Friday, February 5, 2016

The mouser and the vegan

Run, little mousie, run!
Puff is a mouser. She lives with a vegan. At least for now. The vegan is me. I'm trying to connect with her hunting and eating habits. So, how does that work out? How does a vegan live amicably with a cat that love, love, loves to catch and eat mice? Well, it's not easy, for sure. But let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Puff showed up on our doorstep last week sometime. Poor baby. Her collar was so tight that her hair was all gone underneath it. Boy, was she glad to have a warm place to sleep that night and a bowl of food and water.

Well, one night became another and another and another. We're still trying to find her owner, but to be honest, I'm pretty sure she's been on her own for at least 6 months due to her condition. It's pretty likely that they've stopped looking or never looked very hard in the first place. But I digress.

Let's get back to the whole mouser thing. We knew we had mice before Puff showed up. We just didn't know how many. Boy, do we have a lot of mice in our garage! And unfortunately, some of them have inevitably found their way into the house. So, every night, Puff catches at least one. And every morning I get to pick up the pieces. Literally. They're tiny, but....

It's disgusting to say the very least. Oh, I don't touch them. I use a broom and dustpan. Still disgusting. Still not fun for a vegan. And if I happen to be awake during the battle.... Well, the squeaking is just heart wrenching. Poor little mice! Puff really enjoys the hunt. Sometimes if she takes too long, I scoop the mice up in a foam cup and put them outdoors just to save them from being batted around and tortured.

But here's the thing. As a vegan, I hate seeing any creature harmed including those I don't exactly want in my house. But Puff is a cat. Cats are carnivores. They eat mice. And also, something a lot of people don't know is that vegans are all for natural balance. Which means that even though I feel bad for the mice Puff catches and consumes, I understand that she's following her natural instincts.

As vegans, we don't believe that humans are natural carnivores or omnivores. We believe that humans are herbivores, as is evidenced by our physical makeup. Our digestive systems and teeth are designed to chew and digest vegetation, not meat. Plus, we haven't the claws or the width of jaw it takes to tear through live flesh.

But cats? Well, no one can say they're not intended to eat meat or fish or chase and eat mice. It's pretty much what they do. It's natural for them. And so, being as how we obviously have more mice than catch and release methods can handle and being as how Puff is a natural born mouser, I guess this vegan is just going to have to deal with it.

Of course, all these theories just went out the window this morning when she tossed a dead mouse in my lap....

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Vegans have heard it all, now it's your turn to listen

Are you listening?
We have already heard that plants have feelings. We have told you where we get our protein. We have explained that herbivores have canine teeth too. We have told you what would happen if everyone went vegan and it's actually a good thing. And yet, you continually harp on and on, bringing up the same dead points over and over, refusing to see that unless we make drastic lifestyle changes, none of us will survive. Enough with the third degree. When will you connect with the truth?

Oh and by the way, the food chain is a circle, not a pyramid. No one is at the top. And even if there were a top, there wouldn't be a human being sitting on it.

Yes, we know that you love animals but also love to eat them. You can't live without the taste, whereas, they simply won't live (and neither will the human race, BTW) simply to appease your taste buds. It seems normal and natural to you, but quite ironic, cruel and unnatural to us.

Your jokes are not funny and neither is the state of the natural world. Your arguments are just as insensitive, rude and selfish as your jokes. And we're not laughing.

We have heard you say that vegans are upsetting the natural balance while you simultaneously and quite unnaturally over-breed millions of animals daily, effectively tipping the scales of nature to the point of no return.

You tell us to mind our own business and yet, you have no problem butting into ours by tampering with our future and mocking us at every turn.

You tell us we are shoving our lifestyle down your throats while we are surrounded by yours on a daily basis. Seriously, I cannot walk down one block of a city street without encountering a meat or dairy product or advertisement. When I go to see a movie, it's rare to see a vegan character, unless they are there to be made fun of. Ditto for TV shows and even plays. So who's shoving what on who?

Think about it. We do. And we do the research too.

