Saturday, January 9, 2010


I've decided to explore vegetarianism.

I've been thinking about it a lot lately. It all started when I walked into Chipotle and there were signs everywhere touting "food with integrity" and I know they source most of their meet from free range farms when possible and, where not possible, farms that have humane conditions for the animals in both death and life. I saw Avatar and thought about what it would be like if I had to hunt my meals myself in order to live and it really touched me how they prayed for the animals they had to kill for food, gave them almost a last rites of sorts...similar to the native Americans I suppose. I think that, if I had to, hunting would be like that for me. There would be no thrill of the hunt, no joy in the kill and an immense amount of respect for the animal who had to die so that I could live. It's the circle of life.... How horrible is it then that, just because I didn't have to kill it myself, I go out an eat hoards and hoards of meat every day with NO respect for the animals who died to feed me or thought to the conditions of their life and death that lead to the meal on my plate. I kind of disgust myself.

I know that there are some farms that do respect the lives of their animals and who do end their lives in a humane way and I honestly don't feel angry at those farms at all. I know that the people here in the city have access to all of that meat....but I'm not so sure I would have access to anything like that in Moranbah. I just don't know. Right now I don't know much about the processes at all, I'm still exploring so, for now, I'm going to be meat free until I have more education. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'd ever be that person who spouts off self-righteous statements like "I could never eat anything with a face" or "meat is murder" and so on....but I think it's just and right for me to respect every living thing and stop taking their lives for granted just because it's convenient for me.

I've always had a problem with food that still looks like a carcass. Whole chickens for example, unpeeled shrimp, bone-in steaks. I get REALLY grossed out eating chicken wings and I can feel a vein stuck between my teeth. It makes me want to vomit and cry at the same time. It's always been an out of sight out of mind kind of thing for me. Like, if I pretend it was never alive and it doesn't look like any distinguishable living thing then maybe I can just believe that it always was dead. Like this veal on my plate was never a precious doe-eyed calf with lashes a mile long and beating heart. But it was...

For me this choice is more about being conscious of what I'm eating and respecting the lives of the animals rather than eating meat at every meal because it's easy to come by. I don't think I could even call myself a vegetarian...for instance, if a friend of ours didn't know about our life choice and slaved over a beautiful meal I would never refuse to eat it just because of the meat! I think the aussie BBQ tradition is going to make things a bit more difficult...but hopefully people won't mind if I bring a veggie dish to share and opt out of the steak and sausage. Regardless of what I come across in social settings, I'll definitely be skipping the meat at home and at restaurants unless I know absolutely where it came from. I know the RSPCA has a Seal of Approval program so that should make things easier on eggs and dairy byproducts. I just want my impact on other living things to be as humane as possible. There's so many other readily available sources of food it seems almost crazy to turn to the meat every time.

Those are my thoughts. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

An update!

I woke up at 4am (now 7am) and couldn't sleep and, when I'm anxious I journal just to get everything out on paper (or on the net as it were) so, here I am.

I miss Beebs! I know it sounds crazy, but this last 8 months is the longest we've ever been together without at least a 6 week period apart thrown in there somewhere....and it feels really weird to be alone again. Mom put a queen bed in my sister's old room for us when he was here, but I moved to the twin bed because it just felt cold and empty all by myself in the queen. I know, I know, I'm a sook. It's only 2.5 weeks (17 days to be exact. ;) ) and we've done far far worse...but it feels different this time. The fact that we still miss each other hopelessly after only a few hours is a good sign I think. Don't get me wrong, it's not that we can't spend a night apart without getting all rediculous, it's just there's a big diff between a night apart when you see each other the next day (or even in a couple days) and the first night apart of weeks of nights apart.

People always ask me if it gets easier, to be apart I mean. And, you know, I don't think anything in my life could ever be as hard as that first goodbye... so yes, in that sense it has gotten easier. But beyond doesn't really. I always cry even when I promise myself I won't. I did pretty well this time. I made it all the way to the final hug at the airport before soaking his shoulder. Yay! Props to me! I do find myself asking why we do this to each other. Many couples wouldn't even consider being apart, if he could only get 2 weeks off work then the trip would only be 2 weeks and we'd leave together....but my family here and my friends here, they're important too! That's the crappy thing about having two homes; you're always crying over someone.

I have experienced an obstacle that I didn't consider until today: I don't have a car here. I mean, I don't have a car in Moranbah either but, usually, I'm on my parent's car insurance. They've removed me for obvious reasons and, after I returned the rental car last evening, I realized that I'm kind of trapped here. At least here I have friends who will come and visit me and drive me around places and so on...but I'm going to miss that freedom of being able to leave whenever I want. I REALLY wanted to be able to just go out and be by myself last night and I felt a bit like the teenager again, trapped in my parents house. It's a little bit frustrating and has put a bit of a damper on the initial euphoria of being home amongst all I know and love best.

I should talk about that for a moment actually, the initial euphoria I mean. We finally arrived at the DFW airport and picked up the rental car and, after some initial disorientation of right vs. left, my instinct took me home. It was like a miracle that, after all that time, I didn't even have to think about the exit to take or the direction to drive....I just took us home! And, as I walked through the front door to the scratching and clicking of Scarlett's excited paws on the hardwood and big hugs from my parents, my heart felt truly full for the first time in a long long time. Mom had lit a candle or something that smelled like Christmas (you know, all cinnamon and nutmeg and allspice) and the tree was sparkling in the corner of the living room where it always did. The floor felt intriguingly solid under my feet and I recognized the absence of the familiar thud and echo of the high and low-set homes of Queensland. I looked around in renewed awe of the home I'd spent 20 years of my life in; the ceilings seemed so high and the air was so warm and inviting in contrast to the brisk winter outside. I'd grown up feeling like my parents 1980's 3 bed/2 bath house was inferior to the brand new 4/5 bed 2 story homes of my friends...but now as I saw it through new eyes I recognized it for what it was; BEAUTIFUL. Solid floors, central a/c and heat, HUGE rooms, high ceilings, 2 full bathrooms and walk-in closets. Even a garage! I felt really proud of my parents for the home they'd built together in this house and I realized that I could be perfectly and endlessly happy in nothing more than a 3 bed/2 bath 1980's home for the rest of my life! It's amazing what you learn to appreciate when you've done without....

It's surreal to be able to buy a coffee at Starbucks at 9:30 pm if I want or buy a burger at 3 am. I still haven't quite wrapped my head around it.... I spent FOUR HOURS just in Marshall's and Ross today....and there's 15 more of them in a 10 mile radius if I should get bored and want to have another go....It might sound bad, but I feel a bit like Tom Hanks in that movie Castaway after he's been stranded for 3 years on a remote island and they throw him that party when he comes home....he stands in awe of the lighter's instant fire and the bowls of crab legs and lobster tails just ready to eat that he didn't have to kill himself. Not that Moranbah is a desert island or anything....but I am admittedly in awe of huge bowls of pico you can buy from Sams for 5 bucks...that I didn't have to make myself. I'm in awe of that I could go to any one of 15 some-odd starbucks within a 15 miles of my parents house when I'd have to fly 1000 miles just to find ONE in Queensland. It's surreal. So, if we hadn't before now, I think we can confirm that I'm definitely not a country girl.