pizza, it makes the whole thing. It’s like the point guard on a basketball team, not always the focal point of the offense, but holding it all together and lobbing the alley up for the toppings to oop.

What eating a pizza feels like.

This pizza is an affront to humanity. If pizza is a basketball team, everyone on this one is Mario Chalmers. I apologise to vegans everywhere, for I have failed you.

To Be Continued…