Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Googling Exes: Yup, She Hasn't Changed in 12 Years

I googled my ex-girlfriend from 12 years ago and found a detailed blog she's been keeping. Sure enough, she's the EXACT same as when I dated her -- a hardcore vegan animal rights activist who wears all black clothes all the time and feels guilty about everything, including her own existence.

The relationship was a one-year fight fest that was never meant to be -- which is what all my friends had been telling me the whole time.

My wife had a similar experience recently when she came across her ex's blog. She discovered the same angry, unhappy, straight-edge vegan that she no longer is. (Not to generalize about vegans, but are they ALL unhappy and guilt-ridden?)

So many people never change. My politics are nowhere near the Marxist-Vegetarian-Leftie business of my life a decade back. This is to my credit.

Let's make a nautical analogy to explain how and why I've changed. My ideology and outlook on life are like a wooden sailboat circumnavigating the globe. As conditions change and time goes on, parts of the ship become worn out and need replacement; the weakest parts usually fail first. If neglected, the ship risks sinking. If you don't scrape the barnacles off the hull, the boat will stagnate -- barely moving, foundering about. A ship's working parts often need change or the boat won't move forward properly. Sometimes, when the wear and tear is really bad, you have to stop in port for assistance from someone who has more experience to make the boat better. I imagine it takes constant work to keep a wooden boat sturdy and seaworthy enough to continue through the shit the ocean throws at it. Ships that don't make alterations from time to time often end up in a pretty unhappy state.

This is the way a person's political ideology and worldview should be. Yea, that's right: if more people were like me, things would be better (just kidding).

UPDATE: Today my dad reminded me that one time back in 1997 when I invited this vegan girlfriend over to my parent's house, she noticed that the dogs were playing with a stuffed (fake) rabbit toy and it made her upset. About a synthetic toy!
Glad you can accept change - it's the only constant in our lives that we can count on to occur unfailingly. Unfortunately most of the inhabitants of this planet are unable to adapt to ever-changing situations that they encounter. As a consequence they end up old men and women who are completely out of touch with reality, and for far too many of us this fossilizing process happens about age 30! Let's all drink to change and adaptation skills.
Also you should swab your poop deck regularly. That's a metaphor.
I suppose you could also say however that the fundamentals of sailing remain the same.
Did I or did I not write one of my most popular songs about this? I made the mistake once of referring to her pet rabbit as um, her pet.
"He's my companion!"
That you keep in a cage...right.
" she noticed that the dogs were playing with a stuffed (fake) rabbit toy and it made her upset. About a synthetic toy! "

I laughed out loud on that. She did not know from whence you came .

tex anon
I avoid hormone-laced animal flesh produced from industrial meat factories (what we currently call "farms").

That doesn't mean I'm soft, weak, stagnating, or otherwise floundering in life.

A similar case on point: Old fat dudes who ride Harleys, wear leathers, and think it makes them both tough and non-conformist. Interestingly, Joe Public seems to agree. My non-hormone consuming bicycle-riding 200 pounds of muscle mass can crush your average "Harley bad-ass" without breaking a sweat.

I'm just so tired of iconography and trend-following being misinterpreted as 'character'. Which is what I believe you have done with this post.

So you hooked up with malcontent that identifies with animal rights to the extreme as a way of providing a sense of identity to herself and the world at large. Well, I once hooked up with a woman who was happy that George W. Bush was president of the United States.

Now THAT is worth blogging about! (I know, I know: go get my own blog)

Whoa, a little defensive, now aren't we. I didn't say anything about vegans being "soft, weak, stagnating, or otherwise floundering in life", you did.

The point of my post was that she is the exact same as she was 12 years ago -- to a tee.

Also, I don't understand what you mean by this: "I'm just so tired of iconography and trend-following being misinterpreted as 'character'. Which is what I believe you have done with this post."
"...but are they ALL unhappy and guilt-ridden?"

No, like carnivores, just the ones that are. Your ex sounds more like an unhappy and self-loathing, somewhat stupid (see stuffed rabbit toy example) person who just happens to feel strongly about the animal suffering, environment, etc. (I assume that is what made her go vegan, but could be wrong, sometimes all it takes is "the scene" of the time). That is a particular "type" of vegan. Just as it is a particular type of douchebag.

There are plenty of warm, happy, loving vegans out there- people who are adjusted and light-hearted. They also change and adapt to their changing world, but in their circumnavigation (to use your analogy) they find certain ethical views, and choices don't need to be jettisoned overboard. There are millions of happy people (who don't dress like the manager of a Hot Topic) who also feel that the completely unnecessary suffering of other sentient beings, and load on our already struggling environment is unethical and just want to abstain and do the best they can, blah, blah, blah. I think you were joking, but I just wanted to state the obvious this morning.

She's definitely unhappy but not stupid at all -- a very intelligent person. And yes, I was kind of joking; I've met vegans who're in good moods, but there IS a discontent that's deeper than most folks you meet.

The main source of her unhappiness was that in her view, nearly everything that surrounds her (meat eaters) is morally reprehensible. And honestly, if you truly believe that eating meat is horribly evil, how could going through any typical day be a pleasant experience? There are reminders in every direction of the slaughter of animals.
I believe the higher percentage of discontentment probably comes from a higher sensitivity level. I think a lot of vegans are, unfortunately, borderline hyper-empathetic, people who almost feel the pain of others, the extreme of which is a psychological condition which is debilitating. In the chicken-vs-egg argument, it is probably that heightened sensitivity to the suffering of others that comes first, and veganism (or vegetarianism), and that sort of life follows.

As a vegan, I can say it is possible to have a pleasant day in a world in which you are the vast minority, just as people throughout every era of civilization became early-adopters of some ethical standard (or what they thought was at the time), be it: human emancipation, children's rights, worker's rights, etc. (I'm not trying to compare people to animals here, just that sort of "less-suffering" reaction to the world). Just as those people had to coexist with the 99.9999% of the world who thought they were nuts- until they aren't anymore. I guess in many countries people are still suffering over social-norms, which are now standard in places like DC, but were once as radical as not eating chicken because you don't need to.

I think people who believe eating meat is horrible can manage to accept the reality of their time, and get joy, by studying history- they will find that progress happens in most cases. Of course another approach is to be a self content SOB soaking in your own (awsum) ethical superiority. We all know those people too, and they are even more exhausting.

Since it is my first comment, I should say-- great blog! And thanks for putting it out there. I bumped into you browsing Chesapeake sailing related blogs. I'm a fellow sailor out there. Thanks! And sorry for the long comments.
Excellent comment. I don't really disagree with anything you wrote. Your comments have inspired me to write a whole post on animal rights. Stayed tuned to the top of the page!
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