For my vegetarian son, at Christmas … from something else I used to do …
Those of you who have been subscribing to the analytical reports of the Chip Laboratories since ancient times know of our well founded efforts to ethicise (ha! take that, dictionary) omnivorism. We are trying folks, we really are. We have put all of this week’s grant money into considering balloon animals.
Some of you maybe scoffing, as you associate these creatures with parlour games and carnivals. However, I am not talking about simple domesticated balloon animals. I am talking about great sweeping herds of massive fortean creatures, blocking the sun on their nomadic trek as passenger pigeons once did sweeping across America. And no, there would be no reliance on foul, poisonous oxygen. These are great helium or methane filled beasts, nodding and swaying as they are blown by the currents of wind, just as giant jelly fish are swept across oceans. Picture them now in your mind, see them billowing and filling the sky. Tremendous storms of them. The wondrous sight of them as they rail against the elements, indeed as they rail against their own ridiculous existence. Observing them as over time they are pitted by hail, scarred by lightning. And the wonder of them is that their pseudo life is no life at all, it is a mere impersonation. Brave balloon bound hunters shall pursue them without ethical quandary, intrepid mountaineers shall stalk them to their winter homes, small children and we here at the laboratory shall wonder at them.
O! If only we could get some nutrition into their skins! Some flavour into the rubber. Some texture into their form. And find some way to stop giant sea turtles from choking on them in their thousands when they critters deflate and drop into the sea. Perhaps it is impossible. But is not the dream as important as any mere actuality? At least this dream can unite us all, omnivores, carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, fruitarians, lacto-vegetarians, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, pescetarians, pollotarians, and pollo-pescetarians, the dream of the hunt of the giant pseudo-beasts in the sky that can sustain us all without troubling our consciences.
Until then, at least we have salad.
[“Life’s Solution” by Simon Conway Morris, p112 ‘Fortean bladders’]