The Dead Chipmunk Who Taught Me About Life.

Domestic cats: A blend of cuddle and deadly predator.

Cats are my favorite animals. They are the kind of pets who makes you feel so special when they show you affection. You go from being an ordinary person to the most special person around when a cat decides it loves you.

I own three. They are the cutest beings ever. They all have different personalities from the most precious soul, to the dedicated soul mate, to the perfect snuggle bug. I love them; they are my children.

The other day, I had them all outside with me. I put them in the fenced-in area in the backyard while I am gardening. A couple of minutes later (literally), I go back to check up on them, and there I see it. Bear, my Maine Coon, is standing by a chipmunk he has just caught. My heart stops and I run towards them hoping I can do anything at this point to save the rodent.

I quickly push Bear away and grab the chipmunk.  I’m looking at the poor thing. It’s a male. Good. No babies left behind. I am no vet, but I try to feel a heartbeat, I look for injuries. Nothing. He looks perfect. I swear it felt like time stopped. Thinking about it now, it seems really stupid, but I truly felt like everything was in slow motion as I was looking at him. He was perfect. His fur was soft and shiny, his cheeks were full of seeds he had probably just gathered from the birds feeders I have a few meters away. His eyes still had life in them it seemed like he was, all of the sudden, going to start jumping around.

I felt so sad. So sad that his life was stopped so quickly. That one moment he was eating and the next he was dead. And I was so angry at my cat for killing him; I was so angry at myself for letting my cats out in the first place. I should have been supervising them.

I am sitting down in the grass with him on my lap and I have tears rolling down my face. I feel stupid for crying for a dead chipmunk, but it’s more than that. It’s my 27-year-old self realizing the preciousness of life. Realizing that we are not eternal. That I  should live my life to the fullest.

You know, since I went vegan a few years ago, the biggest change in my life has been feeling very connected with nature, feeling at peace with how I live my life, feeling like this is exactly where I fit in this puzzle called life. This dead chipmunk reached into my soul and made me realize I was way too comfortable in my routine.

My biggest weakness is that I always postpone things for tomorrow. No matter what it is. Even the things I deeply care about.

Well, there is no tomorrow anymore. Only today. And I intend to make my life beautiful and fullfilling and happy.

My cat may have ended a life that day, but he rebooted mine.

Marie

My cats or the world.

I haven’t written anything in months. Sorry.

I’m still vegan. One year strong, yah!

People’s selfishness still disappoints me; it still affects me too much, unfortunately. I wish I could just watch and laugh about it like George Carlin would say. Lucky bastard.

Anyways, I came across this video today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipe6CMvW0Dg

It literally explains everything about who I am. Why I went vegan, why it pisses me off that people don’t take the extra 5 minutes to recycle, why I hate wasting food, why going to the mall is a nightmare for me, why I don’t vote, why I don’t watch mainstream media. This list could go on and on and on. Please watch it and tell me what you think.

Tell me that sometimes it keeps you awake at night too. Tell me that you, too, sometimes feel ashamed of yourself for being stuck in this exact system you resent.

Sometimes, when I watch those “faith in humanity” videos I feel like there’s hope, that we can actually reverse all this. But then, I hear things about the 0,01% billionaires of this world who pretty much control everything we do, and I see absolutely no hope for this world to get better.

I shared this video on Facebook, and I can guarantee you that no one will “like” or “share” it. But when I post a picture of my cats, holy shit! That people love; because it doesn’t require any cognitive work.

I am in a pessimistic mood today, sorry about that.

Marie.

It’s all good, dad.

When you’re a kid, your world revolves around your parents. They are your teacher, your lawyer, your driver, your cook, your everything. And, most of the time, they become your model.

Growing up, my family didn’t have much. It took everything to my parents to find some savings for me to get a haircut. Our phone line and our tv cable were cut so many times, I don’t even remember one year it didn’t happen at least once. I remember one summer where we had no phone, no internet, and basic cable (3 channels with absolutely nothing good to watch). I remember doing nothing all day and being so frustrated that we were almost cut out from our friends. As a young teenager, it was hell. I often had to give away some of the money I made babysitting so that we could have food on the table.  It was soo bad, sometimes. Try to make Nutella out of chocolate powder because there’s absolutely nothing to eat from breakfast.

