Gone vegan

Shannon Corcoran

Before I begin, allow me to mention that I wrote this while eating my last slice of pizza until November.

One day last summer, I took out the notebook that rarely leaves my side and started writing down things I wanted to do. Soon, I had written a list that would eventually be called “20 things to do before I turn 20.” I figured that even if I only accomplished half of the tasks, I’d get some rad experiences and be forced to be my comfort zone.

The list had everything from the totally possible, to slightly impossible, to the “ugh this is so corny and scary and awkward.” For example, getting my nose pierced, pulling an all-nighter in NYC, and getting lost in a city that isn’t NYC. Some of them were quick to get done, such as befriending someone in a random place and going to a concert alone, while others just drove me crazy, such as No. 3 on the list: go vegan for two or more weeks. If there was one that I wanted to accomplish before May 4, 2013, it was this.

So I decided to spend October as a vegan. This way I could indulge at Thanksgiving, as well as enjoy the last of ice cream eating weather.

So why veganism and not just vegetarianism? I already consider myself a vegetarian for the most part, despite enjoying an occasional burger off the grill on a warm summer night. But giving up meat, fish, all dairy products and anything that’s a byproduct of an animal – that’s a challenge of another magnitude. As if being a non-meat eater isn’t hard enough at Quinnipiac.

But now I’m going to need all the self-control I can get. Pizza and ice cream are two of my favorite foods, and to think I’ll have to either make the vegan versions or give them up completely isn’t exactly ideal.

But on the other hand, I can’t be more excited. In preparation for the month ahead, I’ve learned a lot about what happens at farms and the impact I’ll make by not consuming any animal products. For example, many of the factory farms where animals live are overcrowded and filthy. The main goal of these farms is to maximize production while minimizing costs, creating terrible living conditions and disgusting killing methods. If anything, October is going to make me really grateful for my food and mindful of where it comes from.

I’m now on day three of this adventure, somewhat surviving and always aware of just what I got myself into. I have a quart of soy milk waiting for me, vegan food blogs in a folder on my laptop, and a list of foods that I need to buy to survive the next 30 days. This includes tofu, beans and you guessed it – vegetables. As scary as it seems, it’s been awhile since I’ve been this enthusiastic about something – besides Taylor Swift’s new record of course.