Unintentional Hipster

I just like wearing women's jeans, not eating animal products and writing shit nobody cares about. It was an accident, I swear

Archive for the tag “vegetarian”

Veganism vs. Health vs. Travel Expenses: A Losing Battle?

So I love animals.

Through and through. If there’s one thing you know about me that isn’t I like music and I’m Jewish, I absolutely love the bleeding hell out of animals. All of them-even the gigantic spiders in my backyard that terrify me. So much so that I recently converted from being a vegetarian to a vegan. And I’m not going to lie to you, the journey hasn’t been easy on my body. Or exactly my wallet either. And now, in the coming month, as I prepare myself for a few months abroad through Europe-I have to try and decide what my priorities are.

Do my priorities lie within my life choices?
Now, I’ve had some very long discussions with a lot of people over time about what ethics one should live their life by…for the sake of me avoiding offending anybody and time we’re going to leave out religion (things that are specific to religion, not shared by religion and other) and talk about the other stuff. I’m a big fan of Mother Earth in its entirety. I’m also a big fan of animal rights and human rights, especially those of children. And maybe I’m just too accommodated to the life style but I find it completely impossible to live strictly to my love of these three parts of our world. My friend and I discussed this a while ago, there’s a little link to a blog where she talks about it here (these thoughts on ethical labor in here are pretty much exactly the same as mine so I won’t repeat them):

So let’s take me in my current situation: I’m vegan. Because my body isn’t particularly well-suited to this lifestyle, there are extra expenses associated with supplements and also, sometimes but not always, in finding an appropriately filling and healthy meal whilst out. If I was still living back in Sydney with my parents, that would be fine and dandy. I could definitely make enough money to support such a life style choice.

Do my priorities lie in my health?
If you aren’t already aware, by the by, one of the staples of most vegan diets are soy products, like tofu and soy milk. However, in high enough doses, soy can produce such a dramatic amount of estrogen that it makes men become irrationally moody, develop breasts and sometimes even become infertile. But soy isn’t the only viable substitute right?

That’s true, there are plenty of other sources of vegetable protein out there. But, again, my body is about as ectomorphic as it gets-I can put on or lose seven kilos in a week without too much difficulty-and that is in the 50-60kg weight class. So more money has to be spent to be sure I’m eating the proper foods and more than enough of them.

Or do my priorities lie in my experience?
And again, this is more than achievable in a homely setting. But here’s where the concern sinks in:
I want to spend the next three months abroad. I want to keep to a very, very strict budget in terms of my food. And I want to be as healthy as possible so as to be able to enjoy my trip as much as possible.

No matter whichever way I look at it, without turning my life into a heinously wild inconvenience in a country I don’t speak the language in, I can pick two of each of these three choices:
Low Travel Expenses.

Where do my priorities lie?
The simplest thing to do is obviously to not be vegan-this would result in optimal health and the ability to save a great deal on my food budget, since I could practically live off of tinned fish, bread and canned vegetables.

But that’s not the simplest thing. I love animals. I love them so much bro, like, you don’t even know! I could travel for a shorter period of time and eat healthy vegan styles! But then I lose out on so much experience. Not only of the food of the nations but also, I won’t be able to travel as far. I’d have to cut a few weeks out of my journey based upon budget.

And there will be very well educated vegans who will tell me that this isn’t the case. And for the majority of people-that’s true. But I’ve been to see a doctor. My body can’t support the lifestyle without having full access to a proper kitchen or finances for proper meals.

The obvious choice seems to be, “Oh, just eat less of the animal products, only eat them when you need to.” I know that I tell this to people who are trying to gradually become vegetarian or vegan all the time. And that’s wonderful that people try to do that-every little bit counts. But for me, I’d personally feel wrong half-assing it. It’s either all or nothing for me and it’s always been that way with everything I do. School, friends, love, ethics and diet-if I go for something I’m either all in or all out.

I think I have to take the logical choice…but I don’t know. Last Monday night, I sat on the steps outside my hostel, at 7am in the morning with my best friend and a pack of cigarettes after what can only be described as a very, very long night out and she held my hand while I cried over how I don’t want to stop being vegan.

First world problems huh?