We have scientifically and unquestionably dis-proven every argument ever made against Veganism in the history of the world. None of your theories hold water and all of them waste water. We have heard it all and responded to it all with honest, factual answers. And yet, you still continue to barrage us with the same stupid scenarios and questions over and over.

Note: If I were on a deserted island with a pig, I would not eat the pig. I would, because I have this little thing called common sense, find out what the pig was eating, because it's obviously sustaining him and I would eat that too. Pigs will eat meat if humans feed it to them, but they are actually vegetarians, so I'm all set.

Thanks for caring about how I would survive this completely unlikely scenario though. Too bad you don't care if any of us survive the real life scenario we are living right now. Or at least you don't care enough to give up a few random food items.

So, just when will you connect with the fact that we speak the truth?

It's become unmistakably obvious that your moment of clarity will likely come when it's too late for you to make the changes necessary to save us all from extinction. But hey, go ahead and live your life as you choose, oblivious to the massive environmental destruction you are causing at every turn.

Because heaven forbid you should give up your comfort zone to save us all from imminent destruction. It's much more important that you be allowed to do whatever the hell you want, regardless of how it impacts anyone else, right?

When will you connect with the truth? There are no rights in the natural world. And unlike the kind, compassionate, caring vegans you berate daily, nature is unforgiving. It is what it is. If you fuck with it, it will fuck you right back. In fact, you've already quite effectively fucked us all with your selfish lifestyle and eating habits.

But hey, who am I to judge? Carry on. And please do talk to me about that B-12 I'm not getting for the 400th time. And I'll tell you that you need it too for the 400th time because animal agriculture has pretty much erased it from our soil. And you won't listen, also for the 400th time. Because closing your eyes and ears to the truth will solve everything.

By the way, purposeful ignorance stops being blissful when you realize your precious traditions, habits and lifestyle are killing us all.

And that's when you become vegan.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Just putting it out there

I'm just putting the info out there. What you do with it is your choice.
I think a lot of people misunderstand what vegans and other people who are passionate about their causes are all about. I say that because of the phrase, “those pushy vegans” and a lot of other negative connotations people seem to have about us. It's OK. They haven't made the connection yet. Maybe they will. Maybe they won't.

But until then, I really wish they would connect with the fact that no matter who it is, a vegan or someone else promoting their cause, we're all really just putting it out there, spreading the word, stating the facts, citing studies and such. We mean no harm. We come in peace. We don't hate you.

And as for the vegan thing, no, we don't expect everyone in the world to go vegan. Oh sure, we would love it if they did, for a multitude of reasons, including the preservation of the earth, thereby humanity itself. But we would be absolute fools if we expected everyone on the planet to become vegan. And vegans are not fools.

There really is a stigma surrounding people who stand up for what they believe against the mainstream and shout it to the rooftops. Vegans are not excluded from that stigma. For some reason it bothers some people when they are made aware of facts that dispute their own beliefs and comfort zone.

But the thing is that just like religious people for instance, vegans are simply putting it out there. What you do with the information we give you is completely up to you. We know that. We even respect that you have a choice. But as I have said many times, I can't respect the choice itself if it does harm.

And that's the part people just don't connect with. There is a huge difference between respecting that someone HAS a choice and respecting the actual choice.

And when it comes to choices that do harm, I have no respect for those choices. But I still respect my friends and family who are not vegan. I respect that they have a choice. I respect their right to speak of their choice.

I just need for them to make the connection that denying me the right to speak of my choices, while telling me that I need to allow them to do the same is contradictory at best and discriminatory for sure.

I'm just putting it out there. What you do with it or how you see it or how it impacts you psychologically is completely up to you. Just like everything else in the universe.

But plants have feelings too!

Pulling up a head of lettuce is very different than killing a sentient being.
Recent research suggests that plants have feelings too. But, come on now. Do you really mean to suggest that pulling a carrot from the ground is the same or worse than killing a sentient being? Or are you grasping at straws to make yourself feel better about consuming meat and dairy? Or maybe, to make vegans and vegetarians look foolish just because they don't happen to agree with you?

