Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Changed blogs

I am now at
Sorry, I got distracted. I wanted a blog that stated in the title very clearly what the blog is about. Since I can't separate the two new life-altering changes, I might as well name it like it is. The Brain Injured Vegan.
The new goal is to write a new post each day and walk you through my transition to becoming vegan and dealing with my brain injury. Hopefully, it won't take too long to get to present day. And hopefully I won't be neglectful of this new blog!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I sometimes forget that my becoming vegan corresponds with my brain injury.

Troy has been doing Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. He's nearly done, one more week. We talked the other night about how it's going. Troy said he's not continuing after the 30 days. :(
He's continuing the most he 'can', but he says he can't see himself being vegan. He misses meat too much. <eye roll>
I cried. I was really hoping he'd have this amazing awakening(that I had) and decide it just wasn't worth it. I told him that comes across as really selfish. He said he would still be vegan at home, and take vegan lunches, etc.
Give him time. He's bound to wake up. Any day now. Hmm. Perhaps not in this lifetime.
I am really glad he won't be going back to eating animals, or their secretions, at every meal, everyday.

So I was thinking, maybe my awakening to the evils of the animal industry was really perfectly timed. I mean, as soon as I could think complex thoughts, I began reading everything that had to do with veganism. So because my brain became more active and critical at the same time as transitioning to being vegan, this awakening was so profound for me!                                  
Maybe everyone just needs a good whack to the head.  : P

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Tricky Evening

Ugh! So a couple of Troy's cousins were over, and one was saying how he's going to slaughter chickens tomorrow with his son. His son is 5! Gotta desensitize them young. They go pretty often, like once or twice a month lately. My heart hurts. Even the other family members made jokes about his son becoming a serial killer.
Then his other cousin was talking about how "great hunting is, and it's such a rush, and you've gotta try it".
It was a tough evening to get through. I wanted to speak up, but I didn't even know what to say. I know it's late, but had to say something to someone. <sigh>
On the bright side, when Troy told them he's been vegan for two weeks, the hunting one, said "awesome man, keep it up!"
The chicken slaughterer almost fell over from disbelief, but then he said he "just had my first meatless meal tonight, and it was really good and I actually felt good after". (He's dating a vegetarian.) So...little victories?
Sometimes I'm amazed at the amount of animal exploitation in my little community.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Making Sure Veganism Comes Up

One of the things that Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says, is that she makes sure that the topic switches to veganism during her conversations with strangers.
At first, that seems like a lot of pressure to 'perform' for the cause. You already know that my speaking skills aren't always accessible to me, but I'm finding myself doing the very same thing. For example, last week at the dentist, I asked the hygienist if she sometimes could identify what she was cleaning out of people's teeth. She said, for sure she could. Especially meat and popcorn kernels. Perfect!! She brought up meat! So I told her she shouldn't find any animal carcasses in my teeth. She asked if I was vegetarian, I said I was vegan, and we talked about nutrition for awhile. It was cool.
Today, I was taking a cab home from the rehab centre, and it came up again! :]
The driver asked what I did last night and I began to tell him about the film I watched(with my Facebook group, Queen City Vegan) Forks Over Knives. I explained how the film was about the health benefits of eating only plants and  I told him I was vegan. I had to explain the difference between vegetarianism and veganism, but it was awesome!! Planting seeds. :]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leafletting & talking to people

I find myself thinking about doing this type of activism more and more. Seems fairly peaceful and simple.
The one part that makes me uneasy, is I may have to talk to people. This isn't normally a problem. I was a pretty social person, and I'm easily approachable(I've been told).

Since the brain injury though, it's tricky navigating conversations. I'm definitely not as social for that very reason. For a long time I had to think about the way to form sounds to make words(how do I make a long 'a' sound again?). It was terribly exhausting, and it sometimes took a long time to say what I wanted to communicate. This was finally resolved sometime in December 2010. I still forget words from my vocabulary.
For example, talking to Troy about kitchen renovations, and I said "we should get a new oven-head". Troy replied, with a wry smile, "like...a range-hood?" Admittedly, it was pretty cute. We shared a laugh.

One of the coping skills I was taught, is to think of words that are related to the one I want to use. So if I can't think of the word 'chair', I'll call it a 'sitting-shelf''.  It's not always perfect, true, but it gets the point across.
I'm afraid I'll run into that problem. It doesn't happen as often it once did, even months ago, but I don't want non-vegans to judge me as stupid, and I really don't want to represent veganism as that. It simply can't be helped. Chances are, you're the only vegan that that someone knows.

I think I just need a bit more time. Who knows, it could be really different in a month, I am improving quickly. And if I've learned anything from my brain injury, it's that "practice makes perfect". Which, isn't really true, but practice makes everything easier, for sure!

When I came out of the coma, I couldn't speak because I had a trach in my throat. So they tried to give me paper to communicate, but I just would write each letter directly on top of the last. Off to therapies! And lots of practice.

Honestly, I almost prefer to communicate through email(or whatnot) because I can take all the time I need to think of all the words I want to use, and to organize my thoughts. I love reading, so my vocabulary is pretty good and I sound pretty smart most of the time. <sigh> Just be patient. I guess.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So what if my life is short?

I keep hearing from people that they 'only have so long on this Earth, so what if their life is shorter? They are going to enjoy it.'
I can't help but think: Yeah...but it isn't like you just keel over one day. Too often you end up suffering for an extended period of time, sometimes for years, with a debilitating disease or condition. I also start to think about their friends and family, and I can't seem to shake my judgement that these people are being, straight-up, selfish.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Year of the Dog

I've only been vegan since September 12, 2010. This story started years before that.
My husband and I adopted an American Staffordshire Terrier cross from our local shelter. This was 2005. It wasn't long before I was involved in the pit bull rescue community, helping pit bulls find loving homes. At one point we were given a Bloodhound puppy that our friend had rescued. He took the dog from the owner because he wasn't getting his dog's broken leg fixed. The owner had looked into how much fixing the leg would be, decided it was too much, so didn't do anything for days. That's when our friend intervened. He brought the broken dog to our house. We quickly figured out which clinic could actually do something for his leg, and got him there. We paid for his leg to be fixed. It was pricey, he required pins and such. The poor dog was sent back to his owner. I don't really know what happened to him. I hope he's okay and happy.

Anyways! In 2007, I was taking a look at one of my dog magazines and there was a short story about a new film, Year of the Dog, with Molly Shannon and it talked about how the film was all about this character's concern for dogs. I talked Troy into renting it with me and we watched and it was, meh. For me, it was sad. It made me sad. In fact, it made me a bit uncomfortable. I thought this was because it was sad.

Now, the reason I watched it again was because it was recommended on an episode of Our Hen House. They talked about how Molly's character becomes vegan and then follows that with some rather radical and sometimes inappropriate behaviour. It's really a comedy. It really is. Maybe you need to be vegan to understand the humor. Or appreciate it. Maybe I was so blinded to her veganism the first time, that I couldn't appreciate or see the funny bits. She does the stuff that ethical vegans have thought about doing, but don't. Cause that'd be...inappropriate. I don't know how, but I totally missed her becoming vegan. Actually, it makes sense. I had blinders on. I didn't want to see it, so I didn't. So I wanted to see which parts I had missed the first time. It was all of it. I think I must have seen the first 10 minutes and another 10 minutes in the middle and that was it. Because she clearly states several times throughout the film, "I want to be vegan", "I am vegan", "yup, vegan", "those cupcakes have no eggs, milk, or butter". She even sponsors farm animals for family gifts. Is this what everyone goes through? I mean, does everyone really not see vegans? How did I wake up?