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Day 13: Blood in the Water

It all started to come together on Thursday, I received an email from Vegitarian Extrodinare/Fishing Master/Guide/Programmer Neil.  He indicated that not only should we go fishing this weekend, but we should go SPEARFISHING.  I thought this was, obviously, a brilliant idea and I found out from him what it would take to make spears.  After a trip to Salvation Army (or three) I managed to find some mostly clean seeming steak knives for a buck a pop.  Then a quick trip to home depot and target, and before I knew it I was wielding a real fisherman’s backscratcher (I just made that up but I demand it be entered into wikipedia forevermore).  Though I have a few observations while shopping that need to be brought up.

A) It’s real hard to buy surgical tubing, duct tape, and wooden dowels without looking like a real creeper.  Asking the checkout lady if she knew where I could get some sharp knives on the cheap probably didn’t win me any points either.

B) I realized that walking through target there’s this really weird scent in the air, and it hits you whenever you walk into any target.  It smells like a mixture of buttered popcorn, lost dreams and mid-life depression.  Walking through the store I saw, and I’m not exaggerating even slightly, one person who smiled.  And they smiled right after someone said “Ok I think we have everything, we can leave now.”  Everyone else was sortof shuffling their feat and unenthusiastically putting things in their basket.  Anyone I said hi to gave me a flat blank look that said “Hey jerkoff, don’t rock the boat”

C) Target has an intimate apparel section.  This totally creeps me out because Target is a budget store.  Isn’t the budget version of intimate apparel just going naked?  Whatever

My Desk

Please don't psychoanalyze me too deeply for this

I got my spearstuff!  I also have a sword which I hope to use when possible to kill things.  Practically I don’t know how much I’ll be able to do this, but it’s nautical themed so there’s a certain appeal there.  I took it from my good friend Gofberg’s moving out pile of ‘shit he doesn’t want’.  As every epic sword of destruction needs a name, I’ve named mine “Gofberg’s Gift”.  I’m creative.

With these tools in hand, when the fateful fishing day rolled around a headed over to Neils.  I had the tools of destruction with me.  I brought our spear-gear, some cash, Gofberg’s Gift, and a six pack of beer.  I mean what else do you need for spearfishing?  Well the answer is: A fuckton more.

Neil grabbed what HE was bringing, which included a dive knife, wetsuit, gloves, boots, a fishing pole, tackle box, and you know… sunscreen.  But luckily my guide helped me survive, and after a quick stop by the Rusty Hook, in San Pedro I got the gear I needed, a fishing pole, bait and a license.  I was now ready to legally murder a fish.

Fucking sweet.  We got a cheapo Styrofoam container to put our no doubt bountiful harvest in, along with ice to keep the fish cold until they could be butchered.  We also got a copy of the LA weekly to wrap the dead fish in, and some water to rinse stuff off.  Then we hit the beach, got lost, drove around more, got lost, and eventually paid for parking and walked over long rocky terrain to finally find the spot that we’d call “Genocide One”.  Pretty much this is where fish were going to come to die.  And the view here at Camilla Beach was gorgeous.

Unloading the Car

Sweet view bra'

There was one small holdup which I revealed to Neil at this point.  I didn’t know anything about fishing, even a little bit.  As far as I knew we put the hook on the rod, put the bait on the hook and threw it into the ocean.  Which as it turns out isn’t that far off, but after a quick tutorial on both how to humanely kill a fish, and how to cast one’s line and pull in a fish, we waded into the ocean and began to collect the chicken of the sea hand over fist.

Rather.  We stood on some sharp rocks in turbulent water, casting our lines into rocky seas that seemed to chew up our line.  I felt like I spent more time on my ass than seriously posing as a threat to any fish.  Our new plan was to attempt to go further out into the water to where there was a rock ridge and cast out from there, so we could pull in giant fish and not risk getting smashed on a rock.  On the way out, looking down I saw a small purple sea urchin.  “Oh look, a Sea Urchin”.

Neil looked over and replied “Yeah be careful that you don’t get stung by those, they hurt… luckily I’ve never been stung by one before”.  It was like Alice Fletcher wandering outside in the Sphere by Crichton.  She’s terrified of octupuses.  They haven’t seen any octopuses.  Then suddenly she’s surrounded by 5 million of them.  I glanced around and realized I had somehow waded into a sea urchin minefield, and not only were there jagged sharp rocks seeking to smash my bones, but those jagged sharp rocks were basically covered in small spiny creatures whose sole goal in life was to inject a paralytic toxin into my body.  After what seemed like hours of navigating the treacherous terrain I escaped.  The only bad point was when I fell and grabbed a sea urchin to try to catch my balance.  That was lame.

