1

My First Time at Slaughter

I attended my first Pig Save Vigil in Guelph today. I’m pretty sure it had the effect on me that I wanted it to have. By the time we left, despite how guilty I felt about it given the context, my stomach was rumbling because I had eaten breakfast so early to get there when we wanted to. But I distinctly remember thinking to myself: I would rather starve than ever eat meat again. And this is obviously the reaction that I was hoping for by going. I wanted to make my vegetarianism/veganism foolproof. No cravings or temptations are ever gonna hit me after hearing the sounds I heard today. My mom usually gets a fancy ham at New Years. I know I’m going to hear screams when I see it sitting on the table.

I got to pet two of them before one of the trucks crossed the property line. Later, I was hesitant to wash my hands, because they were dead now and I was washing away the last traces of them. But I’ll never forget them.

ImageImageImage

I’m really stumped for words tonight. Normally I’ve got a lot to say about everything and have no trouble having words flow out of me. But today… all I’ve got is… how horrible. I feel ashamed of the person I was a month ago, but my friend reminded me to stay positive and proud that I am bettering myself and hopefully educating those around me when I can.

Now it’s time to focus on the good things that happened today. I made a new vegan friend. We all went to a delicious veggie/vegan resteraunt for lunch afterwards. And I came home and took out one of my new cook books, went to the grocery store, and now I’ve got a delicious smelling meal simmering away in my slow-cooker. I didn’t quite get as inspiring a day as my friend E got after attending her first pig save vigil; that was the night where we had a vegan food party and she and her sister took me to some grocery stores to show me the stuff they like and what brands to look for and what not because it timed up perfectly with when I had cut out meat and had decided I was going to be working towards cutting out dairy and eggs as well. She got a little sliver of hope that the world is becoming a better place. I have delicious food surrounding me. But maybe my cooking is my weapon of choice. I love making new and interesting foods and sharing them with people, who knows, maybe I’ll contribute to making vegan seem less daunting to some people as well.

H

0

Making it REAL

I’m going to my first pig save vigil tomorrow morning… I’m utterly terrified. I get close to tears even just thinking about it. But I need to go. I need to make this 100% real for me otherwise I’m scared I’ll somehow slip back into oblivion and denial and go back to the way I was. The way the rest of the world is. So I need to go for me. To keep me honest. But I’m also terrified of the way its going to affect me. I don’t want to be the stereotypical obnoxious vegan… but at the same time I do. I do and I don’t. I used to be really obnoxious about my atheism. I don’t think I’m OBNOXIOUS about it anymore, but I’m certainly not shy about it. But I feel that there are more atheists/agnostics in the world than vegetarians/vegans. I feel isolated and fear judgement even though I’m proud of my decisions.

I have a feeling tomorrow is going to change me. Sicken and horrify me. Amplify me. And I need to be okay with that. I need to stop feeling scared about the judgements people might make of me, something I’ve struggled with a lot of my life. I need to be braver, bolder, stronger. I stand up for what I believe in, and I take pride in that. I’ve been too quiet about things I care about lately as I trudge my way through menial jobs and seemingly countless years of post secondary education. I feel muted. I feel like I’ve just been putting my head down and ploughing through life focused only on getting by, not being me.

I am a queer (almost)vegan atheist. I believe in honesty, truth, and respect. Good luck shutting me up once I’ve gotten going.

 

H

0

Montana’s…

I went to Montana’s for dinner with my boyfriend and his family. I knew I wouldn’t really have many choices on the menu, but technically speaking, I didn’t even have one. Nothing was vegan oriented. I thought I’d be able to get pasta just with no meat or something but I didn’t want to pay 15 bucks for pasta and tomato sauce. So I went with the veggie burger (“no feta cheese or mayo please, and is there real butter in the apple butter bbq sauce?”). I wasn’t incredibly impressed. The burger was fine, the sauce was delicious. But I had just ordered a veggie burger with no feta cheese, mayo, or any of the three sautéed vegetables that came on it as well, asking for lettuce and tomato instead… I got a single slice of tomato and two small pieces of lettuce. REALLY? I subtracted 5 (rather pricy…) things asking for lettuce and tomato instead and you don’t even give me a descent amount?

