If you’ve read this blog before, you may know that I’m a vegan. I’m not one of those horrible militant ones who don’t speak to people who eat animal products. I was a vegetarian from ages 15-21, when suddenly I decided I wanted a chicken sandwich. Then I was a meat-eater until I think age 24 (I’ve totally forgotten how long it’s been) when I decided to cut out all animal products all together and follow a vegan lifestyle. This was due to a variety of reasons, the first being that I have a weak stomach and I never really liked meat all that much anyway – the whole idea of it grosses me out. I’ve also never really been a big fan of cheese, which I have found is unimaginable to a great deal of people. I hate eggs. I never drank milk. And I read Skinny Bitch, which I thought was just a book telling you in very mean ways that you have to stop eating crap and stop eating so much in general. I mean, it was, but the crap they tell you to stop eating is animal products. I’ve known a lot of uppity vegans so I was hesitant to go for it but I kept reading and decided screw it, it’s not like I eat that much animal anyway. I did not, however, realize how many animal products are hidden in regular ones, resulting in cutting myself off from an awful lot of food. You wouldn’t believe how many products sneak whey in.
But although I stay pretty close to totally vegan, my world won’t come to an end if I don’t. Depending on how hungry I am when we go to restaurants (you don’t want to see me hungry, I get HANGRY), I may or may not feign innocence as to asking what exactly is blah-blah made with. I try to only buy faux leather but sometimes I forget to look and you know, oops. I eat honey. Sounds weird to have to say that, but some vegans don’t. I mean, even white sugar isn’t vegan, it’s processed with animal bones. I use raw sugar myself, but I don’t not eat things with sugar in it.
The point. The boyfriend and the cats are solid meat eaters. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if my cats are vegan. Is there no logic left in the world? I’ve also had plenty of shocked reactions when I tell people my significant other eats meat. What? How can this be? A MEAT EATER and a NON MEAT EATER living in the same house? Egads! More amazingly, sometimes I MAKE meat meals for him! I feed the cats meat! OH, THE HORRORS!
I have no real point to this story other than that earlier I was putting stuff in the crockpot to make chicken gumbo for the boyfriend. I’m not a huge fan of cutting raw chicken but I can manage. However…fresh andoille (sp?) sausage…that is apparently my grossout breaking point. I made the boyfriend cut that. I can’t even look at the crockpot right now. I’m still nauseous just thinking about it. As a polack, I grew up on kielbasa. I’m so glad that I didn’t comprehend what it was then. I could never ever ever eat that again. I suppose it’s better than the traditional Polish blood soup that my dad had to eat when he was a kid, though.
I was under the impression Nature and I had an understanding. I would recycle and do other things to reduce my carbon footprint and in return, Nature would leave me alone to view it quietly from inside, or on the beach. Nature is not holding up its end of the bargain.
- The boyfriend saved a baby lizard from the ravenous cats.
- I made the boyfriend save a baby dragonfly that was in the house instead of killing it.
- At Big Brown, where I work at night loading packages into an igloo-like pod that will later be moved onto an airplane for transport, that container was filled with crickets. People ship those. And I keep forgetting to google to see what animal one feeds them to. One of my co-workers suggested fish, which I’m pretty sure is ridiculous. Lizards?
- While loading said cricket container, I was hassled by wasps. I really hate wasps. In fact, I dislike most flying insects as they are rather unpredictable and can end up in your hair. Strike 2 is those that sting or bite. Bees get a reprieve because they do useful things, like pollenate and make honey. Wasps and hornets, eff you. I will Raid you till the cows come home. Anyway, we discovered that the reason for wasp hassling was that there were 2 GIANT MFing NESTS above my head. Gah.
- At home doing work on the computer, picked up my phone off the desk to discover there were ants on it. Looked at desk to discover there were ants ALL OVER IT. When it rains a lot here, sugar ants find some place of entry and come inside my house. They have hit both upstairs bathrooms and the pantry downstairs but why they were all over my desk is a mystery to me. Ant bait. Sorry.
- After discovering the ant colony, I looked down next to my desk to discover a pincher bug.
- Silverfish in my bathroom. Those things are DISGUSTING. Sprayed it with hairspray, assumed that sufficed, turned around to see that it was gone. Fast forward to yesterday, when I pulled my clothes out of the hamper only to have what I think was the same silverfish squiggle out of the dirty clothes over my foot. BARF BARF BARF.
- Then there have been the not-annoying-but-amusing nature incidents, like the random turtle the other week and yesterday I saw a squirrel run by with most of a donut in its month. We have CRAZY squirrels.
Yes, I am vegan, and yes, I am all for animal rights, but I reserve MY right to my personal, nature-free space. LET ME BE!
Taking a break from obsessing about cats for a post. So I’ll talk about my other, more seasonal obsession. Football. I love football almost as much as I love cats. My Sundays are empty without it. I crave it. Don’t even get me started on my fantasy football, I tinker with my lineup all week and check the scores every five minutes. I yell at my TV. I yell at my phone when my fantasy app crashes. I yell every time another football player gets arrested (way to go, Eric Wright, how the eff did you get a FELONY DUI? Couldn’t just get a misdemenor like everyone else?).
And today, I am annoyed with the Arian Foster story. In case you don’t know, Arian Foster is one of the top running backs in the league. He doesn’t play for the Bucs, though, so the only way this story affects me personally is if I draft him in fantasy football, which there is only a slight chance of since there are 11 other people that will be vying for him as well.
