Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I tried going vegan and it didn’t work out for me. Here is my story.
One morning I decided to go vegan and I was thinking about recipes when walking through a crowd at the train station on my way to work.
While I was thinking, I stubbed my toe.
Because I was distracted after stubbing my toe, I walked into the revolving door and broke my nose.
I got blood all over my favorite sweater.
At the hospital emergency room, I was exposed to two hours of really horrible morning TV and countless viruses while I waited for a doctor to see me.
I blame veganism.
During this time, my phone lost its charge.
Because my phone had lost its charge, I was unable to call in to work and was written up by my supervisor.
On the train home, my wallet got stolen. Probably because I was so weak from being vegan, I didn’t even notice.
The prescription for my painkillers was in my wallet, so that got stolen, too.
I had to go home without a working phone and wait for it to charge before I could get the hospital to send my painkiller prescription to the pharmacy.
I found some money in an old coat pocket to pay for the painkillers. While looking through pockets, I tore the lining of my coat.
None of this would have happened if I hadn’t gone vegan.
Once my phone was charged, I saw that my boyfriend sent me a text. He broke up with me.
I also got a text from my best friend telling me that we needed to talk.
She and my ex-boyfriend ran away together to Province.
Veganism is soul-crushing.
On my way to picking up my prescription, it started to rain.
Or I thought it was rain, but a bird actually pooped on top of my head.
I went into a public restroom at Macy’s to clean my hair. As I was leaving, the alarm went off and my bag needed to be searched by a security guard to check if I was stealing.
My old high school rival happened to be walking through right at that moment with her new baby.
I shouted, “I wasn’t stealing!” but by then she had hurried off. Everyone was staring at me.
Veganism made me look really bad.
I finally got to the pharmacy. After waiting to be seen for ten minutes, I was informed that they hadn’t received the prescription.
They called the hospital. I waited another ten minutes to be told they didn’t couldn’t fill the prescription because they were out of the painkillers.
I had to go to a different location across town with my throbbing nose.
They had the painkillers. I would have taken the train home but I didn’t have any money left and no cards, either.
Veganism is really, really inconvenient.
So I had to walk home in the rain. I couldn’t buy an umbrella so the rain just ran down my sad, vegan body.
By the time I got home 45 minutes later, I was soaked and chilled. I had almost no groceries at home.
I had no money.
I ate plain rice for dinner.
I went to bed hungry because of veganism.
A fire alarm went off in my apartment building and brought the fire department out at 2:00 in the morning.
We all had to stand out in the cold until they located the source of the smoke.
“We located the source of the smoke,” a the fireman finally announced. “It was a rice cooker in apartment 609.”
Everyone looked at me. I’d forgotten to unplug my rice cooker. I think I had a severe nutritional deficiency because of my veganism.
My landlord and fellow tenants now hate me.
Going vegan was the worst decision I ever made.
The next morning, I woke up with a cold and a fever.
I had to call in sick to work. I didn’t realize I was on probation at work.
I lost my job. I was hungry, penniless and sick.
My boyfriend broke up with me.
My life was spiraling out of control.
I hit rock bottom the second morning I was a vegan.
Veganism ruined my life.
I know you might say that I didn’t give veganism my all, but you are wrong. I did.
It just didn’t work for me. If you would like to be unemployed, hungry, penniless and dumped by a boyfriend who is now dating your best friend, by all means, go for it. That was not for me, though.
After two days of subjecting myself to this miserable diet, I am happy to say that I am no longer vegan.
I am also happy to say that I have gotten my life back on track.
I credit eating animals to this.
Now I have a job, I have money in my bank account, I have a boyfriend, I am no longer as hungry as I was when I was vegan, and I haven’t caused the fire department to come out in the middle of the night. Everything is so much better, thank God.
Going vegan ruined my life and stopping being vegan fixed it.
Don’t make the same mistake I made. Let me be your cautionary tale.
If you go vegan, you could break your nose, lose your job, get your wallet stolen, go hungry and more.
My two days of being vegan brought indescribable suffering and pain into my life.
Don’t let it happen to you.
