Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category
316. Having the opportunity to see the Na Pali Coast.
317. Staying in the forest in Kauai (pictures to come).
318. Common Grounds in Kauai- with the best vegan breakfast burrito in Hawaii.
319. Four consecutive days to spend with my friend in paradise (deluxe… as opposed to regular paradise).
320. Thanksgiving dinner: a loaf of french bread with Tofurkey slices (sammiches), a 20oz Blue Moon to split, and some crackers with hummus. All, while sitting on Kapa’a beach (beautiful and quiet), watching the crabs dig their holes and the big waves break.
321. A new and challenging career opportunity.
322. A bright, busy office with bright, busy people.
323. Working walking distance from home.
324. Working seven blocks away from Shad so we can walk to and from work together.
325. Buying a good car from a trustworthy person so we have no excuse to not go exploring.
326. My sister coming to visit in one week for one month.
327. Spending some serious quality time with my sister.
328. Every little thing working out. (I’m sure some things don’t, but I can’t seem to remember what they are.)
329. Friends that continue to make an effort to hang out, even when I slack on being outgoing and friendly (I eventually return the effort), but I really appreciate you pushing me.
330. Finally buying a futon. Futons are awesome.
331. A two bedroom apartment. Two bedroom apartments are awesome.
332. The monk seal that we saw swimming on the south shore of Kauai.
333. Our new plant- she is seriously happy here.
334. Owning snorkel gear.
335. The successful SharePoint team I left behind at the last job. I’m seriously excited that they’re excited about SharePoint.
336. The fact that the car we bought was driven to us for a showing… it was incredibly nice of them.
337. Kindness, in general.
I’m working on my new decorative painting project. The subject matter is based on a direct request from Shad, who demonstrated the poses that he would like the monkey’s to be in.
Mind you, this is still a work in progress. I will try my best to make these a masterpiece.
I began writing this post a practical explanation of how Shad and I are transitioning to a vegan diet, but I realize that the ‘why’ part must come first. It is not necessary as a justification or an excuse. Yet, while I don’t feel obligated to explain myself, I am making this choice for the second (and last time) in my life and I want to verbalize my purpose.
Beginning at age fourteen, I was vegan for a year, vegetarian for about ten years, and a pescatarian for the last few years. In every case, I was deliberately diverging from standard eating practices in my environment where most people eat lots and lots of meat and other animal products. It wasn’t the easiest route to take for a number of reasons. One, was that I was raised eating meat. I was used to it and I thought I liked it. I distinctly remember how much I was craving some Applebee’s chicken egg rolls shortly after made the leap into veganhood.
Another, is that the associations and presumptions many people make when they find out about this personal choice are remarkably annoying. You are immediately associated with a hippie on some level. That line of thought adds other connotations like bleeding-heart liberal, flaky, emotional, or unrealistic. While these associations are not necessarily verbalized or across the board, they are absolutely present on a large scale.
Now, why would I make such an uncomfortable and annoying choice? Again, there are a number of reasons, but in this list there is really only one important one.
The way we collect animal products is horribly and disgustingly cruel, inflicting astonishing torture on living, breathing, thinking creatures that feel pain and terror.
That was my original motivation for choosing a vegan diet. It was that simple and as a young, semi-idealistic teenager (I was never totally starry eyed) , I also had this inkling of belief that I could make a difference on a grander scale. Unfortunately, I think the dissipation if that inkling into the reality, that we eat eat more and more meat every year and the general treatment of animals gets anything but better, is what caused my gradual relaxation over the next decade and a half. As I got older, it became easier to say, that while I believe in kindness, practicing it is a meaningless gesture. I remain in the habit of abstaining from meat, but it’s not a political issue so I’m not really going to follow through.
But I get older and I keep thinking.
With the help of Shad making it easier for me (by choosing to change his own diet), and some good conversations, I’ve come back to the point where I don’t want to draw imaginary lines permitting myself an arbitrary level of involvement in things that I do not believe in doing. As an adult, with a relatively wiser perspective, it is still not a political issue for me. I won’t be throwing paint on fur (mostly because I believe that tactic is ineffective) and I won’t even be a jerk at your dinner table. I will, however, do what I believe is right, and on my vehicle of free speech, I will occasionally talk about it (probably in the form of great vegan recipes). I hope that I will affect one person who will affect one more person to make similar choices in their own lives, but I don’t plan on preaching. The internet is full of information for each person to decide for himself.
Finally, allow me to borrow from an ethical principle called Ahimsa. This is the idea of not causing harm to other living things. Essentially, while I live in the modern world and by existing and using modern products and services, I will indirectly cause harm, I am going to take conscientious steps to lead a life that cause the least amount of harm as possible.
Shad and I have been spending a lot of time at Sears lately. Sometimes we go once a day. Sometimes we go twice. It’s kind of our special place. It’s really where all the hip people in Honolulu hang out…
Well, it’s more like a place to get cheap sheets, but you know… we’re still cool.
Anyway, this post isn’t about Sears. It’s actually about someone we met outside. There was a little bird who may have fallen or hopped down to the main level of the outdoor mall at Ala Moana. He wasn’t able to fly yet, but the way he was fluttering around, it looked like he was getting close.
The little guy probably picked the worst place in the world to learn how to fly. There were so many people walking past him that we were worried he was going to get stepped on. His parents were watching overhead, but it’s not like they could come by and move him out of the way. Shad and I watched him for a little while and Shad tried to nudge him out of the way without touching him (since you are not supposed to touch young birds). As Shad got close to him, the little guy hopped up onto Shad’s shoe. That worked out since Shad just walked the bird over to a quieter spot and nudged him off of his shoe.
It was, maybe, the cutest thing ever.
We’ve been on Oahu for a few days, but I still have my last few pictures and video from Hilo waiting to be posted, so really quick, let’s wrap up the Hilo story…
On our penultimate day, with Shad’s foot hurting, we stayed close to our base and just walked slowly around town. We found ourselves at the Keawe Bridge over the Wailuku River… it’s just a bridge in town- not a tourist attraction, but boy, was it beautiful. We saw giant sea turtles floating beneath us. I attempted to capture on in this video, but I’m not sure if you can see him very well…
In any case, here are some pretty pictures.