Cud: (n) the portion of food that a ruminant returns from the first stomach to the mouth to chew a second time.
I am susceptible.
I don’t like to admit it.
Often, it’s why I refuse to watch medical shows or even programs of itinerant travelers who share experiences of strange lands, animals and diseases.
I buy in too easily.
Such a thing happened to me short years ago. In my ongoing pursuit to remove the mythology of my obesity and supposedly create the human-flesh-muddle that I’m meant to be, I listened to a young, slender woman (my first mistake) expound upon the importance of chewing your food at least twenty times before swallowing.
She explained that this not only made digestion easier, but also that chewing at for such an extended period of time caused us to eat less, and therefore promoted weight loss.
In that moment–in my flurry of passion and with her apt representation– she was able to convince me to try. She closed off her discourse by highlighting that animals like the cow chew their cud over and over again until it is just a mushy mess of drippy liquid, which they then gulp.
Surviving her vivid description, I sat down to my dinner that night and decided to pursue my own cud chewing.
I quickly realized that my normal number of chews for consumption was four or five.
I was still comfortable with eight chews.
At twelve I had to take my mind to a faraway place to keep insanity from ensuing.
When I finally reached twenty and tried to swallow, nothing happened. (All the little gushy, mushy pieces had already snuck down my throat to the stomach to the awaiting stomach).
Yet faithful pilgrim that I am, I continued this practice for an entire meal.
It was exhausting—so tiring it was that at the end of the feast, I found myself needing energy—starved.