Food Chain Toppers

Fifty years ago I taught climatology labs for first-year geography students. The department was fortunate enough to have a $1,000 Monroe electronic calculator that featured the same functionality as those in The Dollar Tree’s Electronics Department now. The Monroe couldn’t even calculate square roots. Fortunately, my slide rule could. Plate tectonics was still an outlier. On the other hand, science was not despised and broadly distrusted. 

But we’re living in more modern times, are we not? There were gullible people in 1969, Nixon moved into the White House. There are gullible people in 2018, Trump is still occupying the White House. Israel is still occupying Palestine. Racism is still alive and fell, still socially sanctioned.  

The Windshield Effect. Why are there no dead bugs on my windshield?

In 1969 your car windshield got badly bugged on the highway. If you did not regularly scrub the car’s grill, headlamps and radiator blades you would eventually regret it. Now I don’t even hear crickets when I enter a room.

“Entomologists also knew that climate change and the eventual destruction of global habitat are bad news for biodiversity in general and that insects are dealing with the particular challenges posed by herbicides and pesticides, along with the effects of losing meadows, forests and even weedy patches to the relentless expansion of human spaces.”

The Insect Apocalypse

Ecosystems are resilient, but so is that proverbial camel with one straw too many on her back.

Anthropocentrism threatens Planet Earth with an extinction event, appropriately known as the Anthropocene. Anthropospherians consider themselves above the brutish razor-thin line that evolution enforces effectively. A breakthrough a day keeps crises at bay.

“I saw something somewhere or other about how we might have to eat insects to get our protein. I don’t think I could do that myself, you know? Effing weird. Yuck”

Yuck, as in finding a hair in your food.


Meat is a socially sanctified addiction, but its addicts do not recognize the addictive aspect enough to go into detox. Animal husbandry is socially sanctified torture of live stock, performed by proxy at a supermarket.

Some Carnivoreseurs will eat animals that haven’t even died yet. Adventuresome Carnivoreseurs beam proudly at their adventuresome palates. Food Network stalwarts they are.

Serving twitching fish to patrons

Of course, it will bother you if you keep thinking about it. But is it enough to give thanks to the animal for donating their mortal souls to those with (presumably) eternal souls? In other words, it’s no big deal to kill for dietary purposes or because the animal simply tastes good.

Extreme eating is so cool, isn’t it? You’ve got to give it to them. Now, watch them closely as they wash down that writhing catch with some Effen Vodka. The fish will probably like the vodka too. Ha Ha. Very funny, Edgar.

The proper study of mankind I shall leave to possible extraterrestrial research teams. Science aficionados perhaps. 

Thanks for reading.

Author: Bill Ziegler

I am a former resident of Delhi Township. These are memories of my life and times in that community during the 1950s and 1960s. A time capsule.

11 thoughts on “Food Chain Toppers”

  1. So much said in so few words, par excellence.

    Once too, ladybugs swarmed inside our house every fall, their numbers hard to imagine. Now not so much, as I see only a solitary on the window. Maybe it’s just a cycle, eh? Hey! I can deny reality as well as anyone.

    However, with regards to the looming extinction, most particularly the extinction of the human species, I’m of the mind it a good thing, and not just for life on earth, lest humanity one day colonize other living planets. We can well predict the outcome. And I can wish that on no other life forms.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, kind sir! We’ve lived in this house since 1987, coincidentally at the height of a 17-year cicada appearance. In that 30-year timeframe, we have experienced the passing of the seasons in this very stable (within a half-dozen houses are three families who have been here longer than us) neighborhood. Well, you’ve been here of course. At the first breath of Spring, a swarm of black bugs appear for about a week, then they disappear until the next cycle. Their numbers were smaller last year, I hope to see greater numbers next Spring. Of course, I no longer view them as any kind of annoyance.
      The windshield effect is something that many observers know, well, everywhere there are automobiles, of course. We live a block away from US 27, a two-lane when we moved here. Before the infamous I-75 arrived in the 1960s; it was the main Federal highway from Mackinac, MI to Miami, FL.
      I’m planning to write more about turning points, the roads not taken. Here’s a long read on one such:

      Liked by 3 people

  2. “Meat is a socially sanctified addiction, but its addicts do not recognize the addictive aspect enough to go into detox. ”

    That day will never come; the day we see detox centers set up to cater exclusively to those who want to ‘detox’ from their addiction to meat. I wish I could say that I keep hope alive, but alas, who would I be kidding?

