Posted inEditor's Pick

I Would Rather Be Herod’s Pig: The History of a Taboo

Mark Essig | Longreads | October 14, 2015 | 5,293 words
Posted inBooks, Featured, Nonfiction, Story

I Would Rather Be Herod’s Pig: The History of a Taboo

The story of how pigs became the world’s most divisive meal.
One of Odysseus' men transforming into a pig. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Mark Essig | Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig | Basic Books | May 2015 | 20 minutes (5,293 words)

Below is an excerpt from Lesser Beasts, by Mark Essig, as recommended by Longreads contributing editor Dana Snitzky

* * *

Built in about 2550 bc, the Great Pyramid of Giza stands 455 feet tall and comprises some 2.3 million blocks of stone weighing about 13 billion pounds in aggregate. Archaeologists still argue over whether those stones were moved into place using levers, sledges, or oil-slicked ramps. Whatever the technical method, building the pyramids involved a feat of social engineering just as impressive as the mechanical: Egyptian authorities had to feed a workforce of thousands of people for decades at a time.

Continue reading “I Would Rather Be Herod’s Pig: The History of a Taboo”