But somewhat related to the Middle Ages tangentially by way of its acceptability as a food for Lent.
Unit of Measure by Sandra Beasley All can be measured by the standard of the capybara. Everyone is lesser than or greater than the capybara. Everything is taller or shorter than the capybara. Everything is mistaken for a Brazilian dance craze more or less frequently than the capybara. Everyone eats greater or fewer watermelons than the capybara. Everyone eats more or less bark. Everyone barks more than or less than the capybara, who also whistles, clicks, grunts, and emits what is known as his alarm squeal. Everyone is more or less alarmed than a capybara, who—because his back legs are longer than his front legs—feels like he is going downhill at all times. Everyone is more or less a master of grasses than the capybara. Or going by the scientific name, more or less Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris— or, going by the Greek translation, more or less water hog. Everyone is more or less of a fish than the capybara, defined as the outermost realm of fishdom by the 16th-century Catholic Church. Everyone is eaten more or less often for Lent than the capybara. Shredded, spiced, and served over plantains, everything tastes more or less like pork than the capybara. Before you decide that you are greater than or lesser than a capybara, consider that while the Brazilian capybara breeds only once a year, the Venezuelan variety mates continuously. Consider the last time you mated continuously. Consider the year of your childhood when you had exactly as many teeth as the capybara— twenty—and all yours fell out, and all his kept growing. Consider how his skin stretches in only one direction. Accept that you are stretchier than the capybara. Accept that you have foolishly distributed your eyes, ears, and nostrils all over your face. Accept that now you will never be able to sleep underwater. Accept that the fish will never gather to your capybara body offering their soft, finned love. One of us, they say, one of us, but they will not say it to you. (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=236982)