Pre-Paralytic Toxin

I kinda look like I know what I'm doing

So it was back to the shore, and I borrowed one of Neil’s gloves, and we assembled our trusty spears which we would use to rid the ocean of it’s water breathing menace.  Task completed we found a better launching off point and the other pair of spearfishers who were coming out of the water while we were headed in had a good laugh at our setup.  I don’t get what they thought was so funny.

Stop looking at my nipples

Stop looking at my nipples

Anyways, once in the water we saw several fish.  Some small silvery ones which were way too small to spear, some Perch, some Opalai (I have no clue how to spell that), and some Garibaldi.  The Garibaldi definitely got my attention and I spent the most time hunting them.  They are brilliant orange in color and have a small phosphorescent light on their back.  They’re

really beautiful and were a good deal easier to spot than the Opalai or the Perch.  So I spent a good hour or two floating around in the water firing off my spear at them.  I managed to nick a Perch, but didn’t really get close on any of the Garibaldi.

After several hours of time well spent at the beach we eventually decided to pack it in, but so as not to be totally defeated we collected a small spider crab off the beach and I killed him in hopes of cooking him up later, but he was REALLY too small to do so, once I pulled off the main shell and looked at the claws.

Post Paralytic Toxin

Kill #1

So we packed it in, headed back, and I fell on the rocks, erupting in blood and staggering back to the car.
Today the only blood in the water was mine, but I feel like I made a good faith effort to murder some fish.  The night didn’t end there, however, but that second story deserves a second writing.
So that’s all to report.  Well I guess one last thing.  It turns out that I found out a few days later that the brilliant and colorful Garibaldi happens to be California’s State Fish.  Which means I was essentially Bald Eagle hunting for two hours on Sunday.  I feel a lot better about NOT catching any of the fish now.  Any Sunday you get through without committing a misdemeanor is a good day in my book.


Day 8: Vegivore-urism, and unwanted sexual advances

I always thought it was weird that you hard carnivores, and vegetarians don’t have any sort of “vore” attached to them.  I guess part of that is because most vegetarians are  actually omnivores.  I’ve noticed that several people who are vegetarians actually eat several different kinds of meat.  Usually just fish, and sometimes fish and poultry.

This, gentle reader, is totally bullshit.  Because the definition of the word “Vegetarian” is someone who just eats plants.  Not plants and ugly looking living things.  That’s like being heterosexual because you only have sex with women usually, but then also sometimes with men.  We have different words for these confused souls.  Most vegetarian’s I know then are officially “omni-curious”.  You’re going through a phase and just dabbling in what it’s like to be with meat.  Which is making me currently vegi-curious.  Furthermore since everything “Vegi” is spelled with an I, it’s making my ability to spell vegetarian suck even harder than my normal ability to spell, so for the remainder of this blog I’m just going to refer to myself as a vegivore.  We have 3 simple defenitions, which for the purposes of this blog will be used as follows:

Vegivore: What I currently am.  One who only eats plants, and not meat.
Carnivore: One who consumes the tender flesh of dead things
Omnivore: One who goes both ways

I have also settled the great egg debate.  I’m not going to eat eggs by themselves until I’m able to murder the thing that gives birth to these tasty eggbortions, but given that they’re in EVERYTHING we consume on a regular basis, I’m not going to loose too much sleep over trying to not eat anything with eggs in it.  I also am going to eat Dairy because the experiment is mostly a moral one, and giving a cow a handjob doesn’t seem all that morally unethical (well, just to get it’s milk anyways).

There may be people who point out that given that I’m consuming Dairy and Eggs I’m not technically a vegivore, and should actually be classified as an omnivore.  To those people I would counter with the following argument:

“Fuck you”

Lastly, it had never occurred to me the origins of the sexually deviant kink known as “vore”, which in some ways shows how retarded I can be, and in other ways really makes me wonder how I even know what Vore is in the first place.  This fits into the category of things that some people find sexy that I just don’t understand.  Do yourself a favor and don’t spend too long thinking about it, and definitaly don’t google image search for it.

