This was an enormously long chat - more than 4 hours!
Now Zoe came in first, but decided to go have lunch so when Rachel entered she didn't get an answer to her 'hello' so she tried a little harder with "Zoooooooeeeeeeeee", but of course didn't get a response. Then Breaca came in and said 'hello'. Then Zoe suddenly appeared saw what Rachel had written and said "hellooooooooooooooooo". As luck would have it, I came in just at that moment and thought Zoe was saying hello in that rather extravagant fashion to me so I quickly tried to reciprocate "hellooooooooooooooo to you tooooooooooooo".
No one had a chance to respond, because Rachel wondered if I could interpret dreams. Apparently, she kept being drowned by an evil plant. Naturally, there were several interpretations offered. I suggested that she shouldn't think the plant was evil; Sangeeta suggested the dream meant Rachel should eat more plants; Breaca figured that the plant was really Rachel's Adam in some alien form. However, Rachel insisted that Adam was not the alien, but that Gary Senice was the alien. I lost track of what was happening at this point, but I figured that from what Rachel said about the plant's activities Gary Senice wasn't sonice.
We had obviously helped Rachel a lot and made her feel much better about this frightening incident, because she was able to change the subject and ask where Dylan was.
Breaca mentioned the fiasco that had taken place on RHP clan forum yesterday directed at Skeeter. Fortunately, Zoe, Ranjana, Sangeeta, Fjord and I were able to publically emphasize that this wasn't acceptable behaviour. Breaca posted today to the same tune and Sir Ivanhoe suggested that the thread be closed which the moderators did follow through with.
Zoe asked an interesting question regarding whether we eat candies with gelatin in them. Since we don't eat candies, the answer is obviously no, but it got us to discussing what we avoid as vegans. Zoe was surprised to hear that in addition to the usual meat, dairy, eggs, vegans avoid leather, silk, honey and wool. The rationale for leather is pretty obvious, but here are the some reasons for avoiding the others:
1. "silk is produced by boiling silk worms alive or cooking them alive...one silk worm is the equivalent of a tiny strand of thread...imagine how many worms for a shirt!!!! millions!- it's jst gross! and wrong!" (Sangeeta)
2. "honey: bees produce honey for thier babies, for thier own survival- we take it from them and replace it with sugar water- that's pure exploitation....a jar of honey is te amout of work a bee would do traveling 3 times around the equator!" (Sangeeta)
"many bees can be injured or killed through the process of obtaining honey and besides they'veworked hard to make that honey for themselves" (Ranjana)
3. wool is produced at the serious expense of sheep's well-being. Despite common illusions, sheep undergo horrors for this industry:
"Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. One eyewitness who saw the shearing of sheep said: "[T]he shearing shed must be one of the worst places in the world for cruelty to animals - I have seen shearers punch sheep with their shears or their fists until the sheep's nose bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off ?"
The quote is from the website www.woolisbaad.com in case anyone wants to explore the realities further.
While it is true that not all farmers hurt the sheep, the vast majority of sheep do not get the benefit of these particular individuals, because profit not compassion still dominate people's actions.
Zoe reflected how she has personally "seen the poor treatment of sheep from new zealand and a sheep ship was berthed next to mine in new zealand and it was not nice".
Rachel asked Sangeeta whether she could get rid of some leather materials by giving them to PETA so that they could be sold to make money for the AR cause. People often do exactly this sort of thing when they realize they do not want to support an industry that inflicts cruelty on animals. A few months ago, for instance, PETA was able to send a large number of boxes filled with furs donated by people who refused to wear fur any longer.
Then Rachel asked whether I watch De Grassi high. I said no because I don't need to watch a show about high school since I have taught in one for so long. I did recall that this particular show was actually quite a good one in the 70s, but since we rarely watch tv, I wasn't particularly interested in anything that remotely resembled a soap opera. Oh oh! That got me into trouble with Zoe and Rachel who are both soapfisianados, but I think that the mention of soap, caused Ranjana to head for the shower.
Sangeeta said that she likes Star Trek which we do as well because of its scientific and social merits. When I mentioned that Mr. Spock was a role model for me, Rachel asked whether I had those pointy ears. I pointed out, though not with my ears, that I didn't get the ears since I had settled for horns instead. Sangeeta also noted that her picture on our family page is one where she is half-elf, half-vulcan, which is all fine, except I couldn't figure out which half is which despite my personal associations with vulcans.
Then we got on to the Xfiles and Sangeeta mentioned that she had met Scully at an animal rights awards show. Apparently, her production at that time, Worldfest (the largest vegan festival in the world www.worldfestevents.com ) almost managed to get Mulder to be one of the many celebrites who appear at that event.
