That’s disgusting. You eat each other.
I only arrived yesterday and I saw it, straight away. I was walking along the street, getting to know your world. It seemed a lot like home – the trees and parks, the buzz of the city and the white clouds in the blue sky. I was ravenous, which is always a side effect of shifting across universes, and was itching to sample the local food. I stopped at a restaurant for my first meal. The fermented juice you call wine was recognisable and this got me off to a good start and when I saw steak on the menu my contentment blossomed.
I sat down at a table in the window and sniffed the air. It had the delicious and slightly acrid smell of burning meat. I studied the menu. ‘What’s T-bone?’ I asked the waitress.
‘It’s a T-shaped bone with meat on each side,’ she said.
‘Wow, you grow meat with bones. That’s advanced. How do you do that?’
She looked at me cautiously and slowly explained, ‘They’re farmed, then slaughtered and then eaten. It’s that simple.’
I felt sick. ‘They’re living? You don’t even wait for them to die?’
She laughed. ‘No! Anything over two years old would be really tough. It’d be disgusting. If you want something super tender, we have veal. That’s nice and young, about four months old.’
I threw up. Then I threw up again. ‘You eat babies and children?’ I asked, spitting to try and get rid of the vile taste in my mouth. ‘You chop them up, cook them and then eat them?’
She stormed off. I left in a hurry and outside the sun was still shining and the clouds were drifting across the sky, but it no longer felt quite so familiar.