Thirty Days of Eggs, Tears, Jack and Farts: The Diary of a Temporary Vegetarian

Categories: Cheap Bastard

In this week's cover story, Cheap Bastard Alice Laussade tries on vegetarianism for a month. Here, a day-by-day diary of her experience.

Day 1: I tell my husband I'm going vegetarian for a month. He replies, "You do whatever the hell you want -- the boy and I are eating meat for every single meal." I would have said exactly the same thing to him, and he knows it. We are truly in love. I slap him in the man nuts.

Day 2: I love eggs! This is so great! I could eat eggs for every meal for 30 days and be so happy! Eggs, eggs, EGGS!!!!!

Day 3: Seriously, have I mentioned how delicious eggs are? Hard-boiled: check. Over easy: love it. Scrambled: AND YOU KNOW THIS.

Day 4: Oh my God, I hate eggs.

Day 5: I will live at Steel Pops. I'll just live here. Fuck everything else.

Day 6: Beans are not burgers. They will never be burgers. Make it stop. Today, I cried real tears into a black bean Smashburger.

Day 7: Jesus, I love Indian food and Thai food and Vietnamese food so dang much. Thank you, every other culture but mine, for embracing vegetarianism so hard.

Day 8: Go home, seitan. You're drunk.

Day 9: The farts are real. This is some next-level flatulence.

Day 10: Realization: Making dinner at home is so much easier than finding vegetarian options in restaurants. Plus, nobody judges me that my second and third courses are Jack Daniels and Jack Daniels.

Day 11: Ordered a green smoothie at lunch. Lunch friend leaves table and does not return. I then receive a letter in the mail that says that we can't be friends anymore because, "What the fuck, man?"

Day 12: I am forced to say the words, "I'm vegetarian," as I'm ordering. I dislike being forced into high-maintenance ordering because I also dislike server-splooge in my food. Hopefully it will at least be locally sourced.

Day 13: I create a drinking game: If I see mushrooms, pasta, or hummus on the menu for vegetarians, I have to drink. Result: I am drunk.

Day 15: Friend had a birthday party catered by Pecan Lodge. I ate cole slaw. I did not stab anyone. Considered making out with attendees just after they had taken a bite of brisket, decided that was probably at least three kinds of cheating. I smell like barbecue, but wasn't allowed any. This is true pain.

Day 19: Before I chose this time to be vegetarian, we planned a barbecue birthday party for our son. So we smoked tofu and fake sausage, just to see how it would go. It went more poorly than could ever be imagined. It went Anne-Hathaway's-British-accent-poorly.

Day 21: I have a dream about McDonald's chicken nuggets. It's just 30 straight minutes of sexy food porn footage. Close-ups. "Aww yeah"s. I wake up scarred.

Day 22: My period will start in two days. I have been vegetarian for 22 days. This is the most volatile I have been in my entire 33 years of life. And someone just decided it would be funny to taunt me with bacon. ALICE SMASH.

Day 30: I have survived on a vegetarian diet for 30 days. I better understand the plight of the Dallas-no-meater. At midnight, I will reward myself with an entire rack of ribs.

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Us Veggies love you for trying, my girl. We love you for trying!

You saved 17 animals and you skipped 16 lbs of meat last month. I'm not going to say for a minute that meat doesn't taste good. It does. We veggies keep to our diets because we believe in something more than we love the taste.

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I tried to be a Jack Daniels-a-tarian for a month, once.

That will also induce some powerful digestive rebellion.

primi_timpano topcommenter

The flatulence reduces as your body becomes accustomed to digesting legumes. If you can't get into salad, then your are screwed, as salads often represent to the only decent veg options.

Distinguish vegetarianism from healthy eating. Salad dressing, cheese loaded vegetables, oil loaded sauces, etc. will pound on the calories.

Go seasonal. Your experiment was in the heart of the tomato and shelled pea season.

Watermelon soaks up vodka.



I'm reading  "Some Economic Benefits and Costs of Vegetarianism" Lusk, Jayson L; Norwood, F Bailey. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review38.2 (Oct 2009): 109-124."

Even if Laussade didn't save any animals, she may have helped lower the price of corn. That means cheaper black bean corn tacos for the rest of us!

Unfortunately this means that corn and meat farmers both lose money and will have to spend more on marketing their crops (meat requires less marketing costs than veges). 

"Large-scale adoption of vegetarianism will result in a decrease in the value for their product, especially corn and soybeans. These economic impacts can be significant in the short run, and devastating for some families."

 The answer, the study suggests, is cultural. Meat is the centerpiece of American meals and much more highly valued. Families who say, "Hey, beans, nuts, and greens will actually make you crazy healthy" will undermine the hallowed place meat has in the Western diet. And save the world.



I love the idea that Laussade saved some animals, but is that true? (don't get me wrong, I'm pro veg). Is it okay to assume that meat producers will breed animals in exact proportion to monthly demand? Or will they just breed the same number and accept a lower profit margin? I want to see a Marshallian demand function from somebody!


I found it much easier to go seasonal when cooking for myself at home than at most restaurants. Some of the dishes I mentioned had seasonal veg in them, but mostly the dishes were staples on the menu that didn't change for seasonality.

I'd love to hear about more seasonal options for entrees at restaurants.

primi_timpano topcommenter

I have few suggestions on truly seasonal eating in moderate priced restaurants. I see it high end, but there are only so many FT33 and high end hotel tasting menus to which one can devote the required time and money.

Two places that at least avoid the grilled squash, carrots etc are Lucky's and All Good Cafe, though neither of these places look like they are working on their imagination.

Nice job, Alice. Always great to have you in the food section as I can never find you otherwise.

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