Yesterday was International Day of Happiness. Is this the first one? I’ve never even heard of it before, but I like it. Yes, I’m a day late, but I really want to slap up a quick post!
It seems like everyone’s talking about chickens lately! If you were in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall a couple of weeks back, you might have seen the inaugural Melbourne Chicken Save rally. A few days later, Animals Australia launched their new campaign to raise awareness about factory farming of chickens, and finally, the chicks (do you like that?) at Our Hen House aired the first episode of their community/online TV show.
About 13 months ago, H (my daughter) and I (sort of) decided to try being vegan “for a month or so, just to see how we go”. It was pretty much the same way I went lacto-ovo vegetarian about 20 years ago, and it had the same result – we never looked back.
We can’t actually remember the date of either declaration because, at the time, we didn’t realise they were going to be the start of anything big, but we’re pretty sure we went vegan in January 2013. Unfortunately, in January 2014, H was nursing a very sore mouth after her wisdom tooth surgery, so it wasn’t until this weekend that we finally got our Veganversary celebration.
She was speaking at the National Herbarium at around lunchtime, and I knew there was slim chance of any vegan food at the Botanic Gardens cafe, so I made the Chocolate-Chocolate Chip-Walnut Cookies from Veganomicon to keep us going. (Not a healthy lunch…but they do contain flaxseeds, walnuts…and dark chocolate!) I highly recommend them—can’t go wrong with that much chocolate in one cookie. Anyway, we made up for the bad stuff with a healthy fix later on.
Pigs are smart
I think it was Arnold Ziffel who first made me love pigs. If you’re too young to remember him (or if your parents only let you watch the ABC) Arnold was a pig on the TV show Green Acres. He was handsome and he was smart—hell, he could do crosswords!
My next favourite pig was probably Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web (read to us by Mr Forrester in grade 3) who only confirmed the idea that we shouldn’t be eating animals, because they want to live too.
I was really quite obsessed with pigs, even before Babe came along and stole our hearts. I collected pigs (not real ones, pictures and ornaments and piggy banks and that kind of thing). When I first saw pictures of Edgar Allen Pig, from Edgar’s Mission, many years ago I could absolutely understand how Pam Ahern could fall in love with him, but I still hadn’t REALLY met a pig (apart from a quick pat at the Royal Melbourne Show each year).
Remember that viral video that did the rounds a few weeks back? The one with the adorable little boy who refused to eat his octopus for dinner? It was a scene that was probably familiar to a lot of us—the moment when the truth hit us, that our dinner was made of dead animals’ bodies chopped into bite sized portions. Here’s my experience as a 4 year old.
What made this little boy’s situation special was that the camera captured his moment of realisation—at about the 60 second mark, when he says, “Nobody eats chicken…those are animals!” Then you can see him thinking…and realising (oh, I remember that feeling!)…and then he agrees to eat just his potatoes and rice. (I was going to embed the video, but since last night it has disappeared from YouTube…what a pity. Well, I’m sure you’ve already seen it anyway.) Continue reading
We had a lengthy blackout on Monday night. Some have called it ‘Hipstergeddon’ because we spent around 7 hours without lights, TV, heating, microwave, dishwasher, radio and most importantly… computers! (First world problems :-))
We’ve had blackouts before of course (although I can’t remember one lasting this long since I was a kid), but this is the first time I’ve really been aware of how much more we rely on electricity these days!
When the lights flickered once and then suddenly shut off, I was right in the middle of serving our lasagna for dinner. Only my daughter, H, and I were home at the time, so after (I’m ashamed to say) some girlie shrieking and squealing about zombies and monsters…H earnestly suggested, in her best Scooby Doo character voice, “I think it would be best if we split up.”
Most vegan people I know, including myself, have been vegetarian before they became vegan. (OK, Marieke Hardy went cold-tofurkey from meat eater to vegan, which is pretty damned incredible) , but most of us begin by giving up eating flesh and continuing to consume milk and cheese and eggs, smug in the ‘knowledge’ that no animal has had to die for our meals. Ha!
Late in April, one of my workmates decided that she was going to have ‘Meat-free May’. Well, I tried not to look TOO over-excited, but you can imagine how rapt I was! Such a great idea—I think we should promote it widely. (She’s actually making every month a special month in 2013. I think someone suggested that she also set one aside for dating hot men, or something 🙂 ).
I suppose by now everyone has seen the article from the ABC’s Science Show, about how smug veg*ns “who don’t eat meat because they consider it cruel could cause more harm to animals than actual meat production does”.
We all know it’s a load of rubbish, but I suppose the ABC knew a patronising attack on veg*ns would be sure to get everyone commenting and arguing. I’m surprised that The Science Show would stoop to that kind of thing, though.