We went vegan for a week and it was awful

Alternate title: we were hungry for a week


Going vegan seems to be all the rage in our generation, with our thirst for avocado on toast seemingly unquenchable. The Guardian reported that the number of vegans in the UK has risen by 350% in the last decade, with people doing it 'for Instagram'. Around 42% of vegans in the UK are aged 15-34, so it is clearly a millennial phenomenon. Whether it's been the rise of high profile celebrities going vegan – such as the Watson sisters from Made In Chelsea – or a genuine interest in protecting animals, my generation are going vegan and we thought it was a good idea to try it.

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As if my Twitter bio couldn't be any more tragic

Monday

Waking up on Monday morning was a painful experience as we came to terms with the fact that for the next seven days, we were attempting to go fully vegan. To quote Sophie; "I woke up feeling like I'd just broken up with someone, for the first second I was okay, but then that overwhelming sense of dread and depression hit me like a bus."

For lunch, just like usual I headed to Tesco Express for a meal deal, but was gutted to find out their vegan range wasn't as extensive as I'd hoped. I selected, or was rather forced into selecting, a falafel and houmous wrap. This wasn't a huge disappointment, but it was fairly bland. I told myself that by eating it I'd saved a pig's life – I'd normally have a BLT – and this made me feel slightly better about my sandwich choice.

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Rate our meal deals

For tea we made Pad Thai. I was feeling semi-confident going into this dish, I'm not a big vegetable eater, but I figured the soy sauce would make it taste nice. I was wrong. The tofu wasn't an awful meat substitute, but a large amount of the meal ended up in the bin. A trip to Asda for some vegan biscuits was very much needed. So far our vegan experience could be summed up easily – bland and tasteless.

Pad Thai Rating: 2/5

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Hobnobs and Oreos, our vegan week saviours

Tuesday

Not wanting to face Tesco's only vegan meal deal option on back to back days, my lunch consisted of a selection of fruit salads. Sophie opted for a Sweet Potato Pakora wrap from the Wicked Kitchen range. She told me it was really nice, I didn't believe her.

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Cost more than a normal meal deal and didn't even fill me up

For dinner we made vegan fajitas with Quorn, and I won't lie, they were unreal. We both agreed we would definitely make them again, and couldn't even tell the difference between them and chicken – much.

Quorn Fajitas Rating: 4/5

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My friend wrote a song about a fajita, well actually it's more of a wrap

Wednesday

I headed to Co-op for my lunch on Wednesday with high hopes, surely their vegan meal deal options would be more extensive than Tesco's? I was not entirely wrong – at Co-op there were two vegan meal deal options rather than just one. My choices were another falafel and houmous wrap or some sort of vegan salad. My post lunch-time research has shown that Co-op do offer a more extensive vegan selection, including an onion bhaji sandwich. Did I just not notice this? Was it sold out? Is it only in some stores? We will never know.

For tea on Wednesday night we continued our Mexican theme with a vegan chilli. There was no meat supplement in this meal so I was starting to worry, excessive amounts of red kidney beans and black beans surely couldn't make up for the lack of minced beef? However, when thrown together with peppers, red onions, jalapenos and tinned tomatoes, they somehow did. The vegan chilli proved to be another success, being vegan was starting to seem… easy?

Vegan Chilli Rating: 4/5

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Presentation on point

Thursday

For dinner we made spaghetti bolognese, using Quorn mince. Whilst it didn't quite compare to 'proper' spag bol, Quorn did prove to be a fairly good replacement for real meat. It was looking increasingly like Thursday was going to be another vegan success. However, this did not prove to be the case. I started pre-drinking for my night out, I went with Stella Artois, a quick google on 'Barnivore' informed me that Stella, unlike many other lagers, isn't filtered through fish bladders and is therefore vegan. After a night in Faculty (Blue VS Quadvods are also vegan), Baa Bar and eventually Heebies, I was starving and headed for a takeaway. Upon stepping inside, the realisation hit me that cheesey chips weren't an option. I looked longingly across the table at my friend's pizza, but I just about kept strong. For the first time in a solid 24 hours, I was reminded how much being vegan sucked.

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese Rating: 3/5

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Friday

Not feeling particularly fresh from the hangover, we were again reminded veganism wasn't great. Whilst my usual hungover self would raid Asda for all sorts of pizza, crisps and chocolate, for my vegan self this wasn't an option. Instead the hair of the dog was my chosen hangover cure. Fortunately, like Stella, Carlsberg is also vegan and £1.60 pints in the Sphinx meant this cure wouldn't hit my worryingly low bank balance.

Our chosen dish for dinner was a Chickpea Tikka Masala, alongside rice and roti bread – naans aren't vegan. The curry was was surprisingly nice – however I couldn't help thinking some chicken in it wouldn't have gone amiss. Whilst the Mexican cuisine from earlier in the week were meals we would happily have again without real meat, the curry was something that chicken would have enhanced.

Chickpea Tikka Masala Rating: 3/5

Saturday

The weekend was here, the end was in sight. Saturday night we made tacos, with tofu rather than mince meat. Vegan tacos were okay – they could have been improved with actual beef, but they definitely weren't a failure. At pres I was back on the Stella, whereas Sophie had managed to find a vegan prosecco. However, vegan meals clearly aren't very filling as Sophie felt like she was drinking on an empty stomach and, quote, "absolutely died."

Tofu Tacos Rating: 3/5

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Sunday

Waking up on Sunday our respective hangovers were lessened slightly by the idea that we were on our final day of veganism – we were going to actually make it and had proven all our doubters wrong. We made our own pizzas with vegan cheese in celebration before heading out to Bongos Bingo. The pizzas were okay, but vegan cheese doesn't melt as well as real cheese. We got back from Bongos just before 12am, and you better believe that as the clock turned to midnight we dove into all the chocolate we could eat.

Pizza Rating: 3.5/5

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Sophie would like to clarify, that isn't grease in her hair, it's Strongbow Dark Fruits

Veganism was an experience we won't forget, it made me feel better about myself, as if I was actually helping the planet, and preventing the deaths of some animals, but it hurt my wallet heavily – who knew that fruit and vegetables could be so expensive?