I went vegan for 22 days to prove Beyoncè wrong: a spiral into madness (Part Three)

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 and the second part here.

Day Thirteen:

Having disgraced myself with such a miserable attempt at a pizza the night before, I’m making up for it tonight by getting pizza and doing it goddamn right this time. To that end, a Vegetable Supreme pizza from Crust is in order, and I’m shoving extra sauce and a whole mess of avocado on it.

The guy is still making my pizza when I get there to pick it up and he just cannot even deal right now. Why no cheese? Do you want the extra sauce on top or something? You know it would taste better with cheese, right?

After calmly and rationally explaining to pizza dude why I can’t have cheese (‘that’s crazy, man’), he then offers me free garlic bread for waiting so long. Having to turn it down got me feeling some type of way.

I get home and open that bad boy up and am immediately blown away. Spot the difference here:


11657418_10206411881071762_814401013_nThat first pizza is from last night, the second is tonight’s. One looks like it was sent down from heaven by Pizza Jesus himself. The other looks like it was made by spiders after Lucifer fished the ingredients out of Hitler’s lower colon and then coughed all over it.

Pizza number two more than makes up for the nightmare that was pizza number one. Veganism wins this battle.

Day Fifteen:

I entered the wonderful world of veggie burgers last week and I’m keen to broaden my horizons there. I’ve been alerted to the fact that Grill’d do a Garden Goodness burger that becomes magically vegan with the removal of aioli so I traipse up to my nearest one to see what it’s all a-bloody-bout. On my own like a complete creep too, I swear the people serving me think I’m having a meal immediately prior to murdering somebody.

One veggie burger please. With some fava beans and a nice chianti.

I mean, it’s nice and all, but there’s definitely a faint, fish food-y kind of taste about the vegetable patty here. The avocado is also not really like fresh avocado. The chips are hittin’ but damn, I wanted some character about my veggie burger. Feeling disappointed and on my way home, I decide to say fuck everything and go back to old faithful Oporto for one of their veggie burgers, replete with fresh avocado AND chilli.

I don’t care how comatose I am afterwards, I feel like I need a cigarette. I’ll never cheat on you again, Oporto. Please take me back Oporto.

Day Sixteen:

I’ve really surprised myself with some of the stuff I’ve been eating lately. Lentil salads, pumpkin and basil gnocchi, enough fresh fruit to kill a gorilla. I also don’t know where this sudden motivation to go to the gym every day has come from either, nor the energy to physically do it. I feel slightly dirty that I’m here again for the third consecutive Friday. Who does this apart from the bruss-iest of brusses?

I’m just thinking to myself ‘it’s crazy how I’m just not really craving meat at all’ when out of nowhere that shit hits like a truck mid-workout.

From outta nowhurr!

The terrible, unforgivable things I would do for something meat. Anything meat. I’m so delirious with cravings that if you put it to me right now that punching a baby panda in the face would result in me being able to have meat, I would consider it.

Fuck that, I would consider it for about four seconds before socking that cuddly ball of fluff right in the chops. And then being derogatory towards its mother after I walked off.

I’ve had cravings on this diet but never this intense and I have no idea what set it off. The feeling soon subsides but now I need a beer, fuck everything.

Day Seventeen:

Saturday afternoon and it’s my younger brother’s 21st birthday. It’s at Southbank by the river and there is a table of food. All of the food. Shit I’ve almost completely forgotten the taste of. I check everything on that fucking table damn near under a microscope and there is absolutely nothing I can have. Not one thing.

Emma, your Howl-ing editor, is there and wastes no time in calling me out for inflicting this upon myself, but the thought of sticking it to her precious Bey is more than enough to keep me going.

Oh, and also beer. Beer fixes literally everything. I’m stinging for the delicious, coriander-infused tang of an Oporto veggie burger though, so I dice early and go straight to the Valley to shove one into my face. This shit is better than crack, I can’t even begin to tell you, and it gives me the energy I need to get wildly drunk and slither around a dance floor to Future Islands. No shits given.

