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Mrs. King went vegan in 1995, after son Dexter.

Today was supposed to be my fifth and last day of this experiment, but I believe I’m getting hooked. I feel better, am sleeping better and seem to be digesting foods better.

On the downside, I really could go for a nap right now, and I think it’s because I went cold turkey, so to speak. I’ve always been dangerously low on iron, and no doubt being meat-free has worsened the situation. Even though I had a full night’s sleep, I can barely keep my eyes open right now, so it’s pretty obvious I need to be more consistent with my iron supplements. Unfortunately, my iron is in regular tablet form, which makes it easy for me to ignore, while my multivitamin is in easy-to-take gummy form. I ran out of gummies last week, so I need to go buy some. So far, I have had zero luck finding iron all by itself in gummy form. Probably too nasty . . .

I’m sure once I’m hopped up on vitamins and iron, the sleepiness will go away. Other than that, I can’t say there’ve been any other problems.

My family is kinda blowing me off about this, seeing it as another one of Mom’s fads. That’s fine. We can peacefully coexist. A friend just informed me she and her family have been experimenting with vegetarianism all summer. She’s been reading Omnivore’s Dilemma. I googled it, and it looks fascinating. Right now, though, I’m not interested in getting that deep into food origins. Though a little too descriptive in places about what’s really in milk, toxic fish and the diseased meats sold in grocery stores, I like the brief, to-the-point style of By Any Greens Necessary, so I’ll stick with that for awhile.

What I don’t like about all this is the stereotyping. I mean, I don’t even own a pair of Birkenstocks. But seriously . . . I have noticed that whenever I mention I’m trying vegetarianism, the other party tenses up, as if preparing for attack, whether verbal or ethical.

I’m not doing this for ethical reasons. I will never voluntarily watch a PETA video, because I neither want nor need to see how cows, pigs and poultry are treated and slaughtered. From what I hear, it’s truly awful, but that’s not what makes me want to give up chicken wings and burgers. I refuse, however, to wear fur because of animal cruelty. I just don’t want anything to do with them. My mother has always had furs, and they’re all quite beautiful. I remember one in particular: It was a full-length black mink, with silver fox sleeves. Gorgeous. I will not, however, give up leather. My daughter and I went outlet shopping just last weekend, and I drooled over the latest from Coach, and we both inhaled deeply when we stepped inside the Wilson’s leather outlet.

No, I’m switching for health, plain and simple. Despite the sleepiness, I feel better. Lighter. I believe a pound or two slid off this week, but I’ve yet to get on the scale. So I’m sticking with it another week, and if all goes well, this could become my new way of life.

Veganism has given me a higher level of awareness and spirituality, primarily because the energy associated with eating has shifted to other areas.   ~   Dexter Scott King

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.