Tuesday, April 20, 2010

a picnic with myself.

Marine iguanas and Sally lightfoot crabs (the orange things in the crack of the rock and around - if you click the photo you will see a larger version), on the edge of Española Island, in the Galapagos archipelago.
Copyright (c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

Yesterday I had the most delightful day! I chose to turn off my ever-present laptop and take myself and a blanket to this nice little spot by a lake. I laid out my afghan in the gorgeous sun, and read Eating Animals. I fell asleep in the sun at one point, and then awoke, and read some more. I only left because I had a sort of strange encounter. This particular place I was is located near a bridge, near some homes. A young man came over, using a walker, and started talking to me. I am normally a friendly person but I was really enjoying my peace and quiet. My antenna prickled. I tend to be cautious and try to trust my intuition. However he started to mention God, and then turns out he went to the same church as me but didn't anymore. So I try to be open to God and fate and the universe and all, but there's also this thing of personal safety. Maybe I am too cautious, I don't know. He seemed very kind and sweet, really, but I think that perhaps the car accident (which he told me about) had affected a part of his brain that controls that kind of thing. Anyway other than that encounter the several hours I spent outside were divine - and some Blackberry photos of my time are below.

I've had another person crossing boundaries with me recently that I find a wee bit disturbing. Besides the above, I have this one guy who I initially emailed collegially who will NOT stop emailing me. I ignore him and that just makes him email more. I try to say something short and curt, to give the hint I'm not able to correspond. But nothing works. I feel like I am being cyberstalked. He's telling me all kinds of things about what he thinks my silence means, and judging my journalism skills and this that and the other thing and frankly, I am not sure what to do. He's halfway across the world, and there are no threats there, but it's still a very odd situation. Have any of you dear readers ever experienced anything like this? And why do strange things seem to all happen at once?

Other than that, I'm researching a story, editing my book, sending a query a day, working out at the gym daily, and looking forward to seeing Doug when he returns May 3rd! I also had a really nice lunch with a new friend today! I love friends!

This is the view from the blanket - the grass and the lake.

A snapshot of my water bottle sticker which says "My poo grows trees." The bird is a cassowary. Last year, wrote an article about these giant flightless birds, which live in the Australian rainforest.
My book, Eating Animals. The book I am reading that is. All I will say is, after a lifetime of being on-again off-again vegetarian (and in the past 15 years mostly NOT) it is a game changer. Everyone should read this book, to know the facts about what goes into the production of meat. If enough were known by enough people, it would change. There's simply no way we would allow what happens to happen if we collectively knew. I've never been a big animal rights person. I did research on lab animals. I ate meat. But the more I learn, the more I know I am complicit in the system if I vote with my dollars to continue the environmental degradation, animal abuse and cruelty that systematically goes on - particularly with pork, chicken, and turkey (less problems with cattle, though there is still some). It's very well researched and there are numerous citations to the original studies, just fyi. There are some lights in the darkness, a very few family farms who give their animals a decent life and a humane death...Here's the bottom line. Animal welfare laws do not apply to meat production. They apply to lab animals, your pets, shelters, wildlife but not to animals raised as meat. So what if birds suffocate, pregnant sows are confined to so little space these intelligent mammals get psychological problems, and everything walks in its own poo. So what if hundreds of animals on each farm die a day due to the very conditions they're kept in? So what if chickens are genetically engineered to produce giant breasts for our eating enjoyment, but they can't walk properly and their bones don't support their weight anymore (hence the bones break regularly)? It's all heavily documented. Eye-opening stuff. My kids are thrilled, Doug is thrilled (not). But let me tell ya. I am going to try to find a local rancher/butcher but I still don't know if I want to eat meat again. I've been a 95% vegetarian for the past couple months and this book is really fascinating! And that is just the start. There's also the whole environmental degradation issue I didn't even get into.
My foot and the partly cloudy sky!
A self portrait that I "Watercolor"-filtered with Photoshop. Just for fun.

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