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If you look closely, you can see that the wee dark nurseling has long, laid-back ears, unlike perky little triangles of his “mom” and his next-door neighbor. The adoptee is bunny Bubbles, rescued by a family from Rotherham, Yorkshire, UK. The family cat friend, Snaggle Puss, happened to be in mother- mode, and carried the orphan to her private maternity nest. The rest, as they say, is history. See Orphan No MoreEditor’s Corner Essay: In the Middle of the NightTo begin with: this month’s Poetry selection, Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” is a nonsense poem, whose events occur in an upside-down world like that of virtually everything else in the Wonderland books. A story full of self-contradictory statements would seem an unlikely place to mine meaningful insights into animal- eating; but then the institution of animal-eating has its own share of self-contradictions, and the nasty little tale in the poem, which focuses on a flesh meal, can be seen as showing up some of them. This is not to claim that Carroll intended a vegetarian message, but only to show that his world of craziness and confusion fits that of flesh-eating.The setting of the story is a beach at midnight, but the sun (who is sentient) is shining brightly and annoying the moon, also shining, whose resentful thoughts we hear. Midnight with a bright sun--on a beach obviously located in a temperate zone? Nonsense, of course, but suppose we look at ‘the middle of the night’ in the sense that the main characters are as benighted as thoughtless meat-eaters, although they evidently think they see everything clearly.Here are some examples. The Oysters, except the canny eldest one, are all being deceived by the unlikely pair’s invitation to join them in a walk. The Walrus claims they can only take four, making the walk seem an elite affair., but many come, lured like fish to a baited hook: “[F]our young Oysters hurried up, / All eager for the treat . . . / Four other Oysters followed them, / And yet another four . . .” The Walrus, who does most of the talking and appears to be the originator of the plot, admits its nastiness, addresses them as “Oysters dear,” and gives out that he feels compassion for his victims: “It seems a shame,” the Walrus said, “To play them such a trick . . . “. “I weep for you,” the Walrus said, “I deeply sympathize.” / With sobs and tears he sorted out / Those of the largest size, / Holding his pocket-handkerchief / Before his streaming eyes.” By now the frightened Oysters are no longer deceived, so perhaps the Walrus is trying to convince himself of his great sensitivity? Or is he just a hypocrite? The Carpenter, more laconic than his companion, utters only a few brief, rude comments to him, but in two remarks addressed to the Oysters, he pretends courtesy; when the Oysters ask for time to catch their breath, his reply is “No hurry,” for which thoughtfulness he gets profuse thanks. His final, satiric “O Oysters . . . / You’ve had a pleasant run! / Shall we be trotting home again?” is issued after all have been consumed, so “answer came there none.” This, of course, is not deception, but just the cynical nastiness to be found in the crazy Looking-Glass world..The poem is kept safely on the nonsense level, and suitable for children, by the choice of oysters as victims. Here the Oysters are not only sentient but talk English, keep their nonexistent coats brushed, faces washed, and shoes (for their nonexistent feet), neat and clean; some of them are fat, and all get out of breath from walking too fast. But of all the creatures whose flesh humans eat, oysters, lacking a central nervous system, are among the least sentient and least problematic. Still, the poem leaves the reader feeling uneasy, because the plight of the Oysters reminds us vaguely of sentient creatures most humans do eat--cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys, et. al.. Theologian-activist Elizabeth Farians’ one-liner (or rather two-liner) “Please don’t eat the animals. They don’t like it” fits Carrolls’ Oysters perfectly, but can amuse even real meat-eaters because in bland terms it imagines the latter as devouring their animal victims alive, whereas the real meat-eaters’ victims are, after all, safely dead when devoured. So why worry?Are these interpretive ponderings too heavy for an apparently light-hearted nonsense poem? Or might they help awaken some meat-eaters from their “dogmatic slumbers?” Readers are invited to respond with their own interpretations, or rejection of any interpretation.--EditorUnset Gems“Please don’t eat the animals. They don’t like it.”--Elizabeth Farians, 1923 - 2013“Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.”“They plunder, they slaughter, and they rob: this they falsely name imperial government, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.”--Attributed to Scottish chieftain Calgacus by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus, ca. 56 CE - 120, pictured.NewsNotesCat Rescue OrganizationFor readers who live in or near Ft. Langley, British Columbia, Canada: the group Tiny Kittens is something they’ll want to know about. They rescue feral kittens and pregnant cats, give any needed medical care, and find homes for the kittens. See their website TinyKittens . --Contributed by Ellen MacSeabird CatastropheSumburgh Head, a rocky spur at the southern tip of Shetland, Scotland, has experienced a catastrophic drop in the birds nesting there every spring. For example, puffins, of which there were 33,000 in the year 2000, are down to 570. The cause is lack of food due to climate change. See Eerie Silence--Contributed by Marian HussenbuxNoticesOne of our subscribers, Gerald Niles, suggested that there was something missing from the Editor’s Corner Guest Essay about the rescue of rooster Kukkuta, namely, a picture of the author (and hero), Hope Bohanec. This omission has been rectified; see PT 147After forty-plus years of correspondence, I have lost touch with our movie and children’s book reviewer, Benjamin Urrutia. He does not reply to e-mail; my snail-mail letters bounce back, and phone calls get a message that his number is out of service. Because we have no friends in common, I cannot find out what has become of him. If any of our subscribers in the Chicago area, especially those with LDS connections, can help, please do.