Tuesday, October 25, 2005

cruelty free

we went to a cruelty free expo on the weekend-- filled with products not involving animals in the making or testing and organizations fighting for animal rights. some of the stuff there is pretty amazing. theres a couple chinese ressturants and shops that do all kinds of immitation meat. i tried a sample of satay "chicken" from a restraunt we've been meaning to go to-- it was AMAZING. i havn't had actual chicken in a few years but this would have to be as good as, or better than i can remember chicken being. i wanted to buy some frozen "prawns" to do garlic prawns with but we weren't going straight home after so they'd prbably defrost and do somethign weird in zac's bag before we could get home. one day one of us will have to make the effort to get out to the vegetarian asian grocery store to buy some (its in a suburb west of here and trams run north/south from our suburb north of the city and its actually a tough suburb to get to by tram or train cuz there's only a couple lines that run through it from the city and buses are really unreliable and don't even know where to catch one going that way). there was lots of other great stuff too like real looking fake leather bags and shoes (zac's got a pair of vegan dress/nice casual shoes). i also had the most amazing vegan cheesecake. creamy just like real cheesecake but no dairy or eggs in it (i've been thinking about trying to attempt making vegan cheesecake but we don't have vegan sour cream here yet and i think if i made tofu sour cream it might give the cheesecake a bit of a tofu-y taste). it'd be nice if a lot of the products we saw there were more available. a few things are available at major supermarkets but a lot of the really nice stuff is either online ordering or you have to go out to a shop they have in some random suburb-- not great when you rely on your bike or public transport). a lot of it is kind of expensive too cuz its not produced on a large scale yet-- hopefully one day it'll be the norm.
here's a good point to ponder though: humans are the only animal that drink another mammals' milk and we are the only animal that continues drinking that animals milk throughout adulthood.
i read that somewhere a while ago. then i started seeing stuff about the horrible ways cows are treated when they're raised for milk. its pretty sad. there's a lot of other easy sorces for the vitimins and minerals we get from milk, we don't need it for survival (a lot of people do better without dairy).
we have a bumper sticker on our fridge that says "meat and dairy based diets keep the rest of the world starving" the amount of grain we have to grow to feed 1 cow can feed a HUGE number of people (i can't remember the exact number but its rediculous cuz that cow doesn't produce enough meat to feed anywhere near that number of people).
i still haven't made the jump to veganism but vegetarian with just a small amout of vegetarian (non animal rennet) cheese and maybe a few free range eggs or eggs from zacs aunt and uncles chooks makes some difference and i feel better physically without meat in my body.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

weird birds

its springtime and all the birds are out doing bird things, protecting their eggs and taking care of their babies. one bird here-- the magpie-- is known for getting a bit possessive and territorial. its actually recommended that people wear sunglasses on the back of their bike helmets or draw eyes on their helmets in spring cuz these birds are known to swoop and peck at people if you get too close to their homes. i think they do it even when they aren't near their homes too-- they're just mean. zac's mum had one swoop her on her bike last week. he didn't just do it once but he went at her (fortunately on the helmet) a few times and then landed on her shoulder to take a few pecks at the helmet. she was to scared to let go of her handlebar to take a swing at him to scare him away cuz she thought she'd fall off her bike so she just let him do it and then take off.
other birds get aggressive too. zac was at a pedestrian/bike crossing waiting for the light to change. another guy on a bike was there too, holding onto the signal button pole while he waited. a brown bird the size of a small crow (me and zac have been trying to remember the name of them for a few days and we can't) was just walking around on the footpath by them, pecking away at whatever he was finding on the sidewalk. all of a sudden he just jumped up and hit his feet into the helmet of the guy infront of zac and then just went right back to pecking the ground like nothing happened. the guy was a little confused and turned to look at zac to see if zac saw it happen too. a friend of ours came up with a theory. maybe the little bird hated the walk signal noise and saw the guy leaning on the pole with his hand by the button so he thought if he smacked the guy he'd go away and then there would be no annoying sound.
my favorite bird story is one i saw. i was biking home from work and a guy was biking down the footpath toward me as i was going down the side of the road. he had some kind of parrot on his shoulder. as he passed me i could hear him having a conversation with the parrot but he wasn't just talking to it he was arguing with it and saying in an stern voice something like "no, we're doing it this way!". was the parrot actually being that stubborn that he had to argue with it to get his way?