Monday, January 31, 2011

Epcot, Part 1

I guess it depends on your dreams, though maybe if you 're staying at a resort, and you're quiet about it...

The future is brilliant orange, apparently.

Well at least they have hanging plants in the world of tomorrow.

It looks like you could cut yourself on it, though. Is the past an option?

The future is also full of neon, it would seem. If you're prone to headaches from rapidly-strobing lights, may I suggest a hunter-gatherer society? The more we're expected to tolerate, the more our genes become "weaknesses."

Ah, here we go. The devout but sensuous beauty of old Morocco, albeit in reproduction.

Falafel being an option, we naturally headed here. The young woman behind the counter, soft-spoken and not entirely comfortable with English, nevertheless was very accommodating. When I explained why I didn't want the tzatziki sauce on my falafel wrap, she also warned me about the lentil salad, and asked about substitutes. We had a tasty and very enjoyable meal, in spite of the price! The quality of falafel varies quite a bit, but the stuff we found here was well-made, dense and spicy. I'm afraid that, in all the excitement, I didn't take a picture of my wrap. All I have is a snap of the wreckage, as we picked the dead remains clean. I'm a work in progress, folks, and so is this blog.

Our experience in Morocco, prices aside, was surprisingly satisfying. I'd recommend it to any vegan exploring the sprawling excess of Walt Disney World. In fact, the ability to nourish ourselves here enhanced our experience very much. It's much harder to do all the footwork these parks require on pretzels and french fries, so nutrition is part of the enjoyment for the likes of us. It seems that there's something special about Epcot for vegans.

This is only part 1; More soon!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A New Week Starts Tomorrow

Or at least it does on my calendar. A chance to start again, and to wrangle with this blog thing some more. I'm a little backed up with good things that need to be posted, but let's see if we can't get all those out this week. And I've got to get the blog itself out there.

Are all undertakings predominantly driven by perseverance, with precious, surprise flashes of inspiration along the way? I'm too stubborn to let this fade away. The answers I'm looking for are up ahead...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

He's Under Your Bed, He's Gonna Getcha...

...and then he's gonna do magic tricks!

We're going to EPCOT for the day, so I had to post something good enough to hold you for a while. If this doesn't do the trick, I don't know what will. And I haven't even posted the rest of the pictures from the last trip. I'm still new at this, still figuring it out. I can do this.

Anyhow, enjoy!

KFC's Dream: The Chicken that Longs to Die

Charlene, are you by any chance related to Charlie the Tuna? Hmmmm. From an early-70s Kentucky Fried Chicken training filmstrip. You can find this, more of the same, and a lot of other odd stuff, here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ohhh, I Think I'll Stick to Tempeh on My BLTs

Could bacon lead you astray? The article's here. You tell me.

Photo of a big bunny rabbit!

Taco Bell Responds to the Lawsuit in a Full-Page Ad

Article here.

Thank You Just the Same....

...but I think I'm going to go dig for roots in the woods now.

Happy Meals Apparently Cause Frightful Hysteria Among Japanese Children

I Guess I'm the Rest of Us

You know what I mean? That kind of populist advertising, "Whatever whatever... for the rest of us." Meaning for the average person. Meaning, "Don't be intimidated, we made it friendly, now give us your money." Imagine an X-treme, gravelly voice targeting men, or a cute, quirky, soft voice for women.

Well I'm not asking for money, but I do think my approach to veganism is of the "rest of us" type.

You could call me an Ethical Vegan if you want to. I believe that the bad health and environmental damage caused by the modern, meat-centered diet are inevitable outcomes of factory farming's cruelties and the overall tendency to treat animals as objects. For many, there may be a spiritual or religious dimension, though there doesn't have to be. There are a lot of people with a lot of worldviews. I'll support you as you struggle through your own life.

You'll find no evangelical fervor here. I won't, as those on some sites do, give you lessons in soul winning. This is not a crusade into the land of the unbeliever. I will never want to win converts by force. I'm simply not a Puritan. I just want to live my life, and maybe make it a little easier for you to live yours. I hope so, anyhow. May I never be one of those people who causes the conversation to end abruptly, and, after some awkwardness, drives everyone make excuses and leave.

