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Topic: anthropomorphic munchies Return to archive
11-18-02 04:03 PM
Peter T Chattaway I just came out of a screening of The Wild Thornberrys Movie, which I believe doesn't open for another month, and while it's way, way too early to review the film, I find myself contemplating the possibility of writing a feature on the anthropomorphization of animals, more specifically the anthropomorphization of carnivores, in children's stories. My review of Ice Age touched on this earlier this year, and I'm thinking it may be worth devoting an entire article to the subject.

For those who don't know, The Wild Thornberrys Movie is a spin-off of some animated Nickelodeon TV show (which I don't think we get here in Canada, but I'm gleaning all this background info from the film's prologue) about a family that travels the world and produces a TV show about wild animals. One girl has the ability to talk to animals because she freed a warthog from a leg-hold trap once, and the warthog turned out to be a shaman in disguise, who rewarded her by giving her this power; the only catch is that she cannot tell anyone else she has this power, or she will lose it.

The film is set in Africa, so of course, the villains are poachers. And the first animal the poachers take is ... a baby cheetah. A baby cheetah whose mother had just told him and his siblings that it was time to get some food. Hmmm. Do we ever see the cheetahs actually catch and kill an animal? No, though we do see a single cheetah chase an entire flock of gazelles. I'm still working out what to make of all that. Hunters have a very bad rep in children's films, and that is as true of animals who hunt for their food as it is for humans who do the same -- so while a film might acknowledge that an animal is a carnivore, it often steers clear of showing the moments when animal actually finds and kills and eats its food. Witness the sabretooth tiger in Ice Age who turns good -- there is a wonderful joke about how he wouldn't eat the sloth because he doesn't eat "junk food", but, well, what DOES the sabretooth tiger eat, after he has become a friend to the sloth and the woolly mammoth? The film never shows us -- and The Wild Thornberrys is in similarly murky territory, since it seems all the animals speak the same language (not only can elephants and monkeys talk to the one girl, but they can even understand each other).

I've got to get back to work now, so I haven't got time to flesh this out here, but a number of things come to mind that might be worth mentioning in such an article. Can anyone here think of any other possible angles I could explore?

* the difference between talking animals and the other kind in Lewis's Narnia stories
* Charlton Heston, a proud hunter, playing a poacher in his son's film Alaska
* the biblical metaphor of lions and lambs lying down together as an image of future paradise -- is this meant to be taken literally? how do we deal with the fact that God MADE carnivorous plants and animals, and that he made our own bodies dependent on our ability to eat meat? is there a place for natural violence in Christian thought?
* the T-Rex that some thought of as a villain or a monster in Jurassic Park turns out to be a loving parent in The Lost World
* of course, The Lion King's "circle of life"
* the Simpsons episode where Lisa rescues a fish from some garbage on the beach and throws it back in the water -- where it is promptly devoured by another fish
* actually, a few other Simpsons episodes come to mind -- that show really does love to de-romanticize nature
* Qui-Gon Jinn's line "There's always another fish" and how natural violence serves as a backdrop to the Jedi Knights' sacralization of violence in Star Wars

Any other ideas?
11-19-02 01:11 AM
Amanda Caldwell
quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
The film never shows us -- and The Wild Thornberrys is in similarly murky territory, since it seems all the animals speak the same language (not only can elephants and monkeys talk to the one girl, but they can even understand each other).



Maybe they're listening with their hearts?

quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
* the difference between talking animals and the other kind in Lewis's Narnia stories



Yes, and they only eat the nontalking kind. When they find out once that they're eating a talking deer, they're sickened. That was a good way Lewis had to get around being carnivorous/omnivorous and still have animals as main characters.

quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
* Charlton Heston, a proud hunter, playing a poacher in his son's film Alaska



Why am I not surprised?

quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
* the biblical metaphor of lions and lambs lying down together as an image of future paradise -- is this meant to be taken literally? how do we deal with the fact that God MADE carnivorous plants and animals, and that he made our own bodies dependent on our ability to eat meat? is there a place for natural violence in Christian thought?



Some have postulated that before the Fall, no one ate meat, but was there really supposed to be no death before the Fall? I guess this interpretation comes from God's killing the animals for skins right after the Fall, suggesting that such a thing hadn't happened before.

But, apart from that, the Bible doesn't forbid meat eating (and it forbids a lot of other foods), and Jesus eats meat and goes fishing.

But I'm not sure what you mean by our bodies being "dependent on our ability to eat meat." Our bodies also have the ability not to eat meat, so how are they dependent on the ability?

