Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Its 6am on friday before thanksgiving and I can't sleep. I just am so excited about thanksgiving and going home! I think I'm crazy deciding to write a post now, but I don't think my body will sleep any longer, it could have bad repercussions for work, but we will see.

Thanksgiving is such a beautiful time of the year, its when all the leaves change colours, it gets just cold enough outside to snuggle up to your friends and family and drink tea/hot chocolate indoors after running around in natures confetti(leaves). However, everyday I am also so bluntly aware of how our world is changing due to human kinds follies. I hear of the global warming, do projects for PDEng on the growing "plastic soup" in the ocean, and work with energy charts finger pointing at all the wasted energy that is consumed everyday by buildings all over the place. 

What have we done? How did we get to this point? Believing that convenience was better then community, our health, and the worlds health? Our style of eating on the run and instantly has taken away from our craving for human interaction and community. Cooking is fun, its fun to create new inventions over the stove top, have pot lucks and swap compliments, recipes, and where has this all gone? Its coming back, perhaps that's only my jaded view since I am such a strong advocate of it, but I do see a come back with people being aware of our destructive lifestyles. I never really appreciate the excitements and stress release that can unfold in the kitchen till I became vegan, forcing me to be creative and cook most of my food myself. This has its pros and cons. 

Pros because, although initially my baking was not a big seller with the family, they all love the baked goods I make, which is a wonderful feeling. Secondly, I have come to appreciate the time, energy, and struggles that my mom put into every meal we ate growing up, and I am so grateful for that. 

The negative side is its hard (at least in any non-major city like waterloo) to go out for dinner where a vegan can actually eat something. This tends to lead to me spending lots of time in the kitchen, and always thinking up new fun things to cook, which can be time consuming when there are other things on your plate, especially in school, when, as I told my cousin one day, "I feel like all I ever do is cook, eat, and study!" However, this is no reason to stop being (some days falling and eating something I later realize had dairy, but dusting myself off and continuing on) vegan, it just means we need to keep strong, and encourage venues to become more veggi friendly. 

With all the scares around meat and dairy out there, I don't see why they wouldn't. Did you know that with all this controversy over using crops for bio fuels instead of food (since its argued that its contributing to the world shortage in food, which I don't disagree with) they never mention that SEVEN times that amount is used to feed animals in conventional livestock factories every day(VegNews Oct/2008 ed.). These factories also produce around 25% to 33% of the worlds greenhouse gases. 

I'm not proposing that y'all suddenly stop eating animal products, that would be somewhat wishful, but unrealistic thinking on my part. Rather take a step back and know what your decisions are doing, make educated choices, buy locally, and if you eat animal products try to make them local free-range, not just for the animals and the enviro but for you too! I know its more expense, HELLO I'M A STUDENT!, but the money is not a big deal when you think about how necessary food is!

Before I go any further, I want to share a beautiful quote I came across yesterday by the genius boy himself:

A human being is part of the whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourself, our thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein

I am so thankful for everything I have been blessed with. I went to the war museum in Ottawa yesterday after work, and first of all, that building is amazing, I love it! I didn't get to see it all, but its pretty awesome. Second of all, I went to the exhibit of Eugenics that was going on looking into the scientific history of the study of "perfecting" the human race both before the rise of Hitler and during his rise and fall. And wow, its pretty scary stuff. In a way you can see how people would believe it though, which I think is what is so scary about it. What there stopping it from happening again? Seeing the images of all of the gas chamber victims, and the children who were killed since they were deemed "Life not worth living" was so horrible. I can't even express the intense devastating feelings this brought up in me, and is bringing up again as I type. But there it was. How did all those physicians justify killing all those people? That's what scares me.

However, let the past be the past, let us learn from it so it may stay in the past! Now the weekend of thanksgiving is upon us, and after reflecting on all I have written I really do have so much to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving everyone (well at least all you Canadians)!

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