Archive | March, 2011

Me and Meat

31 Mar

I am a keen omnivore. Apart from a brief spell in primary school when I got somehow targeted by The Vegetarian Society, I have never considered vegetarianism a choice that spoke to me. Veganism was a very far-off idea – the only vegan I knew was the class bully who would share gory stories that she’d heard about abbatoirs and sheep-shearing with whomever was in earshot. Back to the present, and vegans and vegetarians punctuate my everyday experiences in Blogland, and the issue has become very interesting to me again.

I’m really quite ambivalent when it comes to veganism and vegetarianism. On the one hand, if you believe that killing/using animals for food and/or clothing is wrong, then it 100% makes sense. I have a lot of respect for people with such strong convictions. Even if you just think it’s gross, or you feel that your diet is healthier without the saturated fat that inevitably comes with animal proteins – those are really excellent reasons to seek out the green tick on your food packaging.

However, I feel less confident about veganism and vegetarianism as methods of improving animal welfare. I guess I feel that more can be achieved by staying within any “system” and working to improve it, than opting out. When people abstain from voting because all politicians are corrupt anyway, I feel that they are simply handing over the power to other people – usually those who care about very different issues.

I feel like I have a vote to give and I want that to go to farmers who live near me, treating their animals well. If I can help keep their business going, then maybe it’ll become so successful that it’ll close down the farm where they overcrowd the chickens and cut their beaks off.

I love schemes like meat-free Monday, in which we are encouraged to have a day a week when we don’t eat any animal products. I know that they can be seen as gimmicky, but I believe they have a positive effect. If you take the money you’d spend on that extra day’s meat and spend it on better quality, more ethically-sourced meals throughout the rest of the week, then you’re doing more good than you were before.

Are you an omnivore, a vegetarian or a vegan? What led you to make that decision? Do you think that anything that could sway you to the “other side”?

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Dogs

27 Mar

Oh how we chuckled last night. Meg was lying peacefully next to me on the sofa, when suddenly she farted loudly, gave me a horrified look and went to lie on the floor instead. Disgusting mummy! How could you do such a thing? Um…

Hilarity ensued as a few minutes later, she did it again, still unwilling to believe that the sound could be coming from her. She ran away from the offensive noise, and, as it followed her, she ran faster, giving the impression that she was somehow jet-propelled.

We put her to bed after her normal night-time toilet trip, and thought nothing more of it.

Patrick had a really restless night owing to having been taken off the rugby pitch after a few minutes when a large man hit the side of his (Patrick’s) shin with his (large man’s) shoulder. Early, he announced that he was going to take himself to hospital, but that I should stay and have a lie in. He would let Meg out to pee and put her back in her cage until I got up.

Just settling back to snooze, I heard “Oh God! No!! Oh my God!!!!”

My heart sank. I leapt out of bed and came down to that breakfast table scene in Trainspotting. Meg had been unwell in the night and slept in it. In a rush of joy to be let out of the stink that her bed had become, she charged through the house, wagging and shaking with all her might. It looked like the shit had literally hit the fan.

I took the job of hosing her down outside, while Patrick started on the footprints on the cream carpet. I then took her for a walk to burn off some energy. I took the things that just couldn’t be saved to the dump while he started on the walls. The curtains are bagged up to be dry-cleaned and the washing machine has been going all morning.

All the while, Meg gave us her usual “what on earth are you up to? You humans do some odd things!” look. We haven’t been to the hospital yet, church has gone out the window and lunch for his brother-in-law’s birthday just wasn’t going to happen!

This one definitely goes on the “stuff we’ve dealt with and the baby can’t put us through” list. I hope…

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Life…

26 Mar

… has definitely got in the way of blogging.

Major job changes.

Some family drama resulted in my dad being left seriously in the lurch, work-wise, so a few days a week have turned into something more full-time. I keep thinking that my 18-year-old self would be completely horrified by my current life situation – living in a small town; working for my dad; pregnant-but-not-a-homeowner. The reality of life is surprisingly different to how we expect.

When it comes to work, I’m finding myself actually a useful part of the team – doing things before being asked; identifying new products to put on the books, and they’re selling well. We’re figuring out the post-baby part, but there’s every possibility of horrifying teen-me even further and cutting work back down again.

I always thought that stay-at-home mums just sat around drinking tea and gossiping with their friends while leaving their kids to play in front of the TV. As I meet more of them, I encounter women who would go crazy with boredom if that’s all it was. I’m starting to get excited about the things my baby and I will do together. I apologise to any parents flinching at my continued comparison between dogs and kids, but the joy of seeing Meg grasp a concept is awesome; I can only imagine that when it’s your child, the joy is a thousandfold.

The big city and home ownership parts are ideas that I’ve outgrown, for now. The horribly sad story of Sian O’Callaghan’s death has really highlighted the positive aspects of living in a smaller community. Such horrors are so rare that they draw the attention of everyone; while people really came together to help find her. When someone passes away, nobody cares about the bricks and mortar they’d part-paid for; but the life they led, the people they’d touched and the experiences they’d had.

So, on with the weekend.

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