So the story is that he went vegan. And it’s caused an uproar. In response to this uproar, I believe Mr. Foster said it best: “People feel so strong about meat and milk. I wish they felt this strong about peace.”
Like, really. I highly doubt that a guy who makes as much money as he does by RELYING on his body to work the way it does is taking this decision lightly. I remember when I was 15 and went vegetarian and all I ate was chips and french fries…yeah, that didn’t work out so well…but I know a lot more now and even if he doesn’t, he has the money to pay people who do. I can make all the arguments in the world about how humans aren’t really meant to consume meat and dairy…but I won’t. I can only speak from experience in saying that it is easier for me to lose weight, I have more energy, and I feel better since I gave up all that crap. And granted, I’m not working out 8 hours a day or whatever but I AM in the gym 5 times a week for mostly lifting because I hate cardio, and there has been no difference in how I build muscle.
Yes, people, there ARE other sources of protein. I know this is like saying the world is coming to an end, but please try to understand. While we’re at it, can you also stop acting so offended that I have personally chosen the path of no animal products? Are you afraid I’m going to take YOURS away? I’m not. I don’t care what you do. Really, I don’t.
I might not draft Arian Foster this year, but that’s only because running backs are on the decline and I’d rather get a solid tight end in the first round. Maybe like Tony Gonzalez. Also one of the best at his position. Also vegan.
I’m vegan. This is partially because I have never really been a big fan of meat, partially because I find slaughterhouse stories revolting, partially because I really like animals and helped along by reading Skinny Bitch.
It is absolutely AMAZING to hear the reactions from people when I tell them I am vegan. Sometimes they feel the need to defend their meat eating, as if I care. Some ask me “Well, what do you EAT, then?” Dirt. I eat dirt. What exactly do you think I eat? What do YOU eat that you think meat, dairy and eggs are the ONLY sources of sustenance?
My favorite is when people ask me if my cats are vegan.
I am a lover of science. A devotee of evolution. A student of logic. I understand, know, and appreciate that cats are carnivores. Their little bodies are made to eat meat. I probably know more than I should about how they have different enzymes than humans do, to help process all the flesh they eat. How their stomachs are longer to digest, but have a smaller intestinal tract. Why would I buck the trend and try to perfect what Mother Nature already perfected? There’s a food chain. Some things are meant to be eaten. Some things are meant to eat. I could make the argument that humans are meant to be herbivores, but I’ll refrain here. Vegan conversion is not my goal, it’s my personal choice.
So yes. I feed my cats what they are supposed to eat. I am a little too squeamish to do the raw food diet, and with Taco’s Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, he’s on prescription food anyway.
Here is where I will rant. Cat food is CRAP. Total and utter crap. Grocery store brands? You might as well serve your cat roadkill that’s been sitting out for days and crapped on by other half dead animals. It’s disgusting. I’m sure there are plenty of people who think I’m ridiculous for only wanting to feed my cats organic food without chicken meal and grain and fill, but I wouldn’t stuff myself with fast food pink slime, so why would I do it to my cats? This prescription food he has to eat, it helps him not form crystals, avoiding a very expensive-to-fix blockage, but it is made with CRAP. My vet had an amazingly long discussion with me about my aversion to feeding him this ick. Because I trust her and because she had this amazingly long conversation with me about my aversion to feeding him this ick, I listened. In the end, he’s eating the ick. I’d rather not rush him to the emergency vet or have him die because I am too stubborn to feed him what is apparently the ONLY scientifically proven thing to help him. I tried feeding Mooshie the good stuff and Taco the prescription, but Moosh is a stupidly picky eater and will only eat the crap. He won’t even touch wet food, which I know is bad but I can’t FORCE him to eat it. I will shamefully admit that I have, once or twice, KIND OF smushed his face in it a little, just to nudge him into eating it. It doesn’t work. I just give them lots of water and leave it at that.
I like to justify things. This is how I make myself feel better about decisions. I feel that my morals are fairly centered, so these decisions aren’t really earth-shattering.
I like to fuck with my cats. If you’ve ever put scotch tape on the bottoms of your cats’ paws and watch them run around (don’t lie, everyone I know well enough to admit this to me has done it), you’ll know what I mean. Look, I’m a vegan. I’m all for animal rights. I would NEVER do anything to harm an animal. But I’m not totally against using them for amusement here and there.
My justification? I feed them. I love them. I give them a home. I scoop their shit out of a box. No one disposes of MY waste like that. So every once in awhile, they get to dance for their dinner.
Exhibit A:Props in photos. They look miserable. But it’s a TINY moment of their lives and cats can’t recognize themselves in mirrors or in pictures so they don’t know to be embarrassed. That’s a scientific fact. At least the part about the not recognizing themselves. Lack of embarrassment is my own correlation.
Exhibit C: I have no photo proof of this, but I can exact hours of entertainment throwing stuff around for them to catch. Sometimes pretending to throw them, that always throws Taco for a loop. Always good for a laugh. This one is EXTRA justifiable, because as Jackson Galaxy says, you NEED to play with your cats for them to be happy.
PETA would probably have a shitfit about this, since they refuse to even call them “pets” — they’re “companions” — but I’m a good crazy cat lady and if I sometimes want to put a piece of harmless tape on my cat and watch him run like he’s on hot coals, I will, dammit.