Thursday, September 21, 2006

I took the veg pledge!

I also took this very silly online test which tells me that I'm a militant vegan. Amazing, since I don't actually manage to be a vegan. Apparently I'm militant enough to make up for it (hmmmm, bad quaker!)

You scored as militant vegan. You are a militant vegan! Happy? Surprised? A vegan is someone who avoids consuming/using all animal products, including flesh, dairy, eggs, honey, leather, and so forth. Some avoid products tested on animals. Being a militant vegan means you have more radical views than most vegetarians, namely animal rights. You may be an activist already or on the verge. You are confident and unwavering about your ethics. Not a vegan? Perhaps you're one waiting to happen! Check it out at

militant vegan


quiet vegetarian


health-conscious vegetarian


new veggie


vegan vixen


welfarist vegetarian


lazy vegetarian


What type of vegetarian are you?
created with

I volunteered at a food giveaway sponsored by compassionate action for animals this morning, and got all jazzed about everything.

So, I've meant to write about how being vegetarian is tied to quakerism for me, but I've never really found myself motivated (led?) to. It somehow is hard to explain, though it's the most obvious thing to me (well, probably because it's so obvious to me) So I probably won't again, except to say that it's nonviolence, it's equality (which for me is manifest in not causing animals suffereing because they can suffer, and they don't like to any more than I do, rather than basing it on whether they're smart enough, or human-like enough, or whatever), it's also, conveniently enough, simplicity (eating lower on the foodchain - that also ties into eating locally and organically and stuff)

But right now I'm interested in other stuff about the topic.

Firstly, how hard I find it because it sets me apart from my friends. Most are omnivores, but comfortable with eating vegetarian now and then, some are vegetarian. Pretty much none of them are vegan, and very very few of them (okay, I can think of one) are comfortable eating vegan frequently (that would be my recent ex girlfriend) - It's freaky and saddening to me to think that I am so "of the world" that such considerations could keep me from something that feels rightly led and discerned. And it brings to mind what Zach has been writing about getting back the original "fire" of quakers - that fire that put what God wants (or, in my language, what one has discenered to be "right") ahead of, or even more simply on a completely different playing field from, worldly comfort and convenience.

To be fair, I don't particularly want to be vegan, I really like cheese, and ice cream, and eggs. I really liked meat too, but somehow it was easier to give up - I think because it was more difficult to dissociate - eating the actually leg or side of an actual animal, rather than eating a product that is tied to suffering (and yes, death) but one step removed) - so it's not like the world is holding me back from righteousness, it's more a terribly handy excuse.

I don't know, I think I'm drifting.....

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'm still alive - general update

Just not around much, I guess.

I did actually lose my job, so in a way I have a lot more free time. If anyone knows of cool bookkeeping jobs at progressive companies in Minneapolis, let me know :)

Still broken up with my ex, and not dealing with it very well. I probably won't date for a while (I don't know if I ever want to "date" - I want to fall in love with someone who I'm friends with, but most of my friends are already married, or exes!!!)

She's already exploring dating. hasn't really "hooked up" with anyone yet, but I freak out every time she goes out for coffee. It's not so great....

I know this isn't all quaker and spiritual, but as I think I mentioned before, I'm not so sure about cutting out "normal life" from the spiritual. Spirit is an essential part of everything, isn't it? but right now I can't intellectualize it much, but I think that's okay too.

I went to a class last night at the Jack Pine Community Center, a free class about Empire, and, I guess, the US as empire. It was interesting, and annoying in many ways. The guy who initiated it wants it to be sort of collectively run and not hierarchical, but doesnt' seem to have the skills to implement that (or let it happen) very well. It turned out to be a situation where he would present something, an outline, whatever, and then spend a few minutes saying "if that's okay with you all, I don't want to run everything here,...." and just get a bunch of blank stares. Some of this I think is that it was mostly college students, most of whom probably haven't worked collectively, so they weren't sure how to jump in, but also, this guy seemed to have a vision but no, well, clerking skills (I don't have any either, though I'm thinking more and more it's time to work on that..)

I ended up feeling like he managed to dominate most of the time, without providing leadership. Now, he seems like a pretty nice guy, but it really got me thinking about how we're not culturally conditioned to function in an egalitarian setting where we lead without taking over (rather perhaps, we often take over without leading...)

In addition to which, he used a lot of big words, which is perhaps normal for an academic, but then would often make a point of "translating" them, in addition to occasionally oversimplifying (at one point he mentioned writing his dissertation and explained that that was like a big book report - well, actually, it isn't, but whatever...) what bothered me most about this was that it seemed like he looked at the only black man in the room every time he did this. (also one of the few people who didn't mention what college they went to during introductions.)

So now I'm pondering intellectual elitism too, which I find to be a huge problem for Friends. Not that I think we should "play dumb" - but there are ways to lean towards broad communication rather than muddling things as much as possible with big words.

I dunno.

This clearly wasnt' seasoned, oops