Monday, August 31, 2009

Vegan Diary

This is a diary of my two weeks as a vegan, a present to my friend Joan.
I didn't start this diary until Day 4, Days 1-3 weren't all that interesting except that on Day 1 I went out with friends for dinner at my local where it was 1/2 price wing night and had to use my brain to find dinner instead of just ordering 1 pound cajun dusted with a side of hot sauce.
Here's the story so far...

Day 4 - August 27/09
I'm craving tuna today. Tuna salad on whole wheat bread from a donut store. And cheese, marble, on crackers.
It's silly but I feel like I'm losing weight - might be from my new found fear of any food with more than three ingredients in it. Rice cakes and hummus and guacamole have become my new staples. Thankfully one of my new favourite soups - Baxter's Golden Autumn Vegetable Soup - is both totally vegan and on sale.
Tonight I had a veggie burrito, no cheese or sour cream, and somehow I still feel like I've broken the rules, as if any food I eat and enjoy is somehow wrong. I may be kick starting a whole new eating disorder.

Day 5 - August 28/09
Today I'm a titch hungover, having gone out last night to celebrate a friend's birthday and today I'm craving a big breakfast/early afternoon meal of eggs, bacon, buttered toast and tea with lots of milk. Scrambled eggs with lots of cheese. Rice cakes and hummus, pickles and green tea just don't have the same comforting food effect.
I will say that I've been pooping much more regularly what with all the leafy greens and beans I've been eating. I've also been feeling a lot more creative with my meals. Except right now - potato chips and hummus. We are none of us perfect.

Day 6 - August 29/09
Had brunch today at Sneaky Dee's with a couple of friends I haven't seen in several months. I was a little worried that I'd have to eat dry toast and plain black tea (ugh!) but much to my surprise and delight it turns out that Dee's has both green tea (ah!) and several vegan brunch choices including a vegan version of the Burro Favorito which is exactly what I wanted. My only complaint about my breakfast was that the tofu was cut into strips (and quite thick ones at that) instead of chopped fine so that it mimics the texture of scrambled eggs. As for the potato chips I bought yesterday - technically vegan as they're only safflower oil and potatoes and salt - I was craving salt, but the junkfoody-ness of the chips wasn't quite what I've been wanting. But I'm sure I'll find a way to choke the rest of them down somehow.
For dinner I wound up making vegan burritos with my boyfriend and they were fantastic! Beans, fresh salsa, avocado, lime, onion and cilantro. My boyfriend had his with beef and cheese and when all was said and done he admitted he could have left the beef out of his, but not the cheese. Oh I am SO craving cheese!

Day 7 - August 30/09
Not much to say about today except I'm hungover. Wine, how I love thee...
Today was a day for eating leftover burritos and popcorn dressed with olive oil and salt. I didn't think I'd be able to eat popcorn without butter (oh butter!) but I quite enjoyed it! No cravings for meat or bacon or cheese. My boyfriend asked me what I was going to eat when the two weeks are up and I've decided to hold off going back to my meat eating ways until I can have a good meal, like a fine roast or good steak and some expensive cheese like St. Andre's. It doesn't seem right somehow to do all this "work" just to go back to eating crap.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cycling is now a Religion

You ride a bike instead of driving a car and suddenly you’re a fucking SAINT. You’re better than me because I drive everywhere. You’re better than transit users because they still omit fumes. It doesn’t matter that you’re creating havoc by riding on the sidewalks, creating hazards by blowing through stop signs and traffic lights or putting yourself in danger by not wearing a helmet. You still think you are better than me. And you think it’s your right to “show me the light”. No you don’t knock on my door like Jehovah Witnesses, but you do something far worse - you gather together in this huge “demonstration” - which could be easily likened to picketing religious zealots at a Gay Pride Parade or an Abortion clinic– called Critical Mass.

These Critical Massholes, as I like to call them, refuse to cooperate with police and city hall (by not giving a route map for their little parade) and proceed to impede traffic including emergency vehicles with their lights on trying to get to a call. They feel it’s THEIR RIGHT to do this because it’s for the greater good. They are trying to get more people on bicycles and out of cars. Because THEY believe it’s what’s best for the world. Some religious folk believe what is best for the world is blowing up abortion clinics – that’s wrong but this isn’t?

Same difference.

Yeah Critical Massholes haven’t killed anyone – that we know of….yet – but someone one day will need an ambulance and they won’t be able to get one because Massholes won’t let it through. A VPD Police officer said he had his lights on trying to get to a call and the Critical Massholes would not let him through. He radioed to have someone else take the call, got out of his car and started giving tickets. Not that any of the Massholes cared – they saw it as a victory. Just like how the religious zealot thinks it’s worth going to jail if he takes a life (abortion Dr) in order to save one (unborn embryo).

Did I mention they break laws continuously by not obeying traffic signals, not wearing helmets, etc.? Yeah I think I did.

Vancouver, the city in which Critical Mass has become a Critical Controversy, has (in the 10 years I’ve been living there part or full-time) shut down an entire lane on one of the busiest commuter bridges in Vancouver so cyclists can have it. They’ve shut down access to streets (like Hornby south of Pacific) so cyclists can have it, they’ve created bike lanes all over the city and mapped out designated bike routes. To me this means that Critical Mass is no longer about cyclist awareness – we know your there and we’re making your life better – it’s about infringing on the rights and safety of others because you think you are better than them.

If this was America these Massholes would be shot or simply run over. (

And sadly, it still might happen here. There is only so much a person can take. Think about it. You don’t know who you’re trapping in their vehicle. People have panic disorders that could cause them to freak out and hit the gas. They could be sick trying to get home. They could have a child to pick up and are late and frustrated. It’s a ticking time bomb. At the last Critical Mass (the last day of every month) I had just had a surgical procedure that week and was suffering from some complications but was at work on the North Shore of Vancouver. I had to ask my boss if I could leave early so I didn’t run into Critical Massholes on my way home. I needed to get home. I was even contemplating heading to the hospital. If I was stopped in traffic surrounded by thousands of Massholes yelling and screaming, with the pain I was in, I would not be responsible for my actions.

You are not better than me because you cycle to work or the grocery store (which I walk to) or wherever the fuck it is you are going on my sidewalks. You don’t care more about the environment than me. I drive an eco-friendly car and walk whenever I can. Furthermore, I obey all traffic laws. I move out of the way for emergency vehicles. I wear my seatbelt. I slow down or stop for pedestrians. I do not drive on the fucking sidewalk or the wrong way down one way streets just because it’s convenient. You are not better than me. You are not getting into “heaven” before me.

You are a Masshole.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Think Global Act Local

Seems to me that there's been a lot of hype in the papers lately about how President Obama is pushing Americans to "Buy American" and that we Canadians are somehow going to wind up in the financial shitter as a result.

I have to applaud President Obama for his stance. He's took on a world of trouble when he became the 44th President of the United States and from what I've seen and heard and read his main focus seems to be to get his country healed up and working again. I say good job Mr. President, keep it up.

Right now Canadians are also a financial crunch. I'm out of work and a lot of my friends who still have jobs are having to make personal cutbacks and sacrifices and re-thinking their futures and the futures of their children.

Perhaps we should adopt the USA's practice of thinking and acting locally. Let's all Buy Canadian! Shop at Rona instead of Home Depot, hire your local teenager to cut your lawn and rake your leaves, shop at a Canadian grocery store or better yet join a co-op. Seek out local designers for your clothes, try to stick to farmer's markets when buying produce so you know it's locally grown, (in the winter months obviously this is harder but there are Canadian companies that provide canned and frozen veggies and don't forget all our hothouse veg!), root for the Toronto Maple Leafs!

Making these changes might cost a little more but in the long run it will be much better for all Canadians. Spend a little more on Canada, get a whole lot more back.