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What better way to cleanse your body of preservatives and bovine growth hormones than go on a vegan diet?

The vegan lifestyle, which allows for no consumption of animal products of any kind, is like an all-natural colonic. Because a vegan can have no meat or dairy, they wind up consuming mass quantities of fruit and vegetable, resulting in an influx of fiber into your system.

Fiber has many great benefits. One of those benefits just so happens to be bowel movements, resulting in the removal of all the meat entrails clogging your intestines.

Sure, the drop in cholesterol and lowered risk of heart disease are great, but what’s better than taking a twice-daily seat on the ceramic throne and reading The State Press while removing harmful wastes from your system?

Perhaps the only thing better is a giant bowl of cookie-dough ice cream, dripping in hot fudge and sprinkled with bacon.

That’s where I am right now.

From September 8th until October 8th, I have taken on the challenge of going vegan for a month. Week 1 has come and gone, and I have to say I feel pretty great.

I am not weighed down by heavy saturated fats and lactose, nor are the muscle fibers of innocent animals wedged between my molars. There are only a couple of problems:

1) No matter how much zucchini and hummus I shove down my throat, I never quite feel full. Butter is a hard habit to kick.

2) I dare say I have never been this gassy in my life. My sympathy goes out to anyone who sits within a 12-foot radius of me during long lecture classes. And the worst part is, I have zero control over it.

Now, I know “farting” is taboo — especially for women — but come on now, we are all guilty. It’s as much a part of being human as random hairs in weird places and waking up with crusty eye boogers. You can try to run from it, but the running will probably just joggle loose some more gas. Call me crude, but that is reality.

Yet I am not prepared to sacrifice the elevated feeling I get from my hip new vegan lifestyle. This means I will have to master the art of fart ventriloquism – aka making it smell like someone else did it.

The best-case scenario is that my system will adjust to my new diet and no one will have to suffer much longer. If that happens, then I will be able to wave my self-righteous vegan flag over the heads of all you meat-eaters and tout my superior morals in the arenas of animal rights and health.

Unless, of course, I do not properly supplement with vitamins and wind up with Rickets, which alternatively is the worst-case scenario.

So, if at the end of this month, if I have not harmed anyone with my gas or contracted Rickets, then I will have to consider extending my vow of veganism and become part of the one percent of the U.S. population, according to the Vegan Research Panel’s Web site, that live a vegan life.

It already seems to have pluses, such as increased energy and decreased bloating. I am pretty sure I am losing weight too, of which I have a bit to spare since I am a reformed junk food junkie.

But my body will soon be cleansed of all that fried chicken, cheese, and buttery pastries, and my innards will be like a well-oiled machine — olive-oiled, that is.

This is vegan columnist Melissa signing off. Smell you later — or to avoid being a victim of fart ventriloquism, e-mail me at

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