The other day, I went a grocery store that specialized in dead animals. I was shopping for a piece of a dead animal to feed to a meat eating person (an “omnivore”). I found a package containing part of the body of a dead animal. It was covered in sauce, like a piece of tofu. It had been displayed in a refrigerated shelf with various other body parts, next to a tank of giant sea spiders that were still clinging to life. the spiders’ eye stalks had been cut off and their claws were bound so that they wouldn’t cut each other in their desperate attempts to escape. The idea was that people purchased these beings to bring home and cook them alive.
The stench of death was almost unbearable, but, after grabbing the packaged corpse of what used to be a magnificent sea creature, I had to go back to the counter near the sea spider tank. I realized that I had no idea how to prepare this dead flesh; should I heat it? Serve it cold? Would I have to touch it? I walked up to the counter where the employees slice up the dead animals and handed them to people to take home and eat. I was embarrassed to ask questions, afraid that the clerk would think that I was planning to ingest the dead animal myself. So, I explained that I was purchasing it for an “omnivore” friend.
The man whose job it was to decapitate baby animals explained how I should prepare the old piece of dead flesh that I held in my hands, and I left the store. Once in the light of the outdoors, I took in several deep breaths, free of the smell of rotting flesh. That night, I served part of the body of a dead animal to my omnivore friend.
For a less disgusting essay on things to eat, click the flower: