Monday, April 23, 2007

Pass the Ketchup.

I've been watching the Discovery Channel's beautiful and engaging series, Planet Earth. The cinematography is stunning. However, despite the enraptured and layered enchantment of the series, I quickly realized that an animal's life consisted solely of eating, not being eaten, and humping.

Watching the series, I became preoccupied with two thoughts.

The first thought.... You can tell me that an animal has an extra thick layer of fur. An extra layer of fat. Oil in their skin. Or air pockets between their feathers. But regardless of this information, I can't believe that these winter animals aren't freezing. I can't wrap my head around the science that says animals sitting in a pile of snow or amid a freezing stream are warm. And if you watched this series with me you'd understand this because every two minutes I'm saying, "That animal must be freezing its ass off."

The second thought.... Last night I watched a leopard eat a monkey and a lemur eat a moth. In both cases, I said out loud, "That must taste horrible." And I'm saying this as a person who is not a picky eater and will eat anything. But still. If someone told me that monkey tasted like chicken I would think him a liar. Do animals have particular palates? Do they have preferences or is meat simply meat? Does taste factor in? A predator has neither condiments nor spices. I've eaten deer, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, elk and even an elk's heart -- all can be tasty. If given my druthers, I'd use my extra leopard energy to pursue a quick deer even if it made me tired. But you could put a three legged monkey with arthritis next to me and I'm not budging. Has there ever been a leopard that's spotted a lazy monkey sitting on the ground and said, "I'm starving, but monkey tastes like ass. I'll pass."

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