Hello, and welcome to another one of my “special” journals. I just hope I remember to write in it. I’m currently sitting on a chair outside my tent with a Red Stripe while I debate my next move.
But first, a poem? Maybe.
Shay would love this
she’d cry at the prices
like I had a crisis
in the queue
when I thought
I might be dying.
I turned out fine,
I just needed water.
I’m camping lonely,
the only one I know,
kept on my toes
except for when
Went Tony Blair Witch,
found Paul and Ringo
playing drum and bass
in the forest,
found my way back out
and spilled my Red Stripe,
that’s £1.20 gone
Held the crystal
round my neck
as though it could save me,
kissed the hand that held me
and felt like a psychopath,
but psychos don’t worry
so I’m probably fine,
I just need water.
Did you know
it makes up most of
And space scares me
and I wouldn’t be an astronaut,
she’s already out of this world
and I look like
but only barely.
I grock her so much
it scares me.
Poem confirmed. Now let’s go back to the beginning.
I had anxiety dreams last night and my pulse dropped to 48 bpm, but I didn’t die. I must be an Olympic athlete. Woke up at around 9 AM and had one last pass at sorting the house, then grabbed my shit and headed off.
It was a pretty smooth journey. I took the train to Marylebone, the tube to Euston and then a train to Rugby, the same train that continues on to Tamworth. There were a ton of people milling around when I arrived and so I joined them, and then the busses started showing up and so we formed a queue. I’d say I was waiting for an hour or so and then it was a 15-minute transfer.
It took about an hour or two to get in and it was hard work because I had to keep on grabbing my rucksack and dragging it around. When I reached the halfway point, I started feeling anxious because I had the shakes, but I was just hungry and dehydrated. Luckily, they were giving out free drinks and snacks once you got in, so that sorted me right out.
I found the lonelies area without too much of a problem and pitched my tent, and then I went for a wander. There’s a bar and a coffee shop in the field I’m in, and it’s a five-minute walk to the main area. The stalls are separated pretty nicely so that you first go through merch and accessories and stuff and then get to a short stretch that’s all food, starting with desserts and then getting to the main courses. I’m not used to being this spoiled for choice, but I eventually settled on Chinese, which was delicious.
I wandered back to the tent after that to make sure I could find it, stopping along the way to check out some drum ‘n’ bass in the forest and to fill up my water bottle. I stopped at the bar for a Red Stripe, too.
I’ve been writing since then, but I’m getting ready to have another wander. The signal sucks here but the 4G works a little better in the main area. There’s a rock and indie pre-party happening somewhere, too.
There’s a woman with an annoying voice pitching her tent next to mine. She’s very vocal and upset about where my tent is because it stops her and her friends from pitching their three massive tents next to each other. But I’m camping in the lonelies section. The whole point is that if you’re in a group, you don’t camp there.
Anyway, I’ve gone for another walk and picked up a Red Strip, which admittedly I spilled. And now I’m sitting on the grass and drinking it. Thug life.
The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody
and U still give it,
forgive me for writing
like my girlfriend.
It’s not like she learned to text
on a 3210.
I spilled my Red Stripe
and it’s five English pounds
for a cold can,
but I don’t mind
I get paid in dollars.
I got a bruise on my leg
the size of Canada,
it doesn’t really hurt
because it feels like a bite,
it itches like
It itches like
a Jeremy Usborne.
I went back to the tent for a nap after my Red Stripe. It had been a long day and I was also annoyed with people. It turns out that just because people are vegan, it doesn’t make them any less sucky. I like individual people, but I can’t stand people as a whole.
Plus a drunk guy tried to start a fight with me. Which reminds me.
Crabs On Ketamine
I could take you,
I’m a lover
not a fighter,
but you’re a
I could floor you
without throwing a punch,
it takes your two friends
just to hold you up,
and you’re walking
like a crab
You tried to fucken fight
a man with a child,
he was giving his kid a piggyback
and you called him
I’m a pacifist,
I don’t throw hands
in fights or dance floors,
I hurt myself
and not the people
when I was seventeen
I got punched in the face
for refusing to defend myself.
