Vegetarian elves (was: Re: Dievas dave dantis; Dievas duos duonos)
|From:||Marcus Smith <smithma@...>|
|Date:||Monday, September 18, 2000, 22:31|
>I haven't yet decided on the Nur-ellen word for "meat", but whatever it
>it is not commonly classified as an edible substance. (Elves are
>of course vegetarians.) In fact, a frequently used derogative kenning
>for an evil-minded foreigner translates as "meat-eater"!
So, you think a race that loves plants so much that they "wake up" trees and
teach them to speak would be so callous as to refuse to eat animals but still
devour their vegetable friends. :-)
I said that in jest, but back when I had Telek spoken by elves, that was an
issue I dealt with. At first they were vegetarians, but then I realized the
hypocracy in having a people who spoke to plants as well as animals, then only
ate the former. Putting myself in their shoes, I decided that elves had to
either not eat natural substances at all or eat both plants and animals *with
profound respect and thanksgiving to their slain friends*. I went with the
latter one. That is - their prayers over the evening meal involved thanking
the souls of their meal for the sacrafice they made in dying so that others
could continue to live. Consequently, the Telek word for "soul" (lajhosta)
refers to the "life-force" in both plants and animals.
Still, I couldn't get rid of vegetarianism in their population entirely, and
about 40% of the population eats no meat. It is the primary cultural divide
between the two towns.
"When you lose a language, it's like
dropping a bomb on a museum."
-- Kenneth Hale