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Pity the Poor Pig, Locust, Clam and Cow

Pity the Poor Muslim,

    for she has never tasted bacon, eggs and hash browns for breakfast.

Pity the poor Jew,

    for lunch, he has never eaten my mother’s croque monsieur,
    (its ham and cheese, our equivalent of kid cooked in its mother’s milk) and,
    although camel, rock-badger and lizard are off the kosher menu,
    locust and grasshoppers are permitted,
    which surely is the real pity.

Pity the poor Buddhist,

    for she may never suck a clam from its shell,
    wok-fried with garlic, basil and rice wine.

Pity the poor Hindu,

    for while hamburger, chips and beans
    is not the hautest or healthiest cuisine,
    on occasion,
    it is just what the doctor ordered.

Pity the poor Christian

    simmering in the cannibals’ pot.

Pity the poor pig, locust, clam and cow,

    for, for me,
    the only dietary law is
    “Red wine with red meat;
    white wine with chicken or fish”.

Copyright Mark Caltonhill
(Mark Caltonhill is a British writer, poet and photographer based in Taiwan; his next book is an exploration of Taiwan's food culture)



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