Thursday, 16 August 2012

I must vent, apologies

I always seem to take the this blog as a way of venting, usually when I am upset or feel I cannot express myself or have exhausted all outlets.  I am a little worried that it might portray the vegan way of life as depressing, so let me just state – I have never been happier, nor more at peace with my actions and my existence than I have been since I have converted.  I believe it takes a phenomenal amount of strength to break away from normality and follow your own convictions in a world that doesn’t readily accommodate nor understand.  To do this, I have had found and nurtured an inner strength and resolute compassion for other living beings that allow me to feel a sense of almost purity in my core self.  The battle is the outer environment, but I liken it to a strong solid tree that might have to withstand varying weathers – sunny days, thundering storms, blustering winds.  Yet it remains – sturdy.  I wouldn’t have the opposite, the inverse, a life of ease but decaying and rotting from within.
I am quite a sensitive soul.  I always have been.  I am extremely in touch with my emotions to the point it can transpire I end up in little emotional wells from time to time.  What has changed however is that I am able to pull myself out of these by myself as opposed to waiting for someone to extend a hand.  I believe this strength has grown further since being vegan as I have had to take my own path and deal with the reaction from omnis I come across in life.  I have not been working the past year due to my inner ear problems, so it has been quite a private journey.  Yet the other day, I went to a wedding, where a lot of old workmates attended and I felt the need to dispel some preconceptions of vegans.  I never want to be viewed as awkward or an inconvenience.  I spent time the night before preparing food to take with me so if any stops were made on route I didn’t have to face the uncomfortable situation of having people buying McDonald’s or the like and me not eating anything as I refuse to give them my money.  It just takes a little forethought and a little consideration – which is symptomatic of the way of life I suppose, consideration.  I did get the initial questions as we stopped in a service station and I browsed through a salad recipe book and someone asked whether I could eat tuna.  So I just reeled off the list of stuff a vegan doesn’t eat, ‘No meat, fish, fowl, dairy, eggs or honey.”.  Phew.  That seemed to be the end of it but I sensed there was more that they wanted to ask.  I am very open to answering questions as I don’t preach.  So it is a nice opportunity to share information and just open minds a little, although most of the time I find myself biting my tongue.  Driving down the motorway, it’s inevitable to pass fields of cows, sheep and pigs.  Hearing “Aw, I love piglets”, and “aw look cows!” made me want to scream, but I just swallowed it down and sent them apologies for the human race and their inevitable fate where they would one day not be in the field and on someone’s dinner plate.  I did see a truck load of sheep off the slaughterhouse – which I wish hadn’t looked at because my tummy fell to the bottom of my seat.  I cannot bear to think about it those poor, beautiful babies.  This world is ruined.
The wedding itself was beautiful, though as expected it did get me thinking about my own romantic prospects.  Or lack thereof...  My stance to abstain from animal cruelty as much as possible bar living in a caravan with my own vegetables (which doesn’t sound terrible to me, in fact quite the opposite), has found me in a strange position romantically.  I have blogged in the past about omni-vegan relationships and the difficulties that can arise from this differing ethical stance.  There was an article about it this morning and naturally the anti-vegan comments have been coming in abundance.  One even likened wanting a vegan partner as being racist – HOW!?  It doesn’t do much to strengthen omni-vegan relations, all this animosity.  I don’t agree with using animals as commodities, though I am well aware that the consensus opposes this.  I have close friends that are meat eaters, who I love very much.  There are vegans that cannot abide meat eaters and some that are indifferent.  There are some that manage to work an omni-vegan partnership, and others who cannot.  Now, I have been very clear in the past blogs as to why I would prefer a vegan partner, or at the very least a vegetarian.  For me it is a question of compatibility and of shared ethics and beliefs.  It is not the inconvenience of cooking different meals or working out where to eat as these obstacles can be overcome and although a bit irritating, have a solution.  For me, it is watching the person I love, who I share my innermost self with, my body with and my life with, doing something that essentially opposes everything I stand for.  Whilst they may be considerate and thoughtful about it, in perhaps not doing it around me and trying vegan meals, it would feel like a smokescreen to me.  I know that deep down they just aren’t on the animals’ side.  I am not saying I would NEVER date an omni, but I cannot deny myself what I know I need from a partner.  This doesn’t extend as passionately to friendships, as I feel whilst I share myself with friends, it is not as intimate as a partner.  I won’t be cuddled up to my friends each night and nuzzling myself on their chest or Eskimo kissing.  They won’t be the person I speak to each night and tell about my day.  So it doesn’t have the same significance whether or not they share my ideals or not (even though I would love for all to be vegan!).  Does that make sense?  Saying that, I do find my time with my veg friends to be very relaxed and like the coming together of shared minds.  Which is indeed very comforting and it does make things feel a lot more harmonious.  Yes, harmony.  I think that is what I crave.  That feeling of peace, which whilst I have created in myself, is not reflected in the world.  So it is nice to find companions of the same mindset.  Though, I have said it before and I will say it again – there are very different vegans in the world – and not all get along!  Ah, it is quite difficult sometimes.  I wonder if I am even making sense at this point. 
It is an interesting experience being vegan in a non-vegan world.  Often challenging, but equally, if not moreso, morally rewarding.  People say to not be defined by your diet – but to me it is the most compassionate way of living, and to define yourself as a compassionate person is no fault in my eyes.  And as a vegan woman, there are few things as sexy as a man who extends his compassion to all creatures.  FO’SHIZ.  Just had to add that in!  *wink*  J

