Tag Archive: Veganism


Proposed Return to Veganism

The more I’ve interacted with Krishna Das’s page and those of his friends, the more I have felt I really should return to veganism.  On my last few shops I have felt really bad about stocking up with meat and fish and thought maybe next time I’ll cut it out and buy vegan.

A couple of days ago I did it!  I submitted an online order then went back to it and cut out all the meat and dairy and replaced them with vegan products.  I had a serious wobble about it when I went to see my mum.  I think I’m a good cook for my own purposes (and actually I’d love to cook for more people, but I AM a bit slow so I don’t think I could make a career out of it) and I was saying how much I would miss everything, named each meat, fish, dairy and honey product with great anguish!  And all the things I won’t be able to eat in restaurants . . . .

The last time I went vegan, about 10 years ago, I was very evangelistic and Pentecostal about it. Everything had to change all at once, very fervent and much resolve.  Took all my meat and whey protein powder to a local homeless project.  This time, however, I’m being much more – organic? – about it, more relaxed and liberal, less intense.  I’ve still got a lot of meat and fish in my freezer so I’m going to eat it.  I’ve got a whole jar of delicious honey, I’m going to eat that, too.  I’ve got dairy cheese (I expect to miss that, especially Stilton) and one egg left, and I will enjoy those, too.  But once they have gone I’m intending not to replace them (I feel I should make a more committed statement than that, but I won’t – what I write here won’t change anything anyway).

When I’ve heard people talking about changing to veganism in the past and doing it gradually, choice by choice, that’s been an approach I have despised as ethically inferior.  I don’t know now, though.  It took me decades before I actually got to grips with making the leap in the first place.  And maybe it is more realistic to think that ethical actions don’t have to be backed up with self-conscious, anxious, instant conversions. No one’s life is 100% ethically pure, anyway.

This post is not a statement or commitment, just an account of my thoughts and recent choices.  I expect a more relaxed approach than before to work better for me this time, it will be easier to maintain and integrate psychologically, I am sure.  I maintained it for about six years last time, it wasn’t a flash in the pan.  So I’ll try this approach and see how it works differently, if it does.  I think it may be like slipping into something more comfortable.

Oh, also, I’ve managed to find some vegan wines, stout and cider at Sainsbury’s online, much cheaper than going to specialists.  Just put the word ‘vegan’ before what you are looking for and the options appear.  The wines I expect to be fine, they are varieties I like, anyway.  The cider and stout is a bit more of an experiment for me.

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Christmas at the Asylum

Christmas has definitely started here.  The staff put a tree and decorations up about a week ago and today they gave our bungalow two tins of biscuits and two tubes of sour cream and onion Pringles.  They told us there was tons of food and if we couldn’t see it to ask.

We’ve also got painters in, and they are in the kitchen at the moment, from whence can be heard lots of laughter and giggles.  Last time I saw I think they were laughing at something on one of their mobile phones.  They did the bathroom and shower earlier this week.  They are starting on our bedrooms after Christmas.

At least two of this bungalow’s residents are going to be away for an extended leave at Christmas, and one is possibly going to be gone for two nights, which means I will be on my own in the bungalow for possibly two nights but definitely for a fair bit of Christmas day.  I’m getting used to being here and sharing now, it could be odd being on my own when I leave.  Hopefully it will be nice though, having my own space.  Being able to drink a glass of wine in my home space again will be nice.

All the women in this bungalow get on all right with each other.  There is none of the nastiness that existed at Macmillan Close with the two women who kept picking on me there.  Three out of four of us are homeless, the other has a home but I think some work is being done on it, if I remember rightly.  Something like that anyway.

I can’t remember if I said that my benefits have been slashed by £50 a week to £60.90.  If it weren’t for my storage I could cope with that quite happily, but things are going to be extremely tight.  I can’t afford to go out, so I’ve been staying in.

I’ve also started buying meat, eggs and cheese again from the supermarket.  I decided that if I was going to eat omnivorously when I am out sometimes I should bring the decision home and start cooking omnivorously again.  I am enjoying it most of the time, tastes that I’ve not had for ages, butter instead of sunflower spread, for instance.  I sometimes feel revolted by the fact that I am eating dead animal which stays in my digestive system, and think of all the animal fats clogging my arteries and the increased risk of diet-related cancers.  I’ve also found bowel movements more difficult.  For now though this is the decision I have taken, and am enjoying the variety of tastes and textures that are available to me again.  I have forgotten how to cook meat though, so I find myself looking things up on the internet.

Christianity and Veganism – Either/Or?

Today I went to a Zizzi restaurant in Newark.  All I wanted was a glass of wine but I thought I had better at least buy an Italian bread bucket, as it is a restaurant not a pub.  As a vegan I was not thinking that the fining process for the wine had probably involved the use of animal or fish products.  I wasn’t thinking, all I wanted was a glass of wine after over two weeks not drinking anything.  In the end I had two glasses of wine, sea bream and tiramisu.  Some vegan I am?  Yes, absolutely.  I keep wanting to ‘eat normally’, ie, not vegan, and sometimes I give in to the urge.  The last two or three months I have given in a few times.  Until tonight, over the last two weeks I have been OK and stuck to the straight and narrow path of being a vegan.  It’s been better for my digestion as well.