So that was unimpressive. The other thing I couldn’t help but focus on was all of the meat. Everywhere. I was the only one at my table eating anything remotely healthy. There was an obese family nearby. And all I could think of is the meat. All of the meat. This kinda meat. That kinda meat. This kinda meat on top of that kinda meat. Really? Is that all there is here? I know its a steakhouse or whatever, but … I just had a bit of a hard time with it tonight. Its like no one else even thinks about eating anything else…

My boyfriend couldn’t decide between this kinda meat or that kinda meat, and I remember loving one of the things he was thinking about getting, so I told him to get that. I feel guilty about telling him to eat it, but I knew he wouldn’t go for the veggie burger and I don’t want this to cause a rift between us but I’m scared that it will at some point.

H

0

The Harvest

I was watching an episode of Torchwood the other day. Early episode, I wasn’t all that familiar with it yet, maybe don’t read this if you think you would enjoy the show and don’t want any spoilers. But anyways. In the episode, the team went to an area in the countryside where there had been a large number of disappearances in a short period of time. We later see an interesting variation of “remains” which are sickening to the characters (who were eating hamburgers earlier in the episode). Everything is scary with eerie camera angles and spooky sounds and all that good television jazz, and you’re thinking “what strange entity is at work here?” Some of the characters are abducted without us seeing who/what has taken them. They’re shown in a holding cell of some sort, find skin and organs in a fridge down there, and are working on their escape when a woman with a shotgun comes in asking if they were hurt when they were brought in, explaining that she’s a nurse. They try to get some information out of her but she says that she isn’t allowed to talk to them and that she has been sent down to bring them upstairs. The minimal information that they do get out of her is that once every decade, this “harvest” (their word, not mine) takes place and she’s been lucky to have been spared so far by helping them. We still have no idea what creatures or aliens are doing this. You know how they do that in shows and movies, take forever to show you the alien? So annoying, but always worth it when they finally do. So she takes them upstairs at gunpoint, to a room where there’s a plastic sheet dividing an area from the rest of the room, and a pungent stench wafting from it. They’re made to walk through an opening in the sheet and one of them asks “what do they look like? Do they look like us?” and then a man appears and says “why wouldn’t they?” At this point I’m thinking its one of those episodes where the alien is in a human suit. I kept waiting for that information to be given to me. Waiting. And waiting.

I was texting my vegan mentor friend while watching this episode and she raised a good point, people seem fine with slaughtering animals for food, but the second we’re that food and a more evolved or more powerful being is doing the same to us, thats obviously unacceptable. But so few people are able to actually see it that way. I agreed with her point and was very thankful that I’d already given up meat before watching this episode, cuz otherwise I probably would have been sick. But here I was… still waiting. I needed them to make the reveal, what type of alien is this, where did they come from, what did they look like? Waiting. And then I was forced to accept it. There were no aliens in this episode. That wasn’t an alien in a man suit, that was a man. A human. Their group of people were slaughtering and eating others humans, enjoying the sport of it. I didn’t want to accept it. Probably because its a thought that had crossed my mind more than once while eating things with meat in them, “I don’t know for sure what this is, I could be eating a human right now and not even know it.” My impending vegetarian/veganism was a long time coming, but it was always on the back of my mind. But I just could not accept the fact that this was a group of humans. It would have been okay if they were aliens, but I didn’t want to think of humans as being capable of this. Didn’t want a reminder of what goes on every day, what I was doing three weeks ago. When they asked him why he did it… he finally whispered “… because I like it.”

And I can’t even think/write about it anymore.

On a different note, I wanted to write about a little funny something that happened today. I went for burritos with E, my mentor friend (who I had taken for her first ever burrito while I had a pork one, and now she was taking me for my first ever vegan burrito; the tables had turned lol). She had gotten in line and started ordering for me because we didn’t have all that much time. I called her so she could start my order and I told her what I wanted and she said “no meat?” and I was like “EW NO…” and I wouldn’t let her live it down for the rest of the day because I thought it was so funny that she had asked me that even after me talking to her about everything for the last 3 weeks about different things where I was like “I’m so glad I’m not eating meat anymore” … moments such as texting her about that episode, less than two days prior. She later decided to go with “… it was a test. You passed!” Maybe no one cares about our funny little moment, but it might’ve been the highlight of my day, and after all the gross icky stuff I was thinking about there, I wanted to end on a more fun note for myself.

