Climbing Over Obstacles

Life, full of mysteries and wonder. That’s exactly it. Mysteries come my way and they are not good ones. Life was good, I was set to do work on my animal projects with near daily effort. It was a clear path to achieving goals and gaining momentum.But then work and life hit me. I was set to work on a new project at work that would consume most of my time. Nearly any free time I had was gone. Work on weeknights with work on weekends.

What time do I have to achieve my animal project goals. What time do I have to sit/ponder and think when I am exhausted. I read a book once from a very intellectual fellow who I have no memory of that described ones will and mind set to work vastly outpaces ones ability. In basic terms, you think you can work more than you can. Reality can set in where fatigue grows and halts any production. I was always aware of that after reading this. Keeping work and pushing and eventually I burn out. When I’m burnt out, I’m not any good for the cause.

Events happen in life and other issues like a much much needed bathroom remodel only add to the tasks at hand. Being an adult and managing issues and finances is something everyone needs to face. Managing priorities is an ever constant battle. But they are all important, a nieces birthday, slowly doing demolition on bathroom, doing yardwork, playing with the dogs, etc. They all need time.

When I was younger, I was nearly free of all these things. I was free to work diligently until I dropped. I could pick up the next day and do it all over again. I always had energy and will. I was invigorated on my mission and to do something big. Life was much easier back then. Time is always so important. But now time is ever fleeting.

Does it make me any worse to do less. No, its just reality. I do not hate myself but there is an itch to make progress for myself. With my old cambodian project, time is something that was on my side. There were time for things to progress and grow outside of my own efforts. With this, the animals do not have time. With everyday that passes, they continue to suffer and die. And thats what gets me, they have no time to wait for me. So I hope this new work project eases and does not go too long. But my real work is my real job. It brings in the money, it what gives my wife and I our life we have now to do the things we do. So I just have to be patient. 

Keep Thinking

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I keep thinking how did this come about. This is where it all happens. Where pets come in and where they go. I believe the key is awareness. People are fueling the demand and people want to make dogs to feed that demand. So in the end it is just us causing the issue. The reasons are ridiculous and can all be solved.

I’m in the process of making my brochure and hope to share with pet communities. If they read hopefully they want to keep the pet and if they read enough, hopefully if they can’t handle it, they won’t get one either.

You Idiot….#lifefail

If you’re going to do it, do it big or else don’t do it at all. Thats the mentality I had when I came to doing this. I wanted to try to hit up some big names in the sports world for my blog. I wanted to show that even if you are a top athlete; you can be vegetarian or vegan and still perform. The prime goal is to get a little insight into that world and share their story. You can compete with the best and even be the best. Theres a few recognizable names who try these diets for whatever reason it might be. You got guys like Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick, David Carter, and Arian Foster. In other sports you got Mike Tyson, Carl Lewis, and Venus Williams. I read up on a few and decided to try and reach out to some.

If they reply great, if they don’t no problem. I tried. I figured I can’t imagine everybody contacting them about these issues so give it a shot. Many people might not even think to do it. One that stood out is Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals. The baddest of the bad. Plays with such a high energy and tenacious in the game, he’s been dubbed the Honey Badger. When you take the type of sport, the position, and them being vegan its quite interesting. Especially in a sport that is a crazy energy and fighting mentaility game of football. Its an interesting juxtaposition to be a vegetarian. Not that there should be one, but its how its viewed and the facts. Should be no way you are vegetarian or vegan in a sport where you need big muscles and speed. Also, the branding of a player as a vegetarian or vegan can play into mentality on the field.

I hit them up on instagram or facebook and just waited. Few days later, guess what, a reply! So excited, so thrilled!!!!! it was the Honey Badger! MR. MATHIEU!!!!!!!! He actually replied to my comment! Ok, lets see what he says. Oh….. My……. God… are you serious. Biggest fail of my life. I didn’t even spell his name right. You got to be kidding me. I was probably so nervous to even write a comment and rushed to write something then send. I didn’t even notice. Matthew…Mathew. Are you kidding me. You been watching this guy play since LSU!

I can’t even think about it. At least he replied, at least he saw my comment and makes for a funny story. And guess what, a big lesson learned, spell the damn name right next time. Sorry.

 

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Why Did I Even Do It?

For 30 years of my life, I’ve eaten meat. Meat has always been a central theme to nearly any and all meals. I use to tell my mom as a child “No meat, no eat”. So she literally cooked a meat dish for nearly every meal in my life. I don’t think that is an uncommon thing for any family or person actually. Meat is the best tasting and most anticipated part of the meal.

Being Asian, I think meat might be even more central. Many meals for Cambodians only deal with simple fish and rice. So any other meat is a prize. To have the abundance of meat at a grocery store, we will want to eat and keep eating meat to our hearts content. Beef, chicken, lamb, fish, crabs, lobster, you name it we wanted to eat it.

I never really cared to look into being vegetarian and have met plenty people in my life who were. Some just didn’t like the idea of flesh; others had traumatic experiences as children that made them stay away. While some can even do it for religious reasons. I got my first real experience of its impacts at a Washington DC Green Expo back in 2009. Vendors were set up being sustainable and green way of life. Many of these vendors provided green, vegan foods for guests to try. I had never seen so many people look so healthy in my life. People well into their 50’s and 60’s with shiny skin and hair. Eyes were bright and full of life. I was quite amazed.

