There’s a very good reason why I don’t like going to zoos. No matter what I’ve eaten beforehand, no matter how much I had to eat and how soon before I had it – I always get extremely hungry.
Now look here: I love animals as much as the next person. In fact, I have a respect for them that borders on fearful compliance. Just ask my cousin who owns one of those big dogs that always jumps on you.
The fact of the matter is anytime I see an animal, whether it’s a gazelle on Nat Geo or a pug walking down Venice, I can’t help but think about what kind of taste sensation it would be in my mouth. I’m not the most worldly person when it comes to cuisine, so maybe this curiosity stems from a need to compensate.
But when you stop and think about it – really think about it – are these really such bizarre thoughts to have?
Perhaps part of it is the exoticism. I wouldn’t think twice passing by a cow, chicken, or pig since I have them in one form or another during my everyday life anyway. Yet sharks, pandas, and rabbits – can’t say they end up on my plate most days. So the rarity of their appearance on our dinner table increases how appealing they seem to me and the more appealing they are to me, the more I wonder how they would be soaked in a nice broth. I mean, I can’t cook for shit but my father can work some miracles in the kitchen for serious.
The only other explanation I can think of is a drive to discover the correlation between critter cuteness and critter taste. Growing up, I saw the movie Flipper and part of me wondered how that shiny skin would taste like boiled. Would it be chewy, like the fat on a piece of steak? Or would it be something beyond that, something sublime, since that sheen had no real analog in any of the other animals I ate.
Yes, I thought of this as a child.
Even Disney movies helped develop this inquisitiveness, however indirectly. When Mufasa falls to his death in The Lion King, the one thought running through my young mind was “Why waste a perfectly good lion?” As Abu gets into all sorts of mischief in Aladdin (and its inferior direct-to-video sequels), the only mischief I wanted him to get into was in my tummy.
Does that make me messed up? Does that make me a bad guy? I don’t know, but let me finish this chipmunk and I’ll get back to you.
P.S. Still wondering about dolphin – anyone tried it?