I always intended this website to be about the daily experiences that affect, as well as reflect, my life as a vegan. My hope, almost a year later, still is to let people know that life as a vegan can be a little confusing, confounding, but well worth doing-well worth living. Standing on a pillar and pontificating is just not my style. Even though I understand and am saddened by the urgency of the matter, I still believe that the best way to convince people is to give them the facts, make these facts relate-able and show kindness and compassion in my approach.
And because this website is about my daily life, I wanted to post every other day or so. That goal has proven to be problematic and many of the issues I wish to address have fallen by the wayside. In other words, daily life and commitments often get in the way of sharing said daily life. This bothers me and I continually look for ways of re arranging things so that I have more time. So, here I am on Saturday morning, with a coffee in hand, getting back on track- for the nonhuman animals who are always in my thoughts.
I am just back from a road trip, a sort of family pilgrimage. I returned to a place that holds many painful memories for me- a family homestead, as it were. Now, I am not in the habit of inflicting painful memories on my myself if I can avoid it. But there are people there, family members, who I had promised to see-people I wanted to see. And, I wanted to visit the family cemetery to place a red rose on the plaque that marks the beginning and the end of my mother’s life. It has been four and a half years since she left my life and it is still oh so tough to be without her.
The good news is that I spent a lovely afternoon with my aunt and uncle who filled me in on all the latest family news, remembered the good old days and offered me a lovely plant based supper to boot. Now, they are not vegan and in fact are part of a farming community that is not plant based, but they showed me a great deal of respect in asking me how I became vegan and did not once refute my reasons. My aunt was concerned about protein and I was happy to share with her all that I have learned about small amount of protein we actually need in our daily diets and that the best place to get it is in plants.
I wondered about what I would find to eat while tootling down the 401 and staying in hotels in Toronto and environs, but it turned out not to be a problem. The biggest thing I noticed when ordering food, is I no longer get that puzzled,” I don’t know what you are asking me” look. I tell servers that, ” I am vegan and that means that I do not eat any meat, fish, egg and dairy. This includes meat and fish broths and sauces and milk powders.”. When they offer a pasta dish, I make sure there is no egg in the pasta and reply politely, if they ask, that, “No, I am not allergic to eggs. I do not eat them for ethical reasons.”. Feel free, if you wish, to use my little speech when you are ordering food. I find that it gets my point across and often invites a healthy discussion with the server.
The first thing I do when I am visiting is check The Happy Cow for possible places to eat. They listed only one plant based business in the area so, I did a search on Google and found this interesting place. – an organic, vegan catering establishment in Chatham in the heart of southern Ontario. I was happy to visit them and purchased a delicious Quinoa Salad and a raw cake made from carrots, dates, raisins and nuts. I asked and was told that they have been in business for a year and was given some free cookies as a first time client. The business is called the Hungry Vegan and I invite you to look them up if you are in the area. Sorry, no pictures, once again. Picture taking is on my Must Improve List.
My necessary stops at the On Route Service Stations on the 401 yielded a few choices, salads and fruit cups mostly, but hey, I love fruits and veggies, so this is not a punishment. What I noticed most about these fast food joints, like Burger King, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken was that the majority of the patrons were ordering and eating unhealthy food of cruel origins. They were eating in a disconnected and distracted way-chowing down without a thought for the plight of nonhumans caught in our abhorrent and ultra cruel industries. Perhaps they were thinking about the next part of the journey, or perhaps about their own lives. I have to tell you that this sight made me very sad. I look forward to the day when everyone is ordering ethical, one hundred percent whole food plant based meals. I look forward to the peaceful energy I will see reflected on their faces.
Annie’s Vegan View
Sometimes, there is a silver lining in the form of a connection made or re-established.
Life affirming actions like choosing kindness and compassion are never lost.
Be life affirming and choose veganism, for the sake of those who suffer at our hands.
You will find that this is one of the least hard things you do in your life, both figuratively and practically.
May all beings be happy and free.