I still haven’t consumed the flesh of any animals, but given that today was “Sushi Day” at work, I’ve felt my first real meat cravings since being clean and that was somewhat surprising to me considering how good the food looked and smelled at the BBQ I was at this weekend.

Lastly, I will give you a quick review of vegi-burritos I’ve had in the greater Greater Los Angeles area. (which is like the regular Greater Los Angeles, only even bigger)

1) Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack (Camarillo, CA) – Potato Burrito – While this place has some of the most amazing chicken and steak tacos I’ve had in my life, their vegi burrito falls somewhat flat.  It clocks in at 5 pounds and is really filling, but there’s nothing particularly amazing about the flavor and dousing it in amazingly good quemada brought it up to the ‘good’ level from ‘decidedly mediocre’.

2) Sharky’s Tofu Burrito (Agoura Hills, CA)- This is one of the better Vegi-Burritos I’ve had, and something about the way they cook the tofu made me actually pull a piece out (of my mouth) to be sure it was tofu and not chicken because it’s REALLY flavorfully spiced.  This was a very happy explosion of veginess in my mouth

3) Burrito King (Echo Park, CA) – Upon attending the Medicated Machine’s rap battle in Echo Park at an otherwise mediocre comedy show, I munched the hell out of one of these.  I then spent the next hour while I was supposed to be laughing at comedy, ruminating on how good that burrito was.  It was hot and amazing and I tasted it for hours aftwerwards.

And on the scale of mediocre vegitarian food…

Who at Subway decided Vegitarians needed a punch in the junk?  I went into subway to get a vegi sub and in my brain that sounded amazing since Subway is already fairly healthy.  Upon entering I realized that the vegi sub came with all the things you get on a regular sub, just with no meat.  And it costs the same as half of the other subs they have.  I got one, ate it, and then vowed to one day shake my fist at them if I ever see them again.

So far being a vegivore is good, but I’ve been huming this song in my head all day today:

“Little fish, swimming in the sea… you’re going to taste so good to me”

I think I’m ready for a tasty fishsnack.

My first target? Chordata Osteichthyes.  Make peace with your god cause I’m coming to eat you.

Day 4: Meatpushers

I’ve noticed that there’s meat hiding in more things than you’ld originally think.   While having dinner with my mom some rather tasty looking soup arrived free of charge from the guy behind the counter at Daphnes who clearly reads my blog and was trying to trick me into eating chicken.  I still haven’t butchered any fowl so they’re still off the list of acceptable food.  And furthermore unless “superpooping” is a super power, I still don’t have any new magical abilities that are developing.  Which is lame.

I’ve discovered strange and new foods, and today I learned that I can eat just as unhealthy having vegitarian food as regular as I had a vegi burger which tasted like it was maybe a hard caked salt paddy (which was delicious) and some fries.  I guess I need to be sure not to eat mayonaise because it’s A) Disgusting and B) Made of eggs.

Eggs seem to be everywhere.  The day before today (we call that yesterday here on my planet), I sat down at breakfast and couldn’t resist and I had a bagel loaded up with eggs.  I had spent all day previously to people trying to push eggs on me with arguments like “Eggs aren’t fertilized they aren’t even people” and “It’s just like eating a chicken period” (way to be convincing) and “As long as it’s before the third trimester they’re still delicious!”.  I think you can overly moralize everything.  At the end of the day you can eat organic free range chicken eggs from hand massaged chickens who are allowed to run merrily around and you’re still really eating the same thing as the eggs from a chicken who you beat on a regular basis because your father did the same thing to you.

I know that’s probably a really sophomoric way of looking at morality, but I’m not trying to really empathize with the vegitarians here.  I want to be wrong and enjoy eating meat again one day.  This doubly became the case when I talked to vegitarian friend Neil and he explained to me that not only do I just stop eating meat, but apparently I have to do some bullshit like actually eating meat replacements too.  He recommended vegiburgers, soy hotdogs, and injecting colesterol directly into my carotid artery.  I really think if you’re enjoying the sensation of eating tasty meat products without consuming the flesh itself, you’re in some weird sort of half-transitionary stage.  That’s like wanting to molest children but instead just writing Hairy Potter Fan Fiction.  It’s not really BAD but it’s not really good either.

