Day 108: When at War (D106, D107)

Hello my dear readers! No I have not forgotten you, I have simply been internet deprived for several days. How I survived I do not know.

The reason why I was internet deprived, I went to war. It was harrowing. There were many casualties and I for one got hit in several places. Mostly the legs, a fair few to the back, and whoever shot me on the butt 3 times I don’t know who you are, but I will find you, and I will kill you. I’m still walking like Vince McMahon a little bit.

Never-the-less, my full day introduction to paintball was wonderful. I learnt that war is fun, that McDs offer English muffins with jam for breakfast and that this is the only vegan option around at7.30 in the am and that sometimes, on occasion, I can be bad-ass.
Being a derp I just assumed there would be a canteen with chips on offer for a vegan lunch. Nope, vegetarian pizza for $10 or bring your own. My friends brought criskets, so I snacked on that. For those of who don’t know what a *crisket is it is air solidified into a thin rectangular shape. Literally. I highly recommend if you’re on a strict anorexic diet.

Obviously all this took place in the bush in the middle of nowhere and no reception. Once back in civilization you’d think the internet would work on my phone. It did not. I have had no internet for several days and unfortunately no way to write daily. To make up for it, I will make extra posts during the next week to make up quota. There will be adorable pictures.

To playing war and catch up,

Summer Tay.

*A crisket is a cracker. I assume we were meant to put things on top of it to give it flavour, but stuff it, plain crisket air ftw!

P.S. The bruises, oh gosh the bruises. I can barely move my legs. I was told going vegan there would be no bruises. It was a lie 😦

Day 105: Ethical Bodies / The Body Shop

It’s interesting how marketing works. I for one have always wondered at it’s marvels. It entertains, it informs, it moves you at your core, it changes your mood, makes your decisions by telling you whats cool and whats appropriate. It tells you who the company is and what it stands for. It often lies.

The Body Shop. Known for it’s ethical practice of not using animal testing. The brand has grown very strong piggy-backing off the belief that buying the body shop products is a step forward for animal rights. Did you know that they use lanolin in their products? The sheep possibly aren’t too happy with that. The brushes they sell are made of animal hair. so in other words, their pro animals stance is a bit of a lie. The glossy “we ❤ animals” brand got a little muddier when The Body Shop was bought out by animal testing, dead animal using company L’oreal (which they apparently don’t do anymore). Consumers seem to be wising up.

Thankfully, no woman ever actually uses this stuff – it’s just the stuff we buy each other when we have no idea what else to get. Guess it’s time to start getting a  bit more creative with the gift giving. Anyone for flowers? Maybe some chocolate? I hear Dusk has some nice candles? (I’m a feminist!).

If you’re definitely in the mood for some body products, Lush appear to have the upper hand. Their stock is animal cruelty free, it’s predominately vegan with some vegetarian options, the products have double features (clean the skin, cleans the face, wash the hair, remove dead skin cells, any combo of these and other things), and the vibe is generally nicer there. Their products smell nicer. Just sayin’.

Shame that when buying products we have to do lots of research before buying. First you have their ingredients – is it animal, how they source it, was it ethically produced, is it good for you to use? Then you have their corporate ethics – do they pay staff, do they hire locally, do they follow the law? So many questions to ask that by the time you ask them all you have to wonder is it even possible to live a completely ethical life? Can a consumer purchase every need and some wants without transgressing some form of ethical boundary? We live in a world where to own a mobile phone is to support slave labour and unsafe work practices in third world countries and for jobs to be shipped overseas. How do we navigate this maze of lies and propaganda? The best I can figure out is determine the best strategy for each issue. In some cases, boycotting is practical and effective – people can get their body products from somewhere else so avoiding this company for animal ethical ones would make a point to the industry at large. However no-one can avoid having a mobile phone. Which means sometimes you cannot say that someone supports a bad thing because they own a product that has done bad things. Each ethical dilemma has it’s own solution.

Anyhwo that is my rant for the day. Feel free to fill me in on what your solution would be to fix the ethical dilemmas of the world in the comments below.