Today, before this, I was thinking that the reason I am a vegan is that eating non-vegan harms animals, even just using their products, given the farming methods used, and that it brutalises people, especially at the extreme end of those who work in slaughter houses.  I wanted to be a vegan because I wanted to affirm myself as a human being who does not harm or cause suffering to animals and is not in any way involved with it.  There are people who say they would never harm a fly who eat meat and fish and their products regularly.  They are in denial.  Other people are being paid to do the dirty work for them and they buy the sanitised product at the end, and obviously recognise no link between themselves and any harm or suffering caused to an animal.  If they say they would never harm a fly and mean it, their thoughts and feelings lack clarity.

At the moment, though, I could joyfully abandon veganism.  I often crave foods that are not vegan, the vegan equivalents are just a bit harder to get hold of and a bit more expensive, and there have been times when I have eaten seitan when I have wanted to cut into some real flesh.

Christianity and Veganism – either/or?  Apart from two years in my teens I have always considered myself a Christian.  Even during the first years of being hospitalised I sometimes had difficulty seeing myself as Christian, but in those days I considered myself to be in a bad place in my life.  In my teens I embraced a life without God for two years.

The one thing we know about the things Jesus ate, if we believe the Bible, is that he ate fish.  For a few years now I have held to a position in my thinking if not always in my practice, that abstinence from all things animal is morally superior to indulgence.  So I was asking myself earlier today, where does that leave Jesus?  If it is better not to eat flesh or any of its products, where does that put the Saviour of the world, morally?  I get embarrassed when I don’t eat vegan.  I would be embarrassed to give up my vegan position, and have often seen my slips as sin.  If my slips are sin, did Jesus sin in eating fish?  Yet I have seen my veganism as part of my Christianity.  I have thought a great deal of the vegans I have met, robust and beautiful people.  Is it enough to say that Jesus was a man of his time and ate flesh without sinning?  I think vegetarians and vegans existed in those days as well.

I don’t know about veganism, but vegetarianism is an important part of some Eastern religions.  When the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans he recognised that some people did not eat meat and saw them as the weaker brethren with weaker consciences, and said that if his eating meat caused any of them to stumble he would never eat meat again.  There is no reason in the text to believe he did not mean this and it seems possible that he might have become vegetarian himself, because undoubtedly there were people who would have been stumbled by his eating meat.  I’m wondering if I am making too big a thing of this in believing that holding to a position that veganism is morally superior and preferable is incompatible with me calling myself a Christian in the traditional sense.  The kind of Christianity I have believed in says that Jesus was sinless, yet He ate fish, at the very least.

I just made this tonight.  To say I didn’t have the amount of cheese (Sheese) I thought I had it worked well enough.  I think I made enough for two generous portions.  It was all guesswork, this is a near approximation.

125g    Wholewheat fusilli (penne, farfelle or macaroni would be as good)
200g    Mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, in my case)
25g       Sunflower spread (I use Pure)
2 tbsp   Plain wholemeal flour
225 ml Soya milk
50g        Blue Cheese style Sheese grated (I get mine from a local wholefood shop or http://www.veggiestuff.com)
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 C, gas 6.  Simmer the pasta in a large pan with plenty of boiling water for the time on the packet (usually about 9-12 minutes), steam the vegetables, boil if you can’t.  I use microwave steamer bags.  That way the vegetables cook in self-generated steam and retain their taste.  I bought them for £1 in Poundland or World or something like that.  They take 5 minutes on full power for this recipe.  Otherwise about 10 minutes to steam in a basket over a pan, 10-15 minutes to boil.  These times are variable depending how much bite you want in the vegetables.

While this is happening make the sauce.  Melt the spread over a low heat taking care not to brown it.  Add the flour and stir for about a minute to cook the flour.  Take off the heat and gradually add the soya milk and beat in after each addition to make a smooth roux sauce.  Keep going until all the milk has been incorporated, then return to a low heat and bring to the boil stirring all the time.  It will thicken during this process.  Add the grated Sheese and stir until melted.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the vegetables and drained pasta in a casserole dish, pour the sauce over and combine.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the top is brown and crispy.

Serve and enjoy, as they say!

Why Don’t Vegans Drink Milk?

Vegans are opposed to exploiting and causing suffering to animals.  This article talks about the suffering and exploitation involved in dairy farming.

To keep cows lactating they are made pregnant every year through artificial insemination, and the birth is often difficult and traumatic as the aim to produce large cattle for beef is pursued.  Within 3 days the calf is taken away so that all the milk can go on the dairy market.  This causes suffering to both mother and calf as the bond is strong.  They cry for each other.  A higher milk yield is always sought and the food that goes towards increasing the yield causes acid indigestion.  When milk yield drops the cow is slaughtered.

Also from a health point of view, cows with mastitis are still used for milk, and it is considered acceptable for the pus from mastitis to be drunk as part of the milk.

A Taste of Freedom

I went to the Pizza Express in King Street today.  I started off with dough balls with Chardonnay, which I didn’t like much at first (the Chardonay) but it grew on me.  I wasn’t going to have anything else but I ended up having a Fiorentina, spinach, cheese, black olives, egg.  Something snapped inside me.  I felt very drunk but I knew it was just a severe emotional problem.  I’m not mentally ill, I just have severe emotional problems.  Apart from anything else I am 14 months homeless now, coming up 15  months.

I feel emotionally wrecked.  I thoroughly enjoyed what I ate.  They say food is an emotional experience and it was for me.  It was great to have egg, and I sat there thinking I could just go vegetarian.

