Food & Health

Vegetarian Fail: My 48 Hours as a Vegetarian

Vegetarian Fail: My 48 Hours as a Vegetarian
Steffanie Lister
Written by Steffanie Lister

Never did I think I would actually want to be vegetarian. My entire life (mind you I’m still only 16 years old) I’ve always been the “nah I like chicken too much to go vegetarian” kind of person.

That’s why I was so blown away when I made the decision on the spot to become vegetarian after watching a ten minute video called, “What Cody Saw Will Change Your Life.

The YouTube video contained footage of how overly sized factory animal agriculture farms run the way they do. 

Within this short video contained real life undercover footage of people turning up to these factory farms claiming to want to work there. When they are hired, they actually film the farming operations and treatment of animals with tiny hidden cameras, capturing heartbreaking footage of piglets getting held by the legs and slammed into cold concrete floor with the peoples bare hands. It made my stomach churn. It made me question human kind.

Factory Farming - Pigs Being Killed in an Inhumane Way

The video progressed further to show a conveyor belt packed with freshly hatched chicks, thousands and thousands of them being taken along the moving belt and down into a fine grinder that literally rolls them paper thin, completely alive and conscious. Why this heart breaking end to their lives? Because the chicks aren’t female and are thus deemed ‘useless’.

The video continued on and by this stage I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was emotionally overwhelmed by this one video; so mad at the fact that I had been basically supporting factories like these all my life with my carnivorous diet. I felt so helpless just sitting there staring at my phone screen but at the same time I was so grateful for the film’s producers Mercy For Animals for educating me on this horrendous issue.

I immediately left the channel and clicked the “sign up for support and become vegetarian today” button and typed my email address in. I got a ‘thank you’ response from the organisation and initial tips on how to handle becoming a vegetarian.

Mercy for Animals - Subscribe to get Support on your vegeterian journey, including Vegetarian Recipes

The email also provided vegetarian recipes and ingredients to use; encouraging a transition to a non-animal diet and helping to shut down those mindless chicken nugget cravings of mine.

Related Post: How Meat Eaters Can Transition to a Vegetarian Diet

At this point, I immediately messaged Jen the link of the video and informed her that I was now vegetarian. She was so excited for me and supportive as I expected she would be. She urged me to keep a diary to write about my experience for inspiration for other people. I was seriously determined to make a change in my eating habits.

Vegetarian Fail- My 48 Hours as a Vegetarian

So on 28th of February my vegetarian mission began. It  didn’t start off too well.

Around the time I swore off eating animals, KFC were selling their chicken nuggets (which just so happens to be my favourite food) for just $10. I was struggling with the idea of having to give up my finger-lickin’ delicacy, but decided that I needed to for the sake of those animals. 

Anyway, I went to school the next day as a vegetarian rookie and packed a container of lettuce leaves (yes, literally just lettuce in a container) I was so unaware at the time of the huge variety of tasty food to choose from. I was at school munching on my plain lettuce but all I could think of was going home to feast on the tasty chicken schnitzels in the fridge.

I got home from school and needed to avoid the schnitzels in the fridge, so put my energy into making and enjoying a big mug of coffee to calm my meat withdrawals. I had only just made the decision to become vegetarian so I didn’t want to give up so soon. I focussed on feeling pride in making the right decision.

I have a chicken addiction - vegetarian fail

I went to bed early that night. I blamed it on needing rest for my weekly traineeship day at work but really, I was avoiding the bacon that mum just cooked to include in the delicious-smelling chicken Caesar salad.

The following day was going to be a hard day – that much I knew. Every Thursday I went in to work, I got into the habit of making the trip down to KFC for lunch. What was worse was that Jen was in Melbourne so I wasn’t even going to get her moral support or have her make me accountable.

However when lunch time came around, I breathed a sigh of relief. Ben, Jen’s partner, who runs his own marketing business, had planned to film some footage for an advertisement he was creating for a local burger joint and needed all of us to take part in the commercial. Being force to eat a burger for work is not my fault.

Ben needed us to sit at the best burger place in Gympie, enjoying each other’s company whilst eating burgers – big juicy burgers – so he could capture the moment for the ad. What was even better was that he was PAYING. I could see my vegetarian diet going downhill instantly. 

I explained to Ben how I had just turned vegetarian and didn’t want to put my hungry self in a burger-filled building full of juicy chicken and tender steak and crispy bacon and of course all he could do was laugh. Jen is vegan, Ben is obviously not.