To feeling lush,

Summer Tay

Day 104: Hiltl / The Greatest Restaurant On The Planet (Potentially)

Curiosity got the better of me today and I checked out what is the oldest vegan restaurant in the world? The answer I got was the oldest vegetarian one: Hiltl. This restaurant is not only veg friendly, but it has dishes from practically all across the globe, compliments of it’s perfect placement for world leader summits in Zurich. It was it’s popularity with dignitaries from a multitude of countries that has kept it afloat since 1898. This restaurant sounds like the greatest restaurant to ever exist. Even without going vegetarian this concept would be wonderous for other restaurants to take on. The amount of times you go out with a date bunch of friends and no-one can agree on what type of food should be partaken of. One doesn’t like mexican another doesn’t like carveries and one is allergic to fish (at which point I realise my chances at sushi are over).  With this restaurant, no-one has an excuse to say no. Would it be weird to travel to a country just to experience a restaurant with a globes worth of food genres? Is experiencing restaurants the same as going to countries for the wildlife, wild night life, and monuments, or is my excitement just a little weird? How much is a ticket to Zurich this time of year anyways?

Did a search for best veg restaurants on earth. 83 answers and Hiltl doesn’t even feature. Nothing in the entire of Australia either. Not only that, only a few countries feature: USA, England, South Korea and Germany (yet not Hiltl. Hmph). This was slightly disappointing. I still want to go to there.

Plan: find out where all of the vegan (not all vegetarian) restaurants are in Australia. Ensure to eat at every single one of them and write a review. Vegetarian restaurants where vegan ones are scarce/non-existent. Tastiest road trip ever. Whose with me? 😀

To Hiltl,

Summer Tay.

Day 103: Puppy Love

A friends neighbour gave him and his family puppy minding privileges for today and tomorrow. I do not own any pets. I immediately invited myself over. 

The Puppies, Sal and Sop, love me and only me. Sop follows me everywhere. Sal sits and whinges for her mummy at the window for a few minutes, then turns to look at me. I now have 2 dogs by my side. We’re inseparable. My friend is jealous as puck I love it. 

Naturally I use this opportunity to remind him why animals find me so irresistible: I’m vegan. I’m the only vegan in the house, and I’m the only one getting some puppy love. Ergo, people should become vegan, yes?

I’m going to non-dairy milk this for all it’s worth.

Summer Tay.

Day 102: Blackfish

After many months of knowing about this documentary and hearing of it’s amazing eye opening cannot look awayness I have finally got around to watching the doco known as Blackfish. For those who live under a rock, Blackfish is a doco about Orca whales, focusing on those kept in captivity. The main location is Seaworld, Orlanda USA but also includes other locations, countries and companies. The big question in the movie is why did the Orca Tilikum kill his trainer?

It’s like taking a Chinese man who speaks only Chinese and an American woman who speaks only English, then torturing them, starving them, using twisated logic of blame sharing and cruel and unusual punishments, playing sick mind games with them to the point they even turn on each other and kill their own. Forcing them to play tricks at the sound of a whistle or a flick of the hand, just to recieve the bear necessities of life.

The whales come from all different areas of the globe. They have different languages and so would not be able to understand each other and communicate. They come from different family and community backgrounds, which means they have never seen the other whales before they are placed with them and have limited to no friendship with the others they are surrounded by. They are a large animal kept in a tiny enclosure. They are used to having an entire community of whales around them and the entire ocean at their dorsal fin. Instead they have a tiny enclosure, with random others who speak not their language, stuck within the small confides being unable to break away and get space when emotional.

when they took away a mother Orcas baby, she cried for so long, calling deep cries that in the ocean would have spread as far as a whales pitch could, searching for her baby. The other female whales tried to console every few hours, but quickly ran (swam) away again. Noone had ever heard the whale make much noise at all, let alone anything like the noise she made when they took her baby away. Her greif was clear and peircing through the video footage.