I could take you,
but I think your friends
could wipe the floor with me.
I woke back up at about half ten and was desperate for a piss, so I sorted that out and then went to get some food from Doner Summer. I had fries with vegan doner meat and habanero sauce, and it was incredible.
Then I went back to the tent and read my book (Absolute Proof by Peter James) and texted Shay, because the internet still sucks and I didn’t want her to worry about me. There was drum ‘n’ bass in the forest about 50 feet from me and so that kept me up until 1:30, and then people were singing pop songs off key until 3. I didn’t get much sleep.
I woke up at 8:30 or so due to the heat and read some more while listening to my annoying neighbours complain about how cold it had been overnight. I’d been fine. I had my clothes on and a sleeping bag.
I killed off a Pipeline Punch and a cup of coffee and then went to the main arena for breakfast – curried goats from Jam Delish. It loved up to its name, and it was cool because I’d never had curried goat before. That had habanero in it, too.
Now I’m at the main stage to see Monami Frost, who I’ve followed for a couple of years or so since I got a free copy of her cookbook. She’s super nervous, but then I would be too.
- Cookbook was self-published
- She did all of the photography
- Sold out in the first week
It was a good talk and she settled into it nicely, plus she got a lot of applause, which I think helped. I’d forgotten that she’s from Latvia as well, which is cool because I’ve been there. I wonder whether her husband is based in a Liverpool tattoo parlour, I’m already craving more ink. Maybe I’ll message Julia at Black Dahlia when I get back.
I’m now sitting just outside the back of the activism tent so that I can vape and drink a Red Stripe while I listen to Klaus from Plant-Based News. Then I’ll head back to the tent to recharge (my phone and myself) before I come back for food and Heather Mills.
- “Writing required a pen and paper before the computer. The same thing is going to happen with meat.”
- Slaughter is so 20th century. He’s basically saying that meat and dairy in the future will be lab grown. Controversial, but I agree and he’s making a good argument.
- Taking animals out of the equation is easier and cheaper, as well as more ethical and better for the planet.
- “Beside from being disgusting, it’s also a bad business model.”
- Burger King is going 50% plant-based by 2030.
- According to the University of Oxford, vegan products are 30% cheaper.
- The average person consumes 20,000 animals in their lifetime.
- 3 in 4 novel infectious diseases over the last 30 years are due to meat production, not including COVID-19.
- Do meat alternatives need to replicate fat content etc. and is that bad for health? It’ll be as bad for individual health but better for public health due to the above. Plus there are more pressing concerns. Societal obesity is irrelevant if we don’t have a planet to live on.
- The Economist said that by 2040, 60% of meat will be lab grown.
I headed back to the tent for a snooze after that. Then I went to take a leak and on my way back, I heard someone calling my name. It turned out to be Rob Terry, who I went to school with. I haven’t seen him for seventeen years, which is honestly kind of crazy, although I’ve chatted to him on social media. He told me that his sister read Meat and that it’s on his list for whenever he gets chanced. I’ve read a couple of his dad’s books, too. We’re hopefully going to meet up later on.
But I was hungry, so I went for some Hogless Roast. I’ve never had it before and it was delicious, although I couldn’t help thinking about when Rebecca took me to her friend’s wedding and I literally ran away when they started grilling a pig. Now I’m drinking Red Stripe in the sun and waiting for Heather Mills.
Everything You Say is Poetry/Alpacas On My Screen: A Found Poem
It seems like
every time I think about you,
you text right
it’s so weird.
The world is
I can’t wait to see you again,
I miss you so much.
U calling me ur
I will never get over
I love it.
I’d prefer not to kill you
but I guess
if I had to
I could make a fire
I am the fastest
out of everyone
I’ve ever met
I’ve ever met
I’ve ever met,
that came through
I’m even faster
if I abbreviate.
you don’t have to
respond to it.
It’s not that interesting,
just some alpacas
on my screen.
