Exploring Culture – 30 Day Vegan Challenge

The BLN project is not all about doing crazy activities and sports around the world. It is also about seeing the world through the eyes of others in an attempt to understand and respect other peoples life styles and cultures. A further extension to this is also to understand and respect life through the eyes of animals and other creatures we share the planet with. To love certain types of animals such as pets, dolphins and elephants etc and be repulsed by the idea of eating them, but then to go and eat other animals such as cows and chickens – animals that really get little focus from people who are on a standard western diet other then on the dinner plate can only be classed as speciesism. After traveling to different parts of the world and having time to think more about the way how westerners live I have reached the conclusion I am not very proud of the impact a standard western diet has on the environment. Not only does the reality of live produce upset met, but then learning the impact farming animals has on the environment just makes things worse.

These are the reasons why, as of today I am attempting to go at least 30 days on a vegan diet. Vegan

Taken from Wikipedia

Veganism (/ˈviːgənɪzəm/) is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan.

I will primarily be focusing on my diet for this challenge.

I am not going to go into the details of why western omnivorous diets upsets me, as this would make some very unpleasant reading. Though I would like to point out I do believe eating animals is natural. If we all ate animals that had lived normal lives up until the point they were killed humanely for human consumption I probably wouldn’t have an issue. Until you consider the fact that we have taken over so much land that if we are to eat animals from the wild this takes food away from natural predators. I have also highlighted before I am completely disturbed by fishing, especially catch and release and that was part of the reasons I did free fall body suspension as self inflicted karma.

My goal with my 30 day Vegan challenge is to hopefully be a fully converted vegan by the end. But living a life without owning a fridge and traveling to parts of the world where it is difficult to order food and read labels, I admit this is going to probably be pretty hard. If I at least make the 30 days I will be happy.

Recently I have been trying to cut meat out of my diet. I have been practicing with the idea and trying to learn things here and there with the help of friends. I have started reading books to give me ideas of what to eat. I have had times with I have really doubted myself. I was especially concerned about how I may not have as much energy and strength as usual. But I believe from the research I have done so far this is not the case and that I make in fact end up with more energy.

Concerned about my energy and strength levels on a vegan diet I thought about the lives of vegan and vegetarian friends. Most of them are just as active as me. Further to that, I found many athletes that live on a vegan diet. Vegan peace

Today I went and put in a solid effort shopping and made a plan of how I can attempt to do this. It will involve daily trips to the supermarket for now. What makes this harder then someone who lives a traditional life is the fact I don’t plan most things I am going to do until I do it. It’s 5pm and I haven’t even decided where I am sleeping tonight and what I am doing tomorrow. I love this freedom, though it does make some aspects of life more difficult.

The reason I have started today is, because it will allow me to have 2 weeks on the diet in Sydney, then allow me to have 2 weeks on the diet at work. So I can try it in my main living situations. I think it will become more difficult in lots of places over seas, so it is best to try now under the current circumstances.

I will keep you updated on how I go. If you have in the past tried to be a vegan or vegetarian in the past, or feel this is a challenge you may try please leave a comment below.


Ian at Bucketlist

Hi, I’m Ian and I have made it my life mission to travel and experience everything this world has to offer. Follow me on my quest to live outside the boundaries of conventional society and see the world through the eyes of all our fellow inhabitants. I hope to inspire and motivate you to make your own path in life and push your own limits.

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  1. Yolanda August 1, 2013 1:40 am  Reply

    How did you become replused by the western diet? Could you give us the titles of the articles or documentaries you read about the western diet that repulses you? I’d be very interested to read them or see why it’s so disgusting to you and others, considering I’m slowly becoming a vegetarian and going off meat.

    • Ian Hard August 1, 2013 10:52 am  Reply

      I downloaded one called Making The Connection. I downloaded it as a torrent. It is more from articles that pop up in my facebook newsfeed etc. If you message me on the facebook page I can link you to a few pages that will be full of articles. There is a lot of animal rights activists out there that post articles up everyday.
      I am more disturbed by the dairy industry than the meat industry. Also the laying industry for eggs. This is why I chose vegan over just vegetarian. I had all ready cut dairy and eggs out almost completely any way.
      It is interesting slowly changing and then deciding to go all out. From what I have been learning, having the right information will be the key to success. Knowing what foods to eat and what nutrients to have. At the moment I currently feel as if I have more energy than usual. It’s great.
      The hardest part of this may be dealing with people.

      Please keep me posted on how you go, I will try send you across some more articles as I come across them x

  2. Yolanda August 1, 2013 8:31 pm  Reply

    I asked the young girl in the flat across from me if she’d like to do the diet with me. She thinks she’ll have a higher chance of success and sticking to the diet after the challenge is over if she s invested in it on a more persona and moral level instead of simply doing it to see if she can outlast me. We’re starting the diet on the first of August and going to watch the documentaries together to get started. So far the only issue we’ve had with the diet was her going “Oh shit, does this mean I can’t have ice cream on my birthday?” I’m fairly sure that the diets gonna get harder before it gets easier and becomes a habit.

    • Ian Hard August 2, 2013 8:00 pm  Reply

      Great news 🙂
      I wish you both luck! As well as watching the documentaries make sure you grab some books and read some vegan blogs to get food ideas and stay healthy.
      You can get soy ice cream! It’s actually pretty nice. There is also nice vegan chocolate!
      Do a google and see if you can find a vegan supermarket near you.

      Keep me posted!

