|Bow enjoying oatmeal made with fresh whole milk|
Bow is fit and trim, even though he eats a wide variety of foods. He has plenty of access to fruit, including apples, bananas, strawberries and grapes regularly, and occasionally pears, persimmons, pomegranates, avocado, kiwi, guava, locquat and any other exotic fruit we can get our hands on. But he is not exclusively a frugivore. He eats salad with ranch dressing, eggplant fried in oil or bacon fat, raw tomatoes, fried onions, boiled cauliflower and boiled brussels sprouts, and asparagus, baked potatoes and yams, plus other vegetables that occasionally appear on the menu. But Bow is not a vegetarian. He also likes baked chicken, roast beef, pork chops, Big Macs, chicken nuggets and any other meat dish that he can get his hands on. And Bow has milk with his cereal and in his oatmeal and black sesame porridge, as well as whipped cream with his strawberries and sour cream with his baked potatoes. No, he's not lactose intolerant, and he is not a vegan, and he is not kosher; he has a nice appreciation for many different kinds of food, including oriental dishes like hummus and tahini and Chinese pot stickers and rice. Like me, Bow is an omnivore. He enjoys food, and he has routines and rituals, but he is not stuck in a gastronomic rut. He feels free to explore new foods.
And like me and my daughter, Bow is not overweight. He has a well-defined waistline and is built like the cartoon character, Li'l Abner.
|Notice Bow's well-defined waistline|
|When Sword Met Bow|
Cross-fostered chimpanzees get a lot of their attitude and approach to life from the family they grow up in or the persons who raise them. For instance, a chimpanzee raised Catholic will take on Catholic ritual, crossing himself and praying before meals. A chimpanzee raised by a Buddhist will often display Buddhist attitudes and behaviors, even to the the point of looking like the Buddha.
|This Statue of the Buddha is an Image of Happiness and Contentment|
What if I told you that a certain great ape, deprived of the company of the humans that he loved, has lost a prodigious amount of weight and is now looking healthy and fit? Let's say he had before been so round about the middle that he was beginning to resemble a statue of the Buddha, but now he is fit and trim and his coat is glossy, and he runs around with his fellow apes outdoors, a perfect specimen of natural health and fitness. Is this good or bad? An improvement or an infringement?
It really depends entirely on your point of view. But to put this in perspective, let me tell you a part of the story of my latest novel, Our Lady of Kaifeng: Courtyard of the Happy Way.
When the Red Cross sent the Swiss Consul to visit the internees at the Weihsien Internment Camp for Enemy Aliens run by the Japanese in Shandong Province, China, he had similar improvements in the health of the inmates to report.
|Excerpt from Our Lady of Kaifeng: Courtyard of the Happy Way|