Ok, this vegan diet is really getting old. It’s only been a day, but I don’t like it anymore. It was a novel idea a few days ago, but even last night, before I started, I was having second thoughts. As I said before, this morning was slightly difficult because of the no eggs breakfast. From breakfast to lunch was fine, though. Not too difficult. Just some almond butter and jam sandwiches and other stuff. Dinner wasn’t too hard either. I had quinoa with olives. In fact, I don’t think I eat that much meat or other animal products on a daily basis anyways, but at least I have the option to. And that’s what I don’t like about veganism. I am being forced to not eat things, instead of forgoing on my own.

I will admit, I did cheat a bit today. Like I said before, I’m still going to take the fish oil pills and cod liver oil. And as punishment for that, the Vegan Gods decided to strike me down with terrible cod liver oil burps throughout my entire ride today. Every few minutes, I’d burp and taste the fowl, fishy odor of cod oil. If you’ve ever taken cod liver oil, you know the nasty taste it has. It tastes like fish, except really really bad.

My brother, who did a vegan diet for six weeks last spring, was going to do this vegan month with me. His stamina was even shorter than mine though, because he just came home from the store with Haggen Das bars, pork, and the ingredients to make chili cheese nachos. I think the thought of going for four weeks brought back deep, troubled memories from his subconscious. Terrible vegan memories that he had pushed back into the crevices of his brain, too painful to think of and too sickening to deal with. Like a war veteran with post dramatic stress syndrome, he never dealt with what happened during those six weeks of hell last May, which have just been stirred up today during his second tour of vegan duty, and now those memories have come back to wreak havoc on his life. As he reaches down for another nacho, his fingers touch the bottom of the plate. He looks down. No more nachos are left. He franticly begins licking the chili and cheese residue off the plate, but soon there is none of that left either. In a panic for his fix, he scrambles off the couch like a possessed attic and runs to the fridge. It’s empty, nothing but condiments, some stale tortillas, and a pot of steel cut oats from breakfast. He yanks the freezer door open and begins clawing through packages of frozen peas and soy beans, throwing them over his shoulder onto the ground. It has…no…meat. No Haggen Das. His eyes go blank. A strand of nacho tainted saliva drops from his half opened mouth as he stands before the empty freezer. His knees give out and he slumps to the ground. He crawls over to the corner of the room and gathers his legs to his chest, folds his arms over them and rocks back and forth, starring wide eyed off into the distance, chanting, “You can’t have a corn dog without the dog. You can’t have a corn dog without the dog. You can’t have a corn dog without the dog…” His future will be grim.

I imagine quitting animal products is like quitting any type of addictive drug. Nicotine, heroin, coffee. Once you get past the first few days or weeks, things start getting easier. As the months go on, you begin to function without it, even having momentary lapses where you’re not obsessively thinking about how badly you want it. Years go by and you begin to forget about your past addiction, although when you pass a hot dog vender on the street, the aroma hits you so strong you have to sprint to the store for meat flavored gum before you give in. By now, you’ve decided it’s best not to hang out with meat-eaters anymore since they’re a bad influence on you and the temptation to just have one bite of pizza is too much. Yep, pretty much, deep down, for the rest of your life you’ll crave a steak. It’s something you’ll have to live with until the day you die, which ironically will be much further away now that you’re a vegan.