One of those goals I put on the Life List to expand my understanding of other people's perspectives and how they live but as a natural born carnivore I never expected I would really accomplish foregoing meat for an entire week. This was always going to be a tough challenge.
The main obstacle apart from missing a good schnitzel or chop is the limited, bland options in the western world that admittedly could be overcome if I really wanted to but why would I bother when I could fry a few sausages or drop by a KFC instead?
Then I went to India.
A country that is largely vegetarian and a source of most of the vegetarian food eaten in the west. The authentic flavour is unbeatable and the many and varied options are dominant on every menu. No more excuses for me, if I was going to do it, this is the place.
I started as soon as I arrived with a street samosa The second night proved a challenge in a restaurant with some terrific smelling meats barbecuing in the kitchen but I stayed strong. It was hilarious to hear myself say things like "mine's the vegetarian one" or "is there meat in this?" Things that coming from someone else would normally make me snicker smugly as I roll my eyes.
Three days in Rishakesh helped with this goal in that there is no meat available in the whole city. Instead of being on a menu the meat has free reign to walk and deficate wherever it wants in the Hindi streets. Not that I needed to be quarantined from meat as I embraced the wonderful local food for the seven day challenge.
Being India there was also the day of my vegetarian week where I didn't eat anything at all due to the dreaded Delhi belly and it took a bit longer than that to fully recover so to appease anyone who may think I took a short cut, I even stretched my abstinence out to ten days!!
Unfortunately it is impossible to accurately measure how my body coped or how I felt after a week without meat due to also being affected by nausea, gastro and general travelers fatigue but it's fair to say my methane production was through the roof.
Would I become a full time vegetarian? No. I may give vegetarian options more consideration in the future and maybe eat less meat but to live without bacon, prawns, kransky, lamb roast......that's just ridiculous.