Thursday, 27 November 2008

All these Veges!!

It's the American thanksgiving today, so a friend from the US celebrated it-but had a Vegan one. So I decided to go over with some friends to try it out, and see how Tofu taste like. After the meal and the usual mashed sweet and common potatoes, boiled carrots and scallops, Tofurkey all topped with mushroom and onion gravy, I thought the meal (most especially the Tofurkey was quite a delightful surprise- and I'm not being sarcastic). It did not taste like Turkey that it was supposed to simulate, but it did taste good and different, yet similar to something I had tried before (spiced Salmon, beans or Moi-moi? couldn't quite place it)...Regardless, it was good.

And that silly, half-thought notion I had, that questioned the sense in people simulating the same foods that they were against its excessive consumption, cropped up in my head again. I mean why try to simulate beef, Turkey, chicken with Soya and the other stuff they use, and call it all these names that try to allude to the real thing. Why don't you just eat the real things in small proportions, or better still make entirely new foods. But now I'm coming to realize and see the reason and concern in these people and even the courage (hope I'm not exaggerating, here)in them. The decision to eat differently from what ones been weaned, really, to eat and crave must be a tough one. Apart from the cruelty some claim eating animal products cause on animals, I was a bit perplexed on how exactly consumption of meat and animal products deteriorates the environment. Then I learnt of this concept Environmental Footprint in one of my Environmental Science classes. This concept measures the impact and demand humans have on the environment in relation to how much the earth can accommodate. So each individual's ecological footprint is dependent on how much resources he uses and the consequent impact on the environment. When I first arrived here in Canada, my footprint and most people from Nigeria as measured by the EC. Ft. website was really moderate, if not small, as compared to other Canadians.But after a few months here, it increased.

So after this my lecture, what I'm getting at is that the more meat one consumes, the higher ones impact on the environment. Also, the higher society's collective demand for meat, the more land is cut down for rearing livestock and then the more "cruelty" on animals.

So now, do I intend to become vegetarian or vegan, NOPE!! and I don't expect anyone to become one, neither do I see any kind of righteousness or uprightness in the people who do. I do admire them for their concern and courage, but as for me I feel that if I ever move towards that green path, it won't be because I truly care for animals or want to save the environment. I think I might be doing it because I want to lead some kind of alternative lifestyle. But who knows, a few years from now, I could become truly concerned. I am not an advocate for saving the environment through the avoidance of certain things like meat (I eat, like it) as I feel the deterioration of the environment can be reduced, through individual self-awareness. That awareness should take form in one knowing that the simple and everyday things one does, adversely affects the environment. Does one really need to spend more than 10minutes in the shower, sleep with the lights on, eat meat products for every meal? I myself am guilty for all the things mentioned above. But, I think I should really try to reduce my impact and I really don't have to follow blindly this western bandwagon of wastefulness and consuming more than what one needs and even expected to want.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Mind, Restless, Tired

There's been a story in my head for more than a year now. It has crept into crevices of my mind, stayed there, almost parasitic. It saps, whatever it is that doesn't make it dissipate from me, and grows. There are limbs, facial features, that continue to protrude from it, as it rests in my mind. But still it looks like an aberration, totally malformed. And I, the forced sculptor has to mold and make it less of a phantom. Soon, it is done, the sculpting is complete, yet there are hole, tiny and large, that need to be filled.And the story keeps plaguing for its completion, for its holes to be filled. In the most unusual places, it comes to mind. In class, with the boring professor teaching that dreaded chemystery, it emerges. Though this time it is redeeming as it takes me away from my class. I continue to stare at the professor, my eyes partially blind to the formulas on the board and my ears hearing words that sound like that of a seceding crowd. In the absence of my mind, the story reveals itself; its limbs-the corners of the stories, it's features-the complexities and connections of characters. And then I know I must write it, do it and myself a favor. But when I finally did see it on my laptop screen, it looked even more malformed. It appeared like those Asian gods with many arms stretching and curling out of their straight bodies. I did not know how to handle all those corners, flash backs and complexities.It was more than 25 pages (not double spaced, or edited) and I felt it was a mash up. But that was during the summer, now winter approaches, if not already here and I'm writing all over again. It seems to be going alright. This time, there are no flash backs, no corners yet, just starting the story in all its simplicity; just from the beginning. It takes a lot of maturity to write a book, not to mention starting from the end to beginning.

I was disappointed, yesterday, to find out what it meant to be a free thinker. The meaning contrasted with what I had always thought it was. Did I or I did not perceive it to mean one who was free spirited and thought out of the box and even what is deemed reality. But its actual meaning, to me, steals from it what it sounds like. Though the free thinker, by its dictionary definition, thinks outside the norm or tradition, I still feel that his focus on science and logic steals from him, much of his free-ness.

Why do I feel this way towards science- humanity's way of reaching new frontiers. It is too logical, too rigid for me, I've never felt I can contribute to the world through science.

I saw a play yesterday and in the end when all the actors, removed from their characters, took their bows, I felt lifted, inspired. I wanted to act, even though the only time I ever did was in high school. After my first play, I got reactions of both surprise and mockery. Both reactions made me feel good. Still, I want to be a writer! (it should be known) and I cannot imagine my life without exploring these things. Scary, scary images.