Monday, 6 August 2012

Oops, hello August!

Wow I haven’t been on here in a little while.  I have had some lovely comments coming through which has lured me back to an embarrassingly slow computer.  So thank you J
July has been a busy month for me.  I have applied to enrol on an Animal Management course, which speaks to every fibre of my being.  It would make me so happy to work with animals everyday – as heartbreaking as it will be at times.  But I like the feeling of being proactive about my passion, so this is another way in which to do so.  I could so easily see myself living on a piece of land, in a caravan, with many animal companions around me – all rescued – and all fiercely loved by myself. 
Talking of sanctuaries, last weekend I visited the vegan run sanctuary again for their fundraising weekend.  It was a fantastic experience and was amazing being around so many vegans and all the lovely babes.  I got to feed a pair of beautiful piglets – so much squealing!  Hungry little girls!  I also fell in love with an ex-battery hen who sat on my lap for a good half hour, as I stroked her and sang to her.  She had been there a few months and came in bald ... but now has new feathers growing back!  Like little teeny paintbrushes on her back.  They’re such gorgeous birds.  I have been examining the garden to try and decipher whether or not it can accommodate some ex battery hens but it doesn’t look good .... *hopes for the patch of land dream to materialise*. 
I had hoped, secretly, deep down, perhaps, to maybe find a vegan prince there but alas, that dream continues as well.  Slim pickings out there!  Slim pickings...  I have my Rosie though – who is curled up next to me as I type, purring away.  What is life without animals?
I did have a little drama whilst I was on my little weekend away at the sanctuary.  It was a camping affair so I was conserving my phone and pretty much shut myself off from the rest of the world for the weekend.  Why would I let myself deal with normality when I can run about (flip flop about..) with free running lambs, a deer and other gorgeous ones?  However, I did receive a text, after a couple of vegan ciders, and a friend’s wedding I am to attend is looming.  And there was a problem catering for me...In the end it got sorted but it got me thinking how far my line is.  What would I be willing to compromise for my beliefs?  Would I take a packed lunch all the way across the country whilst everyone else gets to eat a lovely dinner?  Or would I simply refuse?  Would it be a test of the friendship to understand that my diet is so much MORE than just that and is a way of life?  An integral part of my being?    It transpired I wasn’t to be forced to realistically considering these ideas, but it is and can be a huge deal.  Look back to my post about omni-vegan relationships.  Whilst not the sole reason for its break up, it was a contributing factor, in that I cannot see myself with a meat eater.  I live in a vegetarian household and refuse to purchase eggs, milk and cheese when doing a shop for my mum.  I just cannot bring myself to.  All I see in the cheese is a calf without its mother, with milk is a mother screaming for her baby, with eggs – the conveyor belt of death for all the unwanted male chicks.  Maybe I am being too righteous?  But I refuse now to do anything that makes me feel uncomfortable or that doesn’t sit right within myself as far as I have control.  Although I must give my mum credit as she now makes a conscious effort to buy non tested products and is embracing vegan cheese.  It’s these little acts that I truly respect and I felt my heart swell a little for her consideration. 
It’s hard not to become consumed by it all.  For the simple fact that these are LIVES of creatures that are MURDERED daily.  In horrific volumes.  How can a person expect a vegan to not become angry at this horror??  To be passive about it?  No.  Apathy is a disease of the world.  Compassion is a rarity.  Compassion that extends to animals especially.  It’s not that I don’t care about the human cause, but rather I feel that we seem to hold ourselves in such high regard that we really ought to be able to sort our stuff out on our own.  The animals?  They are the true innocents and mistreated beyond belief, and haven’t the capacity to voice in a way that ignorant humans will even listen to.  They ignore the screams and the cries.  So activists fight for those who cannot.  For the animals that are electrocuted, kicked, punched, hung upside down.  Whose throats are slit in front of each other.  Whose last moments are taken away so that humans can eat their remains.  I don’t know how many different ways I can express how truly wrong this is.  It’s simply murder!  So yeah... I will put my beliefs before most.  I will not betray those whose souls I hope are at peace and away from this hellish world.  A voice for the voiceless.  Always.