I have always looked up (down?) the chain at people who need to drink before work to avoid the shakes, or people who can't even hold down a job any more, and hey, i'm not that bad, right? But let's be honest - the last few years i've been drinking 10-20 units each school night just to not think about work, or about much of anything. I often skip dinner for vanity reasons because i figure i am getting more than enough carbs from the alcohol, and the hell with nutrition. So i kinda quit. I still had three nights where i drank this week, but all under 10 units. I am feeling less shitty.
Since my friend I turned vegan, and since she is probably the only vegan i know who isn't a completely obnoxious dick about it, i also started reflecting on my diet. Which, aside from the skipped meals, is reasonably healthy, but very much centered around processed animal products. Having spent the majority of my teenage years a vegetarian, i don't really have a particular craving for meat or dairy, it's just that salami and cheese are the two easiest things to slap on a bread roll when i am hungry and don't want to cook. And since as an alcoholic i often end up not cooking even when i bought the ingredients, i have already learned not to waste chicken or pork and instead stock my fridge with fake/vegetarian meat that lasts for weeks. So this was really about reconsidering my sandwiches, which make up probably 10-12 meals a week for me. This weekend i went out for my weekly shopping (uncharacteristically sober) and bought a bunch of nuts and hummus and things to see if i can swing a week without salami and cheese. I'm two days in and so far so good. I also ate veg at most of my work lunches this week. I am feeling less shitty.
The vegan thing has been an interesting thought exercise for me recently. Most vegans try to persuade you with shock videos, and i find that distinctly unpersuasive. Eating bits of another animal is no more disgusting to me than disease or childbirth or mitosis. Biology is fucking disgusting, period. Don't show me that shit, i don't want to know. I'm also wary of the "animals feel pain" argument, since if you believe that animals with little-to-no self-awareness have an inalienable right to life then that puts you on very shaky ground when it comes to abortion and euthanasia - two things i am strongly in support of. But flipping the argument round the other way does sway me: why NOT be vegan?
Let's think about it. Why do we eat meat in the first place? Tradition? Fuck tradition. Fuck thousand-year-old cultural institutions; most of them are antiquated and in the developed world progressives enjoy the privilege of being free to abandon them. Taste? That argument doesn't fly for me. There are a handful of meat and cheese dishes that are delicious as all hell, but the majority of what we eat wouldn't lose anything by taking out the sinew, blood, gristle and fat. Fuck, the reason i will take a burger over a steak any day of the week is because burgers don't have all those gross textures. Not to mention the real reason stuff tastes great is due to generations of cooks honing their seasoning and prep skills. So really, if the only reasons to not eat vegan are tradition and taste, and tradition is largely nonsense and taste is just applied chemistry, then all i can fall back on is laziness.
And that, my friends, is far and away my main reason for not eating veg. I am too lazy to make a big deal about it. I refuse to be some kind of douchnozzle activist or fussy eater at a restaurant, and i can't be bothered to inspect the fine print of everything i buy in the grocery store. And since my laziness outside of work is one of the things that is bothering me about myself lately, i am using this small dietary challenge as a tool to help dig me out of the hole of apathy. If i succeed in paying a little more attention to what i am eating, then it shows i can achieve more in life than just kicking ass at work and getting drunk at home. And a nice side-effect is it supports my minimalist lifestyle anyway. So, let's see how it goes.
I am now going to make some popcorn and watch Star Wars.