Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)’s
Global Emergency Operation (GEO)’s
Compassion for Animals Road Expedition #6 (CARE-6)’s
Field journal #7
August 19, 2008
Dear HOPE-GEO team and all friends in compassion:
Today (Aug. 19) is the second day of the 4-day Animal Rights National Conference (www.ARConference.org). I gave my first 3 of 12 speeches, signed dozens of books, and collected a jarful of donations, but this journal entry is about
Before I go on to
I left the trailer park at
Julian then whisked me off to view one of
Julian dropped me off at the UU Church and I gave him a copy of my book, writing in it: “To Julian: Thank you for the Holy Shit experience.” He burst out laughing upon seeing it.
After waving Julian good-bye, I drove to a restaurant called A Taste of Asia for some veg noodles, then drove on up to the rural property of Don Gartman with its steep driveway and two artificial ponds complete with large coy fish and a protective net against heron predation. A very hospitable couple, who also led me by car to the UU Church the following day, the 10th.
The UU church event had two components. A 9 – 10:30 a.m. forum to about 50 people, and an 11 a.m. sermon to about 150 people, both with ovations. Many accepted the book with gratitude and volunteered donations. In the forum audience were
After the sermon, I drove on to Rebecca Goth’s home in Wheeling some four hours due north, re-entering
Rebecca’s home is of a log-cabin-type construction sitting on a fairly steep slope overlooking a forested hillside well away from the city. She received me warmly and treated me like a prince as all other hosts do. When I first met her on myspace, I saw that her cover picture showed her holding a horse. I half-jokingly remarked that what I missed most while touring was horseback riding. Lo and behold, she had booked me a trail-ride the next morning at 10 at a riding academy nearby.
Shortly after my arrival, her husband Helmut came home. Almost immediately after our introduction, he said that thanks to the interference of “environmentalists”,
The next day, the 11th was a bit of a rest day, as if I needed one. It was the day of the equestrian outing. It was a gentle ride through a West Virginian forest. Both Rebecca and I are “horse whisperers”, meaning that our relationship with horses are diametrically opposed to that of rodeo riders and horse “breakers”. Still some AR theorists disapprove of any kind of equestrianism, on the ground that however humane it is still human domination over animals. To these I usually ask one question: “How many rats and cockroaches and deer and raccoons live in your house, which has forcibly evicted them from their natural habitat where your house now stands?” I don’t need to ask if they have ever taken care of a horse. And it matters not to them that most private horse guardians, except the real horse exploiters, treat their horses as they would their own children. But to the rest, here is an example of a definitive difference: Rodeo riders ride against their horses, and humane riders ride with them. The former electro-shock their horses and pinch their genitals to start the ride; the latter almost always pet their horses on the neck at the end of each ride, our way of saying thanks.
After the ride, Rebecca drove me to a huge “outdoor sport” store named Cabela’s, which sits on a road named after it – Caleba - basically just to shock me, and succeeding. I must say, even having checked out so many hunting stores, such as
August 12 was a busy day. We had a 3:15 pm radio interview lined up, and a library lecture to deliver at 6 pm. In the early afternoon, Rebecca drove me to visit the
While Rebecca was driving me to the radio station, I asked her how long the interview was supposed to last. She said anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on how interested in the subject the host was and how the interview went. 45 minutes was what the host gave to Howard Lyman when he was in town, as organized by Rebecca herself. By this measure, then the host must be enormously interested in our subject matter, and the interview must have gone incredibly well, since it lasted 1 hour 15 minutes. It was an open-line program, so a few phone calls came in, and all said essentially that global warming was a hoax. And while the host was open-minded, his side-kick wasn’t, who interrupted me several times in mid-sentence. At one point, the guy interjected, “
The library talk was attended by about 20 people, including a few from the
Aug. 13 I drove the 7 hours from
On the morning of the 14th,