The kind of things that fish eat repel me: things like worms and flies. But however the fish’s body assimilates those disgusting creatures to its own flesh makes them palatable to me, because I like to eat fish.
But I haven’t eaten fish in a long time—not because I’m fasting; it simply happens that that’s the truth. (My observations that began this entry were apropos of nothing.) I’m neither a vegan nor a vegetarian, but I end up eating nearly vegetarian without trying to do so: that’s just the type of dish I naturally favor.
(Who cares what anyone cares about, by the way? Why am I even boring myself with these thoughts?)
When I compare different types of beings to the beings known as human, insects seem most alien, “farthest away” from humankind; and fish seem “closer” to our brethren (I say our because I am also human, alas), and mammals seem closest. Here is what I find almost interesting: insects, being outlandish, are unappetizing; fish, being medium-strange, are somewhat appetizing; and mammals, being closest to the type of flesh that humans wear, are MOST appetizing.
To reconcile this carnivorous praise with my earlier admission about vegetarianism, understand that (unbeknownst even to myself while I was composing it) I wrote this “supposed key to human appetite” in accordance with the tastes of my earthly father—I mean, I imagined what he would have said. For he was a great fan of red meat. A big mammal man.
That’s not to say that my dad would enjoy eating reindeer, but I think that if you fed them to him, he’d grin; especially if they were doused in any type of sauce, like steak or barbecue. That’s the one proclivity that I share with my dad: we both love sauce.
Au jus, as far as I understand, is what they call a meat dish when it is served with its own natural juices from cooking. And when I was employed by a fast-food joint that sold chicken strips, it was my duty to ask the customers what type of dipping sauce they preferred: honey mustard, regular honey, ranch, sweet ’n’ sour, and I forgot the rest. There were six sauces that you could choose from, total. I recommend them all. They came prepackaged in little plastic tubs with peel-off tops.
But I’ve strayed far from the point that I wanted to make, which was this: If humans consider it abhorrent to eat insects because they are so very unlike humankind; and, according to the same code, the meat of mammals is relished for being a close neighbor to humankind; then why isn’t human flesh the most prized cuisine? Why aren’t cannibals deemed the apex of civilization?
I think it’s because killing and eating your own kind reminds you that you too are vulnerable to being killed and eaten. Whereas if you limit your slaughtering to cattle, it’s like traveling to a foreign land with a less-witty companion: you maintain the partnership because, like a foil to a gem, it renders your own acumen as superior. (Actually, what I just said doesn’t quite follow.)
I realize now, at this late point, that I haven’t even once mentioned birds, which are a large part of many humans’ diets…
No, wait: I did say chicken above—is not chicken a type of bird?
Forgive me for exposing another aspect of my ignorance: The way I see it, the scales of scaly creatures, like snakes and lizards, are actually feathers that haven’t yet blossomed; which is why fake scientists like myself consider the chicken to be a diminished, fluffy version of tyrannosaurus rex.
Rex means King. Oedipus Rex means King Oedipus (that is a tragedy by Sophocles). And my favorite novel about the famous Nazarene is written by Robert Graves and titled King Jesus, because Christ, like Rex, means King. So someone should write a new gospel and call it Jesus Rex.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
That’s Saint John’s Jesus speaking to his people (chapter 6, verses 53-57); now I wonder: does this imply that the Father has been eaten by the Son, or vice versa? …I don’t mean to be too jokey about this: I know that “eating” can be a metaphor for the process of reading or following a teaching. But it intrigues me that nowadays religious proselytizers attempt to market their creed in the most agreeable terms, in order to gain as many converts as possible; whereas Jesus appears to be doing exactly the opposite. And after reading through all of the four canonized gospels, one notes that this purposely unpalatable presentation is no anomaly—it’s as if Jesus does not want the easy convert, as though he were actually trying to dissuade the masses.
As an end for this entry on eating, I’ll quote the scene where Yahweh delivers a meal to the prophet Ezekiel. First, to give an idea of who we’re dealing with, here’s a description (1:26-28, JPS):
Above the expanse over their heads was the semblance of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and on top, upon this semblance of a throne, there was the semblance of a human form. From what appeared as his loins up, I saw a gleam as of amber—what looked like a fire encased in a frame; and from what appeared as his loins down, I saw what looked like fire. There was a radiance all about him. Like the appearance of the bow which shines in the clouds on a day of rain, such was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. That was the appearance of the semblance of the Presence of the LORD. When I beheld it, I flung myself down on my face. And I heard the voice of someone speaking.
Now at this next verse (2:1), for the sake of time and space, I’ll skip to the good part (2:8-3:3).
And He said to me, “O mortal… open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.”
As I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me, holding a written scroll. He unrolled it before me, and it was inscribed on both the front and the back; on it were written lamentations, dirges, and woes.
He said to me, “Mortal, eat what is offered you; eat this scroll, and go speak to the House of Israel.”
So I opened my mouth, and He gave me this scroll to eat, as He said to me, “Mortal, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll that I give you.” I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey to me.