H

0

Little Things

I feel like everything is connected to my vegan transition.  I think about it all the time.  Not just when I see posters of things, but other times too. On the subway I saw a cat and two dogs and I obviously stared at them with a goofy grin on my face. Then I got a vegan wrap from freshii and ate it in the park and had a little moment with a bird who sat on my bench. I though, its a good thing I’m not eating your friend.
My mom was talking to me about vegan sour cream/ground beef and she’s planning on making vegan burritos when I come over for dinner tomorrow. I’m glad she’s on board with my transition and hopefully I’ll help her get onboard with herself.
I also got my first “desert island” question today from a rather obnoxious classmate. The answer is obviously, no I don’t think I’d be able to kill and cook a wild boar, that’s why I’m not eating meat.
I forgot to post that last night so I’m doing two days in one.
Today wasn’t quite as eventful as yesterday, but I did have a delicious falafel for lunch today,  and I had dinner at my mom’s tonight and she bought the Yves “ground beef” to make burritos for us. Apparently parents cooking vegan for me this early on is rare/special cuz my friend (and vegan mentor) who’s been vegan a year and a half with her sister,  their parents don’t cook vegan when they’re over. I am really lucky to have my mom.
H

1

Telling Grandma

I “came out” to my Grandma today, and leading up to it I was incredibly worried. A few weeks ago I had decided to go veg but not sure if I could do vegan. She was driving me somewhere and had asked me what I had packed for lunch that day. I told her that I had potato salad, and she was worried that I didn’t have protein in my lunch. That particular salad, I reassured her, had eggs in it, so I would be fine for protein. So because of that, I had it in my head that she would be incredibly worried if I gave up milk and eggs too. I hadn’t even told her at that point that I was vegetarian because I was only a few days in.

But I went to her house for dinner tonight, and I decided to tell her before anyone else got there. I had my Mercy for Animals Vegetarian Starter Kit with me, with my vegan food pyramid and information on sources of protein, ready to have to validate my decision as a wise one.

The conversation was a little like this. “Grandma, do you know what a vegan is?” “Yea, isn’t that what Ellen is?” “Yea, Ellen’s a vegan, and I am going to be now too.” “Oh, okay. So do you want me to open a can of chickpeas for you to have with dinner instead of chicken?” And then we proceeded to talk about vegan substitutes. There was an amusing moment after dinner when she asked me if I wanted ice cream with my apple crisp and I said “NOO! … I mean… no thank you” and that really amused me because I’m so happy by the fact that I don’t want ice cream. I always thought I’d miss things.

But anyways… I was so worked up by this, and it turned out to be nothing. I do have one friend in particular who I’m expecting to have a bad reaction when she finds out though. She has it in her head that being vegan is extreme and unhealthy. I obviously don’t expect to lose the friendship over it, but I am worried about that scenario. I’m putting that off. Hopefully I’ll be able to talk to her about it in person after the term ends, with my Mercy for Animals kit by my side, and help her know that this is actually the best decision of my life.

H

0

New!

I recently became vegetarian, am only consuming products containing milk that are already in my house, and probably wont eat any more eggs outside of the ones in my fridge already. So, I’m on my way to being vegan, allowing small dairy and egg exceptions up until the new year.

I’ve been so excited and scatterbrained since I made these decisions (which kinda came in a whirlwind and I’ll expand on that when I have more time to write) and things just seem kinda surreal so far. Surreal and awesome and exciting. All I can think about is all of the awesome food I’m going to make and eat and share with my (vegan and non vegan) friends. I’ve already got myself 5 new cookbooks… perhaps a little overkill, but hey, there are worse ways to spend money than on delicious vegan cookbooks.

I’m not expecting many people to find this blog, but I wanted to create a little space for myself where I can talk about my experiences and thoughts concerning this life change that I’m making, and dealing with the external stress I’ve become aware that I am probably going to experience for the rest of my life. I want to organize and formulate my new ideas and values here before I start talking about them aloud. I wanna write them down and come back to them a week later, a month later, and see if I still have the same opinion on any given thing. I want to learn about myself and all of the things that I think about everything related to food and those who pass judgement on you based on your food choices.

This is going to be a very hectic, scatterbrained, maybe ill-worded or possibly even offensive somehow, experience. But I mean no harm. I’m simply a new herbivore finding he way in her thoughts and feelings shes finally allowing herself to have.

H