Maybe I have seen too much militant vegan stuff.  Freedom, real freedom, is the freedom not to harm.  I can’t cope anymore.  I have been vegan for over four years now and my experiences in Bulgaria didn’t break me.  Perhaps because I could get some really nice seitan there.  But homelessness in the UK began to break me ages ago with things as small as using the room milk and eating the biscuits in hotel rooms.  Also the tricks and judgmentalism of the vegan providers in the UK.  I feel completely spent.  I’m so tired, and I have to present every day for a drug caled aripiprazole.  I am experiencing tardive dyskenesia, facial muscle twitches.  Your face expresses what is going on in yor mind, and my mind’s normal working is being interfered with by this drug.  I’m in a house now and feeling suppressed and bullied.  I don’t feel as if I am allowed to sing, and they have complained about my music.  I feel as if the bad relationship is my fault.  Music and singing is part of my self-healing.  I feel completely desperate.  I really want to come off my section and off the drugs.  The best thing about this house is that I can cook for  myself.  But I had more freedom to play my music on Redwood 2 than I do here.  I’m writing stuff to Tommy Boyd which I have been taught to believe.  I do believe it.  It doesn’t make things feel better though.  I’m in love with him, or the idea of him, I swear.  The house is part of another in-patient ‘ward’.  I feel I owe him the best I can give him, and to value his best towards me.

Today’s Dinner and Matters of the Heart

I was thinking today about a couple of people we have on the ward.  One lady cannot speak intelligibly after an accident and/or damage/operation on her brain.  Another is said to be deaf.   For both of them I think this is the wrong place for them to be.  It is frustrating for them and all of us.  The lady who can’t speak has learned to speak a few words, strengthening my belief that rehabilitation of her speech is possible.  I am not aware that she is getting any support or therapy towards that end.  If my awareness is accurate it is obvious that, having not been a party to any decision on things at that level if any has been taken, I don’t know why.

The lady who can’t speak started ranting at me when she reached over me and put her sleeve in my dinner at the hatch. For all I know she might have been saying ‘sorry’, but all I knew was that she was shouting and wouldn’t stop, right next to me, with staff standing by and not intervening.  I told her to stop talking at me like that because she knew I couldn’t understand her.  I thought I heard one of the domestic staff say ‘bitch’, and I said ‘I’m not a bitch, I’m sick of abuse’, and staff standing by and doing nothing.  What are they doing, standing by and watching it unfold before deciding whether or not to stop it?  Luke said he didn’t think anyone would be calling me bitch, and he should know, in that situation, he was standing right next to the domestic that I thought had said it.  I’ve heard other things like that as well, so I’m not discounting my own understanding – angry at me and despising me for standing up for myself when they don’t stop the woman ranting at me.  Why?  I came away feeling and believing that Luke was just playing the role of the nice guy, even if he didn’t do anything to help.  They started giggling and laughing behind me, among themselves.  They rebuild themselves and help themselves relax while ignoring us.

I asked another patient if she watched ‘Doctors’ at 1.30pm weekdays on BBC1.  I told her that yesterday there were definitely 2 of the ‘staff’ characters recognisable from here and that they had done exactly the same thing with staff in London, and that they were blaming me when I had already told them from the beginning that this was happening.  For trying to act responsibly I have been told that it is evidence of ‘(my) mental illness’ and medicated into exhaustion, while having other people pull shocked disapproving faces at me and calling me bitch – or using the word against someone else and me mistaking it for being aimed at me.  Both are equally unacceptable.

Someone else was saying, before that, that she had been sent the same sort of food for weeks running, and I sympathised with her, saying they shouldn’t employ someone in a place like this who doesn’t know how to cater properly for different diets, because this is not a hotel.

The girl I said was being bullied in one of my last posts has become dependent on everyone rather than being the strong, forthright person she seemed to be when she first came in.  We all pipe sweet pipings in the end.

I moved rooms a few weeks ago.  My old one had a fan or something really loud right outside, and the cigarette break.  I’ve moved to the quiet side.  There is a man in one of the buildings who kept crying out ‘oh’, loudly and pathetically.  People kept trying to stop him.  One day there were two of them, one of them ended up crying out ‘help us’. I’ve had that on my mind ever since but for some reason I’ve only just got round to writing about it.  A woman in the ward told him to ‘shut up’, women from here were imitating him and ended up shouting ‘we love you’.  I shouted to him to shut up at least once.  When I was upset a man shouted at me to shut up.  This place is awful.

Hey I can write now.  Maybe I always could.

This Moment IS

The staff on the ward have found my blog, without me giving them the address but saying angrily a few times that I was going to blog.  The ward manager collared me twice, once quite softly and the second time in a way which made me feel they wanted to take my computer and my leave away.  The second time she approached me with 2 other female staff members and in public.  She said she wanted to talk about my use of my computer on the ward.  I said it was music and that I have no internet connection on the ward.  She asked me quite crossly where I wrote my blog and how I wrote it and I pointed out that I have 5 1/2 hours total off the ward and I go where I can get a connection and that I have the same freedoms as everyone else in that time.  They said they did not like having their names associated with certain things.  I said that I have things associated with my name which I don’t like also, and that they were free to write or comment.  It was probably in that context that she said that it was a matter of confidentiality, but I took it to mean that she was saying I was breaking a duty of confidentiality which I was quick to point out that I do not have but that they do.  They talked about seeking advice.  I said OK.  I hope if and when they do the outcome will make a big difference in society and for people who are held against their wishes and with other forms of abuse, harassment and bullying thrown in.

