They Are Made Out of Meat

Last Updated: 21 Mar 2023
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They’re Made Out of Meat is a short story by Terry Bisson. It consists entirely of dialogue between two characters. The beginning of this dialogue seems to be rather strange and incomprehensible; the characters are speaking about meat and it is difficult to understand what this “meat” means in this particular context. But gradually the reader begins to tune in, and soon he finds out that they use the word “meat” to imply human beings. And these two creatures themselves are aliens, sentient beings that are capable of travelling faster than light and their mission is to meet with human beings, to welcome them and to set contacts with them.

The fact that they use such words as Orfolei, Weddilei, C space, G445 zone proves that they come from a different planet (from outer space). The speech of the creatures is rather informal. There are a lot of contracted forms, colloquial words and elliptical sentences in their conversation (“They’re made out of meat. ”; “That’s impossible. ”; “…they’re like…”; …crackpots…, “A dream to meat! ”). This fact proves that they know each other well and besides they are absorbed in the topic of their conversation and do not pay much attention to their speech.

Judging by the dialogue, it is obvious that one of the creatures is better aware of the way people are organized (“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they’re made out of meat. ”). And he tries to explain it to the other one who is skeptical and incredulous (“That’s impossible. ”; “That’s ridiculous. ”; Thinking meat! You’re asking me to believe in thinking meat! ”). The situation is really incredible and at first the second creature does not believe in the story, but a bit later accept this theory as true (“Omigod.

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You’re serious then. They’re made out of meat. ” “Finally, Yes. ”). The story represents a critical glance from outside at humans’ behaviour. The aliens consider human beings to be curious and predictable (“…they’ve been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years. ”; "First it wants to talk to us. Then…to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and information. The usual. "). Besides people are viewed as inferior creatures ("…but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds.

You know how when you slap or flap meat it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. "; "It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat? "). So, taking into accounts all these points, the aliens decide not to fulfill their initial mission. They come to a conclusion that it is better to ignore “meat”, erase all the records and mark this sector unoccupied. The thing is that they are sure that they know a lot about humans, but in fact they do not know anything.

They consider themselves to be much more superior, they feel themselves to be the centre of gravity. But actually, they are biased and hostile towards human beings just because humans are different. The whole story rolls around the concept of meat. First of all the repetition of this word sets the rhythm. Besides the meat is personified and it makes the story funny and humorous. (“…thinking meat, conscious meat, loving meat, dreaming meat…”). The fact that these creatures are talking like humans also provides humorous effect. ("Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much! ”).

At first it may even seem that they are scientists or researchers, who are discussing a recent experiment or discovery in the sphere of astronomy. The topic of the story is the relation between different creatures, nationalities and civilizations. The author is mocking these two characters because of their hostile and stereotypical attitude towards other creatures and civilizations; and wants to show that it is important to be patient, clarify controversial things and not to be too presumptuous.

Related Questions

on They Are Made Out of Meat

What is the meaning of they're made out of meat?
The phrase "they're made out of meat" is a reference to a short story by Terry Bisson, in which aliens visit Earth and discover that humans are made of meat. The phrase is used to describe the shock and surprise of the aliens when they realize that humans are not made of metal or some other material, but are actually made of flesh and blood.
What is irony in they're made out of meat?
Irony in the phrase "they're made out of meat" is that it is referring to a group of aliens who are made out of organic material, yet the phrase implies that they are made out of something that is typically used as food. This creates a humorous contrast between the idea of eating something and the idea of being made out of it.
How do the meat creatures travel to other planets?
The meat creatures travel to other planets by using a form of interstellar travel, such as warp drives or hyperspace. They are able to traverse vast distances in a relatively short amount of time, allowing them to explore the universe and visit other planets.

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They Are Made Out of Meat. (2017, Mar 29). Retrieved from

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