It Ain't Easy Eating Green

A VEGAN ODYSSEY

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hockey Hell

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I just made a comment on someone's blog that made me recollect a childhood memory I think I had been trying to suppress: the time I spent enrolled in competitive sport.

I forget how old I was then. Maybe nine or ten. My Dad, like most Dads, wanted me to keep up with all the other boys my age. In this part of New York, that meant signing me up for minor league hockey in order to hone my mental and physical toughness. He believed I was destined for great things. I didn't doubt that then just as I don't doubt it now; but I believe barbaric sports are not a necessary part of a boy's development. Similarly, playing in Fisher-Price kitchens should not be a stepping stone for young girls. This sort of gender indoctrination is absurd. I believe that children, whether they be boys or girls, should be presented with traditionally male and traditionally female toys and allowed to choose. If Timmy wants to drive Barbie to the beach in her convertible, let him. If Cindy wants to have Skeletore gut He-Man, that should be totally up to her.

But I'm getting off topic. Sorry, I have a tendency to rant.

Anyway, I was presented with hundreds of dollars worth of hockey equipment one Christmas and told that I'd be starting hockey in a week. The season had already begun, but I was allowed to join one of the teams. We were sponsored by Burger King, I think. I knew how to skate (sort of), but from hearing the other boys' enthusiastic conversations about hockey at school, I knew I was never going to be able to keep up. So in a way, I was resigned to failure before I even started playing.

After my parents showed me how to put on the equipment and had taken me to a nearby frozen lake to learn to skate with it, the real hockey began and I joined up with the team.

I'm kind of embarrassed when I think back on those days. After we'd finish practice or exhibition games, we'd all walk to the dressing rooms in our skates, along the rubber mats that lined the arena's hallways. The rest of the kids would tear off their equipment and talk about NHL players and stuff. They'd be red-faced and sweaty. I was bone dry, from lack of hussle. And instead of changing with the rest of the team, I'd lock myself in the small dressing room bathroom. I took a lot of shit from the other players for that. They joked that I "didn't want them to see my vagina." For the most part, everyone just ignored me, though.

At first Dad would watch eagerly in the stands when our team played, drinking coffee with the other parents, shouting to the kids along with them.

Defense!

Atta boy! Atta boy!

Ice it! ICE IT!!

Oh, NICE call, Ref! Ever heard of off-side?!

Dad yelled to me a lot. I didn't know what the hell he was saying from the ice, though, and would catch more shit if I stopped to try and listen.

For Christ's sake, keep your eye on the puck, Preston!

It was awful.

The car ride home was always a lecture about "keeping up" and "showing initiative" on the ice. After a while I figured out that Dad would usually stop yelling when I started to cry. It's no surprise that around this time, Mom started driving me to games and practice. I guess Dad was pretty disgusted with my behaviour, on and off the ice. Mom was nicer about it. She said that I didn't have to keep playing hockey if I didn't want to, but that I would have to finish the season, at least. And it was a long haul. But I did it, and from then on, I became a lot more independent, doing only the things I wanted to do.

Preston

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Life goes on...

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Hello, readers!

I'm feeling really great today, and after looking over my last post a bit, I'm a little embarrassed for spilling my guts about my breakup with Brittany in the manner I did.

See, last night I went for a long walk in one of my favourite wooded areas, and with only the sound of the snow crunching under my feet, I was able to clear my head and think. Really think. Usually when I walk through those woods, there are people with their dogs, couples jogging or kids tearing up the ground their with moutain bikes; but last night there was no one to be seen. I imagined I was the last person on the planet - that I was one with the wilderness. It made me consider doing like Thoreau did and just taking off to live in the forest. I could easily build myself a little house and just retreat from the world. I would grow what I needed to eat and simply exist. There would be no need for money, expensive possessions - none of it! Of course I realize that my parents would freak out and probably have me committed if I ever mentioned such an idea, so it will probably never become a reality. But you never know.

Anyway, while I was out there, the setting sun made the snow between the trees glow brilliantly. I just stood there, breathing the crisp air, trying to relax. And it was though a weight had been lifted.

As you can tell from the comments on my site (many of which I've had to delete), people don't take too kindly to my lifestyle. Sometimes I think they're envious of the tight bonds vegans and people who care about the earth have with another, and that putting us down will justify their gluttony. But I admit, a lot of the weight I carry is the obvious chip on my shoulder.

Sometimes I'm a quite vocal about my beliefs and I understand that people don't want to listen. It's just that after I became a vegan I felt as though my body had been cleansed. So when I see people stuffing their faces with say, Kentucky Fried Chicken, I feel as though I have a medicine of sorts that can cure them, you know? It's such a helpless feeling knowing that I can only convert so many, and that the rest will remain the way they are. I've visited the blogs of many other vegans who feel the same way as I do on this issue.