Your comment about the lion and lamb lying down together reminds me of Lewis' hope that it was only metaphorical, because he thought that a lion eating straw had lost its whole character. I forget where I read this, but something like that.

quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
Any other ideas?



No, I'm too busy commenting on yours. I'll think about it.
11-19-02 03:35 AM
MattPage * the difference between talking animals and the other kind in Lewis's Narnia stories
AS I remeber all teh animals talked in the Magicians Nephew (even a dumb pony in our world could talk in Narnia), only some talked in LW&W and later on they "thought" there were no talking anmals (although there were)

* Charlton Heston, a proud hunter, playing a poacher in his son's film Alaska
Is this the same son that played baby Moses in the Ten Commandments?

* the biblical metaphor of lions and lambs lying down together as an image of future paradise -- is this meant to be taken literally? how do we deal with the fact that God MADE carnivorous plants and animals, and that he made our own bodies dependent on our ability to eat meat? is there a place for natural violence in Christian thought?
I think there will be those animals, but I'm nt sure that there is place for natural violence in paradise. I'm not sure food will work in quite the same way either.

* the Simpsons episode where Lisa rescues a fish from some garbage on the beach and throws it back in the water -- where it is promptly devoured by another fish
* actually, a few other Simpsons episodes come to mind -- that show really does love to de-romanticize nature
One that came to mind even before you said this is from teh episode where they are all dreaming in church & Marge dreams a creation sequence. There the Pig offers Homer his bacon, but when Homer takes it the pig suffers no ill effect & comes back the next day. As good a solution to the scenario above as I've heard.

Matt
11-19-02 06:23 AM
Peter T Chattaway : Maybe they're listening with their hearts?

Eww. Let's avoid the anthropomorphic trees for a while -- anthropomorphic animals are more than enough!

: When they find out once that they're eating a talking
: deer, they're sickened.

Do you remember which book (or, better, which chapter) this comes up in? It has been a long, long time since I read the Narnia books.

: Some have postulated that before the Fall, no one ate meat,
: but was there really supposed to be no death before the Fall?

It depends on what you mean by "death". If, by "death", you mean the disintegration of a particular lifeform or specimen, then things "die" all the time, especially whenever we eat them. Plants die, animals die, etc. Jesus and/or Paul even talk about SEEDS dying so that plants can grow out of them. And since Adam and Eve were encouraged to eat of the vegetation in the Garden, it seems the real question is not WHETHER there was death in the Garden, but WHAT KIND of death there was in the Garden; a corollary question would be what kind of death took place OUTSIDE the Garden, where the rules that governed life inside the Garden did not necessarily apply.

: I guess this interpretation comes from God's killing the
: animals for skins right after the Fall, suggesting that
: such a thing hadn't happened before.

Not within the Garden, at any rate.

: But, apart from that, the Bible doesn't forbid meat eating
: (and it forbids a lot of other foods), and Jesus eats meat
: and goes fishing.

Yes, he even eats a fish after he comes back from the dead, when he visits the apostles in his new, exalted, glorified, flawless, spiritual, resurrected body!

: But I'm not sure what you mean by our bodies being
: "dependent on our ability to eat meat." Our bodies also
: have the ability not to eat meat, so how are they
: dependent on the ability?

I'm referring to the fact that it is not only our teeth that are designed for eating meat, but our digestive systems as a whole that require the kinds of proteins and whatnot that only meat has traditionally been able to give us. I am told that vegetarianism on a large scale has been made possible nowadays thanks to modern medicine and the like, but before the modern era, it wasn't very practical. (And I stress that I am speaking here as an ignorant layman who is trying to remember bits of conversation and bits of literature that he has read in the past but never compiled systematically.) In addition, humans and animals are not the only creatures designed to eat animals -- Venus fly-traps and other plants are designed for this, too. So ... did God design humans and plants and animals this way, and create us all this way? If so, it would seem that violence of some sort was part of his plan all along. And if not, it would seem we have to allow for some sort of evolution after all, after the Fall, wouldn't it?

: Your comment about the lion and lamb lying down together
: reminds me of Lewis' hope that it was only metaphorical,
: because he thought that a lion eating straw had lost its whole
: character. I forget where I read this, but something like that.

If you ever remember where you read this, let me know!
11-19-02 06:27 AM
Peter T Chattaway : : * Charlton Heston, a proud hunter, playing a poacher in
: : his son's film Alaska
:
: Is this the same son that played baby Moses in the Ten
: Commandments?

