One – The Beginning.
I had a happy childhood. My mum and dad grew up on farms in fairly remote areas of Victoria. Our family enjoyed going camping, hunting and fishing. It was normal to be apart of the killing, skinning and gutting of animals before preparing them to eat. We had minimal junk food and I ate what I was given, which was usually meat and vegetables. We had cereal for breakfasts and homemade sandwiches for lunches. If we ever whinged that we were hungry we were told to take our pick from the fruit bowl.
Two – The Pharmacy.
I’m a pasta girl from way back. One of my favourite breakfast meals growing up was left over spaghetti bolognaise on toast. Really anything on toast is pretty good, but pasta on toast, thats some next level shit.
I love napolitano, creamy fettuccini, spicy linguini, dear god macaroni and of course, lasagne. Lasagne is like the Mufasa of all the pasta dishes, ruling over the Pridelands of pasta.
Lasagne makes you feel happy, full and always wanting more.
The last story was a touch dark and I promised something happier! Please don’t think less of me………
I remember the beginning. Make-up always on, hair perfectly done, flaps always waxed, sexy undies everyday and all outfits planned to perfection.
I have no vegan friends in real life. Sad but true. The first real life vegan I met was ironically at Outback Steakhouse when the waiter serving us turned out to be vegan. I was taken by surprise and felt so overwhelmed, I had to pinch my leg in such a painful way to stop myself from crying. It was just so great to meet another vegan person face to face, rather than through the screen of my phone.
I find myself asking random people if they’re vegan. The lady at the health food shop, the guy that looks a little hippie, all the staff at the vegan cafe’s. You’d actually be surprised at the amount of people who work in the vegan food business, that aren’t actually vegan. It’s like daggers to my heart every time. No one I’ve asked has actually turned out to be vegan as yet. I have this fantasy that one day a stranger comes up to me and say’s “Hi I’m a vegan too, let’s talk about all the things!” Or my ultimate fantasy, my family calls up and say’s “Sheila, we watched the documentary’s, we understand, we are now vegan”. Ahhhh such sweet daydreams. That’s just it I guess, having someone to relate to that really understands all the things you think, feel and know.
From a young age I have always been my own best friend. I love my partner, family and group of good girlfriends, but I love hanging out by myself. Some of my best memories are travelling by myself and being alone with my thoughts. My grade 5 school teacher had a ‘chat’ to mum once. He was concerned about me, “She has a group of great girlfriends, but I see her wandering alone a lot of the time at recess”. When I was asked about it, I didn’t know what to say except; “I just like being alone sometimes”. Still to this day, if I don’t get enough alone time, I feel, I just, ….. I don’t feel myself. I don’t feel sad or isolated like some people do, rather I feel content with the thoughts and feelings I experience. It’s just me, hanging out with me having a good old time.
I grew up in a small town called Ballarat. Having a younger and older brother, I was a bit of a tomboy and loved to hunt and fish. Some of my earliest memories are hanging onto the back of a blue Toyota ute, whistling up foxes and chasing down rabbits. My brothers, cousins and I would eagerly run to fetch the rabbits once they had been shot. If the shot didn’t kill the rabbits, we would pick them up wounded, kicking and squealing and bring them back to the ute. Dad would wring their necks by holding onto their hind legs with one hand and stretching their necks with the other over his hip. Done correctly, the rabbit would stop squealing instantly and fall limp, eyes bulging and head flopping loosely. On really cold nights I would pile the dead rabbits in my lap to keep me warm.
I used to adore cream. Adore it. One of my favourite ultimate treats was to have a bowl of coco pops, drizzled with a little bit of cows milk and then topped off with half a tub of cream. The crunchy texture mixed with the rich creaminess would send my eyes rolling into the back of my head. Fruit loops couldn’t taste better unless they were topped off with a big slather of cream. Strawberries and cream, chocolate pudding and cream and – oh my lord, apple pie was nothing if it wasn’t drowning in cream.
I had such intense cravings for this stuff when I was first going vegan, that you would think it was literally sent from the gods above.
