Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Beef Country

 Free Cattle Image on Unsplash

"In the old language of the Witches, every word has three meanings: something good, something bad, and something to do with a cow."


What is it about animal proteins that makes them so defining?

Like the ancestral Hwicce, the original tribe of Witches, I live in Beef Country. I'd never really realized to just what degree the US is Beef Country—our national dish being (arguably) the hamburger, after all—until I spent some time in Germany.

Germany, of course, is decidedly not Beef Country. When, in her wisdom, the Great Mother gave to each of the peoples their own proper foods, she gave to the Germans swine. Germany is Pork Country, its national dish the sausage.

This culinary fact has both spatial and sociological implications.

Cattle pasture. They eat lots and lots of grass. It takes a certain amount of land to raise a cow.

Swine are a better choice for places were the average joe (or jane) simply doesn't own—or have access to—much land. Fence the pig in a sty, and feed it on your own scraps.

Cattle = more space; swine = less.

Myself a lifelong vegetarian (gods help me, it's been 50 years now), of course, I eat neither pork nor beef, being a whitemeats kind of guy: that's the ancestral term for dairy products.

So, though I certainly ate well while im Deutschland, when it comes to animal protein, I guess in the end you can sign me up with the Hwicce and their herds.

Go ahead, mate: you try and milk a sow.



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Tagged in: cow cows Hwicce swine
Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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