A Week Without: Meat

Lexi Soto, Staff Reporter and Group Photographer

Clarion introduced a series of articles where staff members spend a “week without” different things and reflect upon their experiences. This is the third installment. 

Nuggets, nuggets, nuggets. That is all I could hear all day, every day. The voices in my head would not leave me alone. It had only been two days into my week without meat, and I was already failing.

From the moment I learned how to chew to around age three, all I ever ate were chicken nuggets. When it comes to nuggets, I’m not very picky. I love all brands: Tyson, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, dinosaur shaped. You name it, I ate it.

When I volunteered to go a week without meat, I think I overestimated my self-control. I did not realize how difficult it would be. Not only for myself, but my family as well.

Coming home from a long day of school and not being able to eat what my mom was cooking literally made me want to cry. Of course, the week I decide to be a vegetarian, she wants to cook my favorite foods.

While I was trying to eat a grilled cheese with tomato soup, my family was eating cheese burgers with fries and it was really pushing my limits of strength.

I generally bring my own lunch to school. However, because I am lazy, I am only able to bring a piece of lame fruit and a lousy bag of chips. Then I end up asking my friends for their (what I like to call) “charity leftovers”.

On the third day of the vegetarian prison, during lunch I was very hungry and one of my friends had half a burger left. Let me tell you, I have never seen a half eaten burger look so tasty.

I could see the mini devil and angel on my shoulders. As I was telling myself no, there I was taking a bite. Before I even had the chance of putting the burger down, it was already gone in my tummy.

That was just the first, of my many attempts at being a vegetarian for a week.

I felt so guilty yet so relieved because I thought Mr. Helgeson was going to tell me I failed and to just cancel the entire article. To my surprise, he and my editors found it hilarious and told me to continue. I told myself I could do this. I just needed a little more self-control and some really good food to eat.

I went home and made a game plan. Anytime I felt the urge to eat meat, I would distract myself by eating a piece of fruit or read. That worked… for about a day.

The next day, my mom and I were just finishing up a long day of tedious errands when we passed a McDonald’s, then a Chick-fil-A and I knew we were headed in the direction of a Wendy’s.

My mom is a very busy person with many things on her mind, so she tends to forget a few things here and there. Long story short I ended up walking in my house with an empty Wendy’s bag, and a tummy satisfied and filled with nuggets.

I have never felt more conflicted while eating chicken nuggets before. With every bite and swallow my mind raced with many thoughts.

I was wondering if this incident could be kept a secret. But then I remembered Helgeson told me to get back on that vegetarian wagon and continue the journey. I had to be honest, how could I call myself a Clarion Reporter if I did not report this?

The next couple of days are all a blur. I forced myself to stay away from meat and draw myself closer to healthier food choices. I remember there were a lot of apples with peanut butter, and tears from lack of nuggets.

All you reading might think I am crazy, but I usually eat chicken nuggets two or three times a week so understand this one week was practically killing me.

By the sixth day I realized I was going through nugget-withdraw. I was counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds until I could eat a piece of meat, however, I was still able to control myself and eat healthy.

In the bible, it says on the seventh day, God rested. On my seventh day, I ate. It was the day of my cheer banquet and there was sausage pizza, mozzarella sticks, and onion rings. You know, the typical unhealthy foods. Believe me when I say I ate it all.

After, I went roller skating with my friend and her family. Falling like a baby learning how to walk really worked up an appetite so we all went to a restaurant called Greek Islands.

I had never been there, but my friend said their shish kebobs were pretty good so we shared. I am pretty sure I finished my food before anyone could even pick up their forks.

That night, I slept peacefully and okay knowing I could eat meat again.

My body has gotten used to eating at least three pieces of fruit a day and I eat smaller portions which is a plus, but I am never ever going a week without meat again.

The day I tell you I went an entire week without meat either know I am lying, or there is something very wrong with me and you should immediately call the authorities.