My Three Day Vegetarian Voyage


Emily Robie

Chicken. Hamburgers. Bacon. These are just a few of the things I decided to go without for three days. Starting on Monday, September 16, I took it upon myself to try eating like a vegetarian.

   There are many reasons why people decide to stop using all animal products, and these people are known as vegans. Lynzi King, a senior at General McLane High School, says the reasons she decided to become vegan are that “it’s better for my health.. better for the environment,… and it saves the animals.”

   Additionally, I decided to only experiment with being vegetarian rather than vegan because I knew I would have to limit myself quite a bit. Some people, like King, say it was not hard to change their diet, but she realizes that it can be. “I’ve never liked the taste of meat, so that was easy, but cheese and going out to eat when others offer me food that has animal products in it, or going to picnics and stuff [can be hard]… I get really tired of lettuce and french fries when eating out.” 

   Not only do vegans have to limit their food options, but King also informed me that animal products can be found in other common items such as furniture, clothes, shampoo, toothpaste, and more. “You would be surprised as to what’s in your everyday items,” she commented.

   After learning this, I did some research and found that many common products contain glycerin, which is often derived from animal fat. I decided to read the ingredients on my toothpaste, and glycerin was the first one in the inactive ingredients. It is also found in many soaps, lotions, and shampoos.  

   As I began my vegetarian adventure, I did not find it too difficult. I started the day with a bowl of Cookie Crisp cereal and milk. For lunch I had a peanut butter sandwich, strawberries, and a granola bar. Lastly, for dinner, I went to Arby’s, and the only thing I could find to order was fries and a side salad which contained lettuce, cheese, and tomato. As the day came to an end, I realized it was not that bad without eating meat, but, if I would have been vegan, the only things I ate throughout the day that would have counted as vegan were the strawberries and fries.

   On day two, I had a bowl of Cocoa Puffs with milk for breakfast. For lunch, I had a peanut butter sandwich again, Twix yogurt, and a pack of fruit snacks. For the last meal of the day, I had an egg and cheese sandwich. Later, I found out that the fruit snacks contain gelatin, which is made of boiled skin, cartilage, and bones from animals, so I had unfortunately failed the vegetarian diet.

   On the third day, I ate yet another bowl of Cocoa Puffs with milk. Next, I had my usual peanut butter sandwich, some yogurt, and a granola bar. For dinner, I had Velveeta mac and cheese, which I later found out was not vegetarian because it contains an enzyme derived from the stomachs of cows or sheep. 

   Later that night, my friends wanted to stop at McDonald’s, so I only ordered fries. By this point, I was getting disappointed with not being able to order meat.

Even though there are many vegetarian options available today, depending on them was not something I was used to, and there were so many different food options that contain meat that I could have eaten instead.

   As my vegetarian experience came to an end, I had grown a higher respect for people who are vegans and vegetarians. There are so many things I never really thought about that contain animal products, and I also have realized that people eat a lot more meat and animal products than they realize. If one is considering eliminating animal products from their diet, I would recommend giving it a try. As it is becoming a more popular lifestyle, more and more restaurants and different manufacturers are coming out with vegan and vegetarian options. 

   Personally, although I think it would be difficult at first, it has been shown that there are tons of benefits to adopting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. King gives this advice to aspiring vegans or vegetarians: “Educate yourself. It’s important to have an understanding of why you’re doing this amazing thing, but people will also try to negate everything you say.” Her last piece of advice is to “take it slow… it’s okay if you mess up and eat something you thought was okay… it’s a journey, and it’s all about you.”