What great sultan once ordered himself a meal to be made from the flesh of a thousand cattle? Or was it a king? I can’t remember. Perhaps the Emperor Napoleon, who came so close to conquering all that he could see (when standing on a chair.) Or Ghengis Khan? There have been so few in history that could have made such an order and expected it to be carried out. It was certainly beyond Queen Elizabeth, with her wavering power. Even Richard the Lionhearted would have had to bellow loudly to see such an request granted. You had to be massive to make such an demand. You had to be so massive as to be famous for being massive. Not Brutus, but Caesar himself. And perhaps Nero.
But now almost any of us can enjoy this luxury, doing nothing more complicated than going down to McDonalds. According to Eric Schlosser, that Fast Food Nation dude, there may be parts from up to one thousand different cows in a just a single burger (which, at participating restaurants, can be had for as little as a buck.)
Not that I get the entire flesh of these creatures. That would be excessive. Instead, I share this meal with others, who, like myself, felt they, too, deserved a break today. Perhaps hundreds of thousands of my fellow countrymen. As I eat the Big Mac, I break bread with them—while not in a biblical sense, certainly with a salt-induced vigor that would rival that last of suppers. And the people I feast with are from all walks of life, all political parties, all religions, races, creeds, and are likely spread out across the globe. Probably within the same month. It’s more than a melting pot, it’s communion. It’s community.
And I’m loving it.