This is good.

They saw me coming towards the office/ward exit this afternoon and it seemed to me they deliberately closed the office door and I stood outside knocking with them ignoring me.  This happens often.  The staff last night were calling people rude.  I’m not sure who they meant.  At the time it seemed it was obvious they meant me.

2 nights ago a woman had 2 separate instances of being forcibly medicated.  Hefty men called and involved, on an all-female ward.  If anyone knows how that is appropriate I would appreciate the feedback through comments.  She said they had hurt her hand and it was all swollen and red.  I know I have been there, in London.  It took 6 months for my hand to stop hurting, and the man doing it at the time, when I said he was hurting me, said ‘well, you will learn your lesson, then, won’t you?’  I was never contemptuous of my own life until I felt betrayed by the church and came under the psychiatric services.

We appear to have a large degree of revolt and anarchy on the ward at the moment.  Everyone is angry and the staff are, to my mind, often unprofessional.  Everyone knows what is happening but the staff say nothing, and I think most of us patients know they know more than they are allowing us to be party to and that, if we were allowed to be party to the staff’s knowledge of what everyone knows, a lot of things might be called into question.  Just a thought.

This blog is exactly what it says in the title, that and nothing else – the thoughts and observations of a certified nut.  Why would anyone want to seek advice over that?

Did I say that I had had a bad week as a vegan last week?  I was tempted again earlier this week but I talked myself through it.  I went through the ‘so I’ll feel guilty’ bit and realised afresh that it is about the suffering or death or utilisation of an animal in a way which is not ideal.  I decided we are different from most of the animal world in that we have a conscience and can think, philosophise and moralise about our behaviour.  I had tears in my eyes as I thought it through.  I was happy about that.  It is about the animal and about me, living according to my light.

Jesus is wonderful and I love Him.  He ate fish.  I’m not sure how to harmonise that.  It is said that the prophets were vegetarian and that the Essenes were also.  And I believe it is right not to use animals.  So I can’t deal with the Jesus and fish thing – not at all, in that context.  I think I was taught at Bible College that John the Baptist was an Essene.  So while they might have said ‘but Jesus ate fish so it isn’t wrong’, why would John the Baptist have lived by a higher morality?  We were told that when it says JTB ate locusts, it actually means the locust bean, and not the insect.

I Agree With HIM!

“When I see bacon, I see a pig, I see a little friend, and that’s why I can’t eat it. Simple as that.” –Paul McCartney

I’m having an awful time at the moment, as far as being a vegan is concerned.

I keep wanting to give it up and go back to ‘normal’, happy, easily sociable and available eating.  The only reason I can’t and don’t is that I believe in my reasons for having become vegan in the first place.

So miserable!  I believe in my reasons, that I have no needs that require the death or utilisation of any other animal.  But recently I have wanted to rush straight back, with great joy, to being omnivorous.

I say ‘only one reason’, but that isn’t quite true.  Also my stalkers would never let it rest, and having made such a big thing about the rightness of veganism, I would be embarrassed.  I’d be confused myself, though, and I would also be doing an act of violence to myself to go back to being omnivorous.  People might get all chummy with me about having seen the light of omnivorism, and the error of my ways in trying to be vegan.  And sitting here writing this, right now, I can’t say for sure that I could never agree with that.  That would be saying that the life of an animal doesn’t matter so much that we can’t eat it, which is what I was brought up with, that we have God’s blessing to take an animal’s life for food.  I would like to believe that is true and feel I am just being proud and rebellious saying it isn’t.

I feel mesmerised, and also that I just can’t be bothered being a vegan anymore.  But as ever I don’t know what I feel and think as soon as I try to put it to print and think about it.  The same stuff is still happening.  I can’t tell the path from the scrub.

Internal tapes:

1.  Animals are for eating

2.  Christian Fundamentaslism is good or

3.  Christian fundamentalism is convenient because

4.  I want to eat what I can eat with fundamentalist, right-wing Christians

5.  I AM a fundamentalist, right-wing Christian.  If God says I can kill for ease and appetite, I CAN, and thank God for that!  If he says it I don’t have to think about it.  (what is this resentment I have against those who will not kill?  What is this need, what is this love, this strong emotion, I feel for and towards those who will not kill to eat?  It must be admiration, and more.  That the position of these people is where my heart is, the place I am challenged to recognise as right.  I would hate to convert someone from veganism/vegetarianism to being omnivorous.  I would hate to bring them down from their high place to such a place of shame.  And I would hate to have them validate my own).

6.  I AM a fundamentalist, right-wing Christian, in many ways, but also being a vegan, I could never fit in.  I would be teased all the time for being a vegan, and if I objected, it would be MY holiness called into question, and not theirs.  It could be fun and humorous, but there will also be those who go, in absolute conviction, for the fact that the Bible says that after the flood, God gave permission to eat meat, and re-asserted it later in the NT.

At the same time, in many arguers, there is a secret wanting to see it the same way as you do yourself.  It’s about liking and trusting and feeling safe, to some extent.  I was thinking last night that if someone says ‘thank you’ and a Christian says in response ‘it’s a blessing’, what the Christian is really saying is ‘I like you’.  It’s/you’re a blessing = I like you (or any other ordinary affirmation and expression of positive feeling/perception).

