Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Good Steer

Another gratefully dead beast. (We've seen his type before. Here, for instance.) The (Long Island–based) steer's life on Earth was a miserable, fleshbound nightmare. His was an existence of physical impulse and the satisfaction of needs. Of a world he could see and touch and hear. Of movement and emotion. Of being. Who needs that nonsense?

It was only when he was liberated from his physical form that his true life began. (Yes, "liberated." Slaughtered is so base.) For that was when he was metamorphosized—transubstantiated—into sacred stuff. From mere animal to holy servant.

This steer is good, all right: Good and docile. Good and tasty. Good and shut-up-and-do-what-you're-told. Good and, well… Eccentric seems mild. Luminous with servile urges? Just take a look at what this dead steer gets up to, the things that give his afterlife meaning.

1. Bowing and scraping and smiling inwardly at the thought of—finally!—being eaten. (Can you read the caption? "We bow to your good taste." Oh, brother.)

2. Imagining, Walter Mitty–style, that he's out there on the cattle drive, getting whipped and prodded this way and that.

3. Reminding humans that beef is delicious.

Truly, this is a creature who has strayed. He is an unhealthy soul.

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