Received from friend, fellow author and blogger Cedar Sanderson via e-mail:

BTW, the beaver really was regarded as fish under Canon Law for a very long time, because it swam like one and had a broad tail. Also, it might be the only food available during Lent. Pragmatism triumphs again!

(Oh, yes – and I endorse the sentiment in the last entry. If you can take down a hippo, as far as I’m concerned, you can eat the damned thing whenever and wherever you like!)



  1. The bishop of my dad's parish back in Louisiana back in the 30's and 40's declared waterfowl as 'fish' because not all people could get fish, but waterfowl could be gotten.

    At least it's not as weird as Florida declaring the mullet as a bird, since the mullet has a gizzard. No. Really. At one time yes, a bird. Stupid politicians.

  2. Honey is the vomitus of bees. They have polymerizing enzymes that they mix with nectar and then vomit the nectar into cells in their hives. Unlike most enzymes from digestive tracts that break down big molecules into smaller ones for absorption, the polymerizing enzyme takes the small sugar molecules in nectar and joins them in chains into large molecules of honey.

    Hippo are Artiodactyls (even toed / cloven hoofed) animals, just like the bovines, goats, sheep, deer, pigs and even the cetaceans, but hippos do not ruminate.

  3. The EPA once declared that vegetable oil was "petroleum & flammable materials" hazmat. It's got "oil" right in the name!

  4. Kosher laws declared that fish was not meat, and thus okay to eat with dairy. Which is why you can have creamed herring, or lox on your bagel.

  5. The tradition “down river” from Detroit was that muskrat was considered to be a fish during lent. I associate this with my Polish brethren who lived in Wyandotte. Apparently you have to marinate the muskrat overnight to make it edible. The restaurant that I went to for a muskrat dinner served them whole and brought them out with their legs sticking up in the air. Looked too much like a cooked cat so I wimped out and ordered fish.

  6. I ate possum once on a date at a diner in Ecorse, downriver from Detroit. Kind of foul and bony. I've also eaten beaver in Alaska. Fat, stringy, and dubious at best. Dogs do go crazy over it.

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