"They're made out of meat."


"Meat. They're made out of meat."


"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"So ... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat."

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, 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. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"


"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."

Made popular on: 
Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:32pm


Sun, 01/16/2011 - 3:56am
YaoMing Says:
Mon, 02/28/2011 - 1:45pm

Man you have the craziest highDEAS. For this one and the egg, did you come up with the dialogue? doesn't bug me if you didn't.

Sun, 04/03/2011 - 9:47pm
yoinkie Says:

come on man, atleast give credit where its due. This is a short story by Terry Bisson, for anyone who is wondering.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:12pm
LordVapor Says:

Good call. Before I read the title I was thinking it was probably written by Yoinkie or something. Not surprised you know its actual origins

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:07pm
Tacocat Says:

Actually this is an episode of the twighlight zone called monsters on maple street I read the screenplay in language arts

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 1:13am
aznsmoke2 Says:
Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:38am
a.catpuppy Says:

guess ill have to thank Terry Bisson for makin me loose about 20% of the water in my body thru tears from my eyes laughin

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 2:19pm
steven2603 Says:

haha love it. cite it next time though.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 8:08pm
pigsdofly Says:

cite that shit! but thanks for helping to pass the time(:

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 8:09pm
pigsdofly Says:

cite that shit! but thanks for helping to pass the time(:

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 9:10pm
yoinkie Says:

just a couple thoughts on this story:

1) the author was way too obsessed with the fact that humans are made out of 'meat'. He didnt need to repeat it over and over, we got it the first time.

2) Your telling me that HIGHLY intelligent organisms(even though they are not made out of "meat") wouldnt be able to comprehend the human body and how it functions? Im sorry, but that is just so damn implausible. They claim to be the monitors and regulators of the universe, yet they want us to believe that a species made out of meat would gross them out so much that they would avoid them. Really? that ludacris, not even the least bit plausible.

3) This story isnt all that well written. The author only had the basis of "humans are meat" and built an entire story around it, hence becoming repetitive.

and 4) I noticed the creatures mention god (omigod) on 4-5 different occasions. That didnt make much sense to me. I have a really really hard time believing an alien species that knows SO much knowledge of the universe would believe in God. Dont know why the author did this, im guessing he just did it accidentally(poor writing).

I downvoted this highdea, so I assumed you deserved an explanation. Just putting my opinions out there, feel free to downvote this comment if you disagree.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:41pm
Ink Says:

Dude. This isn't an English class. It's highDEAS, and this is a damn good one. I imagine that if or when we discover other intelligent life, it will be so outside of our experience that we'll have a conversation that sounds a lot like this one.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:41pm
ohaithar Says:

Ever heard of different writing styles?… just because this is a bit different, or obscure, does not mean it's bad.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:57pm
yoinkie Says:

I never said it was bad. I just said it wasnt well written in my opinion, because of the "omigods" and the "wait...there made out of meat?" line being used over and over for no necessary reason.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:23pm
csmitty44 Says:

You said you downvoted it which clearly implies you believe it to be bad. Also, this is basically just saying don't disregard a culture because it's different than your own which has happened many times throughout human history. For example when Africa was first colonized and white people discovered black people they were dumbfounded by how it could be possible and saw them as animals. Zoos were even set up with Africans in them.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:35pm
yoinkie Says:

ok, fair enough. I shouldnt have said that, I actually downvoted before I wrote that, and the downvote was because there was no credit given(I always downvote if no credit given).

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:42pm
RipperRooo Says:
Thu, 04/07/2011 - 12:15am

Thats what im sayin. Everybody just chill the fuck out.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 2:06am
shep420 Says:

everybody seems pretty chill haha. Just a couple people trying to express there thoughts

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 2:10am
shep420 Says:

errr shoulda kept reading...things do get kinda heated haha

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 2:18am
shep420 Says:

errr shoulda kept reading...things do get kinda heated haha

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:45pm
milk_man Says:

1. nobody asked for your opinion.
2. who are you to say what is "well written" or not? (just because someone has a different style doesnt mean that you are better than them)
3. just because a lot of people have complemented your writing, it does not make you the judge of all that is good.
4. step off your high horse.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:54pm
yoinkie Says:

wait...isnt the point of having a comment section to express your opinions?

And if this was actually written by Justinbroke(the guy who posted this) I wouldnt DARE insult it in anyway, because its beyond good for just some regular writer...BUT, this is written by a professional, well published author, so thats why I felt like stating my opinion.

What does this have ANYTHING to do with my writings? seriously, tell me, im SOOOOO interested in hearing where the fuck you pulled that out of. The reason I felt like dissecting this story is because I am a huge fan of any written work, and I felt like discussing my thoughts and opinions on this particular piece of work with others.

and why the "get off your high horse" comment? Because instead of saying, "wow great story man, blew my mind" I felt like discussing it instead? Maybe your the one whose sitting on the high horse, because it sounds like you dont want anyone expressing their opinions, and only saying positive things. Way to represent yourself as a communist dictator, buddy.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:18pm
JimmyBshaw Says:

for the record. im on your side.
everyone writes differently; look at me for example, im not a great writer. but i still post ideas.
getting off point........
yoinkie is obviously interested in the english literature and whos to say he cant enjoy it. And theres no criticism like good criticism, and he wasnt bashing the author for his mistakes. He was rather correcting and letting go.

stop looking more into this than there truly is. He has a right to an opinion. and that is what he gave, an opinion.

also why defend the original poster when he didnt originally write this? Nor did he give credit.
Plagiarism anyone?

come on everyone this is highdeas. why arent we just high and enjoying eachothers company?

