General Question

girlofscience's avatar

Do you think life has a different taste than death?

Asked by girlofscience (7567points) November 22nd, 2008

For the purposes of this question, say you were into eating raw animals—bugs, fish, whatever. Do you think the animal would taste different the moment before its death and the moment after its death? No time to decay or rot or change.

Do you think life has a taste?

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32 Answers

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

It would be more bloody before death, so yes, it would have a different taste.

laureth's avatar

Plants definitely do.

jrpowell's avatar

No, it would taste the same. I don’t believe in souls either. It is still the same stuff.

poofandmook's avatar

@john: I think it’s simple science that something may taste different before death… nothing to do with anything hokey.

girlofscience's avatar

Haha. I’m talking the second before death vs. the second after – was it confusing that I used the word “moment” in my question?

I’m with johnpowell. I don’t think a difference of two seconds would make a difference with bloodiness, and I’m not sure plants would taste different in the same scenario.

eambos's avatar

If I bit into a living, breathing animal, I doubt it would taste any different than if I had killed it first.

laureth's avatar

Plants are sometimes alive even when you’ve had them in the fridge for a while. Ever notice how carrots still try to grow roots/tops, and potatoes will sprout in your cupboard? That’s life happening.

Cooked plants, on the other hand, have been killed. They also taste different.

toyhyena's avatar

I remember reading something about an autistic woman that designed slaughter houses to minimize the amount of stress cows undergo (because that would effect the taste of the meat) if that’s any help. :D

jrpowell's avatar

I was going with the way the question was phrased. Of course something tastes different after you cook it. Eat a tomato while it is on a vine. Pluck the same tomato of the the vine and take a bite. I think you would be lying if you could taste a difference. Or your mind is playing tricks on you.

edit : What I got from the question is does life have a taste? I have eaten live worms and they taste like shit. I’m sure dead ones are the same.

laureth's avatar

That’s because the tomato is still alive in both examples.

But anyway, the question was about animals…

nikipedia's avatar

Not one that is discernable to humans. Anything you’re eating has some live cells and dead cells, anyway. Once you kill something and stop supplying energy to the rest of the cells that process just becomes more widespread, but not rapidly enough to be detectable within 1 second.

And even within a longer time course (minutes to hours) my answer would be the same. I think the cellular processes that are occurring in a live cell might have a taste, but not one that is detectable to humans. Possibly animals that rely more on taste and smell to get by could suss it out.

dynamicduo's avatar

No, I don’t think that life has a taste.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

What an incredibly odd question. Bravo!

To answer, I would say that things taste the same one second before death as they would one second after death.

This question leads me to wonder about oysters. If you take a live oyster and open the shell and suck it down the hatch, at what point is is dead?

pathfinder's avatar

you can allways choose.The taste will be the same bu the profit will be defrende.

eambos's avatar

I don’t think there is any profit involved.

simone54's avatar


susanc's avatar

Gotta love pathfinder. “Profit”. What could he possibly mean by it?

I initially misunderstood this question.
I think (in response to what it’s really about): you would probably be able to develop a sensitivity to the small changes inherent in the ebbing of life. Who’d be motivated to do that? Why? What would we learn from pursuing this? I think this is really interesting.

cooksalot's avatar

??? have never thought about it.

tiggersmom's avatar

What a good question. Naturally the flavor of food changes from the point of life to death. You sure wouldn’t want to eat a rotten tomato, so why would you want to eat rotten meat? I think that there is definitely a difference in the flavors, and I don’t think I could eat raw meat, but I sure can eat a rare t-bone. lol

wundayatta's avatar

There’s this company – I can’t remember it’s name – but there was this show on Nova or Discovery Channel or something, and it turns out that they had patented a special process for capturing that life essence in some kind of vacuum chamber. It was odd, because they had to provide the animals with oxygen while the air was sucked out. Then they killed the animals and claimed to be able to capture that essence. Oh, weird. I’m getting this sense of liminess. It’s as if I can practially taste that company. What was it???

Oh. I’ve got it!

tiggersmom's avatar

Very funny daloon! lmao roff

El_Cadejo's avatar

YES! it does. Ever go to a sushi bar and order “live” something? It definitely tastes different than the kind thats been sitting around for a couple hours.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Ugh, you would eat an animal that is still alive! Gross! All food tastes best fresh, the fresher the better. I have eated freshly butchered meat and lobsters right out of the tank, and they are really good. But still alive?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@skaggfacemutt “live” usually means it was killed right before they bring it out to you. So depending on what it is, it still may be twitching a bit(ie octopus), but its definitely no longer living.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Okay, I guess I am not savvy to the term. To me, “live” means alive.

fireside's avatar

A live bug sure would feel different in my mouth than a dead one.
It also may pee on my tongue which could affect the taste…

KingMalefic's avatar

When I opened up and saw the question I immediatly had an opinion but after reading it I have changed some what my intial stance… and am now more perplexed with the idea of not would the taste change with in that second or too; but more in regards to the original question “Taste of life?” Would there be a defference in taste of that animal depending on what happaned to its life in that day?

Was it fleeing and mainly pumping adrenaline, was it being lathargic, was it content… would these conditions change that taste we get depending on what happaned to it that day?

KingMalefic's avatar

Would there be a apparent taste change and in essence would it translate to us giving us a perception and a taste of its life.

CMaz's avatar

That is why it is best, after a kill, to gut the beast as quickly as possible. Even before that you want the kill to be as swift as possible. Stress and decomposition will change the taste and texture of the meat.
Speaking of decomposition, after a while meat can get better. Aged beef for example.

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