--EditorReview: SeafurrersPhilippa Sandall, Seafurrers: The Ships' Cats Who Lapped and Mapped the World. New York: The Experiment, LLC, 2018. Illustrated by Ad Long. 244 pages. Hardcover $14.95.Cats have had an indisputable role in human history, and this book makes vivid one significant segment of that part as it was played. Perhaps from ancient times, certainly since the great age of exploration, felines have sailed along with farseeing captains and laboring sailors like Captain Cook and Alexander Selkirk (the probable original of Robinson Crusoe), the great Arctic and Antarctic adventurers, and the fighting ships of all wars. In earlier time they had the all-important duty of keeping supplies and cargo free of rodents, whose rampages doomed more than one mission. Later, they served the hardly less significant function of mascot and companion to sailors far from home and sometimes under great stress. As a one-time Navy chaplain, I can attest to the immense value of such four-legged mates out on the endless blue. Indeed, some captains would never sail without one.Seafurrers (from sea-farers, of course) tells briefly the stories of a number of able-bodied sea-cats, based on original documents and news-stories, in a concise and entertaining way, accompanied with delightful illustrations by Ad Long. Admittedly, this book contributes little to the central and explicit purposes of The Peaceable Table, advocacy of veganism and animal rights. But I found it too interesting and unusual to pass up on PT’s pages, and am certain that anything which promotes awareness of animals’ individual personalities, together with appreciation of mutual human-animal cooperation, will advance those concerns e’re final land is sighted.One puzzling omission is the story of Unsinkable Sam (pictured, with human), the cat who survived three ship sinkings in World War II, and whose tale is perhaps the greatest of all ship's cat yarns. (In the interests of honesty, I should mention that there are those who believe this sea-story has grown a bit in the telling, but Sam was unquestionably a real cat; in any case, it is too good to pass up.) Named Oscar by his first rescuers, the redoubtable tuxedo cat began his nautical life as mascot aboard the great German battleship Bismarck. When that floating fortress was finally sunk by the Royal Navy in 1941 after a mighty sea-battle, Oscar survived by clinging to a timber, and was picked up by HMS Cossack, a British destroyer. Only a few months later that smaller ship was sunk by Nazi U-boats near Gibraltar, but Oscar survived by again clinging to a piece of plank. After recuperating in that British enclave, and being renamed Unsinkable Sam by his new friends, he went to sea once more aboard the carrier HMS Ark Royal. However, this third vessel was also torpedoed in November 1941, sending the long-suffering mascot's third ocean home down, but the brave animal was again rescued from the wave. This time he was given shore duty, first as mate and mouser in the home of the Governor General of Gibraltar, finally and appropriately as companion in a home for retired sailors in Belfast, where he lived quietly till his death in 1955.What is in the book is good enough, though. It would be a good read and a good gift for the right persons. Keep Seafurrers in mind.--Robert EllwoodMy Pilgrimage: Dance Lightly With the Living EarthBy Elizabeth Farians, 1923-2013I grew up eating animals, like most people in our culture. But my father was a great man with a great heart; he taught me compassion. He said: “Do not eat in front of the animals. Always feed them first and then you yourself can eat.” For this I am eternally grateful.My first steps in working for animals took place in Cincinnati, where a group of us formed an organization called “ARC,” Animal Rights Community. After Peter Singer's phenomenal book Animal Liberation appeared in 1975, we tried to organize on the national and state levels, but failing that, focused on working locally. We concentrated on the fur issue; the leg-hold trap, that sickening, barbaric practice, was still legal in Ohio. I can vividly remember picketing fur stores in downtown Cincinnati (there were no malls yet). There we stood at Seventh and Race streets by the seven-story Shillito Department store, which took up a whole block, handing out the hard-to-mimeograph, anti-fur flyers--this was before Xerox. People here took them without comment, but at a popular fur store in one of the suburbs, some people got angry after reading them, and came back to argue.Some time later, someone came to our meeting and explained the terrible suffering at our hands of the animals we ate. I can’t understand how I and the others did not realize this ourselves; how could we have been so obtuse? I became vegetarian on the spot, but with great sorrow for the suffering I had caused the animals until then. A short time later we came to realize the whole connection of dairy and eggs as well, and again I became vegan immediately. I had never eaten much meat, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a steak; my family couldn’t afford meat, only maybe in vegetable stew or meatloaf. But I did drink a lot of milk, and the dairy industry causes even more pain to the animals before they are killed and eaten anyway. But now when someone asks how long I’ve been vegan and I say "more than thirty years," I sorrowfully have to remind myself that, [now] being eighty-seven years old, I ate meat for more than fifty years. There is no credit here.Since we started ARC I have been an animal rights activist doing whatever I possibly could to help the animals. Among the more unusual things: to