So as I sat in the burger restaurant filled with the fragrance of bacon and steak and trying my hardest to beat my chicken addiction. I sat at the table listening to everyone reading out the menu describing each burger. I stared at my menu trying my hardest to picture how disappointed Jen would be when she got back from her trip. I tried to picture those helpless chicks being taken down the conveyer belt and ground up alive and all. But as hard as I tried, my craving for a big burger was overwhelmingly strong.

Vegetarian Fail: My 48 Hours as a Vegetarian

Then I did what only a weak vegetarian does, I gave into the temptation. I ordered a mouth-watering chicken burger.

And that was it. I did not live that down for a solid two weeks.

My friends at school joked about my 48-hour vegetarian experience and made it the news topic of the day. I sat there at lunch with a chicken burger in my hands and my bright red face full of embarrassment. I had my work colleagues and Ben paying me out for my lack of food control. Meanwhile I had Mercy For Animals emailing me every day telling me how good I was doing in my quest to avoid eating animals.

I finally accepted the fact that until I could conquer my need for chicken I just wasn’t set out to be a successful vegetarian.

I didn’t realise how much food has such enormous impact on our minds and how addictive it is.

Eating chicken is my addiction. I can’t stop even though I know what’s happened to it.

But I do plan on giving vegetarianism another try. Next time I’ll be much more prepared.

Below I’ve added the YouTube video that opened my eyes to the cruelty in factory farming. If you want to view it, just remember it’s extremely distressing.

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About the author

Steffanie Lister

Steffanie Lister

Steffanie is a high school student passionate about fashion, style and is obsessed with hippie festivals and beaches. She loves to dream about finishing school and finding a beachy town where she can work and still go home to a simple life of tie dye, flowers, organic gardening and feeling sand between her toes.


  • Stef, thank you so much for sharing the struggle and keeping it real! Becoming vegetarian took me more than two years and it wasn’t the goal. My goal was just to be healthier and reduce the junk in my food 😀 I used to love KFC and chicken as well and now I get sick simply looking at chicken breast and frown in disgust when I see burgers… Changes take time!

    How I succeeded? I experimented with 40-day commitments of being vegan. Twice a year I spend 40 days as a vegan and lost a huge amount of my body fat, felt healthier and lighter. Plus I learned a bunch of new recipes!

    In the beginning it was super challenging and I was dreaming of the end to be able to eat deli meats and heavy cream cakes… But by my 4th 40-day vegan commitment I didn’t have the cravings, I didn’t even feel like eating meat or chicken! My body and mind got used to it so much that I can’t even imagine putting a burger in my mouth now…

    It also helps to use affirmations like “I don’t eat chicken. I don’t eat meat. I’m a vegetarian.” Notice that it’s not “can’t” but “don’t” which rewires your brain, according to science!

    Keep trying 🙂

    • Thankyou so much for your advice I’ll definetly take it on board and be more prepared on my second attempt!

  • Hi! I don’t know if it’s just a sensation of mine, but reading your post I had the feeling that somehow you were craving for food in the first place, not chicken, but food in general: have just a plain salad for lunch probably isn’t a good idea (at least not if you are really hungry that day); it’s full of vegetarian options as grains and legumes that are satiating and satisfactory. Being hungry is a terrible feeling that don’t lead us make right decisions.
    In any case, at the beginning of your journey maybe you can give a try to the “vegan/vegetarian substitutes”, I can’t say if they are really similar to chicken or meat (I become vegetarian when I was 14, now I’m 27 and I’m vegan since 2015, so I don’t remember that kind of tastes), but there are a lot of different options.
    Please, don’t let shame or a couple of episodes let you down: you can’t do better choices or improve in something if you give up, just continue to try and try again, maybe you won’t be perfect (and that’s ok too), but you will be doing your best!
    I understand family and friend (and society) pressure and the fact that you feel as nobody support or even understand your decision, but at the beginning it is (unfair but) normal if they are trying to sabotage your plans, they feel somehow judged by your decision, even if you are not saying anything! Find support online, there are plenty of blog, forum, youtube channel full of advices and we are a big and supportive community and the most part of us experienced what you are living now!
    And when you feel uncomfortable or unmotivated think about the animal suffering and death and you will understand that your bad sensations are nothing compare to them!
    Love and respect for all the living being!

    • Thankyou Eleonora! I was unaware of the YouTube channels and blogs of support I will definitely work up the courage and determination to prepare myself properly and be ready to attempt being vegetarian again if not before the end of the year I’ll definetly write it down as a New Years resolution and clean way to start my 2018 I’ll keep you posted!

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