- “Every time someone starts a sentence with ‘the problem is’, I leave the room. There are no problems, only solutions.”
- “Most people talk bullshit. If I say something, I do it.”
- Cleared 21 million acres of mine-filled fields.
- “That’s what the bullshit of celebrity does. The animals don’t have a voice, but we do.”
- Her company (V-Bites) is behind the vegan fish and chips in Greene King.
- Launched her vegan makeup company after speaking in the Middle East. She learned that a lot of Muslim women were using eye makeup that contained pig and so wasn’t halal.
- They’re behind the vegan smoked Applewood. Applewood didn’t want it and so they gave them the first order for free. Now Applewood is a big customer thanks to buyer demand.
Heather Mills was surprisingly good. I didn’t know a lot of the cool shit that she’s done. I’m back at the tent now with an Elvis Juice, but I’m off to meet Rob and his missus for Simon Amstell in a minute.
- “These people are so young they think there’s time to be shy.”
- “We’re not vegans, they’re carnists.”
- She wants to write a book.
- “A lot of my activism was a response to trauma”. But the animals don’t need trauma survivors. They need the healthy people.
- We need the disruptors and the protestors, but we also need the creators. “We need artists as much as we need activists.”
- “The more you look after yourself, the more you can give back and be generous.”
Flat Earthers Don’t Get Hangovers
Is the world still spinning
or is it me?
I guess if it stopped
we’d be thrown into space
and I’d never see my girl
Checked the time
and it’s eleven eleven,
spilled chilli dog
all down my leg
I feel my age again,
black dots dancing
in front of my eyes,
no water in the taps
so when I went for a shit,
I couldn’t wash my hands,
made do with soap
Watched legs flash past,
saw tattoos and thoughts of Nazis
from human skin,
bought a necklace
made with ivy
and no animals.
Killed a coffee
like she kills simulations,
drank water simultaneous
while the sky fell in.
Wrote pessimistic poems
where the pages fall out,
became a narcissistic empath
without the empathy.
Wished I could speak
British Sign Language,
heard the lake smells like shit
and wisely avoided it.
Sent her text messages
while she slept,
watched the bin men
in the sunshine.
Tried to breathe.
Mic the Vegan
- 75% of new diseases are zoonotic.
- “The next pandemic will probably be caused by animal agriculture.”
- Leprosy comes from water buffalo.
- Whooping cough comes from sheep/pigs.
- Strep throat comes from cows.
- MERS comes from camels.
- SARS-1 comes from civets.
- NIDAH comes from pigs.
- AIDS comes from monkeys.
- Common cold variants come from horses.
- COVID’s Denmark variant comes from mink.
- Influenza comes from ducks with new strains from chickens.
- The 1918 flu killed up to 100 million people and most likely came from a small chicken farm. It’s not just a risk associated with factory farming.
- 80% of Amazon destruction is due to cattle farming.
- Less biodiversity means a higher chance of pandemics.
- “Human carnivory threatens one quarter of all vertebrates.”
- More people will die of antibiotic resistance than cancer by 2050 according to some worst case scenario predictions.
- People who are even loosely vegan have a 73% lowered risk of getting COVID according to the British Medical Journal.
- Studies show that low carb diets increase mortality by about 30%.
- “Strength is about standing up for what you believe in.”
- “Most people confuse compassion for weakness, but I believe compassion is the ultimate strength.”
- Sanskrit is the oldest known surviving written language, around 5,000 years old.
- Akimsa: Non-violence, compassion for all living things.
- 65% of the world’s population is intolerant to lactose.
- Lactose increases oestrogen production by 26% within 30-60 minutes.
- The average vegan eats 70% more protein than they need.
- 27% of the world’s fresh water supply is used to grow food for farmed animals.
- Being a vegan body builder saves 600,000 gallons of water per year.
- “Never doubt how much of an impact you can have on the world around you.”
Simon Amstel was great, especially when he cracked some jokes about the BSL interpreters. He was losing his voice, but he still pulled off a good show.
