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A television presenter has been criticized for attempting – and failing – a 30-day vegan diet challenge.

Philip Boucher-Hayes embarked half-heartedly on a month-long plant-based experiment for television – only to ignore dietary advice and abandon the plan.

Also a news reporter and radio presenter, Boucher-Hayes test drives popular diets for Ireland’s RTE television program, What Are You Eating?

Previous experiments

The first season of the program followed Boucher-Hayes on a month-long trial of the popular paleo diet – which emphasises whole foods, but also includes animal products.

In the second, he tried a high protein diet.

Ignored advice

When trying out a plant-based diet, Bucher-Hayes ignored the advice of a dietary consultant, who recommended that he take supplements.

He said: “I’ve decided it would be much more interesting to not take one and see what happens to my body.”

Dismissive

While the program does delve into some of the deeper issues pertaining to veganism – through discussion of the ethical issues surrounding animal products – Boucher-Hayes is ultimately dismissive.

Before the challenge was up, he attended a camp where members sliced opened a duck with flint, before cooking the animal’s innards over fire.

The scene was criticized by one writer as a ‘needlessly antagonistic and shallow gesture‘.

When rejecting not just a plant-based diet, but the vegan ideology, Boucher-Hayes said: “It’s just the kind of omnivore I am.”

Inadequate nutrition

At the end of the series, it is reportedly revealed that Boucher-Hayes lost muscle mass and bone density due to inadequate nutrition.

Because he rejected dietary advice, and didn’t follow the food plan for the set amount of time, it is difficult to correlate these results with a plant-based diet.

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination....