The rooting reflex is one of our first instincts. As we grow we gain oral expertise along with adult inhibitions and niceties of etiquette, One of the areas this becomes apparent is the act of eating. Eating is synonymous with appetite and appetite connects us to our desires, fears, cravings and vulnerabilities. From the baby’s first instinct to suck, we go on to develop our ritualistic culinary habits of using a knife, fork and spoon.
This constant tug between instinct and socialization can also be seen in the hierarchical breakdown of the parts of an animal for consumption. It is a progression of steps, which abstracts the flesh of the animal from its original source. Eventually cooked or carved, minced or pated it reaches its final dissection at the table.