Only until a year ago, I just really start thinking about myself, my life and what I wanted to do with it. There was always documentaries that show vegetarianism and veganism as the thing to do. I watched this one called Cowspiracy which showed how factory farms were a major contributor of greenhouse pollution and causing climate change. Though the main focal point was not to become vegetarian on a life issue but as a planet issue. A lot of the information was not new to me having studied it for so many years.

It was absolutely appalling to see the factory farming. Millions of animals dying everyday to feed our desires. Chickens cramped in cages, cows being mistreated and beat up, animals skinned alive. And 99% of male chickens are killed in the first few minutes of life because they provide no overall value!!! YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! I think that was my primary driver that how animals are treated. Lets say all these animals were treated well and lived for a long time. I think I might be more OK with people eating meat. Everything was just driven purely by profits. I was against the system of abusing and killing animals. ANd this is how the world works. My initial stance was to be against the system and how they treated animals raised for consumption.

But that documentary did spark a question in my brain and discussion with my wife. “Why reason do I have not to become vegetarian?” I care for the planet. Check. I love animals. Check. I want to be healthy. Check. And Check and Check. So then I asked myself, “Why do I need to eat meat?”. What benefit does it provide to the earth and myself to eat it. Only reason, it taste good. From there, it continued on an endless circle of reasoning in my head. Other things taste good too, why does it have to be meat? Do I want to kill a life just because it taste good. No, not really. I love my pets, I love life, why am I eating them for my own satisfaction. Seemed rather selfish.

After much debate in my own brain and with my wife. It just clicked. Just do it. Become vegetarian. Simply its the right thing to do. It seemed like an epiphany in my life. I felt good, well, I felt really good. It came down to, I just valued life too much. All life is precious. No matter what shape or form. The fact is, I WANT to eat it, I do not NEED to eat a life to enjoy my own. There are a billion other things that make me happy, not eating meat anymore will not lessen my life and joy. Lots of things taste good with no meat. Pizza, fried tofu, good fruit, breads, cheese, etc. I can do this.

I thought it was something I might not be able to do. I just realized I needed to take it day by day. One meal at a time with no meat. It seemed like a long process and goal but it wasn’t. I was easily able to cut nearly 90% of my meals with no meat in no time. I didn’t feel I needed to eat meat, I didn’t have a sense of missing out. And now a year has passed and I’m still doing it, I still feel good. Its a cause I believe in and what I want to fight for. Each meal I eat is a stance against relentless killing of life.

It is a choice in the end, every meal is a choice. What you eat at the restaurant or buy from grocery store is a choice. And thats what it comes down to as a major game changer. No, you’re body does not NEED to eat meat as a human. You can survive and live perfectly fine without it, plenty of studies out there just google it. If we needed to eat meat, then well we would be carnivores. But we our omnivores and are able to eat both plant and meat. For the longest time we needed to eat anything to survive and meat was a good way to be full and get nutrients. We do not need to hunt for food to be full and provide for families. Its at a grocery store now less than 10 minutes way. Nowadays, you can get anything you want living or no n living and still be fine.

It is how you want to live your life and what you value. I do not expect everybody to just drop eating any and all meat right away. But to just sit and think for a moment what you are doing. Do you really need to kill that animal for a good meal? Do you really need to eat that much meat to be satisfied? Don’t you think if we slaughter all these animals, they should at least live decently for what little time they have on this earth?

So in the end, it is your choice on what you want to do. And my choice is to value all life. #alllifematters

Simple Yes or No. This Is Where To Go.

One of the early changes in my shopping routines with my wife after becoming vegetarian is “Well…What do I eat now?”. Lots of stuff are vegetarian such as pasta, fruits, vegetables, noodles, etc. But you have to figure out what to eat day to day. You need the good amount of protein with a well balanced diet. The kicker, it has to taste good too. No way you will last with such bland vegetables and fruits with meals. You have to be real and set expectations lower on how delicious your meals day to day can be. Not to say you can’t make good food.

Being a carnivore for 30 years, everything revolved around meat. Ok Steak with this and this, ok chicken with this and this, if not that much pork, then put this and this. It was the central focal point of nearly any and all meals. So I began to shop and find my places and things what to get. You need that substitute for hard protein. I found that Trader Joes, espeically one in Falls Church, was a great place to get veggie options. They have  soy sausages, soy chirizo, and even meatless breakfast patties. You’re not really missing out when you these things kind of available. The hard part is simply to know whre to go. You’re not going to know where you can shop and what you can get without visiting them. Knowledge is key. Trader Joes has a fantastic selection of vegetarian and soy based goods to apply to many meals. Even my wife was impressed with the soy chorizo and said it was hard to tell the difference. Thats how much flavor there is. She took the soy chorizo and mixed it with a spaghetti sauce.

Anyways, that gave me the idea to simply make a map of places that are vegetarian friendly. And I don’t mean, anything you can eat that is vegetarian. Obviously I know i can eat some pasta, some bread, some fruits, some candy, or eggs and be vegetarian. These things are offered at any grocery store. What I mean was for places that given a YES or NO to be a vegetarian and/or vegan friendly offerings from their store. Places with lots of soy goods or everyday household meals that are vegetarian or vegan friendly. So lets start it, google maps, and where can we vegetarians can shop and get lots of goods!!

**** The vegan cheese needs a considerable amount of work. I dont mean to be picky or choosy. And I know many times its not close to real stuff and thats not what I’m seeking. Half the time, I’m just seeking somethin bearable resemblance. The vegan cheese offered at Trader Joes,. major turn off. I could barely stomach it. Dont get it unless you want to support the cause.

 

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