Saturday, December 08, 2007

Such Bitter Business As The Day Would Quake To Look Upon

All the posting I have been doing lately about charcuterie, butchering, etc. has made me wonder about the term "blood heat." A dictionary search:

blood heat: noun

1. Temperature of the body; normally 98.6 F or 37 C in humans; usually measured to obtain a quick evaluation of a person's health [syn: body temperature].

2. A temperature approximating that of the human body.

Why is animal blood not mentioned? Surely, it is just as hot as human blood. The only contact most humans have with hot blood, soldiers and Hamlet notwithstanding, would be from an animal being butchered. Hunters know how nice it feels to have one's cold-numbed fingers warmed by the heat of a freshly killed animal. Since most of us do not butcher our own animals (or fight with swords) anymore, this part of the definition has been lost.

Aside: Will anyone forget that a "steaming pile" comes most often from an animal relieving themselves in the outdoors? Here is an example.

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