Zoom, The New Animal House

The term "animal house" entered the U.S. lexicon in 1978 with the movie premiere of the same name. The film set in 1962 is about a misfit group of fraternity college students who challenge the authority of the dean of the college. It's a group of guys who while having little to no ambition, love to party. The movie established a new blueprint for a counterculture.

Similarly, Zoomers have registered onto the app that helps fill today's void of limited socialization.  Due to a serious pandemic that's swept the land, they lacked the ability to gather and communicate up close and personal. That was until Zoom gave them an opportunity to do otherwise. This application allows members to communicate in mass (even beyond Skype's capabilities) . . . and opened the door for Zoomers to invite some real animals along for the ride.

Animal Farm

While folks are sheltering in place, it's no wonder that an app like Zoom was able to take off in the manner it has. Sweet Farm animal sanctuary out of Half Moon, California came up with the idea to have goats and other farm animals attend zoom meetings for a fee.

Goat 2 Meeting [pun intended] has helped to spice up the sometimes boring corporate meeting. With donations from $65 to $250, With a cast of characters that included Juno the goat, Paco the llama, Magnolia the cow, and Steve the rooster, the sanctuary gained a lot of publicity and donations in a short period of time.

Therapy for Therapy Animals

Zoom conference calls for 'animal therapy' by kids is a new twist for this service. To help children build their confidence and foster their love of pets, People Animals Love (PAL) allows children to read to therapy dogs via Zoom. The idea is sort of like providing therapy for therapy dogs during their downtime.

This was a practice previously held at libraries, military depots, and other community organizations. Zoom is currently offering 30-minute slots for 200 kids a week.

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

Sedona Ferguson is the operator of Goldilocks, a children’s entertainment company. She has adapted her kids’ birthday parties to work over Zoom.

For the younger children, she does musical statues and scavenger hunts, and dresses as princesses and pirates, while her TikTok dance parties – where she teaches viral dance routines – are more popular with the older ones.

“I was a little skeptical at first how a birthday party would work online, but I started promoting it on Facebook and it really took off,” she said. “I have had some Zoom calls with about 40 different people on, which is crazy.”

While bears are not invited to these Zoom events yet, Ferguson might think about staging her next Zoom birthday, at the local zoo where bears can be the guests of honor. After all, the Louisville Zoo has jumped on the 'animal house' bandwagon with that idea already . . .

Zooming at the Zoo

How would you like video chat with a chimp? a giraffe? an elephant? The Louisville Zoo will allow you to invite up to 10 of its animals to be special guests on Zoom video conference calls.

Some of its "Zoom-bassadors" include Fitz the baby elephant, who now weighs about 655 pounds, and Qannik the polar bear. Sloths, camels, gorillas, and giraffes can also be invited to meetings.

Animals can be booked for 10 minutes between 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a donation of $75.

Adopt on Zoom

The dog food brand Pedigree is in the process of establishing dog adoptions via Zoom meetings.

Mashable's Tim Marsh said, "It makes sense, really. We all live on Zoom, or FaceTime, or Google Hangouts — it's how we connect with friends and family — so why not use it to connect with pups?

The basic premise is to let would-be dog adopters virtually meet dogs, ask questions, and adopt without leaving their homes.

Pedigree is working with the Nashville Humane Association to start the adoption Zoom meetings on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. The meetings will take place at 5 p.m. local time. To learn more about this service, you can sign up for one of those Zoom meetings here.


So while the Zoom menagerie of animal choices are varied, they do differ with the John Landis' Animal House movie in one respect. The Zoom animals are no slouches (with the exception of the sloth). They have a lot of ambition and energy and are known to put on a good show.

So if you're looking to party hearty by putting a little zip in your zoom, think about inviting an "animal house" cast of characters to your next online call.


Zoom, The New Animal House


Primary Source: The Guardian



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