Why an Educated Cowgirl Out West Went Vegetarian on Thanksgiving

At the ranch in Colorado

Calving Season 2012

It’s time to answer some of the questions about my recent vegetarianism. My reasoning behind it is even longer than my recent job descriptions. Simply put, its not really a new and sudden thing, its been a long battle. In high school I raised beef cattle and show-lambs for the local fairs. These eventually paid my first trip to Europe, which opened up my world and expanded my views as I know them today. I’ve competed in rodeo events with my horse most of my life, even helped out at the cattle ranch moving cattle. Horses and cattle have been a part of my life about as long as I can remember. In high school ag classes I learned to vaccinate, trim and castrate with the best of the boys. I learned to numb myself to these “things you have to get used to because they’re better for the overall good” things. But as I got older, I started to question if such things really were necessary. Is meat necessary?

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The Art of CouchSurfing

Sharing a smile in Switzerland

“A day without a smile is a day wasted” says his sign, in German

Thank you Sarah Perryman for your wonderful questions about this great organization.  People usually think I’m crazy, and I am a little bit. Maybe you’ll get a bit more of a feel for my passion for being a CouchSurfer after reading these answers.

1. How has Couchsurfing evolved over the years? I didn’t hear about CouchSurfing until late in the game. When I joined in 2010 the organization had already had its major breakdown (their database loss in 2006) and the site had been running for 7 years, relationships were established, people were gathering references. Now CouchSurfing claims 6 million members in 100,000 cities, even as far as Columbia, China, North Korea, Syria and Afghanistan, where one might say “extreme Couchsurfing” can be found. By the time I got on board I was welcomed by seasoned travelers who were more than accommodating and helpful along the way, many of whom had ridden the bumpy road that the CouchSurfing website has taken them on. Recently Ambassadors ceased to exist on the site; the local cheerleaders of the site are now just the most prominent Surfers in the area, and still often organize meetups.

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