start a class on animal theology at Xavier University, to work with the National Organization for Women to get the members to see the feminist connection between the oppression of women and oppression of animals in a patriarchal society, and to try to influence the members of the Catholic Theological Society of America to get theologians to begin to deal with the animal issue. I already had an “in” with these groups, which enabled me to work with them. These efforts are ongoing. We are trying to find ways to extend the tenure of the animal group in the Theological Society by writing articles to present to other groups and to seek a way to win a place as an "invited" group in the new convention. In November I hope to attend the NOW State Conference in Columbus, Ohio. In the meantime I hope to get a committee together to rent a booth and distribute literature emphasizing the connection between the oppression of animals and the oppression of women, and show videos. . .When I go out I always wear a vegan-oriented button on my collar. As people strain to read the button they ask, “Oh, so you’re a vegetarian?” I reply, “Yes, aren’t you?” They usually say, “Oh, I just eat a little chicken and fish.” I say something about what that involves, such as what a painful death suffocation is for the fish, and offer them a pamphlet on the subject. I like “Compassionate Choices,” a Vegan Outreach publication. Usually they are glad to take the pamphlet because they feared they were about to get a sermon about how bad they are to eat any animal! So our brief conversation ends cordially and the word has been spread.The heart of our message is that we are made to love; it is our deepest nature. Compassion is the act of love, the way love expresses itself. "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God."Elizabeth Farians, a pioneer woman theologian, labored diligently for the oppressed all her adult life, including extensive work not only for animals but for racial justice, just peace, and to abolish the death penalty. For an essay summarizing her career, see Farians .This short biographical account of her awakening to the animal cause is reprinted from the August, 2010 PT.Recipe: Vegetable Nut Loaf1 onion, finely chopped1 or 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped1 large carrot, grated1 ½ cups of mixed ground [or chopped] nuts½ cup matzo meal2 T tomato paste½ onion thinly sliced1 ¼ cups vegetable broth [can be made with bouillon]Mix all ingredients well, except veggie broth and sliced onions. Grease ovenproof casserole dish; place sliced onions all over the bottom. Form nut and carrot mixture into a loaf and place on top of sliced onions.Bake at about 350 F., covered, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and baste with veggie broth; return to oven, leave uncovered, and bake another 15 minutes.--From Rose Friedman’s Jewish Vegetarian Cookery, adapted by Roberta Kalichofsky and Roberta Schiff in The Vegetarian Shabbat Cookbook.Poetry: Lewis Carroll, 1832 - 1898The Walrus and the CarpenterThe sun was shining on the sea,Shining with all his might:He did his very best to makeThe billows smooth and bright--And this was odd, because it wasThe middle of the night.The moon was shining sulkily,Because she thought the sunHad got no business to be thereAfter the day was done —"It's very rude of him," she said,"To come and spoil the fun." . . . .The Walrus and the CarpenterWere walking close at hand;They wept like anything to seeSuch quantities of sand:If this were only cleared away,'They said, it would be grand!' . . . .“O Oysters, come and walk with us!'The Walrus did beseech.“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,Along the briny beach:We cannot do with more than four,To give a hand to each.'The eldest Oyster looked at him,But never a word he said:The eldest Oyster winked his eye,And shook his heavy head —Meaning to say he did not chooseTo leave the oyster-bed.But four young Oysters hurried up,All eager for the treat:Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,Their shoes were clean and neat —And this was odd, because, you know,They hadn't any feet.Four other Oysters followed them,And yet another four;And thick and fast they came at last,And more, and more, and moreAll hopping through the frothy waves,And scrambling to the shore.The Walrus and the CarpenterWalked on a mile or so,And then they rested on a rockConveniently low:And all the little Oysters stoodAnd waited in a row.“The time has come”' the Walrus said,“To talk of many things:Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —Of cabbages — and kings —And why the sea is boiling hotAnd whether pigs have wings.'“But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,“ Before we have our chat;For some of us are out of breath,And all of us are fat!'“No hurry!' said the Carpenter.They thanked him much for that.“A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said,“Is what we chiefly need:Pepper and vinegar besidesAre very good indeed —Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,We can begin to feed.'“But not on us!' the Oysters cried,Turning a little blue.“After such kindness, that would beA dismal thing to do!'“The night is fine,' the Walrus said.“Do you admire the view?“It was so kind of you to come!And you are very nice!”The Carpenter said nothing but“Cut us another slice:I wish you were not quite so deaf —I've had to ask you twice!'“It seems a shame,' the Walrus said,To play them such a trick,After we've brought them out so far,And made them trot so quick!”The Carpenter said nothing but“The butter's spread too thick!'“I weep for you,' the Walrus said:“I deeply sympathize.'With sobs and tears he sorted outThose of the largest size,Holding his pocket-handkerchiefBefore his streaming eyes.“O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,You've had a pleasant run!Shall we be trotting home again?'But answer came there none —And this was scarcely odd, becauseThey'd eaten every one.--Lewis Carroll,Second drawing by John Tenniel