Here’s an experimental short story I knocked up on my morning train journey to work over the past two weeks. Continue reading “Eli’s journey”
6 months ago I made the decision to trial a life of not eating animals or animal-related products for a few weeks. No more meat, cheese, milk, honey and so on. After a few weeks, I realised the likelihood of reverting back was slim. And so it proved, the trial turned into a permanent change. So, how am I doing 6 months on?
The short answer: Absolutely fantastic
Have there been hiccups along the way? Of course. But with anything worth doing in life, there exists the occasional roadblock to test your mental fortitude as if to ask, ‘do you really mean what you’re saying and doing?’
As the weeks rolled by, I learnt that one by one, I was crossing more food off the list of what I could eat. Sometimes it was hugely disappointing, especially if I had my heart set on something for breakfast. Other times, it wasn’t so bad.
- Jelly lollies? Nope, they’re made with gelatin. Where does gelatin come from? Google it….
- A pastry from the bakery? Full of butter.
- Veggie patty on a burger? Sorry, made with eggs..
- A packet of salt and vinegar chips (crisps)? Nah-uh, it has milk solids.
In fact a lot of things are made using milk solids. Nevermind. As a vegan, you learn to find some cheeky loopholes – food that at first glance you wouldn’t think you could eat, but a quick scan of the ingredients leaves you wide-eyed and drooling… i.e. most variations of Oreos!
What you may have noticed is that most of that food above is generally unhealthy anyway. Animal aside, it’s food I’m better off avoiding. By mostly eating healthy, I’ve found I view junk food differently than I used to. When I used to spot someone eating a Big Mac, more often than not it made me crave one myself. Now, I look at the person, not the burger, and what I see is often a visually unhealthy person jamming part of an animal down their throat. I don’t miss it at all.
I’ve learnt that some people view veganism as a diet. The more apt word is lifestyle, and while that sounds clichéd, it’s true for me. The word diet conjures up images of going without and cutting back certain foods. Veganism doesn’t involve either of these things. I don’t go without meat, it’s just simply no longer an option. Just as some people would never even consider eating say, haggis, I no longer consider eating meat. I also don’t cut back. I either eat a food or I don’t. It generally either has animal or it doesn’t.
The problem with a diet is that it’s too easy to succumb to bad food and tell yourself that you’ll run an extra lap or two around the park later that day (which let’s face it, won’t happen). If you’re vegan for the animals, you can’t eat animal and then make up for it later. It simply doesn’t work that way.
Food aside, the moral benefit of eating vegan has already proven to be fulfilling and frustrating in equal measures. Although I feel vastly better mentally and physically about my choice, it’s also opened my eyes to how mindless and contradictory society is when it comes to animals. Dog rescue/animal shelter on one corner, a BBQ steakhouse on the next. People crying out about animal abuse because a puppy was tortured and killed, but the same people will bury their head in the sand when it comes to discussing how that sizzling bacon ends up on their plate. Vegans have developed a well-known reputation for being ‘preachy’, yet for decades, the meat and dairy industry has never held back on flooding us with messages telling us what to eat and drink. Food for thought hey…
All in all, going vegan is one of the best things I’ve done. Mentally and spiritually I feel so much better, and physically I feel great, not to mention I’m leaner than I have been in years.
So for the next 4 weeks, I’m going to post the first 4 chapters of a novel I’ve been working on for a few years. It’s been stop-start, especially with Uni studies, but now that I’ve finished studying, I have no excuse! I’m about 75% finished. With a working title ‘dancing with devils’, this is a murder mystery/crime fiction type thing. As always, any comments are welcome 🙂
Last year I posted about not having New Year’s resolutions… hastily constructed, alcohol-fueled, forgotten tomorrow, whinge, rant and so on. I’ll admit this post is me backtracking a little, but I’m cool with that.
I haven’t done a song list for a while, so I’ve added a few extra this time. As the year comes to a close, here’s 10 non-Xmas-y tracks for you to check out so you can cruise right into 2017 (it’ll help if you’re partial to electronic/chillout music with a touch of hip hop/RnB). Unfortunately I couldn’t get videos for the first two tracks. Continue reading “10 songs to take you into 2017”
September 2008; I’m working night shift and need something to keep my brain active through the day. So I enrol through Griffith University to study a degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice.
