Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Fox in the Greenhouse: My Week as a Vegetarian

A few weeks back my wife made me a challenge that she probably assumed I would simply laugh off. After a particularly Herculean carnivorous display which saw nothing more than a ravaged bone left from what once was a massive porterhouse steak she bet me that I couldn't go more than a few meals without meat. Historically she would be right in making that statement as I tend to have some sort of meat with most every meal and usually it's a fairly sizeable chunk. I am a proud carnivore with a taste for most every edible animal, however, not being one to back down from a challenge I said, "why the hell not?". It's the perfect time of year as so many vegetable crops are hitting their peak season. Besides, I have a 10k run coming up in a few weeks so I figured I could use this experiment to springboard myself back into game shape. That was on a Saturday. The week sans meat began the following day. The following is a running chronicle I kept during my sojourn into herbivorism.

Last night's feast would have given me the fuel to hibernate well through the morning if little BA had cooperated. Instead I had to get up when she did and spent most of the day tending to her. This afternoon she seemed to be looking at me strangely as if to say "who are you and what have you done with my Dad?". I seriously doubt a breakfast of granola and yogurt followed by a sandwich with tomatoes and sprouts for lunch would somehow change my appearance, would it? Also, she keeps motioning towards my chest as if she expects to find food there. She knows that Daddy's not the one with the milk, at least she did yesterday.

I didn't sleep very well last night but I doubt my vegetarian meals had anything to do with that. I'm not counting calories, protein or any other measure of my intake but I presume I'm getting more than enough to sustain myself. I missed my stop on the subway but I'll chalk that one up to just being tired. I'm snacking a bit more than usual having gone through most of a container of honey roasted peanuts today. Bad idea. I've never been so unpleasantly full in my life.

I'm getting a bit bored with my meal options particularly at lunch. Veggie wraps as a category are universally over-priced and unfulfilling. The falafel is a solid vegetarian option but unfortunately not widely available. There has to be a segment of the herbivore community that wants to avoid meat but also wants a filling, interesting meal. I find the majority of what is being offered almost condescending in its lack of quality. Oh, you must not care what something tastes like so here's some iceberg lettuce and unripe tomatoes in a cardboard tortilla wrap. Perhaps in my role as a temporary vegetarian I'm the only one to notice how weak the offering is. I would guess that vegetarians have either never known what food is supposed to taste like or have given up caring long ago.

The day went by as any other until the end of the day. I arrived home only to realize that my wife and daughter have been replaced by impostors. I must admit they're very good. I can't let them know I'm on to them though. Not yet...

So far everything seems pretty normal. I went to the gym today and felt reasonably energetic. I was decently productive at work, even showing up about 45 minutes earlier than usual. I did, however, french kiss a man in the elevator. That's not something I'd usually do. It's probably a good thing I only have three more days of this.

It was a bit awkward seeing the guy from yesterday in the elevator this morning. Even more so when I bit him. I think I need to up my calorie intake. I ate an entire can of chick peas this afternoon. Next time I'm going to open the can first. I've been battling ever worsening headaches as I may have been concussed by any one of the numerous falls I've had today. My sense of balance is severely distorted. I was of little help to my softball team tonight. My efforts to disprove the theory "vegetarians shouldn't play team sports other than ultimate frisbee which isn't even a real sport in the first place" were in vain.

My eyes have taken on the sunken appearance of a corpse. At least that is what my wife tells me as I have lost my eyesight. Sleep is a distant memory which is actually a relief as my night terrors have become unbearable. I would have probably pissed the bed if I wasn't completely dehydrated from malnourishment. I shake uncontrollably and am incoherent. This is actually being dictated through an interpreter as I'm speaking in tongues. I am forlorn but I will not let the challenge go unmet.

My eyesight has returned and is actually better than it was before my bout with temporary blindness. My ability to hear has also surpassed previous levels probably owing to the long, pointy ears I have grown. They're a bit of a bitch as my iPod headphones won't stay in. The guy from the elevator looked terrified when he saw me today. I guess the sight of my protruding buck teeth has put the fear of god in him. To be fair, I wouldn't want to bitten by those things either. I have taken to the yard for nourishment while burrowing a comfortable home for myself deep in the ground. This is my life now.

It's now Sunday morning and after a hungry man's breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs and baked beans I am whole again. In retrospect, the week wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I think I've dropped a couple pounds and despite the temporary blindness, inappropriate elevator behaviour, disorientation and feral episode I appear no worse for the wear. That being said, a hearty tap of the foot to you, herbivores, as this is not something I could do for much longer without something really bad happening. Your dedication is commendable. Happy grazing my furry little friends!

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