Lampreys, Vegans, and Other Natural Disasters
So, how about that earthquake yesterday? That was pretty interesting wasn’t it? I figured if I posted about it yesterday I’d just be one of a million people on the internet posting about it (like this, and this and of course this), but if I posted about it today I’d be like, a solo voice or something.
I guess the thing I do now is tell you about where I was when the earthquake hit? Well, I was at work, which is the home of the artist I am doing some personal assistant stuff for, and we were eating lunch. She lives in a big three story house set on a hill and she has many shelves filled with glassware and pictures and pottery. As we were eating lunch said shelves started rattling. And then the house started rattling. And I said “Beverly, is your dryer malfunctioning?” and she said “No, Lindsay, I’m not doing any laundry” so we both looked at each other with panic. Her four Persian cats, with whom I am obsessed mind you, started running about and it was all scary and alarming for about 30 seconds. Afterwards I claimed that it had to be construction, North Carolina doesn’t get earthquakes. Beverly turned on the tv and lo and behold, I was wrong, EARTHQUAKE. I think the cats got over it much more quickly than we did because pretty soon they looked like this.
Anyways I soon got back to work but I couldn’t help checking Facebook and Twitter every few minutes because I just love it when the entire nation joins together over the social network to snark on a particular topic. It makes me feel like a true American, y’all.
So I hope that y’all have recovered from the earthquake because I’m here to tell you about another national disaster, basically the scariest one I can think of. LAMPREYS Y’ALL.
If you have never seen a lamprey it looks like this:
Okay, I know, that doesn’t look that scary right? It just looks like a bunch of eels. Well, that’s because you haven’t seen the mouth yet:
GUYS!!! That’s one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen. It looks like the Pit of Sarlacc except it is real and it legitimately exists on this planet. I find it utterly terrifying that creatures that resemble terrifying blood-sucking aliens actually exist. And yes, this is a terrifying, parasitic, blood-sucking creature. It attaches itself to its prey and basically sucks the nutrients and lifeblood out of the body. Like this:
Revolting. Even more revolting? People eat lampreys. They are a delicacy in some places. I do not consider myself a picky eater but I just cannot see myself enjoying a lamprey, all “Oh, how’s your lamprey honey?” “Well, I don’t know, maybe it is a little undercooked because I just found a lake trout’s innards in my dish and I don’t think that’s supposed to be ther–Oh GOD IT IS ALIVE IT IS ATTACHED TO MY NECK OH HELP ME! THE HUMANITY! THE HUMANITY!”
Back to how lampreys are a natural disaster. In the wild they exist. That’s fine. They have their place on the food chain. I might not like it, but nature has lampreys for a reason. However, lampreys are an invasive species that has gotten into areas such as the Great Lakes. When in the Great Lakes the lampreys kill off lake trout and other valuable, not gross to eat fish. And what do you think they’ll do when they finish eating the fish? They’ll grow legs and emerge from the water and start eating us. See? Disaster. (Okay, so maybe I made up that part about them growing legs and killing off the human race. Sometimes one is up until 3:00 in the morning and the mind starts racing, you know? That whole killing off lake trout part however, that’s true and very sad and scary).
Some scientist types in Michigan are working on ways to get rid of the lampreys in the Great Lakes. io9 posted amazing videos of lampreys freaking out in response to a repellant (note how the post is under the tag “HOLY CRAP WTF” which is my general reaction to lampreys and it was also my reaction to the earthquake yesterday, at least I am consistent) which would be really interesting if it weren’t for the sheer terror that is a horde of lampreys jumping out of the water. The article is worth checking out if you are interested in how humans respond to invasive species and also more terrifying images of lampreys. Like this one.
(Seriously, though, I have this weird thing where I look up terrifying animals on the internet and stare at their pictures for an inordinate amount of time, generally freaking myself out but also being drawn in by the sheer fascination of how horrifying certain creatures look. Have you ever Googled giant isopod or Bathynomus giganteus lately? No? Well, when I did I jumped out of my chair and tore across the room shrieking. Talk about eyes that will eat your soul. Don’t say I didn’t warn you).
So by now I am sure y’all are wondering how vegans fit into this whole mess. No, I am not one of those people who thinks that vegans are a natural disaster. I have a few vegan friends, and they are generally good and logical people (because they are not PETA types bless them). While I myself would never go vegan and personally see nothing wrong with eating tasty animal products (if animals weren’t meant to be eaten then there would be no food chain people, also, that cow milk has to go somewhere and it might as well go into my ice cream!) and yes I know that most vegans are protesting against factory farming and the general treatment of animals and I agree that is abhorrent but I’m not here to debate the merits of ice cream vs. soy ice cream (ungh). I am here to tell a story about vegans and lampreys.
So I know this one vegan, she is vegan because she loves all animals, even creepy horrible bugs that she would rather trap and set outside than kill. Seriously, bug, if you are in my house, you are a dead bug, you dared to set foot on my property, that’s it, squish. Anyways, she was at dinner one night, enjoying a vegan cous-cous type dish, and expounding about her love of animals. We kept goading her:
“So, you love spiders?”
“Of course, they create beautiful webs.”
“You love snakes?”
“What about lampreys?”
The vegan fell silent for a moment. Then, “What’s a lamprey?”
“A disgusting parasite that looks like an eel and has a terrifying mouth full of teeth and it will attach itself to you and suck out your innards like an alien,” I provided. Gleefully.
“Well,” the vegan said, “maybe not lampreys.”
See. Even vegans think lampreys are a natural disaster.
Sweet dreams everyone!