Yup, Fraser Heston.

: One that came to mind even before you said this is from
: teh episode where they are all dreaming in church & Marge
: dreams a creation sequence. There the Pig offers Homer his
: bacon, but when Homer takes it the pig suffers no ill
: effect & comes back the next day. As good a solution to
: the scenario above as I've heard.

Oh, yeah, that was a beautiful episode.

I just thought of a couple more examples, BTW.

* Disney's Dinosaur and The Land Before Time both depict herbivorous dinosaurs who talk fleeing carnivorous dinosaurs who don't talk, IIRC. Is it inconsistent of these films to give speech to SOME dinosaurs while denying it to others?
11-19-02 07:31 AM
DanBuck May I just poke my head in here to say that I love the name of this topic?
11-19-02 10:25 AM
stef >>If so, it would seem that violence of some sort was part of his plan all along. >>

One quick reading of the book of Joshua introduced me to this idea a long time ago.

-s.
11-19-02 10:32 AM
David Shepherd
quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
: When they find out once that they're eating a talking
: deer, they're sickened.

Do you remember which book (or, better, which chapter) this comes up in? It has been a long, long time since I read the Narnia books.



That would be 'The Silver Chair'. Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum are in the castle of the giants and as they eat their meal of venison overhear a couple of the giants talking about how the stag had protested that he was too tough to eat, and are sickened, declining to eat any further, even commenting that it made them feel like they had been eating a baby.

David
11-19-02 10:50 AM
SDG
quote:
David Shepherd wrote:
That would be 'The Silver Chair'. Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum are in the castle of the giants and as they eat their meal of venison overhear a couple of the giants talking about how the stag had protested that he was too tough to eat, and are sickened, declining to eat any further, even commenting that it made them feel like they had been eating a baby.
Not quite. Jill, the newest to Narnia, understood only that something tragic had happened, and felt bad in a general way. Eustace, given his previous experience in Narnia and his friendship with Reepicheep, took it much harder, I think Lewis says he felt almost like a murderer. It was only Puddleglum, a Narnian born, who felt as if he had eaten a baby. All of this is related by Lewis's narration, not the character's dialogue.
11-19-02 10:56 AM
David Shepherd
quote:
SDG wrote:
Not quite. Jill, the newest to Narnia, understood only that something tragic had happened, and felt bad in a general way. Eustace, given his previous experience in Narnia and his friendship with Reepicheep, took it much harder, I think Lewis says he felt almost like a murderer. It was only Puddleglum, a Narnian born, who felt as if he had eaten a baby. All of this is related by Lewis's narration, not the character's dialogue.



Thank-you for clarifying that. I almost went to get my copy and re-read it before I posted. It seems I should have.

David
11-19-02 10:57 AM
SDG
quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
Witness the sabretooth tiger in Ice Age who turns good -- there is a wonderful joke about how he wouldn't eat the sloth because he doesn't eat "junk food", but, well, what DOES the sabretooth tiger eat, after he has become a friend to the sloth and the woolly mammoth? The film never shows us…
In a similar vein, note that Manfred repeatedly tells Diego that he's "got a few things to learn about life in a herd," as if his predatory heritage equates to antisocial behavior. As I commented in my review, "Of course, Diego already has a social unit — the sabertooth pack — but perhaps sabertooths in Ice Age (being nasty old predators) don’t have the same esprit de corps as cuddly mammoths."
11-19-02 11:33 AM
moquist : MattPage wrote:

:: the Simpsons episode where Lisa rescues a fish from some
:: garbage on the beach and throws it back in the water --
:: where it is promptly devoured by another fish
:: actually, a few other Simpsons episodes come to mind --
:: that show really does love to de-romanticize nature

: One that came to mind even before you said this is from
: the episode where they are all dreaming in church & Marge
: dreams a creation sequence. There the Pig offers Homer his
: bacon, but when Homer takes it the pig suffers no ill
: effect & comes back the next day. As good a solution to
: the scenario above as I've heard.

I've never seen that episode, but it sounds like a parody of a scene in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe in Douglas Adams's Hitchiker's quadrilogy. (I don't remember which book, off the top of my head, but it just MIGHT be in the book named for the restaurant...) A cow walks up to their table and tries to convince them to eat its steak. Arthur Dent, the human/everyman at the table, is sickened and protests. That conversation ends with the cow walking away and stating: "Well, I'll just nip off and shoot myself." (looking at Arthur) "Don't worry; I'll be gentle."
11-19-02 12:01 PM
DanBuck I guess I'm random input boy today but...