God IS, and we are dependent on Him.  But we are also dependent on air, for example.  We just breathe, it is automatic.  We don’t keep the air in mind and keep bringing it up AS need and essential.  If we did, it would demonstrate insecurity and that perhaps our supply was somehow threatened or contaminated.  In ordinary everyday life we don’t make constant references to the air to facilitate breathing or ANYTHING.  Or to our own bodies.  We don’t need to.

Link here.  Why is this not showing, WordPress?  Censorship, harassment, terribly cynical of someone, inhumanly so.  Frightening.  What is the agenda here?

Edit note:  It’s been taken off the Christianity page as well, and it was definitely relevant.

Look, this is embarrassing for me and it should also be embarrassing for you.

It should be embarrassing for you because you say you stand for free speech, freedom, openness and open society – don’t you?  Those of us who are regularly censored know that is not the whole truth, if the truth at all.

It is embarrassing for me because I believe in open authority and politics.  Anything less says the populace is somehow inferior or not well enough informed and doesn’t have the same right to information.  It casts secrecy over things which should not be secret.  The ‘wrongdoer’ sometimes doesn’t know that is what they have been identified as, rightly or wrongly.  It allows one group to identify itself as right against another they identify as wrong, including in international politics.

It says that the person or people the various authorities identify as wrong are the whole cause of the problem and the authorities, and those who establish, employ and use them, are good and right-minded people, and also pure in word and action, or at least justifiable and ‘not guilty’.  People are criminalised just by the approach of the authorities to them, whether they know it or not, and whether or not they are actually criminal.

I believe in openness.  We are all as good and all as bad, we are all to blame and we all have the same rights and responsibilities.  Mistreated people are angry, and some angry people do harmful things.  Unequal relationships are a form of mistreatment.  Unequal vulnerability, unequal disclosure, people in authority or positions of influence who see themselves as being authority rather than serving in administration of what is appropriate to their job.

This is all old hat and I believe all right-minded people agree with me.  With me.  (I said it twice because I couldn’t decide which would communicate most effectively, bold or not bold).  Every day WordPress and other media still use language and material packaged together in a way that is relevant to me in constantly updated ways.  This creates a feeling of obligation and relationship which, I believe, is inappropriate to my actual situation, especially where nothing explicit, by way of committed communication, is ever entered into.  My neighbours know this too.  Hence the violence and harassment, even if it is inexcusable.  To have this kind of fluffy, feel-good, earnest or even comedic communication in the middle of a violent and undefined reality is not appropriate and not helpful.  It makes the problem worse.  Sometimes it isn’t comedic, sometimes I believe I know it is downright sinister.

So you are playing with my mind and reality.  Me, one individual who writes my blog.  The problem is, you do this in domestic and international politics as well, and your designated baddies know that, some of them are vulnerable and some of them are not, some of them have power and in their rage or confusion with this kind of communication can do catastrophic things.  I’ve written about Gadaffi before.  He is in the news at the moment.  I watched a film recommended by a friend, called Zeitgeist, which talked about the language used by the media and politicians around 9/11, and watching the news I’ve been observing the same thing here, at least with CNN, the channel I can get on my TV here.  It is an agreed, asserted view for presentation which is short of whole and little short of legitimised playground bullying and retaliation.  A club for fighting cats and dogs and gossip circles and sending to Coventry.  Ooh, nasty.  I have news broadcasts in mind.  We are all influenced against the love that we are by watching and listening to this.  Some of us are targeted to be influenced, as individuals and groups, and not just what we believe.

People say he is detached from reality.  I felt sorry for him, he looked confused.  Is he detached from reality?  He’s been made the baddy for years and years, and the media says he is detached from reality when he says all his people love him.  But I don’t believe that.  I believe all his people do love him, even if many of them oppose him.  I believe that love is the basis of all emotion and behaviour in every human being.  Most of us don’t understand that, we are not taught to.  The Bible says God is love and that we are made in His image.  Therefore love is also the foundation of our personalities, if not the whole of who we are (as it is for God, in whose image we are made), whether we realise it or not.  When that knowledge is undermined, not recognised about each other, or otherwise becomes emotionally and behaviourally perverted, that is the problem.  Yes, Gadaffi’s people all loved him.  Yes, they fought him (it is a psychological truism to say if you fight with someone you love them.  They have power with you somehow.  Somehow they matter to you.  All emotion, at root, is a manifestation of love, even if it manifests as guilty political manoeuvring and fear of loss of power and position or anything else, or of exposure.  Even if it manifests as anger or hatred or violence.  It is all a sign of our basic feeling and knowledge of connection).

I cried, a little, at what I saw on the television about Gadaffi last week.  I think presenting the news in that way, without the human angle and understanding and acknowledgment on the part of the controllers of communication of their own contribution to the awfulness, is in itself dangerous to society and inhuman.  It helps to make the poor despots what they are.  They are not playing for sympathy. They truly are worthy of our sympathy (they feel like we do, feelings which should not be put down as being out of touch with reality, and wrestle with issues as we do), and our own acknowledgment of how we have contributed to who they are, rather than helping them, through identification with them rather than setting ourselves apart or thinking ourselves better or wiser, to become something different.  Politics should be personal, right to the top and across nations and ideologies.  We need to be able to understand each other’s ideologies and converse and debate and argue with knowledge and respect.  We have to understand each other’s versions of reality so we don’t say someone has lost touch with reality when they don’t conform to our own idea of what reality is or should be.  The view that someone of a different culture and religion or ideology has lost touch with reality should never be put out through a news agency, even if only said in frustration.  It is my belief that this is often, if not always, just a manifestation of ignorance, of not knowing and not understanding, and not knowing how to set about finding out.  Or not caring, which, moralising as I sound here, must be worse.

