Okay, this is going to get a little rant-y.
Let me begin by saying that I am a vegetarian who eats vegan most of the time. I believe it is healthier and better for the environment, and eating animals made me sad when I was an omnivore. That being said, I am getting really sick of the self-righteous vitriol that some of my plant-based brethren are spouting.
Listen, we have the luxury of being picky about our food in this country. Not to say we don't have hunger problems here, of course we do. But hunger is not a reality for most of us. We get to develop ideologies about our diets. Make statements with them. Obtaining food is not a matter of survival for most of us, eating is something we do for pleasure.
Simply put, no matter how much you might think a vegetarian or vegan diet is something the whole world should adopt, it is not a possibility for everyone. A vegetarian or vegan diet is not something that is sustainable everywhere. At the very least not possible everywhere right now. I feel lucky because I have the luxury of not eating meat. By that I mean plant-based alternatives are readily available to me. I have the luxury of turning down food. "No thank you, I'm a vegetarian." There are areas of the world where the kind of large-scale agriculture needed to sustain the population on plant-based food is not possible, and trucking or flying in that amount of produce would result in worse pollution. Western China, for example. Not all Tibetan Buddhists are vegetarian. In Tibet, and Xinjiang, in the Gobi Desert, growing that many plants is simply not possible, and so in those areas diets are overwhelmingly meat-based. When I lived there I had to relax my standards. I ate tofu soup in meat broths, I ate vegetables that had been roasted in pots with meat, picking bits of meat off them, I drank tea flavored with sheep tail fat. I'm sure I unknowingly ate things, it's an occupational hazard as an anthropologist. I did these things because that was my option. That, or not eat. And I was only there for several months. If I moved there permanently, I would have to go back to an omnivorous diet.
I do not consider it a moral failing on my part that I was not a strict vegetarian while I was there. I do not consider it a moral failing on the part of the locals that they eat mostly meat. I don't think the Dalai Lama is a bad person because he only eats vegetarian every other meal. I don't think not eating meat makes me a better person than those who eat meat.
The bottom line is insisting that everyone live like you live when they do not have your opportunities or access to the same resources you have, and then calling them bad people if they don't, is arrogant and myopic. You want to try to convince your fellow Americans to convert to a plant-based diet? That's awesome, go for it(in a positive manner, calling them murderers is just alienating and makes us all look bad), but please please please stop crusading against the evil meat-eating populations of countries whose climate and agriculture you know nothing about.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
For my 27th birthday party/farewell to the old house party, I decided to have a Firefly-themed shindig. I was pleased my guests rose to the occasion and came dressed in their futuristic-cowboy best.
I used some scarves I brought back from China to give my living room an "Inara's Shuttle" feel.
Yes, Mr. Bear is wearing a Hawaiian shirt, a la Wash.
These two are adorable.
Yes, Mr. Bear even had a dinosaur in his pocket.
My best friend since we were 8.
I'm still amazed we fit that many people in our tiny house. There were about 18 of us.
We moved the party to Bon Bon, a tiny little bar that serves only Prohibition-era cocktails. I enjoyed celebrating with all the other couples PnP has brought together.
Here's another couple, awaiting their first child.
And another. All adorable, all in love. I think we should start marketing PnP as a burlesque shoe/matchmaking service. Our quirky little family has created, off the top of my head, five long-term couples, many of them taking the matrimonial plunge.
This was one of the best birthday celebrations I've had, and I needed it. My dear aunt, Denise passed away this morning after a battle with cancer. Mr. Bear and I got to visit her a couple weeks ago, but I have had a horrible cold for over a month, so I was only able to talk to her through a window. I will always be heartbroken that I wasn't able to be at her bedside as the rest of my family was.
Monday, March 21, 2011
I finally finished embroidering(poorly) Desiree's birthday slippers. They turned out fairly pretty, I'm pleased. :) This project page can be found here, and the original pattern here, for you Ravelers out there.
We were also graced with some blooming snowdrops, which I fully intend on digging up and taking with us to the new house. I'm so excited about that house, you guys. So excited! Huge front deck, bigger back deck, tons of room(seriously, tons), big back yard. We're having so many parties. So many. Big pagan summer party with animal masks and a fire pit. So look forward to that.
I've been cooking my way through Appetite for Reduction and so far have made the Mango BBQ Beans with Fresh Corn and Scallion Cornbread(spicy and delicious, next time I will use less cayenne and just spice up Mr. Bear's helpings), Creamy Mushroom Fettucine(um, YUM! Mr. Bear didn't so much care for it but I freaking loved it! Wine and Balsamic Vinegar? Delish.), and Blackened Broiled Tofu with Jerk Asparagus(also too spicy for me, but Mr. Bear was in heaven, and I thought the asparagus was amazing). I'm really enjoying getting back into the habit of hardcore cooking.
Oh yeah, and my birthday is in three days.
Oh yeah, and my birthday is in three days.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Today is my one year anniversary with Mr Bear. Being on St. Patrick's day, it's easy to remember. He sent me a text this morning to wish me happy anniversary and said it's been the best year of his life. It's been the best year of mine, too. One year ago today we went on an "accidental" date, where we made the waitstaff surprisingly uncomfortable by sitting on the same side of the table. This was after a month of dancing around one another. Twelve months later, and this is the most stable, equitable, fulfilling relationship I've ever been in. Not to make it sound boring, it's full of passion and intimacy-in-inapproriate-places and almost-getting-caught, and all of that is possible because I have finally found my partner. The person who compliments and balances me. Neat to my messy, digital to my analog, totally the marinara sauce to my spaghetti. My wonderful, perfect, amazing, swoon-worthy Mr. Bear.
So what are we doing to celebrate? Probably nothing. We're moving in three weeks(thus bringing us to the relocation portion of this post) and have many things to pack. In the midst of our packing schedule is my birthday party in about ten days, but I've worked out how to make stacks and stacks of boxes and a spartan rest-of-the-house work with it; Firefly theme! Just put a Blue Sun logo on the boxes and they become cargo! I'm a genius!