From the Mouth of a Vegetarian Nature-Loving Hippie
I don't advocate wearing an animal fur unless you went out, killed it yourself, ate it for dinner, and then made a coat out of it. That's fine. Yet i understand that there are degrees of extremity.
It occurred to me the other day that my down coat filled with delightfully warm feathers and down was probably the result of a lot of dead birds. Can i bring myself to feel badly about this? Let's apply logic.
First of all, as my darling life partner pointed out, we need to ask: am i capable of keeping warm and staying alive without having an animal coming to harm? Eating? Yes. No problem there. I've been vegetarian for about eleven years. But am i capable of keeping warm in any conditions under 30 degrees where there is a hint of a wind? Not even if i've got multiple wool and cashmere sweaters on underneath it. Put on a down coat, and suddenly, the world is a better place. To answer the question, NO. I am not capable of keeping warm without some further measure of animal product. Sorry, birds.
Second of all, and i think most poignantly, we have to think about the available choices. We've got leather, wool, fur, down, and those bizarre plant-based hollo-fill substances made from god only knows what polymers of plant fiber extracts that probably do worse things to the environment during the production process than killing a couple of birds ever would. Paper or plastic. How do we make these choices? Do i want to wear plants or animals during the winter time? Well, plants DIE during the wintertime. I think that answers that question.
I don't know if you've noticed, but winter seems to have set in. Finally. That, and every now and then, snow comes up from the ground. I like to feel like i earn the warm weather somehow, and i am finally feeling like we are going to experience four seasons this year rather than two or three.
I am thinking about writing to Al Gore to get his advice on where daN and i should retire if we want to continue to get four seasons.
Life has been so full! Last weekend, Abbi Chapman was here for about 18 hours (sleeping included) because she had an audition at the Boston Conservatory. Short though the visit was, it was so lovely to see her! Sunday, daN and i "took off" and did a lot of strolling and relaxing. Much needed. This week was an utter whirlwind, too. I taught yoga on Monday, and on Tuesday, i think i might have done some cooking. Wednesday, i took yoga, and then Patty (my college roommate and one of my very best friends) came to stay with me because she had a series of appointments and interviews at the Master's program at Simmons College. YAY! It was so great to see her, too! She left on Friday morning, and though i did still have to work in between, we still got in a lot of good catching up.
Yesterday, daN and i drove up to Portland so he could celebrate his birthday (that happened about two weeks ago) with his family. Or so that they could celebrate with him, which i think was the operative part. He's not one of those people who loves celebrating his birthday, but it was a lot of fun to see his family.
We had dinner at Margarita's in Portland -- fantastic place, though i have to say, Border Cafe in Harvard Square does give them a run for their money in the vegetarian enchilada options.
In other news, i am finally feeling like doing a research project again... perhaps writing a book. I am curious about clowns, their place in American culture, and why people have such differently strong reactions to them. Clowns seem to exist in this liminal space between reality and imagination, but they annouce it with loud make-up and pronouncedly bizarre clothing. Calling attention to that liminal space tends to make people uncomfortable since on a subconscious level, the masses seem to like black and white better than grey. Drag queens, and perhaps, to a certain extend, transgendered individuals, live in a similar grey area and pronounce it differently, and a lot of people are uncomfortable with things other than the binary. On some level, i think that it announces a "things are not always what they seem" paradigm. Well, anyway, it's just in its initial stages, but i am interested in looking at this from the standpoint of gender studies, looking at the burlesque and the roll that that had in French culture during the revolution, and the place that clowns have in American society now, and why it's so ripe to think about how clowns have become something that is SCAREY for most people.
So.... anyway, sorry about geeking out on you there. The point is that while i was in school, i definitely had interests in studying things... and now i am becoming project oriented again. For a while, the project was applying to grad school, and now i'm thinking more about an independent study. Maybe that's what Hampshire prepared me for anyway.