Christian Life College, where I used to go, talked about two different sonship states.  One, we are sons of God by creation, and for some, we are sons of God by being born again.  That is how it was presented.

I would say that even if we believe in heaven and hell and that Christians go to heaven after death, we are all the children of God by creation at least, if that is what we believe, and if we believe that, we have to know that, on earth, we all have the same rights, whether we have the same religion or not, and an obligation to respect other people and make sure we recognise those rights in all our dealings with them. Including the right to intimacy and vulnerability, and openness and full disclosure, to expect it and to give it, both ways, in every relationship which involves power and authority.

The New Testament letters of the Bible, written to Christians, says honour all men (includes women and children), and that if you do not love your brother who you have seen, how can you love God who you have not seen?  We all share the creation sense of brotherhood.

So we need to be more open, when it comes to power and authority.  You choose your friends, but in your established authority and power relationships you have no choice, either party, unless the person in authority is able to lose and give up their authority and power and everything that goes with it.

That is far more than I wanted to say, but it is now said.  And that is why I for one don’t like my mind and conscience and emotions being played with by the removal of potentially sensitive posts, whether ostensibly for my protection, better criminal-catching, or any other reason, especially when the only direct communication I get from the same authorities is that which takes away from me.

Their behaviour is making me really anxious.  I think they are hacking my computer.

Apart from anything else, the violence, the show of being nice and good and saying dobre and hallelujah all the time, day and night, and violence worse than my last neighbours, if possible, I keep hearing a man up there nervously clearing his throat, and every time I do something a bit different – like today I did a search on how to grow citrus fruit, they react vocally, and this search got quite a delighted reaction.

As I said, I think they are hacking my computer.  So they will know the properties I have looked at and where.  I only thought, about 30 minutes ago, that it might not be just a bit of distressing stupidity, but they might be hacking (he just said dobre as if answering that and they began to react as soon as I started writing this.  Door slamming now) for someone, or even just for themselves, to establish and stalk and harass my future movements and relationships.  Now I think I have cause for concern.

I’ve told my landlord several times and he said he would talk to them and that they said they would try not to disturb me (it’s like having a stormtrooper as a carer, or a wild animal as my keeper), but yesterday I Skyped him and told him again what they were doing, the violence and everything, and didn’t ask, but demanded that I should be protected, in the property I was paying him for, from the people directly above it, who come with the property and over whom I have no choice.  That was yesterday morning.  Last night I had still not heard anything, and I don’t expect to, the way they have handled things so far.  He might even be in on it himself.

I’m looking at properties I really like.  I’ve even won 2 on ebay.  But if stalkers and computer hackers (he cleared his throat.  Most of the time now I try not to lose it completely because they start being violent and placing quite expert psychological attacks on my voice) and mafia, are going to attack and sabotage me everywhere, especially as I’m thinking of dealing commercially in food, that would put everyone at risk, I’m not sure if I can go ahead.  But I want to and insist on my right to do so without fear.

Mockery, cruelty, deception, violence, authorities who stand back and let them, possible savage attacks on future land and property.  I’ve just had some aural interjections which felt so evil I can’t complete this, it has confused my mind.

Edit note: They parrot and ghost my own voice right into my mind.  Normally if I try to retrieve emotional and psychological control of my own voice they ignore me or get violent, but I just reversed the sound being used and a man upstairs yelled as if offended or affected, as it affects me from them. What I hear in their voices I’ve started ending up with severe pains in my chest almost every day, my fear and outrage is so great.  They threatened to come on again just now.  I said in Bulgarian ‘your violence back on yourself, all of you’, and the pain started to dissolve and left, then I heard a woman’s sharp heals stamping on the stairs and they started to come back.  I don’t know how much of this stuff actually belongs together to affect me as it does.  They bang every time I go to the toilet or shower so I’ve noticed I’ve started going all day without a visit, and I’m too scared to move or open my mouth.

They seem to be reacting to something they feel spiritually when I am silent, all the time, when I relax.  I took 2 paracetamol and lay on my bed yesterday afternoon, sweating and immobile from the pain, and as soon as it seemed it was going completely, they banged on my ceiling.  I am sure the fact that they have to put a noise onto every one of mine, even my coughing and speech, has something to do with it.  I read a few months ago that Stalin was a satanist.  People talk about these things but say (legally and with authority to put you in a mental hospital) that you are crazy if you talk and act and reason as if they are true.

I left a comment on Tommy Boyd’s blog on Friday, about how the way people treat me sometimes makes me feel, emotionally, that I want to hit back.

At the time I left it, I was aware, listening back, that it seemed as if my comments were being tracked by the radio hosts I was listening to.  When it got to the time that I left that comment, the host who was on at that time said something sarcastically and derisively about unfailing love.

Apart from the obvious fact that it is God who is perfect love, and not me, I wasn’t aware he had access to my unpublished comments in the middle of me writing them anyway.  Well, I was, and have been for ages.   Unless it is a psychic thing, and I don’t think it is.  Sometimes, but probably rarely.

