the ritual of dinner

October 10, 2010

I’m reading “The Ritual of Dinner” by Margaret Visser that I just got from some friends. It is about the customs of eating together and how they came to be. How could you not love a book that starts with …

“Violence, after all, is necessary if any organism is to ingest another. Animals are murdered to produce meat; vegetables are torn up, peeled, and chopped; most of what we eat is treated with fire; and chewing is designed remorselessly to finish what killing and cooking began. People naturally prefer that none of this should happen to them. Behind every rule of table etiquette lurks the determination of each person present to be a diner, not a dish. It is one of the chief roles of etiquette to keep the lid on the violence which the meal being eaten presupposes.”

I’m looking forward to the rest!

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