a new vegan and her blender

fruit from a Cambodian market

fruit from a Cambodian market

The blender pulses and whirrs, magically churning a smooth compound.
Bits of garlic, pulpy juice squeezed from seedy lemons, nuts and oil
In recipes requesting ingredients just recently found.
The blender pulses and whirrs.

Homemade meals made from plants fresh from the soil.
No meat from animals that squeal, few hearing the sound.
No fat to trim. No flesh that might spoil. Now drizzle in some olive oil.

No ingredients that have been hacked to death, skinned alive or drowned.
The new vegan chef thinks of this as she continues to toil.
Ingredients tumbling together–what a racket, what a sound!
The blender pulses and whirrs.

On the Writing:
I wrote this for my Grade 8 class as an example of using mentor texts to write poetry–revealing what is “seen” and “unseen” about a topic.

I chose the roundel because initially I was interested in the challenge of writing a poem with so many rules. Then I realized that the repeated line and rhyme scheme fit my topic. The sound of the blender, which became my repeated line, matched my thoughts as it spun and spun, taking ideas and spinning them into something new, something smooth and creamy. The violence of the mixer–its noises and the ingredients getting sucked into  shiny spinning blades–contrasted with the violence the blender is an answer to, the violence behind factory farms. I wanted to reveal the joy of cooking, but the sweat of it too–with the list of ingredients and the constant whir. I also wanted to reveal the reason I’ve continued to be a vegetarian after a 30 day challenge.

On the Topic:
I post this poem with the explanation that I used to think people were sentimental when they said they “thought of the animals” when they decided not to eat meat. I am not an animal lover and found this statement kind of adorable. Now, I see what is behind this statement. People may make the statement with a history of volunteering at animal shelters and keeping bunnies or whatever, but for me, I literally lost my appetite for meat not just because of the cruelty done to animals, but what the impact that factory farms have on society.

I thought learning and watching videos about it was like watching videos of surgery–it’s a part of life, but gruesome so I don’t have to subject myself to it. But my  mind is changing–surgery is nothing like the practices on factory farms. You may be aware of the effects in your periphery: news reports of “lagoons” or “bird flu” or mistreatment of workers . . . No judgments. Just one person’s reaction to sticking her nose where I used to resist being “nosey.”



About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in life and culture, transitions and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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