Except it isn’t sent from the gods above.
It comes from the tit of a cow, who’s milk is intended to feed her offspring and nobody else.
My partner has a big python named Larry and no, we don’t have cute names for each others goods and chattels. Well, actually, we do. But I’m not telling you what they are.
Larry the Darwin Carpet Python is a jolly old boy, he’s three meters long, super placid, inquisitive and loves a cuddle.
When Larry started getting too big for his rock, my partner Daniel and I found ourselves at Pet Barn one afternoon, looking for a new home for Larry. As I wandered around, I came across a cat in cage. In fact there were two cats, in the bottom cage was a stunning black male with yellowish eyes. He sat with his tail neatly wrapped around his legs and peered out into the store with that classic ‘you must worship me’ cat look. Just below eye level in the top cage, is a tortoise shell female with huge eyes and a big fat belly. She sit’s crouched at the back of her cage, ready to pounce. She doesn’t seem interested in the outside world and has a real agitated look about her .
I never liked cats. We had one growing up, a ginger boy named Tang. He was an outside cat, no collar, he would roam around all day hunting and playing. Then at night he would come inside for a bit of warmth and food. I still remember dad putting Tang’s whole upper body in a gumboot, while he held his legs up and cut off his nutsack. That’s just how old school country people roll I guess. There was no way we would have ever taken an animal, pet or not, to the vet. “You know what’s cheaper than a vet? A Bullet.” dad would say.
Like a modern day romance, I found cashew cream on the internet, but it was a slow start. We had our first date at the only place opened in town, The Food Processor. It didn’t turn out well. I was expecting Cashew Cream to be smooth and beautiful like his pictures. Turns out Cash was all talk, he ended up being gritty and had a bland personality. I vowed to never trust the internet again.
I keep a shovel in my bathroom to chuck my makeup on, it’s thick and I don’t mess about. No point in being half arsed with something. Why is ‘tinted moisturiser’ even a thing? We’re not here to fuck spiders, lets cover up the lines, blemishes and uneven skin tone and get it done properly. Lot’s of people tell me; ‘Wow, makeup really suits you’! Thanks you little passive aggressive douches.
But yes, it is true. I once came home to see my family without makeup on and the whole night all I got was, ‘Are you sure you’re alright love? You don’t look well’.
My hairs all curled and drowned in Vegan hairspray. Push up bra is in full swing, you know its working when it actually hurts and your tits touch your chin when you look down. When did my Boob’s actually become this flexible? God I hate getting older.
Like a lot of Aussies, I tend not to put my seatbelt on until I’m halfway down the road. It’s just a thing, a ritual if you will, not to put it on straight away. I get to the end of the road with Ruby putting along, I haven’t warmed her up enough so I’ll have to take it easy.
I’m about to turn left when a feeling of unease washes over me. Like the moment before a tiger strikes, when the antelope looks up and sniffs the air. The air doesn’t seem quite right this morning. As I’m analysing this, the suburban tiger presents himself, in the form of a shiny red cop car. As I watch him crawling along the little street in front of me, I see him looking directly where my seat belt should be. Poor bugger, he was looking for a seatbelt and all he got was an eyeful of unnatural pushed up tit meat.
When I first went vegan I was very uneducated, couple that with my distain for technology and you’ve got yourself a shitty vegan mess. Pre vegan I had an emotional night eating what I thought was going to be my last ever spoon of peanut butter… (I assumed it had actual butter in it). I sat naked on the couch (clothing comes off as soon as I get home) eating the dregs of the jar sobbing ‘it’s for the animals’. When I found out I could still eat it as a vegan, I felt like a dickhead, but I was so overwhelmed “It’s just peanuts!” I shouted to my partner Daniel. This gave me a spark of life…I learnt quickly to read labels and I started googling everything.
Would you bloody believe it, there’s literally a vegan version of EVERYTHING!? This was the greatest fucking news ever, here I was, thinking I’m only gunna be eating fruit and vegies, turns out I just walked into a whole new food relm.