It seems that lately, though, the Health Vegans have been taking over. I say "health," but I'm not sure that, in the end, there's more to it than body-image struggles and the desire to lose weight. Sadly, this may be where many of the ladies come in. A huge industry thrives on making you feel like you're not good enough as it is, that if the scale would only read a certain number, you'd suddenly be happy and at peace. Advertising dollars. A bunch of nonsense. Whether or not you could stand to make changes, you're just fine as you are. I'm telling you now. Don't be so defensive. It's just the truth. Is there a quote here, something about "trust not in outward signs?" I don't think I'll bother to Google it.

I'm somewhere in between. Of course, adjustment to a vegan diet will improve your health, and if, as Kat says, you're accustomed to living on the McDonald's dollar menu, you'll surely lose weight. Yes, vegans gain a certain body awareness, and your attention to health and nutrition will increase. But that doesn't mean you have to become a fundamentalist. Or leave your poor body malnourished. And it doesn't mean self-flagellation if you buy some Wendy's fries while on the road.

Vegans need to eat more. You need to eat to live. If you're not consuming high-calorie animal fat, you need to eat more. Calories are not the enemy; You need them to live. And you need to eat a variety of proteins in order to get all the amino acids your body requires. If you're not eating more, a little self-examination is in order. Now.

Yeah, your T-shirt says "vegan sex machine," but the basic sex hormones are synthesized using cholesterol. Just a values check, that's all. You need fat. Eat, darn it! "Fat-free vegan"="eating disorder." If you're into the latest fad, The Vegan Diet, you're killing yourself slowly. Maybe you need to stop admiring the frightful skeletons on the runways and red carpets.

Check out #3.

I've already mentioned that I advocate the take-it-easy-on-yourself approach. Please, stop abusing yourself!

And stop being rude to others! If someone near you is eating meat, deal with it. You know how it is when you look through that peephole, and you see ties and nametags, and you say, "Oh, Mormons?" You don't answer the door. Or you open it and listen quietly and wait for your opportunity to end the conversation? Please don't be the people on the other side of the door. Please.

I'm just working through life as you're working through life. Let's agree. Let's try to be reasonable. I'll be here for you if you're here for me.

I believe in the decency of the average person, and I appeal to it now. Please, just live your life, and if a vegetarian or a vegan life is for you, please pursue it with moderation. For the sake of your own beliefs. I'm just some person, and you are too. Just take it easy on yourself, and others too. And I'll take it easy on you.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh My Goodness!

Did I forget to take my B12 or something? I knew I was kinda off today, but...

The Transcendent Happiness of Setting Things on Fire

Kat had been talking about getting one of those backyard fire dome things, or whatever they're called, and her son was good enough to fulfill that wish for her birthday. He's very thoughtful in his choice of presents. Last night, we got rid of some yard waste.

Poor Snowball, AKA Stinky, needs reassurance when something new happens. Or when anything happens for that matter.

Many close ups will follow. Now don't be so crabby, scrolling don't cost you nothin'. I'm trying to share the meditative quality of a fire with you.

Ye-e-e-s, beer. We're vegans, not a temperance activists. Please let us have our shamanic moment, and you can inveigh against the Devil's urine at another time. Of course I'd rather make my own.

Television has often been called the modern hearth around which the family gathers. But as we both stared into the flames, commenting on passing sounds and flareups, I realized just how much more entertaining fire really is.

I blew on the fire and said something having to do with thermodynamics. You know, chemical reaction, release of energy as heat and light? Those darn chemistry classes. Would I be better off thinking that there's spirit in fire? Probably.

Right now we live in suburbia. If we ever have our own farm, this will be a large bonfire. It's a dream worth pursuing.

And as the embers died, two quiet, contemplative, smoked people returned to the house, their hairy, four-footed friends following close behind. I still smell like bacon today.

I think there are plants out back that would appreciate some ashes. It's time to stop blogging and start caring for the plant members of the family.

Get Down with Wendy's Chili!

It can be served with cheese. Who needs that there Rick James when there are Wendy's training videos?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another Miniature Odyssey

I drive through this little, predominantly Spanish-speaking area often, and today I finally decided to stop. There's just something about the name, The Pork Chop City, and all its dreadful meatness, that sticks in my head, that seems to demand capturing. I pulled out my phone, and...

The, uh, Beef Meat House. I'm trying to think of something to say. Nope, the sign got the last word.

And the Commercial Beef Utilization Guide. Makes you feel kinda warm inside, doesn't it?


This poor fellow looks awfully worried.

I think this place may call for investigation. I wonder if their beans are made with lard.

When I stop just to look, I see beauty in the everyday, in average and plain things.