May I just say how much I like seeing the Simpsons, Douglas Adams and Lewis being used side-by-side in intellectual discussion?
[Edited by DanBuck]
11-19-02 12:01 PM
David Shepherd Winnie the Pooh came to mind for me when thinking about this. But of course, Pooh and his friends are based on stuffed animals owned by the original Christopher Robin, so the Pooh universe is an anthropomorphization based on a caricature, and thus twice removed from reality.

Lewis' Narnia stories at least do admit a darker side of life and don't shy from death. Of interest, perhaps, is the scene in The Last Battle where the animals left in Narnia come to the door, Aslan looks into their eyes, and they either enter into his paradise or become witless, dumb animals and run off into the doomed Narnian wilderness.

Lewis also wrote an essay in which he expressed grave concerns with vivisection and addressed a full chapter of The Problem With Pain to animal suffering - pointing out that human suffering serves purpose to bring us to God, but animals do not have the capacity for such growth and understanding.

I found an excellent essay on Lewis' bioethics here:

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1983/JASA6-83LeBar.html

Of course it was only a matter of time before we mentioned 'Watership Down' which portrays animals doing what animals do, admitting honestly to death, reproduction, and violence without going into extreme detail. Of course, there are still good and bad animals - you love the rabbits, but are given no reason to love any of their enemies - but there are also good and bad rabbits (and for various reasons). While the myths of El-Erarah (sp?) give some context to predation, you are still left to feel that the rabbits are unfair victims.

David
11-19-02 12:14 PM
Jeffrey Overstreet Anyone exploring this subject needs to know about Richard Kelly's dream project, a film he fully intends to do within the next few years.

Here's a description of the project that's on my Please Make This Movie list:

http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=8585
11-20-02 10:20 AM
Amanda Caldwell :: Your comment about the lion and lamb lying down together
:: reminds me of Lewis' hope that it was only metaphorical,
:: because he thought that a lion eating straw had lost its whole
:: character. I forget where I read this, but something like that.

: If you ever remember where you read this, let me know!

Found it. OK, it's not exactly as I remember, but better his words than my memory, so here goes. It's from The Problem of Pain, chapter IX, "Animal Pain" (p. 113 in my copy). To give context, he's talking about animals' heavenly selves (i.e., Do "All Dogs Go to Heaven"?) -- that perhaps animals will be in heaven because of their effect on humans (and vice versa) and maybe not in heaven literally and individually, but maybe some core self of each animal will be (hope that's a good summary).

"It may even be that each species has a corporate self -- that Lionhood, not lions, has shared in the travail of creation and will enter into the restoration of all things. And if we cannot imagine even our own eternal life, much less can we imagine the life the beasts may have as our 'members'. If the earthly lion could read the prophecy of the day when he shall eat hay like an ox, he would regard it as a description not of heaven, but of hell. And if there is nothing in the lion but carnivorous sentience, then he is unconscious and his 'survival' would have no meaning. But if there is a rudimentary Leonine self, to that also God can give a 'body' as it pleases Him -- a body no longer living by the destruction of the lamb, yet richly Leonine in the sense that it also expresses whatever energy and splendour and exulting power dwelled within the visible lion on this earth. I think, under correction, that the prophet used an eastern hyperbole when he spoke of the lion and the lamb lying down together. That would be rather impertinent of the lamb. To have lions and lambs that so consorted (except on some rare celestial Saturnalia of topsy-turvydom) would be the same as having neither lambs nor lions. I think the lion, when he has ceased to be dangerous, will still be awful: indeed, that we shall then first see that of which the present fangs and claws are a clumsy, and satanically perverted, imitation. There will still be something like the shaking of a golden mane: and often the good Duke will say, 'Let him roar again'."

FWIW, my marginal comment reads: "I love C.S. Lewis and his Aslans!"

For future passage searches, you (meaning anyone) might try to get hold of The Quotable Lewis by Martindale and Root. Dr. Martindale taught my class on C.S. Lewis where I read that passage.
11-23-02 03:35 PM
Peter T Chattaway Stef wrote:
: : If so, it would seem that violence of some sort was part
: : of his plan all along.
:
: One quick reading of the book of Joshua introduced me to
: this idea a long time ago.

