I've been doing school work this week. We're also tying up loose ends for the reception. I'm participating in a discussion board for the challenge. Hopefully folks there will read my posts there and read my blog here.
So my lovely wife posted an article about animal rights and dairy. I'm not going to post the article here because it isn't my deal. If you would like to discuss that/read about that, then go to her blog and get on it. In any case, the article had videos (which I did not watch) showing what happens in dairy processing plants. I have to say that upon seeing this article I was upset. I WAS PUT OUT! I felt that the author of the article intimated that anyone who eats dairy is on the Hitler-level of evil. Ms. Burnout later relayed later that the author pulls no punches when presenting facts and can present things in what seems to be a harsh manor.
I'm writing because of the dilemma I felt upon reading that article. Being a vegan, which I'll be for 21 straight days, is strict, nay draconian, in a very restrictive way. If I don't eat dairy and I don't eat meat, what do I eat? What can I do with my friends? No more wings and beer - and only specific types of beers at that (yes there are vegan and non-vegan beers). What can I eat at the Sunrise Inn (a pseudonym for a local place) when I go there with my friends? I was in a real pickle the other day.
In talking about my feelings with the singed one, she reminded me that things have to be taken one step at a time. She also said that she takes one day at a time with regard to food. This was sort of a revelation when she said that. Her veganism and choices seem so easy for her. She's contented by her decisions and seems to go through life effortlessly. She also reminded me that she married me as an omnivore and loves me as one now. She also reminded me that she'll love me with whatever decision I make/will make in the future and that she's here to help me on my journey.
Food update: We made some meatless tacos (dairy-free for burnout) tonight for dinner. Here's a tip, do not cut summer squash too far in advance of using it. IT WILL BE DRIER THAN THE SAHARA! Corn tortillas suck. 3-Grain Tempeh is good. Pictures of the tacos to come.
Alter-ego: I think everyone should have at least one alter ego. I've finally decided on mine. His name is Henry Thomas Stockton. Imagine a mix of Tom Waits, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, and Bukowski. Check these folks out and if you're into Science Fiction (hereafter SF) then look to Philip K. Dick, Alfred Bester, and William Gibson.
So I'm driving home today on my long commute and radio channel surfing. I am flipping through and hear an ad for the radio station's happy hour. The DJ for the party - DJ KUNG FU PANDA. This is a serious ad for a serious party with a real DJ. KUNG FU PANDA. It was a great movie, but I don't think anyone should use that as a DJ name. Kung Fu Panda t-shirts, toys, and paraphenalia for kids is great. Movie posters and games - AWESOME! DJ KUNG FU PANDA is the WORST NAME EVER!!!!!! EVER!!!!!! EVVERRRRERJ!!!!!!!!!!! So kids, I've decided that if working for the man don't work out I'm going to be a DJ. I had a really awesome Chicken Parm sub today for lunch. I think I'll be DJ Chicken Parm. My friend Dave used to drive a Dodge Omni, maybe he would be DJ Dodge Omni, or DJ Mopar. Now that Sandra Day O'Connor is retired from supreme judging maybe she'll be DJ Black's Law Dictionary. Sorry about this rant, but I was thrown off by the stupidity.
It looks normal doesn't it? Vegetable, Starch, main portion. This meal is vegan. It was eaten pre-challenge. I've found in my year-plus living with my wife that the main challenge or issue I have with vegetarian/vegan cooking is the foreign-ness of the elements of the meals and how they're put together. The picture above looks more like regular meals. Somehow that, the normal American meal set-up, makes eating vegetarian/vegan easier for me.
I hope that the challenge isn't too taxing. It's almost scary to think about changing my diet. Food is such a big part of socializing and culture and it's daunting to think about changing that. Growing up I think I had no willpower whatsoever. I'm not sure how much willpower I have now. Will I be able to give up all meat? How will that affect things like Thanksgiving and Christmas? Will I be able to go without? Will I be able to cope with being even more blacksheep among my family? I think I'll hold on to something the Vegan Burnout said to me. "Of course it's easy to go get a cheeseburger from McDonald's I want to do that from time to time. My principles keep me going."
While driving home on my long commute (all of 3 miles) I saw an interesting thing. Two cars were stopped, one in the opposing lane and the other in the shoulder on my side. I also saw a groundhog, hedgehog, whatever we have in Maryland in the middle of the road - ALIVE! A car a few ahead of me decided to stop in our lane. I initially had the urge to start into a flip out. If you know me, then you know this is something to behold. If you don't know me/haven't experienced a flip out, I'll try and indulge you. I digress. So the cars are stacking up on both sides of the road now. I'm expecting honks - I hear none. Then I spy a guy with a metal rake. He used the rake to shuttle the mammal out of the road and into the wooded area directly next to the road. It dawned on me that I have learned a bit of compassion. I didn't flip out. I felt better than I did a few minutes early after witnessing this small mercy from God. Looks like my wife is influencing me.
P.S. A big shout out to my man Devin. Devin and I got to know each other when he lived with my friend Jeff in college. Thanks for following Devin. Someone other than my wife (who must feel bad for me because blogs sound like a 10 year old wrote them) may read my blog.
If you've read my previous post, then you know about the 21-day challenge. If you don't know about it, go read my other post. It's only right down there. I digress. In efforts to prepare for the challenge, I'm trying to make a food bucket list. I'm also trying to load up on as much of the foods I won't be able to have during the challenge. To that end I had a bacon cheeseburger with mayo today. It was delicious and gross at the same time. Thus far I've only been able to think of a few things to put on the food bucket list. I have to have wings at least once. I want to have some breakfast foods. I also want my grandma to make me an egg in a cup. It's this thing I used to have at her house all the time as a kid. The big question is what am I missing from my list.
It's not that I won't be able to eat what I want after the 21 days are up or that I'll be forced into something. I guess I think that perhaps I'd like to stop eating meat, at least try. I tried to do that for awhile, but I didn't give it the old college try. I should have tried harder to follow through on it.
Now is my chance to give it a real, honest try. For an introduction into one reason behind giving up at least red meat go here. I'll say now that I think there are too many assumptions as part of that article to really "debunk" anything. From a pro-environmental perspective eating local is a great idea, especially when you want to continue eating meat. Go here for a local, small-business grocery store selling local meat. Support local business and local farmers.
So, I have been challenged by a coworker. My wife (her blog is here ) sent out an email to me and a number of our friends and family informing us about this challenge sponsored by the PCRM. I mentioned it to folks at work, which is how I got challenged. So I will be setting out to complete this challenge with flying colors. I can't not beat it.
Update: Check out Shannon's blog linked above. I think we'll like to each other's blog entries. Hopefully it won't cause any strife in our house. The first two months of married life has been very smooth.
Update 2: If you know me, you know that I watch a ton of TV. Right now I'm watching some damn commercial about this super-duper, compact, crazy cell wallet thingy for people who are tired of carrying around a big purse. Don't buy this thing - just take some crap out of your huge hand bag. WTF!