Currently reading Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, and roughly in the middle now, where the protagonist Pi, castaway on a survival raft with a man-eating Bengal tiger, describes at length and in vivid detail the killing and wild devouring of sea life – sea turtles, sharks, flying fish, algae, birds, mostly raw and unseasoned (well there’s salt) – in his bid to survive and one day be rescued.
The situation is so desperate that Pi doesn’t rule out ingesting tiger poo, if that staves off the sea-bleached hunger, even for a little bit. I gagged when he descibed this and speaks about drinking a generous helping of fresh, warm turtle blood – quickly before it coagulates, or feasting on the raw brains, lungs and heart of a seabird.
While I have eaten a few strange things in my life, like mopani worms, the caterpillars of the emperor moth, native to southern Africa, this by no means compares to gnawing at raw bird meat from a carcass, or drinking reptile blood (even if the story is fiction). I suppose you never know how far you would go until faced with two options: death by starvation or survival for a few more days if you eat your own foot.
Okay, okay, that’s getting a little bit too dark for a sunny London day, and I’m going to apply my mind to tasty dinner ideas. Nothing like thoughts of gamey bird flesh and reptile blood to make a mouth water.