I don’t usually find ants fascinating, particularly when they invade my home, but these are incredible beings, with hierarchy and each, a functioning power within the community. As renown biologist, E.O. Wilson explains, they perform their role simply because that is what they are programmed to do. However as he soon discovered, when nature is tinkered with, civilizations crumble. In his study of ant colonies in Alabama, a thriving ant colony collapses when pesticides affect the ants’ ability to recognize the scent of the queen, and they reproduce indiscriminately to the point their population explodes and their community implodes.
In an earlier post I had hypothesized that pesticides had affected bees’ sense of smell necessary for pollination and navigation, as a plausible explanation for the collapse of bee colonies, so right now my head is swelling that I am in such smart company. Of course it is entirely possible they are much smarter that we give them credit for and this is a strike of massive proportions to revolt from the enslavement of churning out vats of honey and blooming gardens for our consumption.
But thanks to our Vegan subscribers, I learned that bees are not the only insects we exploit; food colorants cochineal and carmine/carminic acid, found in shampoos, cosmetics and fruit juice, are ground up beetles, NOT found in Kosher products. FD&C Red Dye #40, aka Red #40, is made from coal tar. So pick your poison folks. For this carnivore, I have added a list of Vegan avoidance (yes, I’m fully aware of the hypocrisy) and Kosher certification to my ScanAvert dietary settings, since both really do ‘answer to a higher authority’-cue the choir, please- Ah-men!
Every year my kids ask what I want for mother’s day and every year my answer is the same, “put up the net”. Mother’s day is the official day of summer for me regardless of temperature, or 50 mph winds howling off my deck. Once the net goes up, my entire family ‘gives in’ to my nagging and finds themselves with a racket in hand. There is something comical about badminton, swatting air, diving to prevent the fall of an object that has as much velocity as a floating feather. Even the Williams sisters would look clumsy doing it.
We contort, we fall, we cheat [“that was soooooo out!!”] generally, we suck, but we laugh. I dare anyone to play this game and not laugh at one another and themselves. But the real reason I love the net is because for $ 19.99 you get hours of engagement with your kids. This is no small feat because at some point in their early teens, you become “the worst most embarrassing company ever!”
Just a few weeks back, my youngest informed me that his friends ‘didn’t like me’. How could that be? Didn’t I play baseball in the backyard with them? or evened out the teams for kickball? Was it my icky [healthy] snacks? I was crushed. No, my son elaborated, I’m the only mom that limits the video game time. At his friends houses they are never interrupted in the “man cave”/video game lair. I don’t scold, or yell, I just cheerfully suggest they come outside and walk the dog, ride bikes or play with the sizeable collection of sports equipment I’ve amassed over the years at their pleading, and that is my inexcusable offense.
And yet as I leave them in the garage forced to occupy themselves outside, I hear them searching for the birdie because the net beckons, enticing everyone who visits, young or old, even “man cave” dwellers, to pick up a racket, swoop, cheat, shriek and heckle one another. And that’s one experience EA, and other video game makers can’t duplicate.