Posted by Marla at 8:54 AM
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
"Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Connor
We’ve all heard it before: You vegans are just so judgmental. The accusation of judgement can have a potent silencing effect, one that I have seen effectively employed countless times. How can we express what is happening to animals and what is happening to our planet in honest, plain terms without raising the hackles of those who feel judged when many are going to feel that way regardless of our messaging due to their own complicity? That is a deeper question of strategy to tackle another day, but for now, I will just focus on one aspect of this issue that we face and rhetorically ask again what I have been rhetorically asking for years: which is the greater crime, to “judge” or to continue the habits that cause actual harm, suffering and death?
If I were to shout to get the attention of someone who is about to open a car door on me while I am on my bike, should I risk sounding judgmental? If I were ask my neighbor to please not toss litter in my yard, would that be overly judgmental? If I were to tell someone who is mistreating me that cruelty is not acceptable, would that be too judgmental? What about on a much larger scale, where so many feeling beings are brutally, fatally punished for being born in a form other than human, and where the cost of our collective demand for their “product” is irreversible harm to our planet and the lives of future generations? Is it okay to point this out? Does it matter if egos are bruised in the process?
To me, the answer is clear. We need to be smart and effective with our communications but we should not allow ourselves to be silenced simply because speaking truthfully makes someone uncomfortable. In this case, when we are told to maintain a lie because speaking honestly upsets the ones causing the damage, we are asked to maintain a code of silence around harm and that is always an abusive power structure.
I have some experience with this.
I was raised in a home where the elephant in the room was never addressed. The elephant was usually drunk. The elephant tossed over tables, raged at us and behaved as if no one else mattered but we had to pretend not to see what we saw. In short, he created a terrifying environment that we were expected to adjust ourselves to somehow. Instead of being allowed to acknowledge his damaging behavior, the message I got was that speaking about what was plainly obvious was a flagrant violation of an unspoken but obvious rule in the house. As this behavior worsened, we were pressured into taking turns at assuming blame. We were expected to tiptoe around what was glaringly apparent to avoid “provoking” more behavior of the same. The very worst offense was to speak of it with candor. Having escaped that environment, I have a very low threshold for being pressured into maintaining appearances for the sake of not upsetting anyone.
At a certain point, we need to step aside from that egotistical lens and be able to look at things from a bigger, more inclusive framework. If my skin is so thin that I cannot even hear of anything that undermines what I see as my place in the world, that is the narcissistic mentality of an abuser. A deeply pervasive message we get in society reinforces such self-centeredness, maintaining that animals are for us use we wish and to speak of it in ethical terms is to violate a tacit arrangement, one in which we’ve conveniently been rendered unimpeachable. This is not to say that I believe that people who eat animals are abusers because I don’t think that - the intentionality is very different. However, that abusive power dynamic comes into play when people don’t want the existing structure challenged, questioned or sometimes even mentioned. When this happens, I am reminded of the unfairness of being asked to be complicit in a lie. I am reminded of being a girl and seeing what was plainly obvious but being forbidden to speak honestly of it or risk hurting someone’s pride. Again, I am not saying that people who consume animals are abusers, I am saying that the power structure of telling someone not to speak of what she sees is an abusive one. There are greater wrongs in the world than bruising an ego.
When we find ourselves holding back and not speaking our truth because it might offend someone’s sensibilities, we have to really examine what we have agreed to do: we have agreed to play a part in a charade, in a dance of denial, and the consequences are devastating to us personally and to the future of the world. I have observed the silencing ripple effect this fear of sounding judgmental has on people and it is eerily familiar. There are certain things we need to admit to and one is that killing others for unnecessary and temporary pleasures is not consistent with our highest values of compassion and justice. Should we pretend that it is in order to protect someone’s ego? Billions of animals are brutalized every year in the most unfathomably cruel ways and our habits are also leading to ecological disaster, yet it’s frowned upon for us to be so “judgmental” as to point this out? I refuse to participate in this delusion and believe that asking someone to do this is the perpetuation of an abusive dynamic. I opt out.
Posted by Marla at 8:48 AM
Thursday, November 28, 2013
More than 65,000,000,000 land animals are killed worldwide to produce the meat, eggs and dairy people consume and many more aquatic animals (not recorded as numbers but as pounds). The single greatest thing you can do to reduce your contribution to cruelty, suffering and environmental destruction in the world is to stop eating animals and animal products. It has never been easier or more accessible. Please join us on Vegan Street for support and inspiration every day of the year!