November 29, 2016; I walk out of my final exam and feel strange. I’ve finally finished. 24 modules, and a hideous amount of $$ later, I’ve earned myself a piece of paper. Continue reading “8 long years & a piece of paper”
Title image courtesy of http://www.gourmandandgourmet.com.au
About 8 months ago, Sel went vegan. She’d already cut down on meat prior to that, but she finally decided to do away with the dairy, eggs, honey and so on. Come November ’16, which was World Vegan Month (unofficially?), I decided to try it myself. I admit I’d had a head start. Most meals I eat at home are primarily vegetarian, and sometimes vegan anyway. The difference was that I always gravitated to a meat dish when we went out. Or at least something covered in cheese. Or both. Not anymore. Continue reading “Food for thought”
A while ago, I watched an episode of Black Mirror (S1 E3 – The Entire History of You) and it was about inserting a tiny device into the base of your skull, allowing you to revisit and replay your memories. You could even bring the memories up on a screen for other people to watch. During a replayed memory, you could even zoom in on people on the other side of the room who would have barely entered your consciousness at the time. So in one scene the protagonist, Liam, applied a lip-reading ‘app’ to his memory to find out what two people were talking about.
Sometime it’s nice to get a different perspective on things.
Here are my tracks to get you through April. Enjoy! Continue reading “5 songs to get you through April ’16”
Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance
One of the things I loved about Venice Beach when we visited last year? Dancing on roller-skates!
Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love
From Los Angeles to New York, love is everywhere!
Here are my five tracks to get you through March. Enjoy!
Sitting down to dinner tonight in Ubud, Indonesia, it dawned on Sel and I that Indonesia has no concept of what a millionaire is.
Why? Because 1,000,000 rupiah is the equivalent of about 96 Aussie bucks.
The photo challenge this week is Time
Using my phone, I quickly snapped this pic yesterday afternoon on the (usually busy) streets of Ubud, Indonesia. This little pup sat there as if he was waiting patiently for the traffic to pass, as if he had all the time in the world. He eventually trotted over to the other side and disappeared behind a row of scooters.
I’m typing this at 10,000 feet, cruising through the clouds, bound for Indonesia. Sel and I will do our best to switch off our sources of stress, avoid avenues of anxiety, and just have a damn good relax.
Before boarding this flight though, I couldn’t help but notice my airport experience, and although it was like every other airport experience I’ve had, this time I had a keyboard handy so I thought I’d take a few notes.
Here are my
five six tracks to get you through February. What do you think?
Driving to work the other day, I knew a particular road on my route was blocked due to flooding. For the first 40 minutes of the drive, I knew not to take the turn off.
What do I do when I eventually reach the aforementioned turn-off? Take it of course. Did I immediately realise what I’d done? No. Not until a minute later when I came upon the ‘Road Closed’, or more specifically, the ‘stupid fool, you knew not to come this way’ barrier. Continue reading “My name’s Mike, and I’m Autopilotic.”
Before Sel embarks on her upcoming blogging adventure, my first instinct was to impart on her my advice about how to approach it. I know what you’re thinking,
“Mike, you haven’t reached 300 readers and your posts don’t get published elsewhere. You’re not exactly a blogging role model, are you?”
This week’s photo challenge is about being Optimistic
People venture to Las Vegas full of optimism, closely followed by dashed hopes, despair & empty wallets!.
For the first 33 years of my life, the concept of family didn’t hold much weight. I’m reasonably close to my immediate family; mother, father, and two sisters, and sort of close to the grandparents that are still alive. But my overall feeling toward family is far removed from the “blood is more important than anything” narrative put forth in countless movies and television shows. Let’s just say, if I was Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy, I would have jumped on my bike, and left SAMCRO and Charming midway through Season 1. Loyalty shmoyalty. Continue reading “Climbing up the family tree”
The challenge this week is letters: I love this picture, firstly because it’s New York. But for the theme this week, I love how the glowing letters on each and every sign and slogan competes for your attention and tries to ‘out-brighten’ each other.
In April last year while in Los Angeles we ventured down to Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach for the day. As it turned out, Venice was one of my favourite destinations during our 7 week trek across the United States.
Older people rollerskated near a much younger generation of skateboarders. The hustle-bustle of tourists, locals, out-of-towners and wanderers stretched along a seemingly infinite path, casually sidestepping oncoming bicycles, scooters and rollerblades. One eye people-watched while my other eye scoured the goods laid out by an eclectic, and mostly happy group of artisans. We strode past Muscle beach, invoking images of old-school bodybuilders in daggy 80’s workout clothes.
It was bustling, but peaceful. Modern, but nostalgic. Crowded, but spacious. The entire area was a contradiction of itself and I loved it. So did my camera, although it didn’t get used to its full extent. Maybe one day I’ll go back and let the camera lead the way.
But for now, here are a few things I did capture. I’ve also included shots taken from the pier and surrounds…