On Eating, Part II: A Brief Investigation

The Most Basic Need

I guess we can all agree that having a full stomach is the most basic need, not a desire that any species could close their eyes on in order to achieve the ultimate happiness. Now, what happens when one’s basic need is satisfied? If we were to imagine basic needs as heavy burdens sitting on our shoulders, then perhaps we could say that we can lift them temporarily by providing them fulfilment. So, the stress that the need (or let’s say the burden) forced upon the body and the mind would be relieved, and that’s why one could feel an absurd sensation of happiness, for example, after dining. But one should not confuse temporary relief with happiness, for happiness must always be pursued, and can never be achieved.

Social animals, including us, find pleasure in sharing their “temporary relief” with members of their community. That’s one reason we party, and the most important element of a party is eating. I have never been to a party where no food nor drink was offered. We gather around, and we eat. Everyone could have a good time in a social event if their needs are met, and satisfying needs and/or desires of any sort is the mere reason social animals gather together, otherwise why would one waste the precious time to attend to a party at which no satisfaction could be found?

Sharing the Relief

In many cultures foods are given as gifts. There are many rituals and ceremonies involving some sorts of foods or drinks. We are evolved with foods, and we survived with them. So, it would be wise to appreciate what we value the most in forms of rituals and ceremonies.

Now let us imagine we are Stone Age people: there would be no food delivery nor any restaurants. We are hunter-gatherers in the middle of the wilderness, in search of food. As a rule, whatever hunted or found should and will be shared, unless one would be foolish enough to risk the well-being of oneself by breaking the rules of a community.

Sharing something of high value with the members of a group could strengthen the relationship between oneself and the members of the group, and that means more chances of survival. Thus, one should help one another relieve one’s pain so that help could be received in case one needs it.

We party to share some of the relief. As a result, everyone might be fulfilled, relationships could become stronger, and the group is more likely to survive.