So it is stalking and harassment.  Hostage-taking and keeping, maybe.  And they love bomb you like a cult.

That kind of sarcasm, if it factored in something in Biology, for example, would be called an inhibitor or a limiting factor.  It is something I came across when I got interested in vegetarian food and was given a couple of books which went into detail about it.  Talking about available protein.

If I remember it right, proteins are made up of amino acids, the composition of which can be pictured as a star shape with unequal protrusions, the shorter ones limiting the availability, release and utilisation of the rest, and therefore the amount of available protein.  It was presented as a part of the idea of complementary protein, where, for instance, rice and beans complement each other and make more protein available when eaten together than is available if you add them up separately.  Wheat and milk is another one (that was vegetarianism, not veganism).  And there are others.  Some people say that is an outdated theory now, but the diet and nutrition industry being what it is, who knows?  I suppose if it was scientifically proved it must still stand.  It isn’t something which depends on individual metabolism, it is the protein available in combined foods, and that is testable in a laboratory (I think!) before the food enters the body.  Although thinking about it I am wondering how the necessary blending of the foodstuffs would take place apart from digestive breakdown, but that probably shows the limitation of my own knowledge due to inadequate study and experience.

But in relationships, I don’t want people behaving as inhibitors towards me in that way and thinking it is good or clever.  He went on to say something about ‘don’t cry, woman’, or something like that.  But by that time I wasn’t open to anything else which came from him, and I stopped listening.

PS – the WordPress system has just informed me that this is my 275th post and called me a dope.  Honestly!  “Dope!” – just like that.

Variation On A Theme.

I adapted one of Nigel Slater’s simple meal ideas tonight, and it worked perfectly.

One of his ideas is to have pasta and peas, tossed in olive oil and garlic, I think, but I’m not sure about that bit.

I did pasta and peas with black olive tapenade.  Beautiful, with ground black pepper and a glass of white wine.

Really quick, really simple, really beautiful and spot on and delicious and I couldn’t have been better pleased with a meal which had taken a lot of preparation.

I first came across him when I bought one of his books, ‘Real Fast Food’, and I was attracted by the idea of speed and simplicity with delicious substantiality and unpretentiousness.

I can’t remember if I had ever been there before, with anything in a different class from beans on toast.  His book gave me the ideas, and the vision, and the enthusiasm, and the confidence and permission.

Another one I like of his is green lentils boiled with a bay leaf and topped with butter (sunflower margarine now, which to me is just as good) and black pepper (or is that my addition?)

I love his style anyway.  Really, really fantastic.

So, Nigel, many thanks for the introduction to simple and delicious good cooking.  It is a pure delight.

OMG!!!

First published 9th December 2010, after a post on veganism.

Edit:  This is a Sticky Post – Stuck to the front page for future reference.  It didn’t appear in any of the tag categories I selected, I assume because it has too many tags, although plenty of others that HAVE appeared have more than the 10 suggested in WordPress Help.

I brainstormed on the tags.  One reason I have stuck this on the front page, so you can search the categories any time, and so can I.  And what I say in this is relevant much of the time.   If you look at my tags in this you get an idea of how I think and feel about what is happening and how I think it should be perceived, understood and treated.

Spread the word, please, if you are with me.  Maybe if I break up the tags into easier to handle chunks I can get the post into all the categories I want, if I reproduce it or something.

Just listen to the sickly sweetness on Premier right now.  You have an hour.  I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t criminally fuelled sarcasm, teasing and stalking.  They are not sincere people, even if they sound it.

Listen, you will hear them using my blog.  Even this.

They are taunting people, maybe me, with ‘Ah, you think YOU are always right, do you?’ But whether I am or not, I’m not using criminal means to enforce my opinion.  They are.  These Christians.  If you can’t win and you want to cry, mock and laugh, they say.  These carers for souls and God’s vision for humanity as a whole.  Unfit for purpose.

What’s it like, playing God? Esther says.  You’re asking the wrong person, Esther.  I wouldn’t know.  You would though, if you think He authorises the use of criminality and everything else in my tags to destroy a person.  Croaking and squeaking, most of it is deliberate and to hurt and offend FOR NO GOOD REASON EXCEPT TO WIN FOR YOUR ORGANISATION and you have no right to my sympathy.  I am not you, I am weak, you are abusing your position.

And you keep teasing, making out you’re going to comment or pass an opinion on what I say, but talk about something else.  I can hear the mockery in your voices, past experience of you all helps.

I love it when John Pantry gets hsi knickers in a twist about something being blatant.  If he’s talking about me, he’s projecting.  he is seeing things that were not intended at the time of writing, but I am awfully glad they are there.  But they weren’t intentional, so it is all, for him, a product of his mind, guilty and sneaky as it is.

Thank you for seeming sweet, guys, even if you are not.  We all need our illusions, especially at this time in the morning.  Pity mine don’t hold.

Got it – they are taking the message to their own consciences and forcing them outwards. That’s what this kind of Christianity does, all the time.  Look at the blogs, see how often they talk about they rather than I or we.  They think it is a sign of good authority to stand out in the street complaining loudly or pointing the finger, literally, in someone else’s face, a member of their congregation.  I’ve seen and heard it all, and deliberately recoil from and distance myself from it.  Buzz, buzz.