Anyways, our parents did their best, we all turned out fine and now I see this period of my life as a lesson about being happy with what you have. You don’t need that new coat you saw on tv, you already have one!

My dad always regretted not giving us everything he wished for us. But I don’t see it that way.

My dad is the kind of man who does the cleaning and the cooking. He is always very honest with us. He is a confidant, a friend, a dad, a role model. My dad shaped me into the woman I am today. He taught me simple things like to put my shopping cart back to where I found it, and not to leave in the middle of the freaking parking lot!! He taught me to be polite when invited over to someone’s house and to eat whatever food is served to you whether you like it or not. He taught me to like my neighbours, to help people around me, to never judge people by what they look like. He taught me to be socially conscious and not to act so selfish! My dad recycles, and does not waste food. My dad is the type of dad who is friend with your friends.

My dad is the most caring person I know. He would always play outside with us, draw with us, play board games with us. He would try his best to explain the world to us, and was always encouraging us to look for the answer. Everything fun I remember about my childhood, my dad is a part of it. He is often the first person I go to when I need advice, and he’s the opinion I respect the most.

When I go back to my hometown this summer, it will have been 2 years since I’ll have seen him. Being away made me realize how important he is in my life. You know what they say; you don’t know what you have until you lose it.

My dad is the reason why I am environmentally and socially conscious. He is the reason why I question everything. He is the reason why, in my opinion, I turned out to be a nice person.

My dad always said he didn’t give us enough, well I say he gave us everything.

Dear Head Office.

Dear head office.

You come in like you own the world.

You open the door, beat your way around;

You come in like you own the world.

Dear head office,

you are the elephant in the room,

and you roar like a lion.

You manipulate everything your claws can reach

Dear head office, you do not scare me.

I am a mouse, but you’re the elephant.

I am not inferior,

I am strong.

I will not bend like a slave.

I will not put on a mask to please you,

Dear head office,

you will not make me feel like I’m nothing.

Dear head office,

get off your high heels so you can walk better,

stop talking so you can hear me better

Dear head office,

you are not always right.

Dear head office,

I will not be your slave.

Truce With The Chicken.

I finally made it. I switched. I went from simplicity to complicity. I went from chicken to broccoli. I went vegan.

It’s my, let me count, here, second day. No meat, no milk, no yogourt, no cheese (Oh my God, what have I done!!) I’m not dead yet. I am still wearing a bra, I haven’t sold my car, and I still shave; don’t worry.

It feels good though, I feel like I’ve made the right decision. This thing was meant to happen one day anyways. I’ve always screamed out loud that I was an animal lover; that I could not hurt a fly. Well, I was lying; because there were dead bodies in my plate a few times a week. Oh these chicken were delicious, don’t get me wrong; but I decided that it was time to live the way I was thinking. It was time my plate reflect the way I wanted things to be.

I am going vegan for 3 reasons:

1-The way these animals are being raised, fed, and killed is an absolute atrocity.(I dare you to watch Earthlings and not feel a thing about it.)

2-The cost and the ressources needed to feed these animals (especially cows) are enormous. I am a green freak, and this is just unacceptable. The fact that we have to use so much land just to feed these animals makes me sick. Manure, transportation, packaging… this is more polluting than cars, people! (Watch Vegucated; you don’t need any mental preparation for this one.)

3- Because our food habits are very bad, and I am concerned about my health. By not eating animal products, I have to turn to fruits and veggies. And we all know most of us don’t eat enough of these very nutritious foods. (Watch Food Matters & Hungry For Change)

So, day 2 of veganism, I feel great, I haven’t craved anything yet, and I am discovering new recipes.(There is a vegan chocolate cake in the oven as we speak! :D) My first challenge is coming this Wednesday; family dinner. And they don’t know I’m vegan, yet. Wish me luck.

