I Tried To Stop Eating Meat And Dairy For 1 Week And Failed Miserably

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

Like most humans, I enjoy the luxury of being an omnivore. I love to eat and, more importantly, the freedom to eat whatever I want regardless of what plant or animal it came from.

The way I look at it, eating meat is just part of being an apex predator. Or at least, that’s how I justify my meat-eating habits to the type of people who think that “meat is murder.” I don’t identify as a murderer, but I also can’t turn down a burger.

While I completely understand and respect people’s choice to be vegetarian, there is one dietary restriction that I could never really fathom — being vegan.

So what exactly is a vegan anyway? According to the experts at The Vegan Society, “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

Being vegan is a way of life, but what I’m most curious about is how feasible a diet void of all animal products really is. To find out, I decided to walk a few miles in a vegan’s (non-leather) shoes.

Take a look below to see my experience as a vegan for five days!

Vegan Day 1

<u>Vegan Day 1</u>
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

I wasn’t exactly sure just how soon my new diet was going to affect my normal habits.

Spoiler alert: right away with my morning coffee. I’m usually a half-and-half kind of girl, but instead I went for the far trendier and allegedly cruelty-free almond milk this morning.

It definitely wasn’t as creamy or satisfying to blend into my hot coffee, but it wasn’t a terrible start to this quest.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

One of my many bad habits is that I don’t usually eat breakfast. I used to, but now I would rather get the extra 10 minutes of sleep.

Either way, I was hungry this morning and decided to see what cereal I was allowed to eat. I landed on this “honey toasted oat” cereal hoping it would taste like Honey Nut Cheerios.

It didn’t.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

Today, I took longer than usual to eat lunch. Maybe because any normal thing I was craving wasn’t an option.

I noticed some leftover Caesar salad in the office kitchen that was up for grabs. I googled whether croutons were vegan and got the answer I wanted.

I scraped some salad onto my plate and was about to learn what undressed salad tasted like for the first time in my life. Again, not the tastiest lunch. I supplemented with hot sauce, which distracted from how not full I was afterward.

Next to it you’ll also notice a cake that I couldn’t have a slice of.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

The truth is, I love vegetables about as much as I like meat. In fact, the only reason why I ever signed up for this vegan thing is because I like to cook and eat veggies so much anyway.

I went to the store and bought a whole lot of veggies that I hoped would last me for the week. This was the first meal I enjoyed on day one.

Vegan Day 2

<u>Vegan Day 2</u>
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

After drinking my obligatory coffee with almond milk, I decided that I wanted to get a salad for lunch.

However, I was about to learn that very little is vegan — even at the salad bar.

I settled for some of what I thought was kale, and various other vegetables for volume. I doused the “salad” in balsamic (which is vegan). I was beginning to learn that condiments are key.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

After my “salad,” I got a little hungry and decided to try these healthy-looking snacks we had in the kitchen at the office.

You can probably tell from my face that I was not a huge fan.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

After being hungry all day, I decided that I needed some carbs. I made a stir fry with noodles out of my veggie stock pile.

I would eat this anyway, with the only difference being that I couldn’t put my usual egg in it.

Vegan Day 3

<u>Vegan Day 3</u>
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

I decided to bring in leftovers from dinner for lunch. The only problem was that they looked like this the next day.

The noodles were dry and I didn’t want to eat them, so I took to the streets for some more vegan-friendly options.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

I definitely wasn’t expecting to be able to find a vegan-friendly meal from a street vendor, but a little research revealed that the idea wasn’t too good to be true.

I’d normally get chicken in this situation, but some falafel totally did the job.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

For dinner, I was back on my vegetable grind. This time I included some potatoes, because who doesn’t love potatoes?

By day three, I learned that going to bed early was important to avoid my usual late-night cravings for junk food.

Vegan Day 4

<u>Vegan Day 4</u>
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

Instead of eating processed vegan snacks today, I just decided to go old school with an apple. It was the right choice.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

For lunch today, I decided to treat myself vegan style. I splurged on the large container at the salad bar, and even let myself eat some pasta salad.

I wish I had remembered to eat grains earlier, because they definitely fill you up more than the produce I had been relying on.

Day 5

<u>Day 5</u>
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

On day five I caved. Remember when I said that I can’t turn down a burger? Well, here is the proof.

We had a burger bar at lunch on Friday, and I simply did not have the will power to walk away like a good vegan would.

What was unusual about this, however, was the fact that I could only eat about one bite and a few French fries before feeling extremely full.

It could have just been a bad day, or maybe eating rabbit food all week seriously shrunk my stomach. Either way, the bite tasted amazing.

Conclusions On Eating Vegan

<u>Conclusions On Eating Vegan</u>
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

When I was finally done with my vegan stint, I decided to treat myself to a burger I would actually be hungry enough to eat. This one lasted all of two minutes, maybe less.

Overall, the toughest thing about trying to be vegan for a week was the lack of options. I live in New York, where nothing should really be a struggle in terms of access. However, this is probably also due to the fact that I didn’t want to spend $20 on a fancy vegan salad.

I also should have eaten more pasta or bread or something so my stomach wasn’t rumbling the entire week.

If I were to do this again, I would make sure to diversify my diet a little. That being said, I probably won’t be repeating this experiment.

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