30 Day Vegan: Retrospective

30 days. No dairy or eggs. How did that go?

Um. Not to deflate the mood or anything, but it was surprisingly easy. I missed the things I expected to miss—fried eggs, cheese on everything—and some things I hadn’t anticipated missing—convenient fake meat products—but the month was far from a hardship.

I found myself having to be more inventive in the kitchen. Can’t put fake meat in a curry? Let’s dig out the cauliflower, the sweet potatoes and the bell peppers! This spontaneity was fun, actually.

But the most surprising thing came on December 1st, after my 30 days were up. It turns out the hardest thing about my month of being vegan was, in fact, breaking the habit of being vegan.

My first cow milk cup of tea was unpleasant (too sweet, too weak). I felt a little twinge of conscience at my first fried egg.

Curse you, vegans! Your ethos, like a splinter of glass, has lodged in my heart.

So what am I going to do now?

I… don’t know yet. By far I drink the most dairy in my cups of tea. I’m not giving up tea, good god no. But can I even afford non-dairy milk on the regular? Especially given that I’d rather not keep drinking soya milk, considering soya’s negative impacts on health.

What I can—and will—do is buy vegan products when I can. If it’s a choice between a cheap packet of noodles with egg or a cheap packet of noodles without, I know what I’ll pick.

I’ll also keep cooking vegan. Creativity loves a challenge, and I love cooking and baking around a problem. Plus I’m a big proponent of the idea of inclusive food—why not make something that everyone can eat, instead of just a few?

While in October I was dreading the month ahead, I’m now so glad I did this. I’ve eaten good food and rubbish food this month, but more than anything I’ve eaten new food, and when that combines with de-funding animal cruelty, that’s a win.

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