Because let's be honest folks, we all know it's not the same thing, don't we?

  • Sentient beings have a central nervous system.
  • Sentient beings have families who grieve their loss.
  • Farmed animals are held against their will.
  • Farmed animals are subjected to painful procedures without anesthetic.
  • Farmed animals are forced to have babies.
  • Farmed animals have those babies taken away from them to be turned into products themselves.
  • Farmed animals show obvious attachment to said babies.
It's slavery at it's worst.

Plus, I haven't even listed all of the atrocities humans commit against other animals here. Our actions in this area designate us as not the smartest race, but the stupidest.

Animal agriculture is killing the planet. It's killing us and it's taking down the entire animal and plant kingdom right along with us.

And if you don't believe any of that, think of this:

The majority of crops (plants) grown in the USA are grown and harvested to feed farmed animals. 

So, if you truly believe that plants have feelings, consuming meat and dairy is also the worst thing you can do to the plants.

Common sense. Get you some. LOL

Connecting with vegan cheese

Vegan cheese is pretty tasty these days!
I grew up in dairy country, you guys. In fact, we lived directly across from a dairy farm out in the country in upstate NY. My Grandpa worked in a cheese factory. My best childhood friend now lives in that factory, because it was her parents house after the factory closed. Many of my other friends grew up on dairy farms too. Even my first boyfriend did. Crazy history for someone who's going vegan, right? Yup, I have a lot of connections to conventional dairy alright. But now....

Well, now I'm making a connection with vegan dairy products so that I can go all the way vegan. In my fridge, there are a few dairy products because some of the people in my house are vegetarian, not vegan. But it's also because I'm not quite there yet. But guess what? I'm proud to say that as of last week, I am much closer. Diet wise, I am pretty much down to real butter and a little Parmesan on my spaghetti. There are some Chao vegan slices and some tofutti cream cheese in the fridge, just in case I get tempted to eat that conventional dairy that's in there for those other folks.

If you're going vegan and the people around you are not, it really, really helps to connect with some vegan cheese alternatives and have them on hand. And honestly, they're not as bad as you think, if you stick to the better ones. The vegan cream cheese tastes pretty much the same as dairy cream cheese. The vegan cheese slices resemble processed cheese slices, which I have admittedly never really cared for. Still, they are close enough to the real thing that they stave off my dairy cravings. And if I don't mind paying a little more, which I don't, there are vegan cheeses that taste exactly like dairy cheese. And to be honest, they cost about the same as the higher quality dairy cheeses anyway.

Next week when I buy groceries, I'm taking things a step closer. I'm getting some more coconut oil based “butter” and some vegan parmesan and sour cream. I already make whipped cream with fatty coconut milk. I also need to get some vegan egg roll wraps because I love egg rolls. In fact, I will be buying all vegan dairy products and nothing else very soon. I am lucky because my life partner, Gary is not opposed to them and actually prefers some of them. So, the rest of my transition will be smooth as silken tofu.

And the next time we visit NY on vacation, I'll bring my vegan cheeses and the like with me, so I won't be tempted by “dairy country” traditions. I'll have to stay away from NY cheese curd. I may have to get my NY subs and pizza without cheese and add my own vegan cheese. Traditions are wonderful, you guys, but sometimes we need to make changes and sacrifices. It's super hard for me to let the old comforts and ways go, but I have to consider the quality of life for future generations. It's just not in me to live with blinders on, oblivious to anyone's needs but my own.

I'm excited, you guys! In less than a month, my diet will be all the way vegan. With a bit of good fortune and a lot of willpower, I'm hoping it stays that way. No, it WILL stay that way! And then, it's on to vegan shoes and belts and other products. Now, I know that it's completely impossible in today's world to know that all the products you buy are vegan and in some cases, it's just not happening. But I intend to vote vegan with as many of my purchases and as much of my lifestyle as is humanly possible.

Wish me luck!