Imagine being stuck in a broom closet, with a person from the other side of the globe, unable to speak each others languages, and you find you guys don’t particularly like each other. You’re both being tortured and underfed daily and the only meal is the same thing every single day. And you only get fed if you do exactly as they say. The two of you are pitted against each other every day for training, making you despise each other even more. When you have a baby, they do the same to the child, for a while. Then they steal it from you and sell it.

As for the trainers, they have their own story. Almost all of them are picked very young, around 19 years old. Always beautiful and friendly. Always very naive and trusting of the company. Always uneducated and oblivious to the actual life of a non-captive orca.They don’t know that Orcas live much the same life span as a human at 60 to 100 years old – int the wild. In captivity it’s 25-35 years. Trainers are taught to say that is how long they live in the wild. In the wild less than 1% of the orca population experience a curving of their fin. In captivity all of them do. The trainers are taught to say that 25% of wild orcas experience it. And the trainers believe all of this, because as far as their youthful and trusting ways are concerned why would Seaworld lie? 

There is something else the trainers don’t know. Every time a trainer has been injured or lost their life doing their job around the animal, there has always been a perfectly good and reasonable explination. Trainer error. An accident occurred. When you’re fresh to the job you genuinely believe that this is how the person whose job your taking had passed away. It’s your first day on the job of a billion childrens dreams, you’re not asking questions. You’re just so happy to be here. It’s when you’ve settled in that you quickly realise these aren’t really your friends. Friends don’t lunge out of the pool and try to kill you. It doesn’t take long for it to happen to them or a coworker. The orca lunges out, grabs a trainer by the arm or foot or, possibly, the ponytail, drags the person under the water and doesn’t let go. The trainer dies. The theme park calls it ‘trainer error’. The other trainers know damn well that it wasn’t. The theme park lied.

Trainers are getting seriously injured and killed. Orcas are getting tortured and killed.Seaworld is fighting to keep things this way. They don’t want safety precautions. They don’t want animal rights. They don’t want to have to give accurate information to the public or to their own staff. And if you think like dear Bindi Irwin does that Seaworld a) takes care of the animals and b) provides accurate information in regards to animals to inform and entertain the public, then I’m sorry you’re wrong. I really am.

These animals are dangerous only in captivity. In the wild, they love humans and want to be our friends. Except when we’re chasing them down and stealing their babies in front of them, cutting open the ones that die from the process, filling them with lead and dropping their carcass back in to sink to the bottom of the ocean.

I’m sorry this post was a little late, but I had much to say. I too am now boycotting Seaworld. If you haven’t seen Blackfish, you should really watch Blackfish. I swear you won’t regret it.

Summer Tay.

Day 101: Fatherly Wisdom

So my Dad thinks that vegetarian and vegan are the same thing. He has been telling everyone who asked what a vegan is (yes, people have had to ask) that it is just another word for vegetarian. Hahahahaha, *facedesk*.

Summer Tay.

P.S. I love you dad, you fill my day with wonder and laughter and joy.

P.S.S. If ayone really wants to know the difference between the two, I’d be happy to oblige with a private response. No judgey.

Day 100: The choc mud recipe

Holy wow worst tasting cake I have had in all my life.  It tasted like the ingredients it was made from – oil and sugar. The fact that I made it myself makes it ten times worse. Should have known from the ingredients it would turn out crap, but all the comments were so happy with their product.

Basically, what I learned from this is, only make the fancy cakes with the fancy ingredients.

Lo and behold, my mum thought it was wonderful. She says, as a compliment, that it tastes like the choc mud cakes from Coles and Woolies. Thanks Mum! *shudders*

I feel almost bad for sharing the link to the recipe, but since others seem to like it maybe you – someone of more culinary skill than I – can have a crack at it.

mynastychoccake_HVS
Before frosting, after frosting and about to be eaten.

To grocery store cakes,

Summer Tay

 

Day 98: Cutest Cake In The World

Huzzah! I found the New Zealand Turtle recipe!

