Well Enough Alone
(c) 2004 Essay by Ross Anthony

Though I rarely order it that way, I decided to leave well enough alone when my lamb chops came to the table medium. Largely short on meat, this time, I cut away the fat, getting right down to the skinny. Brushing up on my chops, I picked a bone with the waiter, demanding better service, the owner sent me the waitest. Impressed, I pressed my knife into the meat. Seldom sheepish about a meal, I ate all the lamb my fork could find. But still some lined the bone, let alone, my unsatisfied gut. I simply could not cut too close to the bone. So I clutched the chop in my hand, chomped on the chop with my chops, gnawing with my front lower teeth, pulling with the tops. Like a dog, if I had a tail I'd be wagging it behind. As if to remind me, the restaurant patrons looked on in disgust. I was surprised they'd make a fuss -- finding me fowl; then I realized I was growling. But instead of taking pause, I took to my claws, raising my paws, ready to fight for what amounted to less than a bite of lamb I found highly average, cooked medium.

Now, I'm sure I'll be criticized for exercising less than civilized manners at a linen covered table. But the moral of this fable, is not the savagery of Cain and Abel, but the purity of the human animal. Despite the silver spoon, floor swept rooms, store-bought food is still dead life strewn across a plate, creature or flower ruin. And despite our straight neckties and high heal shoes, we are just wild animals walking upright on all twos. Too polite to kill for ourselves, we hire butchers and ranchers, reshape cows into burgers, potatoes into fries. Removing our eyes from the pain of ending lives, we simulate the removal of ourselves from the food chain … with nothing left to gain but weight, we straighten our ties.


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Copyright © 2004. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 11-Dec-2007 10:13:14 PST