To all my new followers (all what is so far today forty of you and hopefully more to come soon!), enjoy yourself! Leave as much love as you see fit! Or hate…I’d kind of rather not get the hatred but I’ll deal 🙂

Toby Fredkin


An Ectomorphic Vegan-My Little Backstory


So as most of you know, I am(was?) vegan. Although admittedly not for very long, it’s sorta wrecked me about a little bit. This blog is entirely about my history being vegetarian/vegan. You could  potentially find it very boring, in which case wait for the next blog. I’ll find puppies or something

Here’s a liiittle bit of backstory on me and being vegetarian/vegan. When I was younger, <16 years old, there was quite literally no food that would phase me. I had eaten meat off of most animals you can legally get on the market in Australia, adult or otherwise. I’d also eaten weird parts of animals, or at the very least, eaten a few weird parts of animals and just been convinced by my Russian grandparents that I was eating weirder parts of animals than I was…I remember a dish called demunkee, which they told me was monkey brains. In hindsight, I know it was just really ugly eggplant casserole but it excited me to eat that part of a cool animal.

Then I think it was the morning of or the morning after my 16th birthday I came downstairs to my parents and told them I wanted to be pescetarian (that is, eating no meat but still eating fish/shellfish), which, in hindsight, considering that I practically substituted every meat meal for a fish meal, I wasn’t helping at all :p I don’t really remember but my parents said that I said, and I quote, “I feel the animals pain, I feel their suffering when I eat them.” So this whole process lasted about a year and I got outrageously skinny during this time. It was during my newfound ethical diet that I began smoking and also drinking. And drinking far more than a 16 year old should legally be able to do, but not anywhere near as much as some do.

The point is I began an unhealthy lifestyle and combined with suddenly cutting out eating meat 7 times a week, I became very, very thin and my body went absolutely insane over it. Everywhere I’d go I’d be craving, craving, craving meat. Didn’t matter what meat or dish, what time of day, I was craving. Eventually, at somebody’s birthday shortly after I turned 17, I was really beginning to lose it. I’d made it a year yet my body was still pissed off over the whole ordeal. Anyways, we were at yum cha and my family was ordering a plethora of the most amazingly scented dishes, as far as I was concerned, on the entire planet, and somebody gingerly says, “Toby, have a pork bun.” I insist no, they insist yes, I’m weak, I lose, I eat the pork bun then go home and eat an entire meatlovers pizza. Rome wasn’t built in a day but I certainly knocked it down that quickly.

After that my diet was literally of no concern to me whatsoever for the next 3 years. Ethical food, unethical food, animal, plant, it really didn’t matter to me. Then the start of this year I went on a Netzer camp, which is strictly vegetarian (but with plenty of vegans about the place too). I’d been hanging around with a lot of leaders(being one myself) and loads of them were vegetarian and I remembered how I used to be sorta vegetarian and missed it. I did, I missed doing good for the world every day (even though too much fish..yeah whatever we’ll ignore that for now I didn’t know at the time) just by eating better. So I wanted to see how difficult being veg was on camp…and it wasn’t. 10 days passed and nothing bad happened, got home and another few days passed without eating at home(i.e. meat) and nothing bad happened. So I told my parents that I wanted to go vegetarian again. Dad: “Bullshit you are, not again. Not while you’re living here!” He got over it in about a day or two but it was a good giggle at the time.

So, 5 months down the track from this and I move to London. I’d always wanted to be as vegan friendly as possible but had no idea how to live without certain animal products, so I started cutting things out slowly..drinking soy milk instead of normal milk in my drinks, soy butter etc. The idea was to cut out one product every two weeks. Well, about 3 weeks into being here, I started doing a heavy amount more research on veganism and found myself one morning to be completely disgusted with the commoditisation of the animal industry, and how in most instances by buying eggs or milk you were in direct support of the meat industry and in almost every instance of abuse towards animals. I felt sick, I wanted to cry. I’m fairly sure I did actually. I went downstairs, looked my only one day old jar of nutella square in the eyes and said, “I’m sorry my friend.” That was it, vegan!

So that was roughly a month ago, when I weighed roughly 56kg. Which is quite a small amount but not devestatingly low, it could be worse. Thing was, it got worse. So I have this little issue of when I’m depressed or under stress I can’t eat. I physically can’t, my body just rejects everything. So, living in a new city literally halfway around the world, I was homesick for my friends and family, lovesick for a crush and I’m fairly sure physically sick from not taking supplements and assuming my B12 etc. would be fine. I lost a huge deal of energy and I now weigh just under 51kg. My BMI is 2 and a half points underneath what is considered healthy.

And so unfortunately ends my first attempt at veganism. The only products I’m having animal related are; I’m drinking milk, eating pastured/more ethically sourced free range eggs and whey protein (for gym to help gain weight.) And that’s only at home, whilst I’m out strictly vegan. I can’t do anything to help save the earth and animals I love so much if I’m sickly can I? No sirree, not at all.

So I’ll stick around for a bit longer, try and pick myself back up and just keep doing what little things I can to help my furry/feathery/scaley little friends ❤

Toby Fredkin.

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