Then there’s the meat pushers.  People who offer you meat like it’s not a moral dilema.  I never realized before that I was a meat pusher.  But what a terrible fate when you think about it.  Jon came over and offered me some beef jerkey.  Way to really dominate something.  We killed you and were going to eat you, but we didn’t really want to eat you right this minute, so we’re just going to dry your ass out (literally) and save you for a rainy day.

God I wanted that beef jerky so badly.

I’ve also discovered the “miracle” of wheatgrass which tastes sortof like someone was kicking your mouth in the balls.  And then it also burns.  In theory doing this to myself is actually good for me.  Unfortunately it’s not like doing a shot of burbon that you feel burning going down and are suddenly drunk.  It’s not like I do a shot of wheatgrass and then can suddenly break a yak’s neck with my bare hands.  I feel like this is like Reiki.  Someone holds their hands over you and tells you you’re going to get better.  Hell maybe it’s working.. but this is more like Reiki where they make you better by raking you in the nuts over and over again to cure the pain in your shoulders.

I could be a millionaire.  So I need some advice on whether or not I should consume eggs, or if I should wait until after I murder a chicken to do so.  Also, is it socially acceptable to be a fatass vegitarian?  I feel like if you’re a vegitarian you’re also obligated to do yoga and jog or some shit.  This sucks I want a burger.  I need to call up my meatpusher and get a fix.  Sigh.

Vegetarian Day One

I have now gone for 24 hours without consuming the flesh of an animal.  This isn’t a particularly amazing feat as, hell, I’ve gone for several days without eating anything but snickers bars, and those aren’t even made from anything terrestrial.  For my meals today I had lots of salad, fruit, veggies and some french toast.  Which was already my bad.  I also had some muffins.  I figure until my “hard start” date of June 1st, I’m just going to do my best to not eat things with meat, but something with eggs like muffins and french toast I’ll try to avoid but c’mon, I dont know if I can quit cold turkey.

Still I did well, I was tempted often by the scrumptious smell of cooking meat and was somehow able to avoid it’s siren call.  After a long day of meat avoidance I came home to see if I had developed any kind of animal-empathic superpowers and low and behold, I found some strange dominance over the animal kingdom previously unknown to me.  In the interest of no one believing a damn thing I say I took pictures.  Now I can’t shoot out tendrils of quickly growing vines like Poison Ivy or anything awesome like that, but Aquaman’s super power is he can talk to whales.  If that counts, mine totally counts too.

Defeated with my mind

Defeated with my mind

Of course some of you are probably saying… that’s fantastic, you succeeded in making a dog lie down.  Well to you naysayers I offer the following FURTHER proof of my animal mastery!

This fish is bent to my will

This fish is bent to my will

Ok, so the superpowers I’ve gained from not eating meat kinda suck, but I’m hoping that as they continue to develop they won’t degenerate into just listening to Phish and wearing Patchouli oil wherever I go, but actually manifest themselves into something that will help me rob banks or otherwise make up for the lack of tasty steak in my life.

On the topic of which, I wanted to address a few points raised by concerned readers.  (most of whom commented on Facebook rather than here, also horribly paraphrased

Conrad: You should kill an animal, then eat it, then try to kill it again later to see if you’ve become desensitized to the act.  You should also let me know when you’re planning on eating Panda meat

I have noticed that generally we don’t consume other predators.  Coyote, Panda, Tiger, and Sexual all seem to avoid being on the list of things to devour, and I wonder if part of the reason here is to avoid accidentally eating yourself.  I’m sure there’s more to it than that and this merits further exploration, though along those lines I doubt I could ever kill a Panda bear, but I would love to eat Panda meat just because it’s got to be the most rare thing you could consume on earth.  Further, I like the idea of trying to kill something again down the road after doing it the first time.  I’d be interested to see if I was desensitized, oversensitized or unchanged to the act.  Though guessing by the non-challance with which slaughterhouses opperate I can guess the end result.

