Monday, June 6, 2011

A Mother's Love

I started writing this immediately after the weekend, but had to put it off due to time constraints (mostly at work; damn work getting in the way more important things like blogging!).

So to put things into perspective, Julie and I went to her parents' cottage from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon. The temperature and sunshine lead me to believe it would be a great little weekend get-away; and for the most part it was. Unfortunately, I left from the trip fairly depressed.

I think it started with the insects. While I try to do the least harm possible and adopt a vegan lifestyle, when there are mosquitoes buzzing right in my ear it - literally - drives me crazy. I besically smack my own head to get whatever it is off me. Part of me feels bad, while part of me - probably my more primal self - feels temporary reprieve from their bites, buzzing and and blood-sucking. Maybe other vegans can relate or provide advice?

Another sad incident occurred while we were on an evening constitutional after supper. We saw a Ruffed Grouse on the side of the road and it wouldn't move. Julie's mother, in particular, was quick to judge saying that they are essentially stupid creatures and that's why it's not moving from the road. But on closer inspection, we realised there were two baby Ruffed Grouse that had been hit by a car. So this distraught and grieving mother was standing by her deceased children. I found this absolutely heartwrenching...

Further to sad animal news, while at the cottage (although we do not know whether it was caused by anything there or not) Whisk expressed symptoms of a bladder infection. She pretty much peed non-stop while outside. So $200+ dollars in vet expenses (for something we pretty much diagnosed ourselves) and major discomfort for Whisk is how we ended out stay at the cottage and were greeted in returning home.

Although for the rest of the week I have been in okay spirits. Whisk has seemed to recover, work is slack with more people equalling less calls, and running mellowing me out.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Holidays and Leisurely Activities

I haven't written a blog in a couple months so I thought it is overdue.

As many of you may know we went for our first vacation in the nearly a year since I started working at Atelka. They do not seem to know the meaning of time off and even had to fight to get this week off but managed to secure the vacation pay I am entitled to.

We went to Southwestern Ontario. Mostly to attend our cousin's wedding, but we made a vacation out of it by visiting numerous other relatives as well. We drove pretty much all over Southwestern Ontario visiting people in London, Dutton, Alsa Craig, Hamilton, Toronto, St. Catharines, Grimsby, and even Ottawa. So while it was nice to see everyone it certainly was a whirlwind tour managing to see all the people we did.

The wedding was very nice. They even accomodated to the vegan minority making everything but the meat and gravy vegan friendly. So this was very pleasing to us vegan foodies! And I would have liked to stay at the party later, but since we brought Whisk with us on our vacation, we had to leave early to let her out to do her business. It was nice getting caught up with all our relatives though, and even had numerous opportunities to have candid and open conversations regarding veganism.

That is actually a good segue, as on the return trip home, we passed four slaughterhouse-bound trucks full of pigs. These always greatly upset me. I was driving and had to fight intensely from full-out crying. Why people want to commodify these creatures is beyond me. It reminds me of the holocaust with their shipping of these defenseless animals to their needless deaths.

Just before our vacation, I also ran my first marathon. I exceeded my pre-planned time of four hours. But I must confess, once I started I thought I could get 3 hours, 30 minutes when I did my first half in only an 1:45. But I completed the marathon in 3:42:48. Which - I'm told - is a good first time so I'm pretty happy with that. My next marathon I am aiming for at least one late summer or fall. I would - ideally - like to complete 3-5 this year. Especially since my ultimate goal is to run ultramarathons.

We managed to get a lot of our taxes back this year. I may even qualify for a GST rebate since I made so little last year! I definately want to avoid paying any money to the government as basically everything they spend most of their money on are things I oppose: health care and animal testing, the military, [animal] farming subsidies, industry bail-outs, etc. Plus this will also help us get into our Earthship faster. Which will mean I should no longer be required to work, and only do so if I want to travel or something.

As far as work is concerned though, I have recently been contemplating a career in nutrition, possibly even sports nutrition. With all the literature I figure if I cannot convince people to go vegan for selfless reasons, I can at least persuade people for selfish reasons; like not succumbing to the plethora of degenerative illnesses caused by animal product consumption. Furthermore, when you look at endurance athletes (like Scott Jurek or Brendan Brazier - who are my new idols by the way) they advocate a vegan diet essentially for performance reasons (apparently also environmental as well according to their biographies). And if you haven't read "Born to Run," I strongly recommend it, because they actually discuss in fairly great detail the benefits of a vegan diet.

Anyway, I think that is enough to get off my chest to the world (or whatever weirdos read my blog...Kidding :oP). Stay posted and in a couple months, or sooner, I should write another blog.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Letter to Reader's Digest

(The original article was posting in RD's February 2011 issue on page 158.)

Re: Introducing Your Newborn to Your Pet

While I certainly appreciate the tips this article provides for making
the transition of a baby to one's pets less tumultuous, it's
conclusion rather irked me. Basically Tracey Williams just concludes
that if you cannot get them to get along, just toss your pet out of
the house. How is it fair to an animal you have had quite possibly for
years to throw them away because you chose to have a child? Perhaps
you should have also mentioned - or created - websites like or suggested the local orphanage to throw your baby
away instead. After all, most people had the pet first and the baby
after. Besides, it's unlikely the baby will remember it anyway
whereas the animal will probably have anxiety issues the rest of its