Well, my misgivings about Joshua's campaign of ethnic cleansing aside, I don't think that's quite the same thing as what I am getting at here. The conquest of Canaan takes place AFTER mankind was kicked out of Eden, and is thus inseparable from the fallen nature of the world and God's efforts to redeem the world from its fallenness, whereas the existence of carnivorous plants and animals indicates that God ordained certain kinds of violence BEFORE mankind was expelled from Eden.

SDG wrote:
: In a similar vein, note that Manfred repeatedly tells
: Diego that he's "got a few things to learn about life in a
: herd," as if his predatory heritage equates to antisocial
: behavior. As I commented in my review, "Of course, Diego
: already has a social unit — the sabertooth pack — but
: perhaps sabertooths in Ice Age (being nasty old predators)
: don’t have the same esprit de corps as cuddly mammoths."

Yes, exactly. It's kinda weird, really, because I enjoy the fact that Ice Age is a story about forgiveness and reconciliation and repentance and so on, but I don't know what to make of the fact that it tells this story through creatures that are essentially incapable of repenting of their behaviour -- how can a tiger, which was designed specifically to kill other animals and to eat meat, go against its nature?

David Shepherd wrote:
: Of course it was only a matter of time before we mentioned
: 'Watership Down' which portrays animals doing what animals
: do, admitting honestly to death, reproduction, and
: violence without going into extreme detail.

Yes, I absolutely love that film. And it's not just the way the animals claw at each other -- look at how one scene begins by showing us a beautiful butterfly, and then the camera follows it to the place where Kehar is resting, and then Kehar snatches it from the air with his beak and gobbles it. Beauty and casual death, together.

: Of course, there are still good and bad animals . . .

It's interesting that the cat can speak but the dog can't, isn't it?

Amanda Caldwell wrote:
: "It may even be that each species has a corporate self --
: that Lionhood, not lions, has shared in the travail of
: creation and will enter into the restoration of all things.

Hmmm. Don't know what I make of that.

[Edited by Peter T Chattaway]
01-04-03 12:30 AM
Amanda Caldwell I realize this is a super duper old thread, but my post on veggie-ism reminded me of something I wanted to comment on in this post.

quote:

Amanda Caldwell wrote:
: But, apart from that, the Bible doesn't forbid meat eating
: (and it forbids a lot of other foods), and Jesus eats meat
: and goes fishing.

Peter T Chattaway wrote:
Yes, he even eats a fish after he comes back from the dead, when he visits the apostles in his new, exalted, glorified, flawless, spiritual, resurrected body!



I've heard that eating meat was a pretty special and rare event for most (i.e., poor) people in ancient times. Lamb was probably eaten on Passover and not many other occasions in the year. They wouldn't have meat for every meal, probably once a day at most, maybe only a few times a week, and then it would most likely be something cheap like fish. Granted, these people were malnourished and died early, so I'm not advocating we follow a low-low-protein diet, but meat wasn't the centerpiece of meals the way it is in modern western countries. See also Mary & Joseph's offering of pigeons instead of something more expensive, suggesting they couldn't afford a lamb even for this very special occasion. This is all just what I remember learning, but if anyone knows contradictory information, feel free to tell me to shut up. If you look at Asian meals today, for instance, people in actual China eat very little meat and a lot of veggies and then other sources of protein; Chinese food as we know it in the western world is predominantly meat, like General Tso's chicken, etc., but that's not the authentic ratio. It helps to look at the typical meals in countries like China to get an idea of how ancient people might have structured their meals.

quote:

Amanda Caldwell wrote:
: But I'm not sure what you mean by our bodies being
: "dependent on our ability to eat meat." Our bodies also
: have the ability not to eat meat, so how are they
: dependent on the ability?

Peter T Chattaway wrote:
I'm referring to the fact that it is not only our teeth that are designed for eating meat, but our digestive systems as a whole that require the kinds of proteins and whatnot that only meat has traditionally been able to give us. I am told that vegetarianism on a large scale has been made possible nowadays thanks to modern medicine and the like, but before the modern era, it wasn't very practical. (And I stress that I am speaking here as an ignorant layman who is trying to remember bits of conversation and bits of literature that he has read in the past but never compiled systematically.)



