October 15, 2014
I watched The Fall at the weekend, it wasn’t quite was I was expecting but I still really enjoyed it. I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild a few days before and they formed a nice diptych of how the world can appear to children.
The very end was probably my favourite part: a montage of stunts from the silent era of film. When you know that these guys are actually just doing these things they are infinitely more impressive than the biggest Michael Bay explosion:
Then again I am a sucker for some silent film, the Méliès montage in Hugo was probably my favourite part of that film:
Spoiler warning for both I guess. Also not so big a fan of the silent stunt horsies, I guess this is before ‘No animals were harmed’ disclaimers…
See also: Professional archers shooting a hail of real arrows at Toshiro Mifune in Throne of Blood.
October 8, 2014
Meat. Meat. Meat.
Every animal is made out of meat. I am meat, ya’ll asses meat.
Everything is part of the buffet of the universe.
– Beasts of the Southern Wild
I’ve been mostly vegan now for a little over 3 months now. Only mostly thanks to a few cups of tea at friends’ houses, a jar of Nutella I’ve been rationing (it was in the cupboard pre-veganism but I couldn’t bring myself to give it away) and a little honey (we need the bees!).
I’ve found it a lot easier than I thought I would. My meat intake (oo-er) has steadily reduced over the last year or two so vegetarianism wasn’t a massive step but I thought I’d find dropping dairy a lot harder. As a kid I would drink 4+ pints of milk a day and a summer job testing curdled soy milk didn’t leave me enamoured of substitutes but I’ve been drinking Alpro’s Simply Mild which tastes less like soy milk. It also tastes nothing like real milk, but the flavour’s grown on me.
I’ve lost a little weight though I wasn’t exactly heavy to begin with. I eat a lot more nuts and seeds than I used to, fruit too. Also more crisps which isn’t so great (they’ve become my go-to indulgence, though I have to stick to ready salted most of the time to avoid the milk powder). The biggest knock has probably been to my baking; I’ve played with some egg substitutes but had more misses than hits so far.
The hardest part I’ve found (so far at least) is eating out. Think about the last restaurant menu you looked at and what the veggie choices were, now cross off everything that involves cheese; there’s usually not much left. But cooking at home, taking lunches to work, all that has been a doddle.
I think the best advice I heard was to think of it as a continuous scale rather than discrete isms. Veganism can be a big ask. I think I’m doing pretty well but I’m still not 100% vegan. But that’s ok. I’m eating no meat which is great for the environment (and the aminals) but even when I was eating meat only twice a week that was better than eating it every day.
When that jar of Nutella is gone will I never buy another jar again? I can’t promise it. But either way my milk intake is way down. Maybe one day I will kick my Nutella habit, but just because I can’t right now doesn’t mean I should say, “Fuck it,” and chug a gallon of milk.
At some point in the last year I stopped eating meat but I couldn’t tell you when it was because it happened gradually, I didn’t wake up one day and proclaim myself a vegetarian, I just ate less and less meat until one day I noticed I’d stopped buying it altogether. Just have a bit less, you probably won’t miss it and it might make the world a little bit better.