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Cows (source: aspca.org)

I’m not the romantic type. I’m happily unattached, not particularly sentimental, and I honestly believe that “Love Actually” is the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

In my world, February 14th comes and goes with little or no fanfare. Besides the candy sales that follow the holiday, I really don’t get too excited by Valentine’s Day. But there is one thing that I should be celebrating.

I became a vegetarian around Valentine’s Day in 1985. I just looked at a calendar for that year to confirm the date itself and I discovered something interesting. I remember going to Calgary for the weekend with a couple of friends. The reason I know that it was near Valentine’s Day is because another friend had given me a giant, heart-shaped cookie that came in what looked like a pizza box. I remember eating it in the van on the way to Cowtown.

Valentine’s Day was on a Thursday that year. We departed for our trip on Friday. Somewhere between Edmonton and Calgary, we stopped at a Wendy’s. We didn’t have Wendy’s in Edmonton at the time, so it was sort of a novelty. I remember getting halfway through my burger and realizing how gross it was. I opened the bun and discovered that the beef patty was a gruesome gray color. Ugh!

On the way back, we stopped at an Arby’s because that fast-food chain hadn’t made it to Edmonton yet, either. Halfway through my Beef and Cheddar, I pulled a thumb-sized piece of gristle out of my mouth. Double ugh!

It was the Monday after that weekend that I decided that I was done with meat. I believe that I officially became a vegetarian on February 18, 1985. I did look at my chart to see if there was anything interesting going on that day. Both the sun and Mercury entered Pisces that morning.

According to all the people who practice whole-sign houses, Pisces is my sixth house. I often dismiss whole-sign houses because I’ve seen so many events in my life coincide with Placidus house transits in a rather dramatic fashion. Perhaps there is something about whole-sign houses if the first degree of Pisces is considered to be the cusp on my sixth house. Hmm . . .

On the other hand, if I look at this declaration to become a vegetarian as one of the most milestones in my life on the road to self-realization and self-expression, the fifth house connection is a perfectly valid interpretation of this major event in my life. The fifth house is where people live large and find themselves. I discuss that concept often in my work because fashion and self-expression are so closely related.

The reason that I believe my version of the story is that my worst fear about becoming a vegetarian was worrying that my parents were going to think that I was a freak. Honestly, I didn’t even want to tell them. I don’t believe that I did for a week or two.

Anyway, since I became a vegetarian, I’ve never looked back. Yet it was never about health: it was about me declaring to the world that I was not the kind of person who was going to eat animals. If I had to pick half-a-dozen things to describe myself today, “lifelong vegetarian” would be on the list.

It’s just one of those things that makes me believe that the Placidus house system is the house system in astrology. People can use whatever system they want to use, but it works for me. Vegetarianism also works for me. Hating “Love Actually” does, too. This Valentine’s Day, I’m just going to celebrate the idea that no one else has to love what I’m doing as long as I love what I’m doing.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go to the mall to check out the candy markdowns.

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