What Do Vegans Eat for the 4th of July? Just Ask Me, The Manliest Vegan on the Internet!

It’s understood in our American culture that a real man takes pride in eating bacon, sausage, and beef.

Especially on July 4th. He simply (and ironically) laughs in the face of high cholesterol and onset diabetes.

Why? Because it’s manly to eat meat.

And because… ‘Merica!

How else could a man possibly get enough protein?

However, I am currently taking America by storm, as I am stumping both scientists and sociologists alike…

They are being forced to take notice that I am in deed the manliest vegan on the Internet, yet I am still alive and well.

Miraculously, I am perfectly in the correct height/weight/age range. I not overweight nor underweight. In other words… I’m getting enough protein.

How is it that I am not a walking skeleton? Why does I seem so happy and content in life? 

I am currently baffling our nation, as Americans everywhere are trying to wrap their minds around the fact that I haven’t eaten any pork (which includes bacon and sausage) in 8 and a half years, any meat at all in 5 and a half years, and no eggs or dairy in over 4 years.

My protein comes from six sources:

Veggies, fruit, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds.

So what does a manly vegan eat on July 4th? Whatever I want, as long as it consists of veggies, fruit, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds.

For this July 4th, my wife made a vegan lasagna (containing noodles and veggies) and some vegan sausage by Field Roast Grain Meat Co. as well. And I liked it.

I didn’t feel left out. I didn’t feel victimized. And I didn’t feel jealous.

Why? Because I am the manliest vegan on the Internet.

Instead, other men surely felt left out that they are not part of my manly vegan club.

(Mic dropped.)


Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

5 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

Dear Jack,

My philosophy on fireworks for the 4th of July is this: Enjoy the entertainment in which our neighbors provide as they go all-out on fireworks; meanwhile, we’ll spend $13 on novelty items to get the show started.

And that’s exactly what happened this year.

Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

After we finished dinner Monday night, I set up a folding chair for Mommy and Holly in the driveway. Then you and I went to work.

The show started with you blasting through 50 Mega Snaps, about a dozen of which were instant casualties when they fell out of the box as you were opening it.

Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

Next I lit the ladybug, but unfortunately, nothing happened. The fuse burned up and that was it. Bummer.

I think even Holly was disappointed on that one.

Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

You were very excited about the American flag themed tank, which of course, was made in China. It provided a nice explosion. We both liked how it was smoking afterwards, like it just came out of battle.

Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

The smoke bombs remain to be one of your favorite types of fireworks every year; though you and your friend Aiden didn’t appreciate the sulfur smell.

Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

Both you and Mommy decided it was best that I handle the sword, once we learned what it actually did; which was to shoot sparks out for about a minute straight.

Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

We finished off our family’s fireworks show with the most curious item: the Poopy Puppy.

It was impossible not to laugh: He shot sparks out his rear-end, spun around, “pooped” out ashes, and then self-destructed by catching on fire.

Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

By that time, our neighbors came out with the real fireworks and we got to relax, as spectators, watching the explosions in the air, as neighbors from nearby cul-de-sacs tried to compete for glory.

Ah, the cul-de-sac life.



Dear Jack: Novelty Fireworks in the Cul-de-Sac for July 4th

Dear Jack: The Jurassic World Hero Mashers/Fireworks Scandal

5 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack: The Jurassic World Hero Mashers/Fireworks Scandal

Dear Jack,

Two weekends ago, Mommy budgeted us $20 to spend on fireworks for 4th of July. However, Nonna had just visited and given you one of my old Lego moon rover vehicles (still intact from 1990), as well as a $2 bill that you were eager to spend along with the three dollars’ worth in quarters you already had in your wallet.

I decided to make a father-and-son afternoon out of the event. First, I made you go to Goodwill with me to pick up a couple $5 short sleeve shirts I needed for the summer.

Dear Jack: The Jurassic World Hero Mashers/Fireworks Scandal

After I was all set, we drove down to the big tent and checked out the inventory. I explained to you that we would let all the neighbors spend the big bucks. As for us, we were just there to buy the fun stuff.

Of course, I was scheming with the budget, too. I let you pick out several items, which only totaled $13. That included a Poopy Puppy, a ladybug, a tank, smoke bombs, some Mega Snaps, and a sword.

Dear Jack: The Jurassic World Hero Mashers/Fireworks Scandal

That left $7 from the fireworks budget, combined with your $2 bill and $3 in quarters, making a total of $12. I surprised you by taking you to Toys “R” Us.

The thing you wanted most was a Jurassic World Hero Mashers T-Rex set, which was on clearance for $15; it normally sold for about $23.