Then a great thing happened as we sent Rachel off to fill out the Veggiecarta. She was mistakenly under the assumption that she had to have a pawnstar to be on our family page and I told her that this wasn't true. While Rachel was gone, Ranjana bickered with me about whether she had damaged the shower (which I was most relieved to learn she had not), Zoe said that she played the guitar (and also the viola and violin) and Sangeeta suggested that she and Zoe play a violin-sitar duet.
After Rachel returned, I went looking for a remora fish for her, which proved to be a surprisingly lengthy process, so I do not know what happened in the chatroom. Well actually I do, because I just read it, but since I don't see anything there that I said, I don't know if anyone would believe my account of what transpired. One thing is for certain though and that is Ranjana kept telling everybody how much trouble I was having finding that remora fish picture! But I did find it and now you can all see Rachel's new profile on our family page:
Just as I returned to tell Rachel the good news she disappeared! I thought it might be a result of ecstatic joy because of my success, but later I found out that it was because her computer had crashed and she wasn't able to get back online for a few hours.
We were all happy to see Fjord when he arrived. Ranjana inquired about his leg and learned that it was healing well. I asked about his natural mohawk haircut and found that it was doing well too. I expressed my great admiration for it since Ranjana has helped make sure I don't have any hair. Of course, she denied it, but I don't think anyone was convinced - I certainly wasn't.
While we discussed the validity of my claim, Sangeeta answered several questions Zoe had regarding PETA. Some of PETA tactics tend to be on the 'outrageous' side and while some quite justifiably question their effectiveness, it is important to remember that PETA does a lot of their 'stunts' soley to generate publicity and awareness regarding the cruelty towards animals. What PETA has found in the past is that if they just 'talk' about something, media don't listen. This approach has been criticized by some AR groups and applauded by others, because there is a wide discrepancy as to the ideologies of AR groups.
Then Zoe raised the excellent question as to why the individual groups don't join together and form a strong single entity. I have often thought about this, especially back in the 80s when I thought it would be a good idea to unify the various groups involved in the peace movement. As I look back now, I feel that the reasons unification wouldn't be a good idea is because
1) different groups focus on different issues appealing to different people 2) a single group would make an easier target for the opposition
Still, I think Zoe's point is a good one because sometimes AR, feminist and even peace groups fight amongst themselves.
Zoe had to leave, but stayed on since Andrew arrived and she hadn't really talked to him before. Their first encounter went like this (with a little help from me):
[purclecow] who is reizen? [pradtf] purclecow> reizen is an andrew [purclecow] what does he do? who is he? [pradtf] purclecow> he comes to the chat from all kinds of places [purclecow] but what does he do? [reizen] purclecow> what do you do, who are you? [pradtf] reizen> purclecow is a zoe [purclecow] me, well i am me and i work for the merchant navy [reizen] purclecow> These are very big questions [purclecow] i always have big questions [reizen] purclecow> I am me and I work towards my happiness. [purclecow] happiness, cool job
Fjord was so confused by this exchange that when I asked where he was, all he could reply was
His reply so confused me, that all I could respond was
Andrew and Zoe though simply ignored our confusion and proceeded to discuss travel with Ranjana joining in. But this talk caused Sangeeta to remember that she had to travel so she left.
So just to show that we didn't take any of this personally, Fjord and I talked about Padfoot, the master of evil on RHP, but since there really wasn't much to discuss we soon stopped. Before we did, though Zoe finally left saying that this time she meant it. I was immediately reminded of the policeman scene from Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance and mentioned it and to my most pleasant surprise Andrew sang out "Tarantara"!
This got us into a wonderful discussion with him about him! We learned that Andrew was a professional, baritone opera singer at one time, but chose a different profession because the opera didn't appeal to him. Ranjana was of course delighted to hear all this since she is a classical singer herself.
Then Andrew and Ranjana started discussing the animal companions they had encountered and somewhere in the midst of all this, Fjord got me into trouble with Ranjana. I'll tell you how he did it. He brought up the topic of frogs because his granddaughter had found one that they later released and I causually made the observation that Ranjana reminded me of a frog. Now this was merely an interesting observation because her teacher gave her singing exercises to imitate a frog. Now I was careful to write this while she was on the phone, just so she wouldn't take it the wrong way, but as it turned out she saw it and when she denied that her singing exercises had anything to do with a frog I had to think fast. So I suggested that perhaps I really meant a toad since they sing up quite a chorus in the trees around our place in the fall. This didn't seem to help the overall situation and Ranjana said something like I was trying to sing at this point. Andrew said something about digging a hole to me, but Fjord got me out of trouble by mentioning a singing grasshopper ('sprinkhaan') which seemed like the appropriate thing to do since I got into all this trouble because of him in the first place. Fortunately, Ranjana started talking to Andrew about something else because she might have been concerned that the meditating grasshopper may start to sing.
Feeling he had done his good deed for the day, Fjord decided to leave at this point. Fortunately, Andrew talked at length with Ranjana about various matters and she must have forgotten about what transpired. At least, that is what it seems like as I clandestinely write this with the door locked.