  3. Yolanda August 3, 2013 10:55 pm  Reply

    Well she’s way ahead of you with the books. She’s going from being a full omnivore to vegan in a day, although veganism is something she has been contemplating for a while.
    We watched making a connection first. I think its a great way to get people motivated and to try the vegan diet and it also introduced us to the animals living conditions. The Earthling documentary is rather brutal. We watched it last night and discovered that we do not not have the strongest of stomachs. I think she started dry heaving when she saw the word castration and then fully lost her dinner when the animal was being skinned alive. And then went back and watched the rest. I spent half the time with my eyes closed, unfortunately. You must be one cold blooded human to watch it without flinching or to at least not be temporarily put off meat. I think she’s going to watch it again tonight to see if she can handle it better.

    After seeing this I can’t believe how ridiculed vegans are! My husband was teasing us about being hippies and then cooked a steak and ate it in front of me. How lovely. I think I’m going to be spending a fair amount of time with my vegan partner in her flat! I too think that dealing with other people will be the most challenging part of this diet.

    We hasn’t been able to find any soy ice cream yet, but thanks for the suggestion about the vegan market!

    • Ian Hard August 4, 2013 9:32 pm  Reply

      Makes me so happy to hear this, well except for the part where you both felt sick. If it makes you feel better I was rocking back and fourth with tears in my eyes watching earthlings. I wigged out into a mess… Just looking into the animals eyes.
      I had watched the footage of the animal being skinned alive before. The poor animal..

      I think a big reason a lot of it affected me so much is because of my past actions which include seeing stuff like castration happen when I was younger but not be affected by it. Also the fact I killed and cleaned countless fish, and a few land animals in the past with no emotion towards them.

      Have you watched the best speech ever link that was there also? It’s so good!

      I love it that there is two of you in it together. It would make it much easier. I have been contacting vegan friends for help a bit.

      I certainly would not take being called a hippie as an insult! Yesterday my friends had a BBQ. It was me eating vegan food in front of like 10 drunk dudes cooking meat. Of course it was me taking all of them on at one point pointing out they eat milk puss, chickens periods and bee vomit.

      I think I will last far longer than 30 days!

      If you have not found them yet, get Chia seeds. They are dope! So many nutrients in them. I cook them with lentils in spices and olive oil.

  4. Yolanda August 11, 2013 11:10 pm  Reply

    It’s been almost 2 weeks since our diet began. I found it way easier than she has, as I expected. She hasn’t caved in yet, which I’m proud of her for! But going omnivore to herbivore has been tough. At this point I’m awaiting a breakdown of some sort from one of us. We went through our pantries and she didn’t have much food left after we took everything containing animal products out of there. It’s kind of disgusting how much of our food contains ingredients made with animal products.

    Most of my friends think we’re crazy for going on this diet, and refuse to watch any of the videos or speeches advocating veganism. And my husbands being a pain in the rear end, ordering and eating pizza in front of us, which she’s craving. The support from her family has been awesome. I actually think that her family’s doing the diet now till the month is up to support her, even though they live in Europe, which is awesome, especially in contrast with my family and friends! She’s also found a new group of vegan friends at a cafe at her college, and they’ve been giving us help on how to beat temptations, and how to make vegan desserts, which is a big help. The kid knows how to surround herself with the right people!

    Her family have even sent us vegan books from France and Spain, so we have a ton of food ideas and dishes to experiment with. I’ve definitely got more variety in my food on this vegan diet than I did before! Cookings actually fun! She is now addicted to chai seeds though, put them in every breakfast and smoothie she makes.I’m curious as to how we’re going to feel about the diet a few weeks from now, I think we could stick to it providing we’re there to help each other out.

    • Ian Hard August 11, 2013 11:30 pm  Reply

      Thank you for the update, has put a smile on my face!

      I must admit, so far I have found this experience far more rewarding than I realised it was going to be. I have learnt so much about food. I have also been having a great time cooking. I have not really had any cravings either. My family are also a bit confused. I have been copping heaps of jokes from friends. Most of it’s funny and I take it as an opportunity to preach veganism! I don’t preach at all until somebody starts trying to tease it, so then I attack with facts!

      I actually went through a pretty crazy detox period that only really finished yesterday. It was as if I had the flu in a way. Was exhausted, crazy headaches and so on. Not sure if you have experienced any of this ? http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/01/vegan-turbulence/

      With my eating I have tried to create dishes that I would usually eat, just vegan. I have made pizza, nachos (which were amazing), Indian curries, Thai curries etc

      I have easily been eating the healthiest I have in years! So much fruit and vegetables and feeling quite vibrant. Though I have a fear I am allergic to soy. I will probably know in the next day or two if that is what is giving me headaches. If I am allergic to soy it crushes my dreams of being full time vegan.

      I think at the end of 30 days, the thought of eating any animal product is going to be strange. If not gross.

      Please feel free to send me one of your favourite recipes so I can try!

  5. Yolanda August 15, 2013 9:43 pm  Reply

    Ah, that’s what it was. I thought I had the flu! It only lasted a couple of days and I spent most of them asleep. She’s still detoxing, been a week now, and she’s got the worst symptoms in my opinion. Serious mood swings, itchy skin and food cravings. She’s wondering if she’ll have any friends left by the time it’s over!

    However the thought of consuming animal products makes us both nauseous and, in her words “I didn’t go through this traumatising shit for 2 weeks to just give up because I was too weak to abstain from my addiction!” I don’t think we’ll give up the diet any time soon!

    I think this is the healthiest I have been eating in the past 25 years, I feel so much happier and energetic and pro-active. I’ve actually started running for the simply joy of it, which left my friends even more surprised and confused.

    I only wish I had considered veganism sooner in my life!

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