I’m being censored.  This doesn’t appear in any of my tag categories, 50 minutes on, and the Premier news just had something said with firm sternness about needing medical help.  It’s not new.  Maybe that is why Premier felt able to mock so freely and why it was so effective.  They caught me on my blind side.  I assumed it was going out and being shown in the categories.

Rick Easter, I have no responsibility.  I’ve already tried to meet it many times over, and you continue to taunt and terrorise based on the consequences.  You are angry, degrading people.

THAT Was Ages Ago!

I was just thinking about something I read or heard that, after a couple of years being a vegetarian or vegan, your body loses the ability to process non-vegetarian/vegan food sources.  I felt slightly worried, just in case it really should turn out that you need animal nutrition to be healthy, and what would I do if my body couldn’t even cope with it?

Then I thought of the days when I was fascinated by the fact that Pete Murray was a vegetarian, and wondered how he could possibly do it, and thought it couldn’t be possible, and that it was very interesting, but scary territory, and very much ‘out there’.  It wasn’t something I could ever do. People like me can’t.

I went to Happy Grill the other day, for a cup of coffee.  I decided to look at the menu, and decided that, as a vegan, I was in trouble.  I wanted everything I shouldn’t want.  Not just eggs, but meat and fish.  It felt like the most normal, natural and easy thing to do, just tuck into a chicken, meat or fish meal.  I am wishing I was still a fish eater, and am trying to justify a thought that I could keep my own egg producing hen.  With me it would be free and well cared for.

I also keep deciding it can’t be right, as a vegan.  I keep coming back to the belief that, if I do that, I will be validating the system of exploitation that gives me access to the hen in the first place.

But is it different in the countryside, and in Bulgaria?  Is it OK to eat animals and their products if the animal has a free and natural life?  Is being a vegan a bit extreme?

I sometimes feel it is, and that I am being stupid and depriving myself just because I said that I would be a vegan for life, and I don’t want to be teased about giving it up.  Why not, I don’t know, really.  Vegans are no nicer than – I was going to say ‘the rest of us’, this is not a good place for a vegan to be – anyone else, and there are more of us than there are of them, that is more meat eaters than vegans, and this is my thought process which, as a vegan, I’m not entitled to, but it is where I’m at.

OK, muddle.  I have not felt embraced by vegans, any more than by anyone else.  As a human and a vegan, I have felt enraged and deeply wounded and betrayed by this, because part of my vegan expectation is that people will matter to vegans as much as any other living creature does.  As a vegan, especially in Bulgaria, I am really lonely.

I don’t know what is wrong with the vegetarian/vegan people here.  Their prejudice and misogynistic hatred and contempt seem to run just as deep, if not deeper – I mean, if you are a vegetarian or vegan out of conviction, that’s a love stance, isn’t it?  So how can you be cruel/rejecting/controlling towards a human being, especially if they share your convictions and believe in and practise the lifestyle?  And if you claim to embrace a peaceful and loving spirituality to boot?

I wonder if they read this.  I wonder if the people the media continually directs my attention back to are really wanting me to go back to them? Because if they do and if they read this, I’d like to say to them,

‘wake up and smell the coffee, guys.  I am gutted and devastated by the way you have treated me in this, the way you have turned away from me and turned in on yourselves, the way you have accepted a bad report about me from people who have no right even to have access to some of the things they say, let alone be spreading them’.

Maybe I made a mistake.  I believed in the vegan community, the kind, compassionate, caring, Christian, spiritual community.  I saw the sharing of values as a bond and covenant of friendship.  I still do.

I was going to liken it to believing in the disabled community, or a racial or ethnic community, but about those things you have no choice.  But is it still true that, even given who you say you are in the paragraph above, it is no more covenantal than being disabled or of a particular ethnic background?

There is one thing we all are, and that is human.  But even that is not a respected covenant.  So just as I am not going to find a friend in every human being just because I am human (we might be different in every other way), it probably follows that I am not going to find a friend in every vegan or spiritual person and shouldn’t believe in the idea of community anymore than I should believe in a disabled community.  The fact that we share a situation or cause or believe we share a conviction doesn’t mean we have what it takes to be friends and find friends.

This is garbage, isn’t it?  It is also a place of real pain and heartbreak for me.  And parading it on a page on the internet makes me feel less able to deal with it in a way that might heal relationships in real life.  It’s about motive.  Who am I writing for, and why?  They have as much right to feel betrayed as I do, maybe, if not more.

Non-vegans tease you all the time, pushing the boundaries of what you will or won’t embrace as acceptable and your reasons.  A question I keep coming back to is, if some animals are bred only for their usefulness or food value, if we were all vegan would they all become extinct?  These lovely, fluffy lambs we don’t want to kill and eat, the horses and the donkeys we don’t want to exploit.  If they only existed in the wild, would they soon become extinct, and our lives be perceptibly poorer for their absence?

Another question: is using an electronic sound deterrent on household pests and vermin a form of animal cruelty?  I’ve got a rat or 2, they are getting bolder.  They do my bedroom now.  I read they don’t like peppermint, so I put some peppermint teabags out all around the kitchen, and at the hole I know about.  They shifted them out of the way and carried on regardless.  I can’t afford rat catchers all the time, and I think they would be unsympathetic to a vegan approach anyway, the only other option seems to be to let dogs and cats eat them.  Or kill them and leave them for me. Lovely!  And inconsistent, to my mind.  So what do you do?

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