I finished reading Northanger Abbey -- the fourth Jane Austen book in my quest to re-read her six books. It's moved into last place in my my affections (the list, for those keeping track at home, are 1. Pride & Prejudice, 2. Persuasion, tied for third Sense & Sensibility and Emma, 5. Mansfield Park, 6. Northanger Abbey). It's Austen's first book (not published first, but the first one she wrote and sold). It's...I dunno. Too cute, I think. I don't hate it, but it's the sort of book that I'd say not to bother reading unless you just want to read all of Austen's books (which I think is a very good thing to do).
Anyway, with my little forays off of the plant-based reservation I decided to read something to remind me why I want to do this. I don't know whether or not the book I've chosen will do that, but the author is an excellent writer and I'm enjoying it very much. It's called Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I recently read another of his books: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close -- it was recommended to me by a friend and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I have only JUST started the book but so far he sounds kind of like me: he wants to eat ethically but sometimes he gives into his baser instincts. I think it would be easier for me if I got a little more "animal rights-y" because it would give me another reason besides "health" to stick to my program. Here is an excerpt from the book that made me laugh out loud:
When I was nine, I had a babysitter who didn't want to hurt anything. She put it just like that when I asked her why she wasn't having chicken with my older brother and me: "I don't want to hurt anything."
"Hurt anything?" I asked.
"You know that chicken is chicken, right?"
Frank shot me a look: Mom and Dad entrusted this stupid woman with their precious babies?
Her intention might or might not have been to convert us to vegetarianism -- just because conversations about meat tend to make people feel cornered, not all vegetarians are proselytizers -- but being a teenager, she lacked whatever restraint it is that so often prevents a full telling of this particular story. Without drama or rhetoric, she shared what she knew.
My brother and I looked at each other, our mouths full of hurt chickens, and had simultaneous how-in-the-world-could-I-have-never-thought-of-that-before-and-why-on-earth-didn't-someone-tell-me? moments. I put down my fork. Frank finished the meal and is probably eating a chicken as I type these words.
That just cracked me up.
So -- onward and upward. I will read and concern myself more about animals. It's funny because before I started eating like this I was getting really bothered by the whole factory farm system, so I think I just need to get a little more...conscious. Don't worry about me going off the deep end. I know the proper order for things and that God put man in charge of animals. I believe in animals testing of medicines, but not makeup. And I don't think that people who eat animals are bad people. I just think that everybody has their "things," that's all.
I have been thinking more and more about getting a pet. I'm a dog person, but here is the thing -- I am honestly not sure I can handle another dog dying on me. I sometimes think that the solution is to have maybe three dogs -- that way when one dies you still have two more depending on you and loving you and your life isn't just starkly with-dog/without-dog. I'm sure Bruce would LOVE it if I told him I wanted to get three dogs. Ha. I don't want a bird -- I think birds are wonderful, but I want to watch them outside. I would give my right arm to have a horse, but Bruce has told me that I cannot put one in our backyard. Alex and Alisha want to get some sort of lizard. They showed me a picture and tried to get me to say it was...cute, I guess...but it's a lizard. I am not especially swept away by reptiles and amphibians.
I shouldn't think of anything before my knee surgery anyway, so I'll just ponder.
I made pancakes for dinner. It was this recipe, but I don't have any white flour in the house and I don't think I cooked them long enough and they were just okay.
My toilet safety rails came today and Bruce has installed them. Now I can actually sit (as opposed to fall) on the toilet and I can get up, too! Life's simple pleasures.
The back has stiffened as the day has gone on -- seems weird to me. I would think that it would get stiff at night, but it seems to feel best in the mornings. Definitely better than it has been, definitely not all the way healed. It hasn't even been a week, though.