ImageThis thing sounds like a pain in the gluteus maximus to make. You have to layer banana, then coconut icing, then banana again and continue layering until you get a half circle. The place the kiwi fruit slices on top. What if my semi-circle isn’t perfect? What if the fruit slides off the top? I don’t want a square turtle with no kiwi fruit.  I don’t think I’ll be doing that one any time. If anyone else wants to make it I’d be happy to try a slice though.

To eating turtles,

Summer Tay.

Day 97: There Once Was A Little Sausage Named Fuhrer.

Hitler. One of the most famous vegetarians of all time. Loved the animals. Especially at midnight. Let me explain…

Adolf Hitler grew up carnivorous. One day he decided to be a vegetarian. You get a brownie point if you know why he went vegetarian.

Because his doctor told him he had to. Because eating meat made him fart and sweat and smell. A lot.

Did he genuinely care for the animals? Who knows. What I have managed to gather however, is that he did not go vegetarian out of a love of animals. Nor did he go vegetarian.

Wait, what? I hear you say. Well, heres the thing see, a vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat. Hitler ate meat. He did not eat it when on official business. He did not eat it when out in public. He did eat stuffed squab when his personal chef made it for him, at his request. And he requested it very often. He also ate Eva’s sausages, also a personal request. He and Eva used to eat them around midnight most nights. Guess even Eva couldn’t escape his gas.

He did say he was a vegetarian though. He did use vegetarianism as a propaganda tool. He did use it as a reason to regale his guests with stories of how the animals are killed. He did take ‘moral highground’ whenever he saw the opportunity. He also continued to eat meat right up until his dieing day.

He did have a cunning plan. He would milk this for all it’s worth. Chuck it into the propaganda machine and turn it into something he could use to further his main cause: himself. When I imagine Hitler, he seems like the kind of guy that if he cannot have meat, no-one can. Once he had to be vegetarian (for the most part) so would everyone else – as many people as he could muster to convert. Because how dare they enjoy something that The Fuhrer cannot. But, I never met the guy, so this is just my conjecture.

Does Hitler being a pretend vegetarian make me want to not be a vegan? No. Does the thought of if he was genuine in being veg, would I stop then? The answer is still no. the fact that this is a concern for people concerns me. If you’re a liberal, did you know George Bush is a carnivore? If you’re a conservative, you do know Obama is a carnivore, right? Either way, todays politicians, totes evil because they’re carnivores. Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is. Hitler wasn’t evil because he attempted a veg diet to cure his flatulence. Hitler was evil because he killed 6 million people and tried to take over the world. Get your head on straight.

If you still feel like Hitlers proposed vegetarianism makes such a diet evil, consider his other policies. He believed in killing black people. This I don’t stand behind. He believed in work-for-the-dole for those without work. This I do stand behind – though I dislike the images of the dolers, who hold their shovels like army rifles and march like well trained army men. Hitler stood for killing people who belong to unions. This I do not stand behind. Hitler stood for providing healthcare for all (German) persons. This I stand behind. Hitler stood for telling a lie over and over again until people believe it (like claiming to be vegetarian). I do not stand behind this. Do you see the pattern? You can agree with someones policies without agreeing to all of them. You can agree with vegetarianism without agreeing to everything Hitler. Reagan, Romney, Obama, they all did it when they proposed universal healthcare. I’m doing it right now.

It is fallacious to suggest that one infamous person’s dietary habits reflect on the character of others who share those habits.Martin G. Hulsey.

On another note, have you ever seen those fridge magnets that say things like “the more I get to know people the more I love my cat/dog/bird/thing” and think ‘naaaw, how cute’? Did you know that it was propaganda expert Joseph Goebbels who coined the phrase? He was referring in part to Hitler, and his love of animals. Still like those magnets?

To me, Hitler was a douche, one who had some pretty nifty ideas and a lot of bad ones. Being vegetarian, not a bad choice. Killing people, not so great.

Hope I didn’t offend anyone with my Hitler talk. It is not my intent to offend, only to entertain and discuss.

Summer Tay.