Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I can't believe I have to do laundry on my birthday.

Today is my forty-first birthday. I'm fine with my age -- though forty was tough for many reasons -- and I'm fine with where I am in my life right now. Like so many people, though, I find that my heart really isn't into the day so much. There are such high expectations for one's one-day-per-year, that I find myself feeling a little like I should be doing something more, to really live it up and fulfill those hard-to-escape ideals. (And to give you a giggle, below is a great illustration of that by Jim Gaffigan. I sent this video last night to my amazing big brother Mark, who ALSO has a birthday today! Fun, no?)

I can't believe I have to do laundry on my birthday.

So I thought about what I would want if I could have anything or do anything for my big momentous day. And all that I could come up with was this: I would like every single person to watch the much-talked-about movie Earthlings. And then watch Forks over Knives.

Which is a tall order. There are a lot of people in the world.

So I guess for now I'd settle for the people I know. You have to start somewhere, right?

Last summer, a well-known person in the world of animal rights lost her dear vegan friend during a routine surgery. Many of his friends honored him by going vegan for a month. It was an amazing tribute to his memory and to the animals whose welfare he cared so much about. And yet I wonder why we don't pay tribute to each other while we're still alive? I've been asking myself this a lot lately. I wonder if there are things I could do or say now to the people I love, rather than waiting for their death to lament unsaid words or actions. I find myself lacking on this front and have resolved to change it.

Meanwhile, I'm just going to gently blow my birthday wish out into the air right now .... There it goes! Kind of a blueish color with bits of glittery stuff in it, because who can resist glitter? (I know you think you're all grown up, but we were all in second grade once.) And now it's growing and spreading in a friendly and hopeful way. And each person that is touched by it gets a sort of inexplicable happy feeling surge in their toes and a desire to watch one or both of those movies. And who knows what might happen then?

Stranger things have happened.

Anyway, that's the best wish I can imagine for now. 

So thanks for reading. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go fold laundry.

Trailer (no gore) for Earthlings

Trailer for Forks over Knives


  1. A very happy birthday to you! I hope that you had a lovely day, despite the laundry. On the plus side, your clothing options for what to wear on the 2nd day of your 41st year will be wide open! That's a plus!

    I agree that it was a lovely sentiment when so many people stepped forward to go vegan for a month in honor of their friend. Like you, I often have those thoughts when I'm at funerals of how much it would have meant to the departed if they'd heard those words or deeds while they were alive. How much would it have meant that the people who they love most would fly in to say goodbye? It's a good reminder to all of us to not leave things left unsaid and to honor those who we hold dear while they are alive to appreciate it. After all, it's never the kindnesses that we give another person that we regret.

    1. Yes, Cadry, I agree with you on the clothes. :) And thank you for the birthday wishes!

      Amen, sister, on the other stuff.


  2. Happy birthday to you, Katrina. I lost my dear cat Rufus today, and just 2 weeks ago, my other cat Pavita (Rufus's long time companion). They passed away like old couples often do; one shortly after the other. These events, in addition to your piece above, have brought to the forefront the importance of appreciating every day we have with our family members, friends, and beloved animals, and letting them know how much they mean to us. In my busy day-to-day life, I definitely could have found more moments to give them pats and kisses and hugs, and I wish that I had. Thank you for doing this blog, and for being the wonderful person that you are! Happy birthday!

    1. Oh Sara Anne! Ryan told me about Pavita and I was so upset. And now Rufus?? They were such sweet sweet kitties ... Oh my heart is so heavy for you both right now. I think we all feel (especially when our beloved pets have left us) that we could have done more, but you were so wonderful to your Pavita and Rufus. You're always doing things for others, including your furry babies. I can't imagine a more giving person. Pavita and Rufus were two of the luckiest cats on the planet. I am more sorry than I can put into words. I think one of the hardest things about losing an animal companion (never mind two) is the loud silence and absence of them at every ordinary moment. I wish I could give a big hug right now and make you some tea.

  3. Hey Katrina, Beth D. here. So, I thought it might make your birthday a little happier to know that Chris and I are both going to try going pescetarian, and that while the decision is something we've been mulling over for some time, your blog helped push us in that direction. We watched Forks over Knives a while back (before you made your birthday wish) and it was a real eye-opener to see just how profound an impact animal products have on one's health. We are both animal lovers and definitely fell in the category of people who don't want to know how our food got to out plates. But once you know it you can't ever un-know it. Food Inc. was another shock to the sensibilities, to hear how we as a nation manufacture food rather than grow it. It was sad to hear the ridiculous, inhumane regulations that our own government puts on farmers, and how they must comply or lose their farms. After a while it does start to feel a little ridiculous to continue practicing something that you know hurts yourself and innocent creatures who led their short lives in misery before slaughter.

    As I type this I'm enjoying a lunch of black bean gumbo and spinach salad with tofu. I don't feel the least bit deprived, and truth be told it's the same sort of lunch I've been eating for years already.

    I guess you'll have to do some posts about the horrors of eating seafood because I can't imagine living without it at this point. Kurt Cobain said it best, "It's ok to eat fish because they don't have any feelings." Prove him wrong. ;)

    Thanks for being an inspiration and keep up the good work!


    1. Wow, Beth! I had no clue you were going in that direction! That's amazing! (And yes, you made my day!)

      It's interesting -- the pescatarian route is one traveled by many, including Ryan. Giving up all meat was really hard for him, so he decided to stick with seafood and it made his transition a happy one. What I found fascinating, was that he seemed to eat less and less of it as time went by. And I'm wracking my brain to recall the last time he ordered fish. I really can't remember.

      Anywho--I will eventually do a post on fish. I've sort of avoided it because I know it's the last boundary for a lot of people and I don't want to squelch any beautiful efforts people have made. But it is a huge issue both ethically and environmentally. So one of these days ... :)

      Thanks for commenting! I had no idea you were reading! (The blog, I mean. I'd long assumed you knew how to read. You're a bright one, you.)

  4. Yes sometimes me read good. ;)

    It seems I'm starting to answer my own questions about seafood here...here's an excerpt from Dr. Foster's website:

    Meat is literally teeming with parasite larva. The same goes for fish. According to ABC’s Prime Time Live (2/3/94) two thirds of all fresh fish tested, bought at various markets, was technically rotten. It had toxic levels of bacteria and parasites, even though it looked, smelled and tasted normal. Twenty-five percent had toxic levels of mercury. Another two thirds tested positive for toxic levels of PCB’S. In a 1992 report done by the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, it was discovered that women with breast cancer had over double the concentrations of PCB’s in their bodies. They warned against the intake of fish and dairy products, and blamed fish as a main culprit in breast cancer.


    1. Wow. I knew about the mercury, but not the other stuff. Gross!