Posted by Marla at 11:29 AM
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Want to get more cooking ideas? Simply go on YouTube and type in "vegan cooking videos." You will find over a million videos, featuring everything from raw foods and gluten-free options to comfort foods and ethnic dishes. It couldn't be easier!
Posted by Marla at 6:15 PM
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
If I had been born a turkey, an incubator would have been my source of warmth before I’d been born.
If I had been born a turkey, I would have vocalized for my mother while still in my egg but not heard her voice in response.
If I had been born a turkey, after pecking my way out of my shell, I would have been in an artificial, industrial setting.
If I had been born a turkey, I would have never known my mother and the comfort of her wings around me as I slept.
If I had been born a turkey, I’d have never felt the sun on my feathers or the dirt between my toes.
If I had been born a turkey, part of my beak would have been seared off without anesthesia with a hot blade. My toes, too.
If I had been born a turkey, I would have been genetically programmed to grow so big, so fast, I couldn’t fly like my wild cousins.
If I’d have been born a turkey, I would have likely had a heart attack or organ failure by six months of age.
If I had been born a turkey, I wouldn’t have lived that long, though.
If I had been born a turkey, I would have been crammed together with thousands of others in a giant shed.
If I had been born a turkey and a female, I would have been roughly inseminated by hypodermic syringe. If I had been born a turkey and a male, my semen would be removed by a “phallus manipulating team.”
If I had been born a breeding turkey, my eggs would be taken from me.
If I had been born a breeding turkey, my chicks wouldn’t have heard my calls, just as I couldn’t hear my own mother.
If I had been born a turkey, I would be kicked by hard boots to get out of the way.
If I had been born a turkey, my brittle skeleton would strain and struggle under my weight.
If I had been born a turkey, my eyes would burn from the ammonia from all the concentrated waste around me.
If I had been born a turkey, my legs would have been grabbed by quick hands and I’d be tossed into a crate in a truck.
If I had been born a turkey, sitting in a crate on a crowded truck would present my first and last opportunity to breathe fresh air.
If I had been born a turkey, when I got to my destination, I would be hung upside-down by my ulcerated feet in shackles and sent down a metal rack.
If I had been born a turkey, I would likely be electric shocked and/or stunned and have my jugular vein slit.
If I had been born a turkey, I would have lived and died this way.
If I had been born a turkey, I would have had no legal protection.
If I had been born a turkey, my organs would be removed and stuffing would be inserted into the cavity.
If I had been born a turkey, millions would say grace over my corpse at Thanksgiving.
But I wasn’t born a turkey.
I wasn’t born a turkey, so I can decide to not participate and if you are reading this, you weren’t born a turkey, either, so you can decide, too. Be grateful for this. I am.
Turkeys are majestic, inquisitive, affectionate creatures if given half a chance to thrive; forcing them into not only becoming meat machines but into the disabled and chronically suffering birds is the ultimate brutality we inflict upon them. For what? So we can maintain our traditions and temporary pleasures. Was there ever a more empty justification for cruelty?
The beauty of living today is that we can stop. We can not only opt out of violence but opt into abundance and the joy that comes from living in harmony with our core values. What an amazing gift. I will not trade this exquisite opportunity for an ingrained custom or fleeting pleasure; I wouldn’t trade it for anything. When we can help people understand that the profound gratification that comes from self-alignment is far more delicious, tantalizing and worthwhile than anything that can be consumed, digested and forgotten, we will be there.
This is no sacrifice. This is no hardship. This is joy. We can decide today to not intentionally harm them or any other beings. This Thanksgiving and every day of the year, I am grateful for that. I was born a person who can decide for myself and I have decided to celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving every day without harming another. I give sincere thanks for this.
Please remember that this is speaking to the 96% of turkeys in the U.S. who are born into concentrated feeding operations. If you think that this doesn’t apply to the "free-range" turkey you purchased, please check out this article and remember that no matter the treatment before the birds are needlessly killed, they are still needlessly killed and that is not reconcilable with compassionate living.
Posted by Marla at 8:16 AM
Monday, November 25, 2013
Organize a potluck! Especially during the winter months, people can feel isolated and needing more personal contact. Using Facebook, why not organize a festive vegan potluck in your community? Try to find another friend or two to help with the details, find a location, and then start inviting people. Potlucks are a great chance to socialize while enjoying a great meal.
Posted by Marla at 1:33 PM