While I was out there in the woods, all of these thoughts were just bouncing around in my head. I was incredibly open-minded about issues of all kinds and was able to get over the loss of Brittany, my former girlfriend. I realized that a relationship has to have two equal parts, and that my part of our union obviously outweighed hers, cauing her to feel like a prisoner or something. I have accepted this and feel really great about letting her go.

As it got dark, I walked home and went to bed. It was one of the best sleeps I have had in years!

Today at the campus bar where I work, nothing could bother me. I smiled at the customers and didn't even care when they ordered items with meat on them from the menu. Well, I cared... but I didn't show it outwardly.

I leave you now with a poem of Robert Frost's:

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Well, life officially sucks...

Today was a really difficult.

After a long discussion with Brittany, we decided that it was best to break up. Well, it was mostly her who did the deciding, to be perfectly honest.

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I feel like everything I've shared with her is a lie after what she said to me today. I couldn't really respond with any conviction, since I'm a pacifist and try to avoid conflict whenever possible, so I just listened for the most part. She said she found it difficult to adjust to my lifestyle and thought it was creating a space between us; that I cared more for the environment than her (I love them equally!); that we were just fooling ourselves into thinking we had a future with one another! She's fooling herself into thinking we don't have a future together! For what reason, I don't know...

I don't why she thinks I'm so "extreme," either. I'm really not. Honestly, I think she's just insecure about her beliefs, and thinks she'll never live up to my ideals or something. So she's hitting the road and leaving me behind.

We were together for just shy of ten months, but to me, it felt like we were soul mates. I thought I was going to marry that girl. She said she wanted to marry me a few months ago, too. We always said we'd spend our honeymoon in the rainforest, hiking and boating around the water systems.

With my partner gone, things are going to be tough. She was what kept me anchored this past year. I don't want another girl, either. I think that's how I know she's the one for me. If she were someone I didn't care about, I'd probably want to go out and grab the girl I saw, but for some reason, I don't have those feelings at all. I just want her back.

Look, sorry for the downer post, but you can probably expect a lot more of these from me. Fuck, I'll probably find out I have cancer tomorrow with all my luck. Not that anyone would care if I died, though, right? Ha. I know, I know, too melodramatic.... I'm a survivor. I'll get through this, I hope.

I'm going to bed.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Meat-Eating Scum

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See that picture? It's an adorable little calf. Mother Nature's blueprint for cuteness. And yet some people will look at that picture and salivate, not thinking of the happy life that little creature could be living in a green pasture, but how many steaks it would make! I don't know why people think this way, but they do.

As I have mentioned before, I strongly believe that animals should not be exploited by humans. We have progressed so far technologically, yet we still revert back to our primitive, hunter-gatherer days when it comes to our diets. It's absurd! With so many alternative foods available to us, why must we continue to make these creatures suffer?

I don't plan on going on and on with my animal rights beliefs (as it may seem like I do sometimes) but sometimes I've just got to get this stuff off my chest, you know?

Vegetables - this is a food source that can be constantly replenished, and no one need die for that to happen! You just need a patch of land .Pumpkins, for instance, make excellent pies and delight children at Halloween when they're made into Jack-O-Lanterns! Carrots! They improve your eyesight and can be chopped up into oh so many bite-sized, snackable pieces! I'm telling you, the options are limitless!

Flesh? That's just dead flesh, people. It's caveman food. It's barbaric and it's leading us down a road to destruction. It hate to think about all the species that have been killed off by humans on this planet; and although our more popular "edible animals" like the chicken, cow, pig and lamb will likely be around for a long time to come, I almost wish death on the poor things, since life as they know it is perpetual suffering!

There's always this argument, of course: "Hey, what are you talking about, you veggie-loving fool? Even if you replaced all animal grazing land with vegetables, you'd still have pests like rabbits and gophers and mice and all sorts of bugs to contend with!"

Typical. The fact is, people, rabbits and gophers and other so-called "pests" couldn't possibly destroy entire crops if those who tend to them plant enough. There's a natural balance in nature that only people like socialists can understand. You see, these animals are not capitalists like most humans -- they take what they need, and nothing more. If their population gets out of control, it adjusts thanks to natural predators, which allow for a balance.

I'm sick of living in a world where this goes on:

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That's all for now.

-Preston

A trip to the Grocery Store

What's up, people?

Okay, time for post number two. I guess this makes me an official "blogger" now, not just some chump who set up a page and did a "TEST" post and left it to die. I plan to be around for a while.

