I had an ironic find this morning. I was combing through my on-line archives looking through some old stuff and I came upon an article I wrote for the VivaVine, a newsletter produced by the ViveVegi organization back in 2001. At the time I was living and working in New York as a bike messenger and a friend of mine hooked me up with Pamela Rice. Pamela is the chief organizer of VivaVegi as well as the heart and soul of this most sincere group whose rasons de être is the propagation and perpetuation of vegetarian philosophy. Anyway, I attended some meetings and made some deliveries of their newsletter around New York and Pamela invited me to write an article for her and so I did. Uh, I think you can hear my “New Yawk” a little bit more in the voice than I would have liked, but I like the article anyway.
Anyway the irony comes from the fact that about a week and a half ago I dropped eating meat again. Like I said I have been off and on about this and I have not been vegi while I have been here. There’re lots of reasons for this, but none of them are worth repeating. But this is a great time of year not to worry about the meat because everything is coming in at the farm. Now, we do not have any animals out there, though I will admit this has been more because of our not being up there full time than for vegi philosophy (Though I would not do pigs regardless of what my neighbor say). But what we do have is lots of new potatoes, green beans, peas, onions, garlic, lettuce and spinach and lots and lots of berries and such. And big assed zukes! So you know, along with the hot weather, you have so many fresh things straight out of the ground, dropping baloney and pig fat is not all that hard. Last night I seemed to have hit that conversion milestone where your body kind of stops worrying about its lack of animal fat intake and sort of allows itself to get into the groove of being without. And you know, it is better without. Try it some time.
So, here is that article from 2001. And I am even printing the gif of he bear on the bicycle icon which she stuck on my article. Oh, and if you would like to check out the website, just check out www.vivavegie.org
Courier Epiphany: Deliverance for Vine messenger
by Adam Goodman
I am a bike courier here in New York City. Yeah, that's right, I'm one of those guys you really hate when I am moving freely and you are stuck in rush-hour traffic. Anyway. the other day, a friend of mine asked me to do him a favor by taking over delivering The VivaVine for him. Now, my friend is one of those "vegan policemen" - you know, the kind I would consider annoying - someone who tells you about the horror of the feedlot steer's life while you are trying to eat a burger. But he's a pal, so I'm like, "What the hell, a job's a job."
Now let me say here that I have dabbled with being a vegetarian in the past. But I always had a problem with being a "real" vegetarian, because - well, I really like to eat. No, I mean I really like to eat! My nickname is "The Bear," no less. Eating vegetarian always meant to me eating nothing but salad and tofu and cardboard and rocks and stuff! I mean no more "butta on da bread," no more lox on my bagels, and well, fagetaboutit!
So I took the job, which consisted of going to the city's vegetarian restaurants and healthier food stores. And the first thing I noticed was how many of these places there are in this town. Quickly, my idea that vegan food is boring went up in smoke. Everywhere, the food looked so good! When I took my break, I stopped in at a shop that had a vegan hot bar, where I had some sweet-and-sour no-meat meatballs over eggless noodles with some beans on the side - tasted great! But more than this, I noticed that my riding suddenly became faster and stronger. And when I finished the route, I found that I was not as fatigued as usual. For supper, there was no question: I decided to go to another vegetarian place. It specialized in cuisine from India. Everything there tasted great too.
Later that night I noticed that I continued to feel better than usual - much stronger with less pain after a day of riding. So I decided to give being a full-time vegetarian a try. The improved feeling and riding continued, which in my business translates into more money! So I'm thinking, "I kind of like this."
The day soon came when I went out to eat with my vego-cop friend. Of course, the last thing anybody needs is an "I told you so," right? So, in pure spite, I ordered a burger - the real kind - and fries. But I just didn't like it anymore. By this time I had been running so vegan clean that the burger became nothing short of an act of pollution on my body - like a vandalism or something. And even worse, after this meal, I couldn't believe how slow and tired my riding became. So, what you gonna do? When the truth hits you in the face, you better pay attention.
Since then, I have been pretty regular about eating vegetarian. And the truth is, I find I am simply much happier and healthier now. I just feel better. And I don't think I have given up anything in terms of variety or flavor either. So there you have it - one man's honest opinion. And you know what? All I wanted to do was a favor for a friend. See what happens?
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