Vegan to Veganism — the Followup

N.B. This post was inspired by a very kind reader’s comment on my previous post. It’s my way of thanking an anonymous reader for the inspiration to create this article 🙂

I often add deprecating words of imagined critics to challenge my writing — they appear as italicized green-text segments. This time I turn those naysayers away and add complimentary words to complement the genuine words of a non-naysayer. 🙂

Thanks for this Bill! But my curiosity is not yet fully quenched! How did your family and friends take your change?

Though the green sheep in the family, I was blessed, or kindly ignored, by family and friends. They have allowed me the space and penchant to follow the way of the iconoclast. Tilt damned windmill! I try to reciprocate in kind, but when you stand up for eliminating THE entree from the plate 24/7, you must expect onslaught and outrage:

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Whaaat?

You’re kidding.

You’re not serious.

Whaaat?

A reflexive response to homo sapiens’ rejection of all things never questionable.

You dare countenance baser instincts, to sin against the natural law? Beasts naturally sacrifice their corpus by dint of birth. It’s frail folly to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge.

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I also imagine that back then veganism was much harder and much less accepted than it is today.

Graduating from university in the year of Woodstock 1969 and Earth Day occurred the following year. Insanity by political edict in Vietnam would never occur again. Nixon flew away in a disgrace that many of my peers vowed to avenge. Whiplash by pendulum swing was inconceivable — but it was only five years away.

A certain nihilism set in with what I call “Mourning in America” 1980.

Whiplash happens.

Did you join an animals rights group?

Peter Singer (Animal Liberation) rocked the planet with his unspeakable recommendations in 1975. E.F. Schumacher suggested that small was beautiful.  It seemed the conventional wisdom would follow in steady due course — but not politically and not personally. My wife died in 1983. I became a single parent until Lisa showed up to rescue us. She got the chance to shop for groceries with a vegan in 1993. TVP and canned vegan fare were tucked away in an a nondescript top shelf. Those cans got lonely up there.

And about the detoxifying, I agree. When I first went vegan, I had detox symptoms too, but then I also gave up coffee, sugar and alcohol completely.

I successfully detoxed from alcohol after a single rehab week in Falmouth, KY. Heroin peers began to outnumber the alcohol-devotees. Break time at the picnic tables there led me back to cigarettes for some months. I was the only person to show up at a smoking-cessation series — my last puff was taken in the parking lot of the hospital sponsoring the series. I’ve saved the certificate of completion.

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I have mine without the above. What’s it called?

Let’s say that coffee ‘never hurt me none’, so I’m still with that Kodachrome. Sugar that doesn’t come with real and true fruit, sugar in empty-calorie form remains a crutch that I haven’t discarded. It’s bad news without a single redeeming social value, but I stock up on figs, dates and the such to counter the sugar molecules.

Thanks again for this post!

Thanks so much for the prodding. It’s been enormously helpful to answer your thoroughly wonderful questions.

Thanks for reading.

The Green Sheep in the Family

Full disclosure first — I am the green sheep in the family: one of “those vegans” who have the temerity to speak up for “others” — more similar to us than not — who have no voice in determining their own destiny. Today I focus on the multiple billions  living in camps

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By this time next year 70 billion will have lived from birth to death in one of those facilities. Factory friendly farms.

Well there must be a good reason then.

Many reasons, but each is specious, spurious and tawdry. We deny inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to “the others.” Is that ethical behavior? Do animals volunteer their own destruction?

Bill, they outnumber us 10 to 1. So it looks like we are the ones endangered here. Do you call that fair? Let us tell you something. life isn’t fair and freedom fries aren’t free. It’s a wonder that any of us are left standing, actually. So it’s self-defense, us or them.

But can we talk about something a little less depressing?

Sorry. Let’s talk about optimal health, vibrance and well-being. In short: those habits that produce a healthy body. There are many ways to become ill: some involve luck, some are viral/bacterial, some are self-induced. I’ve tried many ill-advised styles of life.

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To quote my own father “I would rather be rich and healthy than sick and poor.”

Majority rule then. You vegans comprise 3% of the eating public. Why force bunny-salads down our throats? We are not geese. We are designed to eat meat. Some call it stewardship in a dominion over all life. What’s wrong with being top dog? Beats low dog.

3% of human eaters are vegan, 3% of human scientists deny climate-change, 3% is a good guess at the percentage of lifeforms that would survive an extinction event — asteroidal, nuclear or climatological.

Detox is tough because meat is a powerful addiction that is socially acceptable and culturally sanctioned. Secreting toxins is wearying — so is withdrawal from other addicting chemicals. We are living and breathing chemical factories, walking bags of chemicals.

Some very good news: craving for meat and meat byproducts metamorphoses into repulsion.

Why are you vegans always so negative?

We aren’t.

Thanks for reading.