Sunday, July 19, 2009

political and pleasurable...

i had a work colleague around for dinner last night - she's vegan, around my age and an animal lover (which definitely went down well with Allie and Shadow - they loved being caressed by her!!!)... what an enjoyable evening - ideals, beliefs and experiences shared with someone with similar politics - not having to explain or justify ourselves, as vegans and vegetarians so often have to, because there was understanding... refreshing...

I love a good, positive political conversation - and a really deep conversation with someone who shares your views is always rewarding - an expansion and validation of your beliefs - really encouraging - and all too rare... it does the mind a wealth of good... you feel less like a "stranger in a strange land"... yes, it was a good night!!!!

i made a delicious ratatouille with rosemary baked potatoes and garlic - Den brought crusty rolls to sop up the yummy juices, and we shared a delightful organic semillon sauvignon blanc... she also brought a lovely bunch of daffodils and irises that complimented everything... very thoughtful - and the colours look great with the maroon venetians as their backdrop!!!

mind you, finding wine that vegetarians and vegans can drink can be a tiresome process... reading all of those labels - so many wines are 'fined' with non-vegetarian/vegan friendly substances - blood, egg whites, egg albumin, casein (milk protein), gelatin (derived from bones), isinglass (derived from fish), chitin/chitosan (derived from the shells of crabs or lobsters) and I must have read 20-odd labels yesterday before I found a suitable organic one.

like me, Den doesn't go out often these days - yeah, our age has something to do with that - but so does the still limited vegetarian restaurant choice - let alone vegetarian dish choices in 'standard' restuarants - and then there are the odors of rancid decaying cooking flesh that can be overpowering, nausea-causing even - and let's face it, once something dies it starts to decay immediately!!!

there's also the constant having to explain your vegetarianism to people who can't quite grasp the concept, and the graphic descriptions they give you of their carnivorous habits - 'we' really don't want to hear your favourite dead animal recipe or where you get the best cut of dead animal from!!!

and then there's the wearing of 'leather' products - some vegetarians and vegans find this a hard thing to do away with - but how do they justify it to themselves - how is dead animal as food source different to dead animal as clothing source - the animals suffer and then die - it's all part and parcel of the same industry - the death industry... and then there's the other abusive, inhumane practices - the feed lots, the battery farms, the farms that provide no shelter or water (and there are so many - just take a drive in the country!!!), the transportation, the abattoirs, the pain, the suffering - and that's not even touching on animal experimentation - the list goes on...

there seems to be an inability to understand that 'our' vegetarianism is an integral element of us - who we are - our morality - our belief in the complementarity of nature - our respect and compassion for other species - our non-belief in human superiority!!!

it's a hard choice to make - to live on the outside of what's considered 'normal' takes determination and strength - always having to 'qualify and quantify' your beliefs can wear you out - so can the jokes and jibes about vegetarians - and the disrespect to animals - it also takes time, energy, and lots of research - you have to read everything - time-consuming and frustrating - it's a way of life...

so, like a lot of vegos, i find myself thinking - "what hope for animals, when humans don't even respect or have compassion for their own species"??!!


If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian. ~ Paul McCartney

Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on Buddhists and vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not our own. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Recognize meat for what it really is: the antibiotic- and pesticide-laden corpse of a tortured animal. ~ Ingrid Newkirk

We all love animals. Why do we call some "pets" and others "dinner?" ~ k.d. lang

Think of me tonite
For that which you savor
Did it give you something real,
or could you taste the pain of my death in its flavor?
~ Wayne K. Tolson, from "Food Forethought"

quotes from Quotegarden


Sailor Lily said...

great blog again Wize. I'm glad to hear you and the delicious (not in an edible way though...) Den have become friends, two wonderful womyn with shared ethics and gentleness should indeed break bread together.
I hope you know I admire and respect your vegetarianism and I know my carnivore excuses are lame to the extreme.
Enjoy your tomorrow off,

Curvy Kitty said...

Good to hear you two ladies had a fine evening. All my meds are tested on animals which doesn't really bear thinking about. Though sometimes I think they're also being tested on me!

Curvy Kitty said...

Ooh! what's more important is that the food looks FABULOUS. Yummy!