Anyhow, as the title suggests, I went to the grocery store today. Didn't have too great of a time. I grabbed a cart from the front and took it and my list around the place, looking for some stuff to stock the ol' fridge. I haven't mentioned this yet, but my parents are not vegans, so when my mom goes shopping she tends to buy stuff I won't even look at, let alone eat. She'll buy me oatmeal and trail mix now and then, but when it comes to getting my hands on some vegan cuisine that's actually GOOD, I have to take matters into my own hands.

So there I was, checking out the stuff at this grocery store, which I had never visited before, incidentally. They just opened nearby, where some hardware store used to be. I thought it would be convient having the place so close, but I discovered otherwise.

See, I hunted around all the aisles, looking for the Tofu - couldn't find it. So I asked a box boy if he can help me out, and the kid slurs at me through his braces that he was just hired and didn't know where much of anything was. He told me he'd find a manager for me but never came back. The little fucker.

So aside from a few vegetables in my cart, without the Tofu, which is one of the basic building blocks of the Vegan diet, I was going home empty-handed, pretty much. I was angry at this point and when I went to the cash (the "express" lane took FIFTEEN minutes, by the way!) I asked the check-out girl if she could get me the manager. Like the kid with the braces, she was flustered by the question. I kept forgetting that EVERYONE was new at this place and not used to procedure.

She ended up getting me a "Supervisor," who was just some 18-year-old girl. (Some unattractive 18-year-old girl, at that.) I complained to her about the Tofu and she said that someone had probably forgotten to order it. I told her this was unacceptable, and that management should be catering to ALL diets. She basically rolled her eyes at me, which set me off. I had paid for my vegetables at this point and grabbed one of the microphones at the check-out, squeezed the button and said, "Don't bother shopping in this store if you're a Vegan - you'll be disappointed!"

The microphone whined and screeched as she pulled it away from me and glared. "Leave now," she said. I did.

People stared, but I didn't give a shit. Being noticed is what it's about. :)

My (lousy) Introductory Post

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Hey everybody.

That's me in the above photo. My name is Preston.

Okay, a little about myself. You could say that this first post is like my mission statement of sorts. I care about the Earth, Mother Earth, and everything on her. And I am disgusted how modern man has violated the pristine green that once grew from sea to sea.

Let me explain: My parents are successful pricks who ignore everything I'm passionate about, and think they can buy my love my giving me as much money as I want and letting me drive their BMWs and vintage muscle cars. But screw them. Seriously. What kind of a "treat" is driving these gas-guzzlers supposed to be when they KNOW I'm passionate about the environment? Because God, they don't get me at all.

Sometimes I just want to crash one of those cars into a tree. That way, when my parents have to peel me from the bark, they'll have some understanding of how close to nature I wanted to be in life. And - don't remind me of the irony of ruining a tree with a gas-guzzler, I'm way ahead of you. I said that on purpose: the scope of my rage is so vast that I would contemplate destroying something I love out of my own frustration. Kind of like how Anakin ended up losing Padme in Star Wars III this summer.

That would be one poetic death, I tell you. Not only would I send a big "fuck you" to my dad by wrecking his car, but my blood would nourish that tree's growth. And that's the whole point -- with death, there is life; and with life, there is death. I am so deep... I wish I were a tree sometimes. On that, I'm dead serious. I envy them.

But seriously, I would never kill myself. I just talk big sometimes.

Anyway, I'm a vegan, which means I refuse to eat anything that comes from animals. I mean, if you were an animal, would you want people eating you or wringing at your tits for the milk that was meant for your own hungry offspring? Hell, what am I talking about!? We're ALL animals. We just happen to be -- and, I sincerely doubt this sometimes -- the "most intelligent" animals on Earth. So I ask you again, but a little differently: fellow ANIMAL -- how would you feel if your flesh was cut from your bones and packaged into luncheon meat? Not too good, I'll wager. SO STOP EATING ANIMALS, YOU BASTARD! I know it's harsh, and I shouldn't label people. But again - when it comes to my impulses to protect the environment, sometimes I say too much.

What else can I tell you in this intro here...hmm. I'm a member of Green Peace. I have a vegan girlfriend named Brittany. I enjoy cooking, dancing, and bands like Phish, and have an extensive literary education. Lucky for me, my parents also funded my post-secondary education. Thanks, mom. Thanks, dad. I hope I didn't offend or scare anyone with this initial post. I know it's aggressive, but in today's world, you have to make serious statements in order to be taken seriously.

I look forward to seeing you all again, soon.

Peace.

Preston.