Thursday, January 20, 2011

Meggs and Steggs

I have a friend named after a dinosaur. Steggy. Yep Steggy, as in stegosaurus, her favorite dinosaur. Sure it’s not her birth given name but its what she goes by. Believe me I’ve shouted it across a store or two and received some strange looks but I call her by it anyway, well that or Steggs. If I ever do call her by her “real” name, which is Erika, I feel kind of weird which is funny because the name Erika is pretty normal compared to her nickname.

If you looked at us now you would never know that my first impression of her was not a good one. We were in a summer school class together. The class was Digital Art which is just a class teaching you about programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, all of the above being completely foreign to me. That class was such a struggle for me and I worked super hard on my projects. Well just like every art class we had critique. There was one project I had worked really hard on and I just knew no one would say anything bad about it…I was wrong. Now the first thing you have to know about ole Steggo is she will tell you how it is. The girl has no problem speaking her mind, which now I totally admire about her, but at that moment I took it as her being rude. She basically said my project was boring, which honestly it was. She also said that there wasn’t a clear point, which there really wasn’t. Me being the emotional creature I always am, I secretly vowed to never pay any attention to her ever again. No matter how awesome I thought her glasses were and even though I wanted to tell her that I loved Marc Jacobs too I didn’t, because I had decided she was a rude girl.

Well the next spring we had a class together. I walked in and saw her and instantly put a guard up. But if there’s anything I hate more then being bashed in a critique, I hate sitting in a class without a friend. So I sat next to her and introduced myself as the girl she had a summer school class with. She said hey and then things were kind of awkward. I don’t really know when we really became friends but I feel like it had to be in one of the next classes. That whole class was spent laughing about stupid jokes or talking about our Harry Potter obsession. I soon realized that I was completely wrong about her and that this girl was probably the coolest person on the face of the planet. Now we’re pretty much always together. She knows everything about me. She always speaks her mind. She never judges. She makes me laugh harder then anyone. She’s my best friend. A girl I once avoided is now someone I talk to everyday. A true “don’t judge a book” story.

Last weekend I went home with her to New Orleans and it was one of the best trips ever, one of many I hope. I met her amazing family and feel like I have a second home now. I can’t wait for her to meet my mum and dad because they will love her. I’m glad I took a second look at the possibility of us being friends, because if I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have anybody to talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer with, laugh about our high school emo days, wear friendship bracelets saying Best Friends Since 1998 even though we’ve only been friends for two years, argue about how Jason Mraz is NOT cross-eyed, or talk about serious stuff with that I would feel weird telling anyone else. So yeah I have a friend named after a dinosaur…

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


VEGAN…..what does it mean? The dictionary defines it as “A person who does not eat or use animal products”. People in my hometown of Bastrop Louisiana, would probably call it some “weird hippy dippy thing”. Me? Well I define it as my new lifestyle….hopefully.

It all began two years ago. Yep, that’s how long I have been thinking about it. All thanks to a little book by the name of “Skinny Bitch”. If you haven’t heard of this book, it’s basically about ways to be healthy and in turn, you’ll be skinny....and hot….something like that, but when I read it the only thing that stuck with me was the vegetarian/vegan chapter. Now I have always know what a vegetarian is because I have a uncle that is one and movies, TV, books, so on...but I never considered being one. After reading the somewhat scaring chapter about what happens to all the animals that become our meat, it was on my mind everyday. Honestly I don't know how anyone could read about how animals are treated in slaughter houses and not at least consider it. I was vegetarian for a while, with a few mishaps, including me mindlessly taking a free sample of Chinese chicken in the mall, eating it and then choking on it when halfway down my throat I realized that the tasty treat was in fact...meat. Believe me it's been hard to live that one. But I think what really got me was a little video called “Meet your Meat” which I found on one of my favorite bands web page, NeverShoutNever. So yeah….I don’t suggest you ever watch this video unless you want to stop eating meat for the rest of your life or you just really hate animals and watching them go though the most torturous beatings always ending in their death brings you some sort of sick joy….Needless to say I cried for thirty minutes and hated myself for ever eating a chicken nugg. But the fire died down and before I knew it I was frequenting Micky D’s and was a full fledge carnivore again. ANd my friends and family love say "Hey Meg remember when you were vegatarian!?!?!" Ha ha... Still I wished I had the strength to be a hardcore veggie girl.

Just this past fall I met a new friend named Kelsey. I was pretty sure from the second we met that she was awesome and we would be friends…I was right on both parts. But then one day I found out Kelsey was a vegan and her awesomeness doubled...if that was even possible. I told her all about my complete vegetarian failure before and how I had always wanted to really commit. And she excitedly told me that she would love to help me. I was stoked and a little scared. If you didn’t catch it from before being vegan means no meat, milk, eggs, butter, ice cream, yogurt, leather, wool, anything that came from one of our furry friends! I am fully aware that a fast food lover like myself will have an incredibly hard time with this. I mean I have an affectionate nickname for chicken's pretty sad. I am also aware that living in Louisiana is probably NOT the easiest place to make this decision. One, because we have AMAZING food and two, because everyone here hunts and me not eating meat is just crazy talk! But I also know that I will feel better. Lets look at the facts….A vegan diet is basically cholesterol free, sodium free, low fat and low cal…nothing wrong with that! Instead of killing myself everyday with the crap I usually eat I’ll be getting healthier and will definitely feel better. I'm sure most people would ask why I wouldn't try an easier way to diet but the truth is I give up on a diet faster then you can say Weight Watchers. So what will help me stay true? The animals! It’s all abut the animals!

I have always loved them. I am the girl that had more ponies then barbies…I’m 22 and my roommate had to drag me out of a petting zoo this year, and had to make sure I wasn't kidnapping a lamb…I am the girl that carries peanuts in my backpack so I can feed squirrels I meet on campus…Yep that’s me. These creature give me SO MUCH JOY, why have I been living off of them instead of living with them? So yeah...I love animals and because nuggs look more like bite size crunchy things…I forget that they use to be a chicken. A living, breathing thing, with feelings, and families, and lives. I know to a lot of people this sounds crazy, believe me I grew up in “Sportsman Paradise” everyone I know hunts, but I believe that every creature was created to do something great, EVERY CREATURE. In a way killing an animal or taking something from it is just like murder or theft. While I realize that most people will think I am insane, this is what I have to say…I’m not causing any harm by my decision and I am not forcing my views on you, go on living you meat eating life, I won't look down on you at all. This is just something I really want to do. This whole blog isn’t just about this decision but it is a very important tool to keep me accountable…My goal…Be vegan for a year…Hopefully this will be a lifelong commitment but lets take it one step at a time…and in this process learn more about healthy living for me and ways to help my planet and animal friends! So enjoy and any advise is welcome….

This is yet just another step towards and happier, healthier, hippier life…feel free to tag along.