This afternoon the Cap'n, Poopies and I packed up and headed over to the local farm animal sanctuary for their annual Thanks"Living" Dinner. Which of course means that there was no meat served, in fact it was a totally vegan meal, and a pretty tasty one at that. Poopies had a great time, and wore himself out trying to touch the real, live, and very impressive turkeys that were ambling about the place, and gawking at the goats, pigs and cows outside in the pastures.
I'll admit I was sort of hoping that after spending $40 per person that we might be spared the slide shows of sad animal faces and heightened emotions with shrill voices raised about factory farming and unethical farming practices. It's not that I don't know, in fact that's why I was there. But I do get upset about these things, and I just sort of wanted to enjoy my meal and not get all sentimental and angry about the injustices of the world.
See, we are vegetarians who used to be vegan. The Cap'n and I met as vegetarians and quickly converted to veganism, where we remained for eight years. I can't really defend why we stopped, but I know that I was the catalyst. I got a stress fracture in my hip, and got scared that my bones were weak. Sure, I could have just taken a supplement, but that cheese sandwich looked so much better! Then I got pregnant, and that was it. I had to have the dairy, there was no way I could get by it. And I brought the Cap'n down with me. We only ate organic eggs and dairy, for what it's worth. Which apparently isn't much according to those who know better.
And I learned something new tonight, something that I actually really didn't want to know. That the dairy and veal industries are undeniably linked. In fact, veal is simply the concept they devised to market all the male-born dairy cows that they can't use in the dairy industry. And that's really bad. I'm not quite sure of what I'll do with that information. I want to lead an ethical life, but honestly, eight years of veganism taught me that the whole enterprise, while being very respectable and worthwhile, is kind of a giant pain in the ass. And I'm also undecided about how it would affect Poopies and our little babybud, and children's constant quest to fit in and participate. Vegetarianism is socially accepted, but veganism is seen as radical. So there it is. Mary is not so Proud today. Today, Mary is feeling pretty shamed and hypocritical.