I started Veganuary, as most people do, because I’d spent the majority of December hoovering my way through an entire farm’s worth of saturated-fat-filled animal products, and was feeling the effects. Sticky toffee puddings with thick cream, roast potatoes cooked in beef dripping and charred pigs in blankets were sitting on my body and my brain, and it felt heavy.
I had ideas of what it’d be like. I envisioned myself tucking in to pulses and legumes, sadly but smugly shaking my head as a plate of biscuits went round the table. I imagined pissing off the barista at Starbucks with my decaf-almond-milk-iced-moccha-no-cream order. I was ready to inconvenience the world with my self-righteous health kick, and I was excited.
But that’s not how it’s gone down.
For starters, have you seen the press? Has the entire world gone vegan? Every single supermarket, takeaway chain and café have brought out some delicious plant-based version of their usual classics, and people are flocking for it like they’ve never seen KFC before. Don’t they care that I want to be healthy? Don’t they understand my need for punishment and scarcity after a month of eating like I’m Arnold Schwarzenegger? No. No, they don’t. The bastards.
Resistance would be futile, really, wouldn’t it? And wouldn’t it be rude of me not to try what’s on offer? What if I want to carry this thing on through February? Or, more to the point, what if Subway stop doing their meatless meatball marinara and I never got a chance to taste it? It’d be a travesty, and one that I may not recover from.
The weird thing is that I genuinely never used to eat takeaways. Honestly, it was a once-a-year thing for me, if that. But now? Now, I eat about three a week. I’m stuffing Greggs vegan sausage rolls down my gullet like an albatross. It’s revolting, it really is.
I blame social media and capitalism. Not me, obviously. It’s entirely out of my hands. The fact that I spend most workday lunchtimes devouring a soya steak bake while my colleagues pick at non-vegan sausage casserole and chicken salad is actually not my fault, because I’m doing Veganuary and as long as no animals were harmed everything is basically calorie-free.
Except it isn’t, is it? I’ve put on four pounds, and it turns out I actually have to make ‘conscious healthy choices’ (ew) now that I’m not limited to a tiny portion of the supermarket aisle. I have to use my brain and consider my health like a non-vegan human. It’s grotesque.
But there is hope. February is just around the corner, and once this ordeal is over with I will treat myself to a large Dominos (as though I haven’t been eating pizza almost every meal as it is) and then, unshackled from the restraints of Veganuary, I will probably stop giving a shit, and go back to eating eggs on toast without the pressure. McDonalds will always sell Big Macs, whatever the season, so I can relax in the knowledge that I’m not missing out.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go and deep fry some M&S ‘duck-less’ spring rolls.
If you’re mad, and would like to read more about my views on Veganuary, have a look right here.