Peter: (Fuck Paraphrasing this self-confessed Vegetarian)I support this, but unless you’re going to go the flaccid route, I think you need to take this _all_ the way up the food chain. Because deciding whether it’s OK for you to eat something by assessing how you feel while killing it, while laudable, requires a prior ethical assignation of your subject into the “OK to try and kill to see if killing it Read Moreis OK” category. More clearly stated: why is it OK for you to kill a chicken to see how you feel about killing chickens, but not OK for you to kill a person to see how you feel about killing people?
I don’t know what the flaccid route is, but it definatly sounds like something I would like to avoid.  I have enough problems with that as it is (routes).   I agree that there is some ethical supposition going on here, but I’m approaching this from the bottom up, rather than the top down.  My goal isn’t to simply butcher everything in the animal kingdom, whether or not I’ve eaten it before, simply for the sake of deciding that which can be butchered shall be eaten.  But rather a re-examination of my current diet, using my ability to go through with the act of ending it’s life as a gauge for continuing to eat it.  It is a totally randomly assigned ethical code I’m enacting here, and I have previously debated whether or not, if presented with the most deadliest of game (dudes), I would in fact be able to eat the meat of that which I had caught.  On one hand, I would be curious to see what person tastes like.  On the other, I’m fairly horrified.  Because what if you love the taste of person?  And I -do- love the taste of steak.  So now we need to see if I already bear a forbidden hunger within myself.

Bill: “I know some guys who can help you kill things.  Also, if you kill something you’re responsible for it’s family”

Beyond writing some loving Haiku about whatever I eat, I don’t think I’m going to be taking care of it’s family.  Just from a strictly realistic perspective.  I’ll either be hunting for things in their natural habitat (in which case I dont think I could blast bambi infront of his mom), or purchasing something live to slaughter for consumption.  In either case, usually the option of tenderly hugging it’s family afterwards and consoling them on their loss is likely going to be a non-issue.  And I’ll for sure hit you up for assistance on your meatfriends when I get closer to needing their aid.

That said I advance to day 2 with considerable trepadation.  Already my mom has invited me to dinner and already I was dreaming of the delicious lamb schwarma I’d be consuming at Daphne’s.  At least the medeteranians have a fair share of non-meat products to consume.

Superpowers Developed: Mild Animal Empathic Control
Consumable Flesh: None
Meat Craveosity: Medium

The Journey Begins

I’m going to take this opportunity to explain the point of this blog, and the mission I’m going to undertake here.  It’s mostly for a bit of personal vindication but I figured there might be people out there interested in my ‘journey’ that I plan on undertaking here.

The plan itself is fairly simple.  Starting today, Monday May 25th at 12:55AM.  I’m a vegetarian.

While to many people this alone might not seem like that much of an undertaking, let me first explain, and then minorly horrify you.  I’ve spent all my life being a hearty red meat eater.  At 6’7″ and close to 300 pounds, playing sports all my life, I’ve eaten every form of deep friend, burrito wrapped, butter covered, bacon flavored delicious piece of animal flesh I could wrap my grease stained lips around.  And to be honest, outside of the chest pains, heavy breathing and high blood pressure I’ve loved every minute of it.  I feel as though I embody a “red meat eating american” in every sense of the word, and that’s why this journey is going to be particularly hard for me.  Because even though as of today I’m a vegetarian.  I really don’t want to be.

My “theory” which I’m planning to put to the test here, is a fairly simple one.  Most people don’t care what they eat because by the time it gets to them it appears in a processed, hardly identifiable form.  Ground beef doesn’t look even vaguely like a cow, and a giant turkey leg, while amazing tasting, doesn’t require any amount of moral questioning before you dig in.  So before I eat another bite of meat, I’ve decided to earn my stripes and eat my way up through the food chain.  I’m going to put my personal sense of ethics and morals to the test by trying to kill everything in my path and devour it.

Maybe I should explain that a little more.

I’m not eating any more animal until I’ve killed that kind of animal, and eaten the animal that I’ve killed.  While that sounds somewhat brutal I want to be sure that before I actually continue eating meat, I’m ok with swinging the axe/pulling the trigger/choking the chicken and watching the life go out of the creature’s eyes before lighting it on fire and consuming it.  If I can, I’ll add it back onto the list of food I can eat, and if I can’t… it stays off the list until I can.  I have some ideas on how far I’ll be able to go but who knows, maybe I’ll surprise myself.

I was debating even taking fruits and vegetables off the list too, until I grew them myself, but this isn’t really about the hunt/ability to produce food, it’s about having the moral flexability to extinguish life and enjoy it’s bounty.  So bring on the lettuce while I figure out how to go fishing.

As a note, my OFFICIAL start date is June 1st.  I’m going to do my best to avoid animal products but not be too much of a stickler about finding out if something has an egg in it.  After June 1th though, I’m going to stick to my guns as hard as I possibly can.

Wish me luck!  I’m going to need it.  Photos and more shenanigans to follow.

Current Devourable Animals: None