… not just some weird metaphor referring to public humiliation for being wrong.
First it was a tasty treat…
And it didn’t taste like chicken. Evidently.
The originator of the brief flirtation with actually eating crow was one Dr T.W. Stallings, who among other things hated crows. Large numbers of people eating them would reduce their population, he surmised.
Dr Stallings cooked up banquets where Crow was the main dish, which he passed off as Quail.
And verily, the People Ate Crow
And they liked it. Even after they knew it was crow. “Black Partridges” they called them. But the craze died out… perhaps as the crow population decreased, or that the “natural disgust” people have for crows ultimately doomed them as a menu item. Because they eat dead things? (so do we). Because they eat road kill? (some people do) Because they’re omnivores? (so are we). Pigs are omnivores and we eat them…
For whatever the reason, bigoted or not, Crows rejoiced everywhere I am sure.
By the way:
Omnivores are those animals, such as bears and humans, that can eat a variety of food sources, but tend to prefer one type to another. While most carnivores, such as cats, eat only meat, facultative carnivores, such as dogs, behave more like omnivores as they can eat plant matter along with meat.
It’s a Bad Rap, this “natural disgust” thing
Eating crow went from a food craze to a pejorative, presumably because the meat is “presumably rank and extremely distasteful, and the experience is easily equated to the mental anguish of being forced to admit one’s fallibility.”
But it probably keeps us from eating each other. Most of the time.