False: Ch 17, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams
A large dairy animal approached Zaphod Beeblebrox’s table, a large fat meaty quadruped of the bovine type with large watery eyes, small horns and what might almost have been an ingratiating smile on its lips.
“Good evening,” it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, “I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in the parts of my body?”
It harrumphed and gurgled a bit, wriggled its hind quarters in to a more comfortable position and gazed peacefully at them.
Its gaze was met by looks of startled bewilderment from Arthur and Trillian, a resigned shrug from Ford Prefect and naked hunger from Zaphod Beeblebrox.
“Something off the shoulder perhaps?” suggested the animal, “braised in a white wine sauce?”
“Er, your shoulder?” said Arthur in a horrified whisper.
“But naturally my shoulder, sir,” mooed the animal contentedly, “nobody else’s is mine to offer.”
Zaphod leapt to his feet and started prodding and feeling the animal’s shoulder appreciatively.
“Or the rump is very good,” murmured the animal. “I’ve been exercising it and eating plenty of grain, so there’s a lot of good meat there.”
It gave a mellow grunt, gurgled again and started to chew the cud. It swallowed the cud again.
“Or a casserole of me perhaps?” it added.
“You mean this animal actually wants us to eat it?” whispered Trillian to Ford.
“Me?” said Ford, with a glazed look in his eyes, “I don’t mean anything.”
“That’s absolutely horrible,” exclaimed Arthur, “the most revolting thing I’ve ever heard.”
“What’s the problem Earthman?” said Zaphod, now transferring his attention to the animal’s enormous rump.
“I just don’t want to eat an animal that’s standing there inviting me to,” said Arthur, “It’s heartless.”
“Better than eating an animal that doesn’t want to be eaten,” said Zaphod.
“That’s not the point,” Arthur protested. Then he thought about it for a moment. “Alright,” he said, “maybe it is the point. I don’t care, I’m not going to think about it now. I’ll just… er […] I think I’ll just have a green salad,” he muttered.
“May I urge you to consider my liver?” asked the animal, “it must be very rich and tender by now, I’ve been force-feeding myself for months.”
“A green salad,” said Arthur emphatically.
“A green salad?” said the animal, rolling his eyes disapprovingly at Arthur.
“Are you going to tell me,” said Arthur, “that I shouldn’t have green salad?”
“Well,” said the animal, “I know many vegetables that are very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am.”
It managed a very slight bow.
“Glass of water please,” said Arthur.
“Look,” said Zaphod, “we want to eat, we don’t want to make a meal of the issues. Four rare stakes please, and hurry. We haven’t eaten in five hundred and seventy-six thousand million years.”
The animal staggered to its feet. It gave a mellow gurgle. “A very wise choice, sir, if I may say so. Very good,” it said, “I’ll just nip off and shoot myself.”
He turned and gave a friendly wink to Arthur. “Don’t worry, sir,” he said, “I’ll be very humane.”
It waddled unhurriedly off to the kitchen.
Lent’s about to start!
i.e., the season in which I get to hear my friends and acquaintances complain every Friday about how hard it is to find non-meat options in the dining hall and say that the staff should be more accommodating to Christians.
And I’m not being at all sarcastic.
It’s for the love of theatre…
But there’s quite a bit to be said for the love of living mink, too…
If you have to disassociate yourself with what you’re eating in order to not feel awful about yourself…should you really be eating it?
I know plenty of people that have come to terms with the fact that they’re eating a cow or a pig or a chicken or a turkey or what have you. But there are many that, when this simple fact is mentioned, want to put it from their minds so they can continue eating it with a clear conscience. Someone that didn’t know gelatin was an animal product told me recently that they didn’t want to know what it was so they could continue to eat things containing it.
Does this seem like a backwards way of thinking to anyone else?