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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

Going vegan for five days was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done

About 3 weeks ago, my friend Paige and I tried vegan cookies and vegan bread at dinner. Within moments, Paige had the idea of going vegan for a week and asked if I wanted to join her. I immediately said yes.  

Originally, the plan was to do a full week, or seven days, of being vegan. But due to some complications, we ended up making it five.

And it was hard. Like, really hard. 

This year, I’m living in my sorority house. I’m currently vegetarian, and the food options have been pretty good and accommodating. Almost every day, there’s a meat substitute offered. 

However, it’s not the same for dairy-free individuals. 

Although vegetarian food replacements are easily accessible, it’s more difficult for people that are dairy-free, as much of the main meal has dairy (for example, a croissant). After talking to a lot of girls, it seemed like all they ate was salad, and as they were dairy-free and not vegan, meat as well. 

In my case, I ate mostly salad all week. Sadly, most of the time the base of the food had dairy, so I couldn’t eat it. My salads were pretty lame, and I felt like a literal bunny eating lettuce all week. 

I think that because most of my diet was salad, I felt hungry almost all the time, all week long. I truly don’t think I was ever satisfied. I always wanted more to eat. 

I think this had to do with what I was eating, as well as vegan food as a whole. Because yes, although you can be vegan and unhealthy, I was trying to be vegan and healthy, which made me a lot hungrier. 

My “symptoms” align with my friends who are vegan, as they always say how hungry they are. 

Another thing I learned is how strong vegans are. There are so many times when you get free food, like cookies or donuts, in class. Normally, I would always take a piece. But when I was vegan, I couldn’t take them as they had dairy. 

Though that was ok for a week, always saying no to treats and staying strong is really impressive. This was something that was a lot harder than I expected. 

Overall, I think being vegan was a lot harder than I thought. As a vegetarian, I only cut out meat, but I don’t worry about whether I can eat a certain bread or a certain salad dressing, etc. However, as a vegan, it was really hard. It felt a lot more restricting, and a lot more tedious. 

However, I realized that it would’ve been much easier if I had a kitchen and was able to cook. The sorority house is not equipped for people that are vegan or doing vegan challenges. This made everything much harder. However, I think that if I had my own kitchen, I could bake some vegan cookies, cook nutrient-dense meals, and just treat my body a lot better. I hope to do this challenge again in the future, when I have my own kitchen, to see if my opinions are the same (part two to come?). But one thing stands. I’m truly proud of everyone that’s vegan, or even dairy intolerant, as it’s a lot harder than it seems.

Andrea Brehovska

Wisconsin '25

Hey! I am a psychology major with a digital studies and textile and designs certificate at the University of Wisconsin! I am originally from Prague, Czech Republic, but I grew up in the Bay Area, California! I love to travel, explore, and fashion. And my favorite colors are yellow and red!