PORK BELLIES


Sus scrofa domesticus, the homely pig, is not on my list of edibles. That makes me a member of a small minority. Pig farmers and pig butchers may disagree, but I doubt that I am missing much. As far as I know, eating pork does not make one particularly clever. In fact, there are a few Nobel Prize winners who have never partaken of pig flesh. That is not to say that there is a correlation between their diet and their intellectual ability. It is simply a matter of choice.
I am well aware that there are consequences for every choice I make. Setting myself apart from pig eaters, I am automatically cutting myself off from the greasy conviviality of bacon and sausage fests. The question is, how would this conviviality enhance my spiritual and intellectual life? Do I lose, socially, by not joining the majority? I am not a politician, I don't have an eye on a certain rung of the social ladder, nor I do have any desire to schmooze with who's who in the pig world.
Being marginalised is good for artists in general and it is excellent for writers. Balzac could never have immortalised French provincial life if he had not been distanced from it. I am no Balzac, but I happen to think that looking at the inner workings of a society requires a certain objectivity, a certain emotional distance. On the surface, this seems like lonely work. It isn't. Being part of a majority does not mean that one is not alone. Sometimes it means that one is too afraid to make the right choice.
Let those who would rather bask in the safety of being part of a crowd pig out. As for me, in swinish matters, I will continue to to abstain.

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