Trophes, pt. 2

The Cosmic Dining Dilemma

From time to time, I like to check the visitors to this humble blog of mine, just to see what’s trending. I must confess, it’s a rather amusing exercise given that the trending numbers are often in the single digits—serious single digits.

This week, however, something curious happened. A solitary visitor from the far reaches of Finland, Japan, or even Canada stumbled upon a blog post I wrote about “Trophes.” It’s a term I’ve been dwelling on ever since I discovered that, in a somewhat brutish-sounding way, humans are heterotrophs—meaning we exist by consuming other living things. It’s a sobering concept if you take it out of context, almost like fish surviving by preying on one another in the vast ocean of life.

Contemplating the intricacies of existence, I began to wonder if intelligence must inherently align with either the heterotroph or autotroph category. Is there room for something beyond, something more complex and nuanced than these life-consuming modes of existence?

Then, in a moment of unexpected inspiration, it hit me like a bolt of cosmic lightning: this is why UFOs haven’t been landing on Earth. They’re absolutely terrified of being turned into dinner! Imagine this scenario: you have new neighbors moving in next door. They’re highly intelligent, multilingual university professors. Everything seems splendid, except for one tiny detail—they happen to be lions!

It’s not easy to attend a dinner party when you’re both the guest and the potential entrée. So, while the universe may be teeming with intelligent life, perhaps the universal fear of becoming someone else’s cuisine is keeping the intergalactic welcome parties at bay.

And as I glanced back at my trending single digits, I had to wonder if somewhere out there in the great expanse, there might be another blog pondering whether Earthlings are friends or food.

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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