I had been planning on quietly experimenting with eating vegan for a month starting on November 1.

Then I saw this John Oberg tweet and video about his experience as “vegan-curious”:

I decided to make my experiment more real, more committed, by writing about it.

I’m already (largely) a vegetarian due to the practices of the factory farming system. It’s hard to watch or read the news of the cruelty inherent in many of our farming practices. I turn away far too often.

Lately it’s been difficult to watch the fires burning out west, the huge storms battering our coasts, islands and those of other countries, the animals displaced and starving due to climate change, all the other myriad effects of the changing climate, and not think to oneself that something has to change. Of course, it would have a greater impact if the change happened systemically at the corporate and government levels, but you can’t wait for that. There is evidence that eating meat plays a significant role in all of this.

So I’m taking the next step and going fully vegan for one month to test it out.

This choice is for ethical reasons, but I’m hopeful there will be some health benefits as well. Mainly though this is my tiny contribution for the planet and and all those caught up in a cruel exploitative system.

I will miss butter. I know there are substitutes, but I think I will just forgo it altogether.

Goodbye half and half. (Thankfully I have discovered oat milk.)

Ice cream is certainly a loss. This farmer in my area sells home-made organic ice cream on the weekends. It’s a hit in my town. I confess there have been days when we stopped in more than once for a cone. This one will be hard. This one hurts a bit.

I will miss milk chocolate. Sure, I’ll eat dark chocolate, but it won’t be the same.

Frankly I don’t yet know what will be the hardest part of this experiment. Or, that it will be hard.

At the beginning of the summer I decided to go a month without alcohol in order to lose weight and I haven’t really looked back. In fact I have not missed it much at all.

Eating vegan will require much more forethought than dropping wine but the relative ease of that experiment does give me hope. Perhaps potato chips and pretzels will take over my road trips, but with some thought and planning I think I can do this.

Either way it’s just a month.

If I can figure it out I’ll do my small part for the world and maybe for my personal health.

I’ll let you know.

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Marcia McDermott

Marcia McDermott

Former college and national team athlete who made a career coaching college, pro and international level. Now I coach the coach and am committed to coaches and leaders building high performance teams.