Domestic Animals

So, regarding those “Ethnographical Questionnaire” chunks I have posted occasionally – I conclude that I’m going to start posting smaller chunks, on the grounds that (a) it takes me so damn long to finish a section, and (b) smaller and more often is better than giant and occasional.  So, that said, here’s a new piece:

What are the most common domesticated animals here? And what are they domesticated for?

This, of course, varies quite radically by planet – so here’s the original most common domesticated animals of Eliéra, the eldraeic homeworld:

  • The adhaïc [honeybee] – hive insects, greenlife, kept for their honey, wax, and pollination services.
  • The bandal – a canid greenlife species, or more accurately, another subspecies of Canis lupus, differentiated from the Earth dog by virtue of having spent its domestication mostly being bred for smart, rather than obedient, being expected to operate more as junior partners in civilization than tools (including, say, the ability to operate clockwork automata in at least a limited fashion) in many and varied roles; distinguished by a higher forehead and more manipulative forepaws. Also associated with Tárvalén, the Binder, Eikone of Loyalty (see myth).
  • The cerrúr – a four-horned hexapedal browsing bluelife animal, used for riding.
  • The certárúr – a four-horned (with stunted horns) hexapedal browsing bluelife animal, used for riding and as a draft animal; also for leather.
  • The chiashaïc [silk-spider] – a bluelife pseudo-arachnid, used for fiber.
  • The ékaláman – a hexapedal flying carnivorous bluelife reptile with a mid-wing, used for hunting, as we do raptors.
  • The élirúr [dormouse] – a greenlife rodent, used for meat.
  • The fírastal – a slightly larger greenlife relative of the Earth cat, kept for pest control and occasional hunting.
  • The hasérúr – a hexapedal browsing bluelife animal used for meat and milk.
  • The kuléra – a four-winged bluelife bird, used as a scout and messenger.
  • The líhasúr – a quadrupedal rooting greenlife animal, used for meat; a close relative of the Earth pig.
  • The nekhalyef – a quadrupedal grazing greenlife animal, used for meat, milk, and fiber; a close relative of the Earth sheep.
  • The pengál – a bluelife pseudoserpent, kept for pest control.
  • The reshkef – a hexapedal browsing bluelife animal, used for meat, milk, and fiber.
  • The quebérúr – a quadrupedal grazing greenlife animal, used for meat and milk; a close relative of the Earth bison.
  • The sevesúr – a two-winged greenlife game bird, used for meat and eggs.
  • The tiryef – a large flightless bluelife bird, used for meat.
  • Underwater, the ííche [dolphins – well, technically, it means “cetaceans”, but in this specific case; greenlife] and cúlnó [octopodes; greenlife], which occupy a similar niche Below as the bandal do on the surface.  Also, various farmed fish.

Which animals are likely to be pets? Which ones won’t be?

The most commonly kept as pets – but for values of pets which usually involves working (which, in their terms, includes “for companionship”), rather than simple ornamentation, since the eldrae have ideas about dignity and what they shouldn’t expect any animal smart enough to be a pet to do – would be the bandal, the firastal, and the kuléra; underwater, and to a lesser degree in space, some species of cúlnó are also popular.

As for which won’t – anything that’s too dangerous or insanitary, as usual, plus anything not smart enough to hold the interest of their keepers.  With the possible exceptions of aviary birds, aquarium fish, and butterflies – but then, they are ornamental.

The Age of Flavor

Rejoice, my fellow canids, for the Age of Flavor has come!

While it has taken a few years, ranchers and meatwrights across the Empire are finally beginning to sell the meat they produce in a manner appropriate for those of us blessed with our sense of smell.  While a few of our cousins may be able to discern a few of the subtleties of flavor found between naturally raised meat and vatmeat, to us, that distinction is as clear as night and day.

And now, those differences can be savored.  Following on from last month’s article on spicing up the blandness of much vatmeat, Vhúfkarr Rúägh begins a new series in this month’s issue taking us through the subtleties of today’s luxury meat market for the discerning nose; from the distinctive herbal tang of the hasérúr ranches of the Selenarian plains, the almost metallic notes from the Azikhan high valleys, the sweet overtones of the vine-fed animals of Palar and Istalyn, to the subtle nuttiness of a Veranthyr woodsbred.  Over the next year, learn how to find and procure these and a dozen other varieties of hasérgalrás raised especially for this market, and how to prepare them to best bring out their flavor.

Relatedly, our alcohol correspondent (Evell Cerron-ith-Cerron) discusses the new trend in microbrewing with a range of unsedimented, extra-yeasty dark beers appearing to suit the canine palate, and with Vhúfkarr makes some suggestions on how to coordinate them with your choice of meat.

Also in this month’s issue: a selection of recipes for Phílae handfish, how to cook with, rather than in, microgravity, and a guide to best matching spices across the Empire’s six most popular metabolic biochemistries.

Until next month, good hunting!

– editorial page, Calenmot issue of A Taste of Taste magazine


(Much as I hate to play Mr. Disclaimer here – dogs, and other canids, who haven’t been removed from Earth as ancient wolves, spent thousands upon thousands of years evolving separately, been domesticated by another species entirely, been selectively bred, genetically engineered, uplifted to sophoncy, and then genetically engineered again can’t metabolize alcohol, and are in fact poisoned by it.  So while the dar-bandal of the Empire may, thanks to their artificially enhanced livers, enjoy a nice thick stout with their steak – don’t give your dog a beer, m’kay?)