Marie.

vegan-france

Could I have some sugar for my coffee?

I am from a small town; a very small town. The kind of town where literally everybody knows each other. The kind of town where you can ask your neighbor sugar for your coffee. The kind of town where if you are craving chocolate, there is only one place you can buy some. The kind of town where 300 people live.

I lived there for 20 years; Most of my friends still live in the area. We’ve known each other forever. Younger, we’d play in the wood, we’d build forts, we’d get in trouble for playing with fire; we just had a good time experiencing life.

I now live in the Greater Toronto Area, and let me tell ya, I miss my hometown. I miss being able to go somewhere and meet someone I know and just start a conversation. I miss not having to take traffic into consideration when going to work. I miss being close to nature (real nature; a bunch of trees in your backyard (if you even have one) doesn’t count). I miss the quietness, the peacefulness. I miss everything about it; Even the fact that people too often get their nose in your own life, and feel like they gotta know everything that’s going on. You just bought a new car? The whole town will know in a day.

I’ve been in the GTA for exactly a year and 5 months now, and I’ve come to conclusion that people here can be very selfish and self-centered. And I mean, I kinda understand why when your neighbor can see you washing dishes through his window and that living here is like living in a bee hive. Sometimes, it just feels nice to shut everything down around you to have a piece of quiet.

People here work too much, buy too much, relax too little and miss the meaning of community. They are more focus on finally being able to afford an in-ground pool they will never be able to enjoy because they work too much than just enjoying life and press pause for a moment. There is this whole social pressure “to succeed” which, in their world, means making a s*** load of money; and it seems like having goals that don’t involve making money and owning a house is looked upon as being a failure.

At least that’s how it makes me feel. Because I finally dropped out of university after a year of not being motivated whatsoever, because I do not wish to have an office job in a big company. Because I’d rather live in a little house in the middle of nowhere than having a gigantic empty house in town. Do not look at me as if I told you I was an alien! I want to live, not work.

And if it means that I have to live simply, I will. I’d rather do that than kill myself 50 hours/week and waking up one day realizing that I’ve done nothing with my life but work. I am sick of this capitalist world where everything gravitates around money. I am sick of the disparity between rich and poor. I am sick of seeing people dying of starvation when, us, spoiled little brats waste tons of food every day.

I want to live in a world where everybody helps everybody. I want to live in a world where people work to live and don’t live to work. I want to live in a world where, just like my hometown, people are friends with their neighbors. I want to live in a world where success means being happy. I want to live in a world where…Image

I’m an ant.

Please tell me, tell me I’m not alone in this battle. I feel like I am alone with my desire to make this earth better. I am a bit of a green freak, I’d like to think I can make a difference during my brief time on Earth, but man sometimes do I feel like I’m an ant fighting an elephant. It’s like nobody cares. NOBODY. How hard is it to take that newspaper, and put it in the recycling bin? How hard is it to brush your teeth without leaving the water on. There are people on this Earth walking long distances to have water and then they carry that 50-pound bucket back to their homes. How fair is that? If you can’t do it for the environment, then do it by respect for others. You don’t have to sell your car or stop showering to make a difference; every little move counts!

I am mad at people sometimes; and I include myself in, sometimes I do make bad choices. It makes me mad that people can be so selfish. Me, me, me. That’s all people think about. Honestly if society was more about “us”, if this economic system encouraged social achievements instead of individual achievements, we wouldn’t be in such trouble. We are sick, very sick. And I wish that more people cared about their impact on this very fragile eco-system. If you think that this will never affect you directly, you are wrong. If you think that you can live without it, you are wrong. Where do you think your coffee in the morning comes from? Space? No it comes from a cultivable land. Choices you make every day affect this land. You take your car to get to the corner store that is a block away? You add more CO2 on the air, it makes the atmosphere warmer, it rains less; and, guess what? Coffee plantations need water. EVERYTHING you do affects you one way or another.

So next time you decide to hose down your pavement, think about your morning coffee.Image