Back about 18 years ago at Franklin Monroe Elementary School, you could buy a slim jim beef jerky for 35 cents. I LOVED these. Loved loved loved. I continued to get them at gas stations and the store up until 2002 when I listenend to This Steer’s Life on NPR and swore off animal as food. But don’t think that this made me not miss beef jerky (and barbeque at our family’s very famous and impressive cookouts or burgoo or hot dogs). While I have yet to find a really impressive replacement for barbecue (aside from just sipping on the sauce, which I actually really like) THERE IS A GOOD BEEF JERKY REPLACEMENT (the spicy one tastes best to me). This is not a half-way, almost-like beef jerky replacement, but actually tastes just like beef jerky. Go out and buy this as soon as you can. I’ve had to ration myself. Only two servings a day. A great way to get protein no matter what your eating persuasion. And one more thing you can easily replace without much suffering on your part (along with soy milk and deli turkey, but those are for another post).
Greetings loyal blog readers. Hope everyone had a nice holidays. As some of you have noticed, I’ve toned things down as the year has gone on. I mean in terms of frequency of posting. Most of this has been due to lack of time thanks to Latin, but also the sense that perhaps there are just too many words floating around the blogosphere. Must I publish so many of my random thoughts? Must you all read them? I read a quote about Thich Nhat Hanh – something about someone who only speaks when there is something to say and says a lot in a few words – and I liked that. Perhaps it just justifies my increasing tendency as I get older to say less and think more. Nonetheless, I thought I would post an almost end of the year post.
Some of you might remember last year’s New Year’s resolution not to buy clothes for a year. So, I totally held out for five months, which was a good start, but did not carry it through the year. That said, I DID very much reduce the clothes I bought this year. By a lot. I didn’t keep track of the exact numbers, but I would say at least 50%, more if you take into account the five months I was new-clothes free. I try to keep in mind not only the money aspect of new-clothes buying, but the way it sort of feeds into a new-things-make-me-feel-good sort of mentality that I would like to avoid for an array of reasons (including environmental ones). It wasn’t like I was a clothes freak before – but I would get a shirt here and pants there when I was at Target or the mall even if I didn’t really need anything. I do that less.
What else was this blog about this year and what am I thinking about for next year, you ask? 2007 was another year of lots of stuff on the environment and global warming, and how this relates to our eating habits. I have been meaning to post on James Lovelock, after being introduced to him by a great college friend who sent me a heads up and by my grim reaper of a partner who loves to report the most awful, depressing news to me each morning and night so that I am up on all the mayhem in our world. So I will post on Lovelock and his apparently not totally improbable theories about the future of our planet and how we might go about reacting to these ideas. Perhaps my first post of the New Year if I get my act together.
I’ve also tried to share some fun ideas for vegan and vegetarian eating (although now that I look back, not nearly enough! What have I been doing? In my mind, I wrote at least five posts on on my favorite foods, but apparently, not. 2008 will be better.). I am of the mind that the more veganish/vegetarianish we can be in our lives, the better. Perhaps one less burger this week? Switching from cow’s milk to soy? Or taking the plunge and going all out. Each little bit or big bit matters – for animals, for compassionate living, for our earth. I am also of the mind that we should call each other to be our best selves, but try to avoid the judgment and finger-wagging that vegetarians (and liberals and UUs, often) have a tendency to do. How can we support each other in doing what is best for our selves and our world, while at the same time not making ourselves totally miserable in the meantime? How do we find a place between living in a hut in the woods and living in a McMansion with several SUVs in the driveway? Central questions that I try to grapple with here….
Speaking of vegetarianism, I have VERY exciting news about Tofurky Jerky to post very soon. The most exciting vegan food development of the year, in my opinion (followed closely by the development of very convincing and good (not just edible, my friends, but good) tofurky deli slices).
In the next year look for more on the cats we foster and adopt (if you want to do this too, send an email and I can hook you up!), occasional political commentary, book reviews, Unitarian Universalist theory and practice, chronic illness (and recovering from it), urgent celebrity commentary, queer/feminist/sexuality stuff, and lots more.
Happy almost 2008. Warmly, and hopefully, Elizabeth
I know I am by no means the first person to write about this, but I just find it so absurd and continuing evidence of the absolute horror that this presidential administration has wreaked on our country and world, that it seems worth repeating.
As many of you already know, the CIA has destroyed tapes of of interrogations that included “harsh” interrogation techniques. Harsh probably meaning what most people would consider to be torture. First, our president apparently “doesn’t recall” being told that the tapes had been destroyed. I always feel like when a politician “doesn’t recall” something, especially something important, this really that means, “I don’t want to say if I remember that or not.” But, what I find most wild about this whole story is the CIA’s explanation as to why these tapes were destroyed:
“Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the programme, exposing them and their families to retaliation from al-Qaeda and its sympathisers,” [CIA Director Michael Hayden] said (via BBC).
I mean, please tell me that the CIA is able to hide really important things. They don’t have some big top secret vault that they can just lock things in that they don’t want leaked? If it would really be the case the the CIA isn’t able to hide something like this, it seems that this would represent an intelligence issue far greater than the possibility of a few tapes leaking. Couldn’t they get all the people together who run our Central Intelligence Agency and come up with a better reason for destroying these tapes? It just seems so lame.
As with so many things, I feel like blogging about this is such an inadequate response, and almost trivializes the very serious issue of the United States torturing detainees and then covering it up. But, I suppose we do what we can do. So let’s vote. Protest. Blog. Talk to our neighbors. And continue to think something better than what we have now is possible and keep on doing what we can to work toward that.