There are many reasons someone might choose to go vegan: for health reasons, for ethical reasons, for the environment and sustainability or to be like 2013 Beyoncé. In my case, I decided to have a go at veganism for the sake of journalism and give up all animal-based foods and products as part of the second annual “Veganuary.” Vegans Matthew Glover and Jane Land encouraged people to go give up all animal products during January as a New Year’s resolution. Their web site includes lots of vegan recipes, tips about how to eat out, and a product directory.It wasn’t my first time eschewing meat. When I was 14, I read Peter Singer on the ethical treatment of animals and I became a vegetarian — meaning I did not eat meat, but still used other animal products — for the next decade. But by the time I was 24, I started lapsing. One reason was that my high school version of vegetarianism was actually what I call “carbo-tarianism”: I subsisted mostly on pizza, chips and French fries. My doctor told me I was anemic so I started drinking chicken broth and picking hunks of pork out of my stir-fry dishes. Then one day a friend left me alone with her steaming hot General Tso’s chicken. I tore open the styrofoam like a primitive and when she walked in, I had orange sauce smeared all over my face.I also knew about eschewing animals from my yoga practice. I am a yoga teacher and vegetarianism is mandated by strict gurus for both ethical and health reasons; the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras dictate this be so. Yoga is derived from Hinduism, which is also vegetarian-based in terms of what followers should eat. However, yogis aren’t supposed to eat onions or garlic because they are too stimulating. Yet, how many yoga teachers truly stick to this outside of the ashram? Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a Buddhist sage, eats meat. He says that is just Tibetan cuisine, which has a ton of goat, and he got bored (and jaundiced) from vegetarianism. But it was only one month. I could try it, at least.On the first day of Veganuary, I visited my Ukrainian mom. She made borscht and eggplant parmesan. There were big hunks of beef in the broth of the borscht. The eggplant, though vegetarian, was made with regular bread crumbs (meaning they can contain milk or egg). Veganuary was going to be harder than I anticipated. Would it count if I took out the bits of beef? Then I thought I could add sour cream to make the borscht more filling. Wait, that wouldn’t work. Suddenly I remembered I had some fake meat (beef tibs) and Brussel sprouts that I bought in preparation for my meatless trial. I ate them both, gazing longingly at the homemade soup.Then came a week of consistently turning down my food options, especially when they were free tapas at events. I obviously couldn’t go for the cocktail wiener, but bread was also unavailable due to egg. What could I even eat?! I could have the vegan version of all of this food, but it wasn’t readily available at most social gatherings. I comforted myself with a dinner at an extremely yummy vegan place in Brooklyn .Once I got into the swing of Veganuary, I found tasty options I could eat. Shiitake bacon is actually delicious; so are vegan donuts, vegan bread, vegan “mylkshakes,” and vegan cookies. (In fact, I fear I’ve gained almost five pounds from all the vegan treats.) The downside is all these vegan goodies quite expensive: A vegan cookie from Sun in Bloom, a vegan/gluten-free/raw food restaurant in Brooklyn and Manhattan, set me back $5.50. I started wanting to cheat, craving bread, eggs, and cheese more than any animal meat. But still, I didn’t eat anything that had a face.By week three I was slipping: When I went to my mom’s house, I had borscht and some turkey chili the next day. It wasn’t to please my parents; it was for the protein and the taste. Edamame, almond butter, and beans were getting tiring. I did make a vat of vegan chili back home in Brooklyn and I used my old vegetarian crutch: fake meat. Fake meat, I reasoned, does not have a mother.I realized needed to pull out the big guns. I asked a vegan friend of mine for some inspiration and she said to watch “Earthlings” narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. I had high hopes that negative reinforcement could work: PETA magazine’s vivid images of animal torture stopped me in my tracks from eating ham back in 1995. Alas, something keeps smokers smoking even when they know tobacco can be fatal. And something kept me still slipping into eating products that came from animals even after I watched “Earthlings.”My last week of Veganuary was brutal. On a good day I was eating half a jar of almond butter; on a bad day, the fried eggs came out. (I love eggs.) I also craved Ezekiel bread, which contains whey, the watery part of milk that remains after the formation of curds. My protein powder was thankfully vegan and didn’t contain whey. I used raw honey in my tea, which I think wouldn’t exclude me from veganism since it was organic and local. (But of course, it comes from animals.)In that final stretch of days, I had to review a restaurant for work. It was French flatbread place and they served two versions: classic and vegetarian. The classic had crème fraîche, gruyère and thick-sliced bacon. My friend got the vegetarian with gruyère. I didn’t. I officially threw veganism to the wind with a delicious ham, cheese and creme fraîche flatbread.I respect veganism and I respect food plans of choice. But everyone has to do what is best for them. For me, it’s eating foods that come from animals. Finally, though, I have one thing in common with Beyoncé: I am no longer vegan … although Bey did recently launch a vegan food delivery service. Veganuary was an interesting experiment while it lasted, but the first week of February, I am looking forward to some cheese fries, wings, and maybe even a big milkshake.