Moving, moving, yet again

Yesterday I found out I’d be moving back to my old loft because my Nana’s gone away to see her other family, and we can all give up the dream here at chez Pettigrew. Today, I’m fully packed, even though I don’t need to be out for another week. Why? Because I want my life back!

    Living with my father has made me realize a whole lot about myself, mostly that I cannot deal with others, family or not, if they don’t care about my views. I’ve literally been living off of hummus, toast and marmalade for what seems like forever and I’m fed up. Firstly because the effort just wasn’t there, but even more so because he’s my father and still wouldn’t make the effort. I can live with a day or two of straying from my diet (not in the sense that I stop being vegan, more so in the sense that I stop steaming kale) in order to not offend anyone, but weeks? Not my deal, not even possible, I have far too strict of a diet (which I do intentionally, not all vegans are as conscious as I am about having a very well rounded, perfectly balanced, diet) for me to be living on minimal fruits and vegetables. How does this man not have scurvy, really.

    It’s also made me realize how much I appreciate my alone time, I love being alone. I suppose that’s anti-social of me, but I’ve grown used to living by my own rules, and creating my own oasis, and not having to worry about getting lactose poisoning. These are the simple pleasures which come with being me. I like to cook up a storm, sit around reading, and clean my house with only vinegar and baking soda. I like these things. Some people are dying to get out of their homes and into the real world, but I think that if you can’t sit with yourself for a moment, than you’re not going to be able for the real world either way.

    Long and short of it, I’ll be glad to be back home tomorrow. Yet I’m still worried, because Greg’s been living there, and I hate Greg so much. He’s a meat-eating, pot smoking, under achiever who’s a leech on my father’s side. I think he’s ruined my oasis, not that I can’t get it back, but there has definitely been damage done. I’m pretty pissed that he stayed in my loft, really. I couldn’t say no because my father pays for it, but I was never asked if that was okay with me, he just kind of came over and never left. Had I been asked, I would have, most definitely, said no chance in hell.

    I should get back to packing up my last few things and doing a clean sweep, maybe I’ll even have some super-nutritious toast (which is actually sprouted-7 grain, I picked it up. 6 grams of protein per 2 slices, not too shabby, right?). I’ll post next from my humble abode.

(First posted: 21/07/08)

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Old leaf, revisited.

I can’t say this is a confession of a recent epiphany. No, I think I’ve been in more of a political rut, but today someone asked me a simple question, “what stands out in your life?” and I blanked. By rights I shouldn’t have, I know what my passion is, I just haven’t been very active recently; uninspired if you will. Sustainability and ethics drive my every decision, and over the past two years, I’ve changed my life around entirely in order to fit the mold of what I believe to be a responsible citizen who, grudgingly, accepts that consumerism is not going away, especially in the urban centers. But I think that today, my passion has been renewed, and I’m ecstatic about it to be honest. I’ve been wanting to jump back into the front lines and get my voice heard and my opinion out there. 

    I feel an odd sense of rejuvenation, I feel in touch with my community, I feel great. I can tell there’s a challenge ahead of me, but I think I’m ready for it. Because I’m ready to strike up the censored chorus and make changes. I’m jumping back into my learning, into my research, I feel like I’m on to something here. I feel like I’ve found myself. And I feel like it’s time to rebuild a bridge or two and get my act together before I use all the resources available to me to eventually bombard you with things that you will never be bombarded with on television, because it’s a conflict of interest. 

    I listened to Isa Chandra’s Naked Vaygun podcast today, and she talked about this extremely odd story about the FBI approaching a man, imagine a hipster on a bicycle, and asking him to infiltrate vegan potlucks because they (vegans) are leftist terrorists and all their scheming takes place at potlucks. I found it absurd. And at the same time empowering, the feds are after me! So the next time I’m cycling, vehicularist-style, with a backpack full of vegan baked goods, to my friends house, I’m a threat, a suspect, and one of those “approach-with-caution” types. All for being vegan? Yessir. The story actually made me want to have a vegan potluck, something which I have quite honestly never wanted to do before, ever. Maybe I’m a shit disturber, maybe I want to hear what my fellow vegan conspirators have to say about foreign policy, who knows! All I know is that I had better start baking, I think they’d be the perfect people to be around while I jump back into environmental and social activism too. 

    Tomorrow’s a big day because I find out where I’ll be living for the next year of my life (how exciting), and I just know I’ll be up all night reading Big Coal. At least I know that there weren’t more important things to be done.

(First posted: 13/07/08)

“Your crazy vegan friend”

 

"So, Jim tells me you're a militant vegan... fascinating!"

"So, Jim tells me you're a militant vegan... fascinating!"

It’s weird how people think, and especially to see which people will put you in which boxes. I’ve been vegan for over a year and a half now, and I love that, in my opinion, I’ve made a positive change in my life. But my friends, try as they might to shoot down my diet as some alien form of dietary extremism, don’t think too highly of us vegans.

     Granted, the majority of my friends were born and raised in a little place I like to call the fiery pits of hell, or Etobicoke, a little suburb out of the way of downtown Toronto. And they know nothing other than lame keggers in public parks (this is not to say I haven’t attended the majority of those lame keggers, unfortunately…), Uggs in summertime and strip malls. My friends have had a very bland upbringing, and cannot wrap their heads around how I survive on things other than foie gras.

     However, you can only blame it on the ‘burbs for so long. when you’re 18, legally an adult, and still an ignorant suburbanite, that’s your fault. Anyways, I’ll take the high road, what I don’t understand about non-vegans is how they are so baffled by my lifestyle. 

     I’m a vegan primarily for environmental reasons, I was never one of those for-the-animals vegans (that said, I don’t support animal testing because i love my bunny, Fitzgerald, too much to support an industry which treats his brethren maliciously in the name of Mabeline), yet people assume that if I were given the chance I would walk around in a burlap sack. Has no one heard of chafing? Yikes.

      I don’t think people understand what a vegan is, or what we stand for, because I am an environmentalist first, the lines are skewed for people who know me, seeing as I am the only vegan most of them know. People consistently ask me if my paper is vegan, if my pens are vegan, if any inanimate object I own, is vegan. There is no such thing as non-vegan paper. There are no industries which test for paper cuts on small animals. That said, I suppose the dyes could be tested on animals. Back to my point, because I am an environmentalist I use recycled paper with vegetable inks, not because I am vegan.

     A vegan is any person who refrains from eating any animal products, or any animal derived products. Nowhere does it say wear burlap, join a hippie cult and chain yourself to trees in the ancient forest. I know a vegan or two who drive around in big cars, who live in huge, energy-frivilious homes, and who lead environmentally unsustainable lives. 

     Anyways, I’m glad to get that off my chest.