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<   No. 1130   2006-03-01   >

Comic #1130

1 Spanners: Given this irrefutable evidence of an afterlife, I've decided to adopt a religion. I'm converting to Vegan Catholicism.
2 Serron: That's rather radical!
2 Paris: What?!
3 Iki Piki: Vegan? So you won't eat food made from insects any more?
4 Spanners: That's right. I'm giving it up for lentils.

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Today is the first day of Lent (assuming I got my strip buffer calculations right), which in the Christian liturgical calendar is a period spanning the forty days before Easter.

(Not counting the Sundays, that is. In other words, Lent starts 47 days before Easter, if you actually include the Sundays, which is how most people tend to count days these days.)

The traditional customs for Lent include fasting and abstinence, as a form of penance. This used to include a strict prohibition on eating meat, but the rules are more relaxed these days and many practising Christians choose to observe Lent by giving up something they enjoy for the period, which may either be a specific food or some activity. A common choice is chocolate, which allows one to break one's 40-day chocolate-fast with the abundance of chocolate normally associated with Easter in modern western culture.

Lentils, on the other hand, are lens-shaped leguminous seeds which contain one of the highest proportions of protein of any vegetable food. This makes them an important food for vegetarians and vegans.

Interestingly, lentils are of the genus Lens, and the word "lens" as applied to an optical device that refracts light comes directly from this, so named because optical lenses are frequently shaped roughly like giant lentils.

If you learnt nothing from today's comic and annotation, you're probably a practising vegan Catholic scientist yourself.

2015-06-17 Rerun commentary: I cook lentils a fair bit, and really like them. It's easy to make them into different types of soups and dahls*, with various other vegetables and different spices to produce a range of flavours and textures.

I don't cook insects myself, though I have eaten them. I got a bag of fried crickets once in Thailand. They were actually quite tasty and not icky to eat, and I'd get them again.

Just not during Vegan Catholic Lent.

* Spelt "dal" by Wikipedia, but I've only ever seen it written as "dahl" in Indian restaurant menus here in Australia.

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