#1 No, it is a capital I, not a lower case l, or the numeral 1; though that mixup is one of the drawbacks of the Tahoma font used on this and many websites.
By the way, "Tahoma" is the American Indian name for our Mount Rainier, (pronounced: rain-ear) the 14,000 ft high semi-dormant volcano located in our backyard (about 80 miles to the southwest of me and when we can see it we say 'it is going to rain', because if we can't see it, the rain has already started falling).
#2 No, it has never been alive. (Even though plants are of the vegetable world, they are also alive unless they have been harvested.)
'Share and enjoy'