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Todd Hartley

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I'm With Stupid: The Beefy Cravings of a Newly Cleansed Carnivore

Posted: 01/09/12 11:59 AM ET

I have to give you vegetarians credit. You folks must be the strongest-willed people on Earth not to break down and eat meat. Seriously, I don't know how you do it. And the fact you've convinced yourselves that vegetarian meals are delicious and satisfying is even more impressive, though possibly a tad delusional.

Actually, that's not fair. There are plenty of vegetarian dishes that taste just fine, but you need to eat about six of them per sitting to feel anywhere near satisfied. I know this because for the first time in my life, I find myself standing in your herbivorous shoes.

As of this writing, I am now 48 hours into a meat-, dairy-, sugar-, alcohol-, chocolate-, processed-food- and taste-free vegetarian detox cleanse, which is the longest I've gone without eating meat by roughly 46 hours. The cleanse is supposed to last for three weeks, but I have about as much chance of making it that far as Jon Huntsman has of winning the presidency. (Who, you ask? Exactly.)

I'm told the cleanse is supposed to make me feel more energetic. I don't know if that's true, but right now I feel like hurdling the fence behind my house, chasing down one of the cows in the pasture beyond and sinking my teeth into its neck. I imagine that would require a lot of energy, and I never felt like doing that before the cleanse started, so that's got to count for something.

One nice thing about the cleanse, however, is that I've already lost more than 6 pounds. At that rate, should I somehow make it all three weeks, I'll lose about 63 pounds. I would have thought that an impossible task, considering I can not only still see my toes but even touch them from time to time. My mother's Nintendo Wii, on the other hand, would say that's just about right.

I made the mistake of trying out the "Wii Fit" program once while visiting my parents and thought, at the time, that it was completely absurd. I stood on a little weight-sensitive platform and answered a bunch of questions, and in response, the Wii, with an audible "bloop!" made my avatar (or mii) go from skinny to rotund. The program then informed me that the ideal weight for my height would be 153 pounds, which I imagined would have required me to lop off a leg. Apparently, all I really needed to do was eat my veggies.

I am, admittedly, overweight, but there's no way I'm 60 pounds too heavy unless all that bulk is doing a hell of a job of hiding somewhere on my person. I suppose there's a chance I'm that heavy because muscle weighs more than fat, but my lack of any sort of definition or tone clearly belies that argument.

It's not like I don't try to diet, mind you, provided one considers fried chicken diet food. It's just that I prefer to diet for one meal at a time. In fact, I have three diets that I rotate, and all are inspired by nature, which I've always been told is a good thing.

I do the goldfish diet, which involves eating until you die. You might think this would be hard to do more than once, but I'm surprisingly resilient. I also do the polar bear diet, which involves eating food that's nearly 100 percent fat. This one, however, is hard to maintain since my local grocery store stopped selling beluga whale and seal blubber.

The last diet I do is the crocodile diet, which involves eating an entire wildebeest once a year and then lying motionless for the next 365 days. I'm not bad at this one. I have the lying-motionless-for-a-year part down pat, but I typically consume an entire wildebeest every night. At least, I used to before the cleanse began.

Regardless, I'm going to stick with this endeavor for as long as I can despite the fact that I've never been so hungry in my life. I am, however, a little concerned that the cleanse might kill me. Thus I intend to carry Slim Jims with me at all times just in case. So if you find me lying on the ground somewhere, looking emaciated and moaning pathetically, please reach into my pocket, fish out a meat stick, and stuff it in my mouth. I'll thank you as soon as the pork byproducts and artificial ingredients reach my brain and uncleanse me.

Todd Hartley knows gnus aren't new news, but they sure do taste good. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.