Day Twenty:

It’s family dinner at a Thai restaurant for aforementioned brother’s aforementioned 21st. That means more extended family, all requiring an explanation as to why I’m refusing anything remotely delicious. I have a script of my reason in my head that I’ve delivered on so many occasions already:

‘So Beyoncè says that following a vegan diet for 22 days is one of her secrets so I’m doing that and documenting it because fuck Beyoncè’.

I’ve watched this gif of her falling down some stairs so very many times in an effort to satiate my anger.

Their polite nods say that they get it but their eyes tell a different story. A story of judgement. The waitress comes out to take orders and, with very little hope that she’ll say yes, I meekly turn into ‘that guy’ and inquire as to the vegan status of both the curry puffs and the spring rolls. Both are made with vegetable filling and just on puff pastry, surely they’re fine. She replies that they definitely are vegan!

Nobody encapsulates that unfurling joy I felt in those three seconds quite like Gandalf does.

But then, just when I’m about to go all Riders of Rohan on the Pelennor Fields against the orcs of inconvenient veganism, Thai restaurant waitress is there to ride in on her Oliphant and fuck my day royally.

“Oh wait, is fish sauce vegan though? Because they’re made with fish sauce”

Fuck me raw.

Everyone else gets curry puffs and loudly enjoys them while I get the lettuce and the shaved beetroot that garnishes the side of the plate. And I fucking hate beetroot something silly.

Dinner isn’t all that bad though, vegetable and tofu panang that I am assured is vegan in every sense of the word. I’ve never eaten tofu before in my life and thought that it was full of ghouls and had the consistency of an eraser, but it’s surprisingly delicious and actually kind of has a flavour that isn’t ‘butts’.

Then the absolutely not vegan in any way mudcake comes for dessert and I’m back to wanting to run people down in my car again. Two more days of this happy horseshit.

Day Twenty-One:

Having enjoyed my Thai curry so thoroughly last night, I decide to get curry again tonight but this time go Indian. The dude on the phone says that the dhall tarka is completely vegan so I order that, but then he catches me off-guard and asks me at what level of spice I would like that. I panic and say hot, then hang up the phone and realise what I’ve done.

Why the fuck did I say hot? Why? This isn’t a regular person’s idea of hot, this is an Indian person’s concept of it. A concept so cosmically gastrointestinal tract-stabbingly spicy that my head will probably explode just trying to get through a single bowl of it.

That picture of Lisa Simpson is quite literally me as I work my way through this curry. I’ve had maybe four bites and my stomach is churning and my nose an absolute faucet. There are war crimes going on inside of me that are only going to get worse before they get better…

Day Twenty-Two

It’s here. It’s finally here! The last day of being a vegan for the rest of my life!

Goodbye tofu! Goodbye lentils! Fuck outta here, soy!

No, there fucking isn’t, you tastebud-teabagging prick.

I happily inform my barista that this is the last soy coffee she’ll be making for me, ever. She just nods and laughs nervously, obviously mistaking my unbridled joy for severe psychosis.

I’m treating my insides to the leftovers of that Indian curry from last night with some salad. I then spend my evening at the movies watching the new Terminator, an absolutely dreadful exercise. My two old housemates I’m watching it with split a serve of cinema chicken nuggets right next to me, I swear just to fuck with me because I still have a couple of hours to go.

I’d rather have this up my nose than the smell of those nuggets right now.

They even coat the chips with chicken salt, because they’re pure and unadulterated fucks. I’m going to finish my vegan journey with a veggie burger from Oporto, because they truly were a godsend, my last bastion of hope, saving me from the sharp talons of many a hangover on this quest. They were my Chewbacca, my Sam Gamgee, my Wilson.

I may or may not have gone this insane.

I catch a cab after the movie completely out of my way into Fortitude Valley because it has the only Oporto open in Brisbane right now, and I get two of those delicious motherfuckers and eat them until I feel like spontaneously combusting. Life is nifty.

I’ll post my reflections on all of this after the weekend. Right now I just need to go and bask in the glory of having started something as difficult for me as this was and actually seeing it through to the end. This is big for me. Tomorrow will be meat-filled…

Oh, and one last “fuck you”, Beyoncè.