See above, though, and note that people (such as, say, me) can get by eating beans, nuts, eggs, and dairy for protein, all available even in ancient times. (Three glasses of milk fulfills your protein requirements for the day unless you're a body builder.) Strict vegetarianism might not have been practical due to lack of fridges to store milk gallons and the fact that peanut butter sandwiches hadn't been invented yet, but I think people were more near-vegetarian than not. In fact, many vegetarians today will eat fish, which would make their diet about the same as the disciples', maybe minus the Passover lamb. (Maybe not -- it's a special occasion, which would qualify for eating in our house.) Again, I'm admitting that poor people were often malnourished and not excessively healthy in those days, but then again -- rich western countries are getting obese and not excessively healthy these days.
01-05-03 01:19 AM
Peter T Chattaway : I've heard that eating meat was a pretty special and rare
: event for most (i.e., poor) people in ancient times.

That could be, at least if we're talking about lambs and cattle and such. But what about chickens and the like?

: They wouldn't have meat for every meal, probably once a
: day at most, maybe only a few times a week, and then it
: would most likely be something cheap like fish.

Fair enough. Fish are animals too, of course.

: See above, though, and note that people (such as, say, me)
: can get by eating beans, nuts, eggs, and dairy for
: protein, all available even in ancient times.

Hmmm, well, there ARE those who refuse to eat eggs and dairy, too, because our acquisition of these things still entails the enslavement of animals, etc.

: Three glasses of milk fulfills your protein requirements
: for the day unless you're a body builder.

I find myself wanting to make a pithy comment about how mankind was initially lactose intolerant and only evolved the ability to digest dairy products in the last ten thousand years, as some societies (but not others) began to milk their cows, but I'm not sure what that comment would be, at the moment. I guess my point is, milk may have become a substitute for other protein sources, evolutionarily speaking.
01-05-03 02:37 AM
Peter T Chattaway : They wouldn't have meat for every meal, probably once a
: day at most, maybe only a few times a week, and then it
: would most likely be something cheap like fish.

Say, this reminds me, at least one scholar has proposed that there were originally TWO different eucharists practised by the church: one a bread-and-fish eucharist, perhaps for the predominantly poor Jewish rural folk, and one a bread-and-wine eucharist, perhaps for the more well-to-do Gentile city folk. It is quite striking that the multiplication of loaves and fishes is the only miracle that appears in all four gospels -- and in two of them, it happens TWICE!
01-05-03 10:16 PM
Amanda Caldwell
quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
That could be, at least if we're talking about lambs and cattle and such. But what about chickens and the like?
... Fish are animals too, of course.



Oh, sure, I wasn't trying to set up a floppy fish vs. fluffy sheep argument. I was just trying to remember what I'd learned. Even chickens might be hard for a poor person to obtain, whereas you can see how fishermen might easily be able to get some extra fish. I'm sure there was a scale from affording nothing to eat at all to able to afford anything and people at every point in between. I'm not sure where the "average" person fit on that scale. I'd just heard that meat was more of a treat than a given.

You know, this could explain Paul's grief with the Corinthians about their poor excuse for a potluck supper. If there are people who can afford meat & wine (interesting comment you found on the 2 Eucharists theory, BTW), they'd probably want to keep it to themselves. It also explains the poor people's disappointment that they arrived too late!

If you're saying that vegetarians can't call themselves such and still eat fish, that makes sense. But if a person's quarrel with meat is the meat industry itself and s/he doesn't have the same quarrel with the fishing industry (or the particular fish chosen), then you can see how that would be allowed, for that person.


quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
: See above, though, and note that people (such as, say, me)
: can get by eating beans, nuts, eggs, and dairy for
: protein, all available even in ancient times.

Hmmm, well, there ARE those who refuse to eat eggs and dairy, too, because our acquisition of these things still entails the enslavement of animals, etc.



Are you suggesting an ancient PETA? Assuming ancient people generally had no quarrel with animal slaughter, I'm sure they'd have been fine with eggs and dairy, especially if that's all they could afford.

quote:
Peter T Chattaway wrote:
: Three glasses of milk fulfills your protein requirements
: for the day unless you're a body builder.

I find myself wanting to make a pithy comment about how mankind was initially lactose intolerant and only evolved the ability to digest dairy products in the last ten thousand years, as some societies (but not others) began to milk their cows, but I'm not sure what that comment would be, at the moment. I guess my point is, milk may have become a substitute for other protein sources, evolutionarily speaking.



Oh, absolutely. It is weird to drink the milk of another species. In fact, I still think it's weird to drink the milk of one's own species. My point was not that everyone should or could drink three glasses of milk a day. My point was that humans need less protein a day than many people think and that protein sources don't have to be meat. The three-glasses-of-milk thing is for optimal nutrition. You could survive on less protein, albeit perhaps not for as long or as well, as was probably the case for our hypothetical ancient, poor near-vegetarians.