    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Shelby. I quite agree, somehow the thought of “detox centers” brings to mind Soylent Green processing plants — the kind of place where body organs in high demand get packed and sent via Amazon Prime to discerning “needy” clients. Surprised would I not be if this isn’t already happening. Possibly including frozen vital organs stocked in a subterranean armageddon complex in New Zealand, complete with a tunnel system to subterranean Antarctica. Just science-fictioning here, or not, but I’ve heard there are über powerful forces that do not include present-company: me, my readers, and I.
      Personally, I preferred going cold Tofurky 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. There are no depths some people will not plunge simply for their appetites, no limit to the sickening ways they inflict their appetites on others. A while ago I came across ‘balut’, where the developed bird embryo is boiled and eaten from the shell…what can you say??? So many people seem to have a vital part of their humanity missing. I am continually sickened, but no longer surprised by anything.
    You always supply much food for thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Regarding Trump, I have one suggestion: keep celebrities out of politics. That means no Trump, no Oprah, no political dynasties (Bush, Clinton, Kennedy), but rather some balding functionary (man or woman) who is competent at governance and polls under 1 % in name recognition.

    I have some sympathy for Trump’s supporters and don’t believe they are deplorable. This sort of divisive name-calling (though there’s plenty on both sides) is unhelpful. But Trump is a terrible advocate; furthermore, he’s a bully–a self-centered wrecking ball, and whereas bankruptcy may be permissible in business, it doesn’t square with good governance: You can’t behave recklessly and then simply fold up the tent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The electorate contains a great many who live their lives vicariously, the cult of celebrity invites viewers to join the charade without questioning its veracity. It’s as though the fourth-wall of theater disappears completely. Video and audio technology is increasingly capable of splicing a recording such that words can be replaced seamlessly, gestures and body signals replaced to make the words appear to blend perfectly with those gestures and signals.
      Yesterday, I listened to an interview with Peter Bart, but don’t remember where, about how Trump’s phrases and mannerisms on “The Apprentice” were massaged to increase the impact of Trump’s famous “ability” to repeat certain words, then they adjusted them in a studio to increase the impact. I’ve never watched that program and hadn’t followed his celebrity, but it’s pretty effective shit, isn’t it? And “deplorables” exist on both sides of the political chasm.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bill,

        I think it’s all an assault on truth, which began in universities and places of ‘higher learning,’ when the French coughed and spread an infectious disease called Derrida, Foucault, et al. throughout the globe. Unfortunately, there seems to be no known cure for the disease.

        Listening to these charlatans one would conclude there is no truth, just a multifaceted prism of relative truth. Tell that to a scientist. If we cannot agree on basic factual matters, we are destined to wallow in ignorance.

        In a sense we live in Baudrillard’s Simulacra, but the way forward is to repudiate this flawed thinking, Sadly we don’t seem to be doing very well: gender fluidity, the madness of feminism (men and women ought to be equal under the law, but equality is not sameness, for, biologically, scientifically, there are difference between the sexes) etc.

        And Stephen Hawking (a marginalized scientist, for reason elucidated) spoke out about AI. The doctoring of sound and image you speak of is dangerous. The nefarious and oxymoronic term ‘fake news’ perfectly captures the mood which results from the breakdown of common understanding.

        I felt the same revulsion at the term ‘terrorism’ when after 9-11 it became the favorite tool of governments worldwide. If one means propaganda, one ought to say just that. Instead ‘terrorism’ was co-opted to mean ‘anyone we don’t like’ and ‘a jolly good way to spend tax payer money.’ One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. It depends what side you’re on, and we come full circle to the devastating legacy of postmodern thought.

        I apologize for the long comment for I hadn’t the time to make it shorter. (Paraphrasing Blaise Pascal, of course!)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for these inspiring perspectives, Prospero — great grist, kind sir!

          “…we live in Baudrillard’s Simulacra, but the way forward is to repudiate this flawed thinking.”

          Post-modernism really does devastate legacies, proceeds with abandon and encounters no resistance as it bulldozes merrily along. Bowdlerized and misattributed memes flash around the internet at the speed of light and to a million minds. Then they morph and rebound. They enter the eyes and ears and numb vital neurons. The disease cauterizes synapses and reduces brain cell plasticity to such an extent that imagination gets lost in the chum.
          “I’m like…simulacrum…and then he’s like…simulacrum…and then we’re like…simulacrum.

          Liked by 1 person

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