Dear Jack: The Jurassic World Hero Mashers/Fireworks Scandal

I pitched in a few dollars to cover the small difference as well as tax. From there, we drove about 10 minutes down the Interstate to go see the new Ninja Turtles movie. Three times during that short drive, you proclaimed with much excitement:

“Daddy, I love this toy. It’s the coolest!”

That made me quite proud of my scheme.

Dear Jack: The Jurassic World Hero Mashers/Fireworks Scandal

You ended up liking your Jurassic World Hero Mashers set so much like you actually sold some of your older toys you haven’t played with since we moved in our new house a year and a half ago.

With that money, you schemed with Mommy online and realized you basically could buy 4 more of the dinosaurs!

So next Tuesday, you’ll have a special package arriving. I will surely come home to see to see a T-Rex’s head on a pterodactyl’s body.

Sometimes it’s just good to scheme.



Dear Jack: The Jurassic Park Hero Mashers/Fireworks Scandal

Dear Jack: Review Of Suitable Fireworks For Small Children To Watch

3 years, 7 months.

Review Of Suitable Fireworks For Small Children

Dear Jack,

This past July 4th, you were finally old enough to truly appreciate the observation of fireworks. I was just as happy as you were to go to the Tennessee/Alabama state line to pick up our stash of fireworks that I felt would be appropriate for you to witness; not to actual ignite yourself. (Obviously.)

Well, except for the super snaps…


With great pride, I chose the finest array of made in China fireworks I could find for our family:

Snakes, color smoke balls (smoke bombs), moon travellers (bottle rockets), attack vehicles (tanks), cocks crowing (chickens), party poppers, super snaps (snap & pops), turbo flashes, and “new small bees.”

I wanted to make sure you would be able to see some tamer, more cartoonish versions of what might be exciting at a big fireworks show.


To my surprise, your absolute favorite were what I called the smoke bombs, but labelled as “color smoke balls,” which sounds less violent, I suppose.

I think next year, I’ll just buy like 6 packs of those and a box of super snaps, and you will be just fine. Those were the things that excited you the most.

Review Of Suitable Fireworks For Small Children

If the smoke balls won 1st place, and the super snaps won 2nd, then I’d say that coming in at 3rd place would be the snakes. You weren’t too impressed when I lit them up alone. The real show was lighting a pack at a time, which is 6.

Review Of Suitable Fireworks For Small Children

From there, the lesser fireworks to you seemed to be the louder ones. You did like the sparks flying out of the turbo flash; it was like a mini, festive explosion… but you only appreciated it from across the lawn.

Review Of Suitable Fireworks For Small Children

While I personally have always loved the hilarious chickens and tanks, they were a bit to unnerving for you; as they suddenly screeched into a fiery demise.

Review Of Suitable Fireworks For Small Children

As for the “new small bees,” they hardly cost anything, but basically just vanished into the air and were gone.


After your Uncle Andrew and I shot off all the good stuff, we helped out Nonna and Papa by blowing up some ant hills, in classic Alabama style.

fireworks review

I know you had as much fun as I did seeing your first backyard fireworks show. But like I said, if all I would have bought were smoke bombs and super snaps, you would have been just as happy.




New Infographic: Firework Safety- July 4th In America

It’s now common knowledge that we as parents in 2014 can’t raise our own kids the same way we were raised back in 1984. A lot has changed in 30 years!


An easy example is how it “used to be okay” to ride in the back of a pick-up truck; or even ride in a car without a seat belt- it’s actually against the law now.

My personal pet peeve in this category is, on Facebook, seeing pictures of a child on a riding lawnmower with their grandfather or dad. I’ve seen 2nd hand a couple of stories (which is too many!) of the child falling off and being seriously injured from the incident.

Some of those things that were once normal and acceptable, and even American, are now headed towards the status of taboo.

Right now I can’t not mention fireworks. Just a few weeks ago I was talking with my parents and my sister about how ridiculously unsafe the fireworks were that we used to play with back in the 80s. The concept of sparklers alone… Really?

Granted, I’m not against fireworks. In fact, I am very much looking for to using them next weekend for July 4th with my family.

In particular, we are trying to get our hands on some of those stupid made-in-China chickens that explode; along with some tanks. (Nothing says “Happy 4th of July” like celebrating with flags and fireworks that were made in China, while driving cars dependent on fuel from the Middle East. Oops… too political, sorry!)

This perfectly-timed infographic, “July 4th In America- Firework Safety” is worth checking out. In case I haven’t established this fact yet, I love infographics!

So enjoy your fireworks next Friday, and if I have anything to say about it, please keep your kids off of riding lawn mowers. I know I will.



Infographic Source: Instant Checkmate.