After that, I went for a dance and some reggae with Macca B before meeting back up with Rob and crew for Evanna Lynch. She gave a great talk, but I didn’t take many notes. But I think a lack of notes isn’t necessarily an indicator of the quality of the talk.
Then I went for a further dance with Lukas Brooks, a DJ who was playing some bangers, including some grime and hip-hop and a fucking filthy remix of Sandstorm by Darude. I’/d had a few beers and sent Shay some soppy texts, but I don’t think she minded.
- In the US alone, 25 million animals are slaughtered every day.
- We know that “energy” can be scientifically measured. As in the energy in a room or between a group of people. I don’t know about that.
- At the age of 30, your bone health peaks. Bummer.
- “Hurt people hurt people.”
- If you have a bad mental health day, look after yourself like you’d look after someone else.
I debated going to the drum ‘n’ bass rave in the forest after that, but I was pretty drunk and there were a lot of people, so I went back to the tent and passed out instead.
I woke up at about 9 AM this morning with a hangover and was struggling with the heat. There was also no power at the coffee place, so I sorted myself out and headed to the main arena. I had a hotdog from Popdogs and it was okay, but just being okay amongst so much amazing food has made it my weakest meal so far. It’s also the only time I’ve still been hungry after finishing.
Mic the Vegan was up first and he was fascinating, as always. He delivered a science-based speech on pandemics, which was kind of a back-up for him because he’d been hoping to use the WiFi. He also only just made it after flight delays and having COVID.
Nimai Delgado was on next, and I bumped into Rob and hung out with hum for a while. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the talk was, it might have been one of the best so far. Matt Pritchard was great, too. I didn’t know a lot of the crazy shit he’s been up to since Dirty Sanchez, such as rowing across the Atlantic and doing 30 Iron Man triathlons in 30 days.
After that, I queued up for fish and chips from No Catch, which was delicious. Then I headed over to the Mind and Body tent for the first time to watch Bianca Taylor, although I missed the start. Her talk was pretty good but the Q&A afterwards was great. Probably the most engaging Q&A so far.
I was feeling a little sick after that, so I went back to my tent for a lie down before returning to the arena and getting another Donerteller from Doner Summer. Because I was feeling shit, I didn’t make any more notes. In fact, it’s now two weeks later and I still need to finish this thing.
I caught most of JME’s set, but I watched from near the back due to not feeling great. He was good though, and you could tell he was having a great time. Then I went to see Earthling Ed, who was fantastic. I’d left my notebook at the tent though, so I had to write my notes inside the book I was reading.
- We kill 100 million sharks every year. They kill six people, mostly because they mistake us for seals.
- 1 million chickens a week die in UK farms before even making it to slaughter.
- “It’s not a bad apple, the entire tree is rotten from the ground up.” – On people saying that abuse only happens at a few bad farms.
- “I can’t wait for a day when we don’t have Vegan Campout because every campout is a vegan campout.”
I didn’t stick around to watch Ed’s DJ set and Rob and family headed home, so I just went back to the tent and packed my stuff up. I was dreading having to wait until 1:30 AM for the D ‘n’ B to finish so I could get some sleep, but it only went on until 12.
That meant I was able to get a little sleep, and because everything was packed, I was up and ready to go by about half eight. I packed my tent away but ended up throwing it out anyway because the zip was broke and it exploded out of its carry bag, so I had no way to transport it.
I didn’t really know how I was going to get home so I just walked towards the entrance and hoped for the best. I ended up meeting a couple from York who were getting into a taxi, and they were kind enough to let me cadge a lift. They almost missed their train, but I had just enough time to slip them a tenner.
And then I headed back home via London. It only took me a couple of hours and it flew by because I had a signal again and could get online. As you can imagine, Biggie was happy to see me.
Let’s end with a poem.
Shay-kin All Over
It’s the aftermath,
the taking down of tents
and the riding of trains,
it’s the death of freedom
and the birth of servitude,
the trading of time for money
running bars or selling condoms,
it’s the drinking of coffee in front rooms
as we wait for death,
it’s the love I have for you
and we for each other.
It’s the reluctant return