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The Hobbit, vegetarianism, and the cult of Óšinn

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  • The Hobbit, vegetarianism, and the cult of Óšinn

    Isn't it strange that vegetarianism rears its ugly head in The Hobbit? And in such a context!

    I'm thinking, of course, of Beorn, whose name comes from the Old English for "bear" (and is cognate with the Old Norse Björn).

    Beorn is a shape-shifter and a mighty man of war, having echoes of the berserker. These were warriors who (possibly with the aid of fly agaric mushrooms or copious draughts of ale) ran wild in battle, not heeding wounds, and who had it seems an Óšinnic cult, Óšinn's very name being related to words for fury and madness. They were thought of as taking on the personalities of animals, such as wolves and bears, and possibly of actually becoming such:

    Viking Answer Lady Webpage - Berserkergang

    But what does Beorn eat? Bread and honey.

    "Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?"

    Not exactly id est furor.

    It's kind of interesting to me the fascination abstention from meat has exercised over modern urban-dwelling intellectual - even those who doubtless never practised it.

    Rider Haggard's She Who Must Be Obeyed lives off bread and fruit. The talented naturalist and novelist W. H. Hudson wrote a novel, Green Mansions, in which he defames the real Amazonian natives (who he, of all people, ought to have been interested in and respectful of) and invents a preposterous fantasy figure of his, Rima, own who dresses in spiders' webs and eschews real jungle-food.

    Goodness knows where Beorn gets the energy to tear orcs limb from limb from. ...

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lewis View Post
    But what does Beorn eat? Bread and honey.
    He ate milk and cream as well IIRC.

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    • #3
      Don't you know, all that bread and honey is magically converted into PURE ENERGY with absolutely no health consequences whatsoever? Who needs all that pesky protein and fat when you can have SUGAR?

      I swear...

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      • #4
        Think about it. You become a bear. You run around the forest eating orcs and bambies and everything else you can find...and then *bam* you turn back into a human. Ever seen what bears, umm, deposit? Ever consider how much even a little black bear eats? I bet if you woke up after a night of forest feasting bear style you'd stick to foods like milk and honey too.

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        • #5
          I'm not entirely sure what the point is...
          "All of God's creatures have a natural habitat... my dinner plate." -Me

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          • #6
            You could have just said Odin instead of making me Google it...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kata View Post
              You could have just said Odin instead of making me Google it...
              You looked it up? You must be one of the non-zombies who does their own research or something.

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              • #8
                Someday we shall reclaim the Earth!

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                • #9
                  It's the magical Elf bread that is all things good... I'm still remembering Gollum chowing down on rabbitses and asking "what's taters, precious?"
                  --Trish (Bork)
                  TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                  http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                  FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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                  • #10
                    Lembas bread. We kinda think that a certain paleo-friendly "loaf" I make could qualify. Small bite fills you up, keeps you going for a long day (aka: Fat Bread).

                    As far as the Hobbit goes, that's literature. don't be dissin' literature, not ever.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RaeVynn View Post
                      Lembas bread. We kinda think that a certain paleo-friendly "loaf" I make could qualify. Small bite fills you up, keeps you going for a long day (aka: Fat Bread).

                      As far as the Hobbit goes, that's literature. don't be dissin' literature, not ever.
                      Yeah, I've always considered Pemmican to be the paleo version of Lembas bread.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Grok View Post
                        Yeah, I've always considered Pemmican to be the paleo version of Lembas bread.
                        Pemmican, fat bread and Larabars, would make the perfect hiking kit.

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                        • #13
                          It was my understanding that the LOTR series of books was a commentary on industrialization. Naturally one would look to the pastoral and agricultural good old days as the better days. Even the Bible sings praises to the pastoral good old days. This is all not much different from us who look all the way back to the paleolithic good old days. Plus there's a long long long long history of wolves and bears being the bad guys in fairy tales.
                          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                          • #14
                            First of all Beorn is a a shapeshifter bear, and as we all know from watching Yogi they loves them some sandwiches. So the bread thing seems to fit.
                            And number 2 he's fricken magic, he aint getting sick.
                            I find your lack of bacon disturbing.

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                            • #15
                              Geri and Freki, the war-worn one [Odin] feeds,
                              that Host-father [Odin] famed of old;
                              but on wine alone, weapon-fine, Odin ever lives.
                              Peak weight on Standard American Diet: 316.8 lbs
                              Initial Weight When Starting Primal: 275 lbs
                              Current weight: 210.8 lbs
                              Goal weight: 220 lbs (or less): MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

                              The way "ChooseMyPlate.gov" should have looked:
                              ChooseMyPlate

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