I haven't actively replied to any specific emails because I haven't felt it necessary to impose my personal viewpoint the way that I feel some posters have. After all, this is the internet. I would, however, like to clarify that I have been vegan for a fabulous five years. I am extremely active as a one who chooses to commute 20 miles on weekdays, rather than waste the gasoline it would take to get to school. The issue, for me, is not whether or not I can survive as a vegan, but, how I might obtain food during the more desolate stretches of Route 66, and what type of food will be available (Namely homegrown restaurants? Fast food joints? Supermarkets?). I find it rather absurd that many posters have brushed off the notion of not eating dairy entirely. As for dumpster diving, as highly debated as it may be, I believe that it is an issue only in a society that is marked by commericalized development, and the need for a stratified enconomy in order to suceed. If we were hunter/gatherers, there would be no need to chastize me for dumpster diving. Provided that I consider myself to be law-obiding, I have no moral opposition to obtaining food as such. Disgusting? Utter waste is disgusting to me (As is Mcdonald's...). Also, I feel that it is outside the bounds of anyone here to determine whether this is an appropriate instance in my life to take a 'vacation'. As one who had the "pridviledge" of being financially independent for much of my teens, I feel confident in my decision to leave, now, and in my ability to provide for myself whilst on tour, albeit lawfully. Furthermore, as someone who has been fortunate enough at times in my own life to provide for strangers by giving them my leftovers or a place to stay the night, I feel no dignity is lost sharing. In fact, I believe that thriftiness may be a virtue (And thank you, to the poster who linked me with warmshowers!) Yes, it is my choice to travel. And if I am disposed to hospitality of others, I will not feel guilty for it. However, I can say with confidence that I am willing to do it all, myself, if I feel that I am ever compromising the dignity of my companions or of other people. Sleeping on the roadside, stealing? I doubt it. Those roadsides have covered a thousand tracks of people whose land was stolen from under them in order to pave it. Be grateful for what you have, but don't 'other' those who are of a different opinion. Be reasonable in your judgements. I have no intention of humiliating the cyclists who come after me, if they have no intention of judging me for choosing to give freely and live frugally. And please, keep this on topic.
This message was edited by StephanieP on 4-1-07 @ 12:04 PM