Thursday, May 7, 2009

No Kill Conference in Washington DC May 2nd and 3rd, 2009

So here's a little bit about what happened at the No Kill Conference that I went to down in Washington DC last weekend - there were a lot of people there - and there were a lot less Canadians than I thought there would be. I learned a ton of stuff and am still putting everything I got there together so that I can make some sense of it - I think I will make a separate post about that - the things that seeped into my pea brain - we'll see how they spew out.
It rained the whole time we were there, pretty much - which was difficult for those of us who are made almost completely of sugar - I was melting the whole weekend, which made things a bit uncomfortable, but not insurmountable. All the talks were in different buildings - so I personally was melting and drying. By the end I was pretty much composted - which was something that was pretty neat, and quite brave of the organizers - all the food served at the event was vegan - this was the first thing I'd gone to where everything was completely vegan and compostible. Another thing was - there was nothing there that I could buy - no tshirts, coffee mugs or other consumer goods - I would have liked to have spent egregious amounts of money on charitable junk from vendors - but no luck. I had to satisfy myself by swiping a big pile of bumper stickers - so I have got bumper stickers for all my friends, anyway.

I did get in a little shopping - I looked in the phone book to see if there was a Tibetan shop - and sure enough there was - so I made a beeline for that store - well, it actually took me a few hours to get there by taxi. It seems that in Washington they don't feel the need to put street numbers on the front of their buildings, yet the taxi companies will only go to addresses that have physical locations - so the building that I was at at George Washington University had no address on the front of the building - but I had to find it's physical address - which took about 45 minutes, and the address of the store I wanted to go to didn't have it's complete address in the phone book, and the fellow working at the store that I talked to on the telephone didn't speak english - so he was no help at all - so through my savvy use of the browser on my blackberry - I did eventually find the stores physical address - another half hour. And then I called the taxi back - initially when I called the taxi to find out I needed to do all this pre-work - I was on hold for about 25 minutes - only to be hung up on after being told I needed a physical address. I love Americans.

So once I've done all my proper homework and have all the information I need in order to procure the fabled taxi - I get to be on hold for another 25 minutes - and ask "how long will it take for the taxi to arrive?" - and the lady says "the taxi driver will call you when he is on his way". So I wait. And wait. And wait. For an hour. And I am standing in front of the building where we'd had our morning session for the conference and start a conversation with a fellow attendee - and she says "would you like a drive to the store?" and I say "YES, PLEASE" - and so my sorry, wet butt gets in their car and I say to myself that maybe there is a God afterall.

As I am exiting the Tibetan store with my hard won goods - what do I see? The bloody taxi - he had come to the store to look for his fare - in Washington when you cancel a taxi - there is a FIVE DOLLAR charge. So I walked out of the Tibetan Store and into the store next door - and thought to myself - fuck you taxi driver.

This story actually has an ending. Sunday night - the night before I was due to come home to Halifax - I had to get up at 4am to catch my flight - my cell phone rings at 12:30am - it wakes me up - I'm wondering to myself, "who the hell is calling me at 12:30am! So I get up and look at who the number is - guess who it is - it's that goddamm taxi driver! He was calling me at that hour just to wake me up. Some Americans I think are just plain assholes when you owe them five dollars.

I got some lovely stuff at the Tibetan Store though, so the bad karma was worth it.

So on to the talks - they were all fabulous - I of course went to almost all of Nathan's talks - a couple of them are online, and actually most of them were based on blog posts he had previously written which is kind of interesting - his opening speech is available to be read on his blog in a post called "It's a Wonderful World"

I'd imagine it's only for a limited time, but some of the documents they gave out at the conference are available on the "What's New" page at the No Kill Advocacy website - there's just a ton of good stuff there - they are zip files - so there's tons and tons of files. As I've said before - all killer, no filler.

And while we were at the conference - Animal Wise Radio broadcast live from there - I haven't listened to the Podcast yet, but it's available for listening - here - if you want to listen.

So if you're interested, stay tuned for a post about the stuff that I actually learned at the No Kill Conference - hopefully I'll have time in the next few days to make a post about that.


  1. Anonymous11:38 PM

    Holy crap -- that taxi story is a riot Joan! Loved it.


  2. Janet Chernin1:45 PM

    OH MY DOG Joan sounds like you were having Tantric Sex(waiting a long time to reach the pinnacle - winka)trying to get to the Tibetan shop. What a story! and I cannot believe that it is legal to charge someone for not using a service and then having the public pay more in a fare because there are no numbers on buildings - can't wait to hear more stories - please keep regalling us with your tales!

    Janet and the Canine Casbah Crew

  3. Anonymous2:55 PM

    That taxi story is a complete RIOT - I am still laughing!!! You GO Joan!