It reminded me of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - the televised version shown back in the 80s on British TV. Arthur Dent - one of the only two humans who survived the destruction of the Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass - is introduced to the Dish of the Day at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The dish turns out to be an Ameglian Major cow, an animal created to actually want to be eaten and capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. Arthur’s two alien companions - Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox - are quite happy to discuss what bits of the animal are best and how they should be served, guided by the animal itself as they investigate its haunches.
Arthur is horrified. “I don’t want to eat an animal that’s lying there inviting me to!”
“It’s better than eating one that doesn’t want to be eaten...” counters Zaphod.
Which would you prefer? To be honest, I like eating meat and I’m not giving it up any time soon. I’d even kill and prepare it myself if I had to. But if my prospective dinner turned round and started chatting to me? Possibly not, however keen it might be on the idea of being consumed.
Some people believe animals can talk, and to a degree they can. I have bantams, the little half-sized chickens, and you can tell the difference between the contented clucking, the ‘I’ve just laid an egg!’ squawk, and the ‘cat,cat!’ screech. The kids adore the chooks, and the fresh eggs are a bonus, but they’re never going to end up on the dinner table. Sometimes, when I sit and watch them pecking away and one suddenly raises its head and eyes me, I wonder what goes through their minds. Do they even know what I am, aside from a source of food and the occasional nuisance when I shoo them back into their coop? Do they just see me as part of the landscape like a tree or the kids’ play equipment? Are they eyeing me up as a potential meal, remembering back to the time their T-Rex ancestors would have eaten something my size as a snack? Or are they just wishing they could say “more corn, minion!”?
So, as a newcomer to Romancing the Genre (thanks to Judith and Sarah for inviting me!), here’s a bit about me -
A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 20 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the SFR Brigade, a community of science fiction romance authors and publishing professionals committed to writing and promoting the very best in the genre.
Website – http://www.pippajay.co.uk
SFR Brigade - http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/