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:23pm
yoinkie Says:

thanks guy, I thought I was alone on this. I posted that because I felt like discussing the points I made. But I guess people on here would rather no one give any opinions, just give the stereotypical "my mind is blown!!!"

oh well.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:45pm
yoinkie Says:

nah man, this site is awesome and always open to discussion. Just on this highdea people seemed to take offence, im guessing because they thought the OP actually wrote this...if he did Id be a total dick if I said what I said(id even hate myself).

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:59pm
denied Says:

No doubt, but you clearly stated that it was published literature. In fact, i really enjoyed the story, thought it was funny, but then I read your comment and I thought "that's true. Why the hell would these aliens keep mentioning god?" to which highdeas did not respond well it kinda ticked me off that this kid didn't give credit, and milk man's comment just completely pissed me the fuck off.
have a good day sir. I'm fuckin' done here

LMFAO (i am)

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 12:15am
austinC Says:

I beg to differ, infact I'd say there are more intellectuals than dumbfucks . . .

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 3:30pm
denied Says:

"infact" isn't even a word. your point is moot. lol

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 7:33pm
SuperJoint Says:

Not everyone can handle criticism, bro. And those who can't react with anger. Not many people understand this so they think that each bit of criticism is a personal affront. So when you made a slightly negative comment over the internet (where nobody can tell the true intent behind your words) it came across as a personal attack. Not everybody takes the time to try and decipher the meaning behind the text, hence him feeling the need to defend the OP. But if it makes you feel any better, I get where you're coming from Yoinkie.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 12:37am
Shmammy Says:

Ha I'm on my HIGH horse. I totally agree with ya and btw, you can comment on any of my highDEAS. I won't be pissed haha.

Sat, 12/10/2011 - 9:55pm
JstnBokor Says:

dude you're such an idiot lol. I can see you now sitting on your computer RAGING over a post that yes, indeed, i was too high to post the author. SO WHAT YOU CUNT. And i just so happen to be into sci fi crazy shit and i thought this was sci fi crazy and all these other pot heads in here thought it was sci fi awesome crazy so who cares what you think if you didn't like it you would have just downvoted and left. you stayed...........................................................................................................

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 2:29am
Jecca Says:

To the man with his head shoved up his ass who wrote:

1. nobody asked for your opinion.
2. who are you to say what is "well written" or not? (just because someone has a different style doesnt mean that you are better than them)
3. just because a lot of people have complemented your writing, it does not make you the judge of all that is good.
4. step off your high horse.

Get over yourself and enjoy the site.
Good day.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:22pm

Someone is spreading a crazy yet stimulating adventure for the mind to take. The reader can escape from reality and just think about things from a different perspective, yeah the author may have had a way of expressing this notion through ways in which you didn't find very entertaining but you don't gotta hate so much and explain why you " down-voted" a post. He's just spreading the knowledge man, something he found fascinating may be to others also; he is spreading ideas ( what this whole site is about ).

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:32pm

im thinkin this wasnt supposed to be a really serious story. the omigod shit was just like a kind of joke and the meat thing seemed pretty funny to me.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 1:51am

Lemme know when your short stories get published on anything other than highdeas dude. Always easy to criticize the people who are successful when you're looking up. The purpose of the repitition is not so that YOU understand that the humans are made of meat but rather to convey the surprise and bewilderment of those who discovered us. Story isn't about you. That's my critique of your critique. No hate. Also, it's SO ignorant to assume that as you get smarter you are less likely to believe in God.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 4:23am
tsift Says:

You totally need to take your head out of your ass and simply understand without being a pedantic fuck.
You read a story without absorbing the message/theme, just concentrating on the obvious shit.

Its a bit obvious they would be...just unaware, they might not be a 'meat' form, they might be completely emotional, or 'mental-aliens' which only exist as thought.

Its the message you completely missed but is really hard too explain that bothers me.


Thu, 04/07/2011 - 10:58pm
xblazedx Says:

The repeated use of "meat" is trying get the point across of disbelief, just because you didn't get that point doesn't mean its poorly written. Even though this might not be the most believable situation the author is trying to put you into a situation where we as humans can understand(we know about electronics). This situation might be true in a way that we can't understand, for example maybe energy is an intelligent form of life that we don't understand and they find it not beneficial to explain it to us. That probably isn't a good example for some people but others it is. Its all about the differences in how people think.

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 12:08am
Hendrixoid Says:

read some larry niven, a well known physicist, writer, and a telescope lab op, and then tell me that.
oh, and thanks for killing my high, dick. its meant for amusement.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 9:28pm

If they're not made out of meat then what are they? Vegetation? Air? Some organic material from another galaxy?

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:38pm
124112 Says:

Light and energy.

They're machine elves :)

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:11pm
Kronknicks Says:
Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:27pm
jennaa. Says:

Wow. It did say meat too much. But its cool.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:42pm

Too bad "aliens" wouldn't use omigod(oh my god) cause they wouldn't be stupid enough to believe there is a god.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:42pm

This post is way too long for my (very blazed) eyes to read.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:43pm

Not sure how to feel about this piece, but it was worth while.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:44pm
Zensimilla Says:

I really thought this was gonna be a repetitive dick joke for some reason haha

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:45pm
Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:56pm

i didn't think someone as chill as yoinkie would be so critical... good story though. and "ilovedubstep" , dude, don't hate on other peoples religions... i don't believe in god either but i respect people that do.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:01pm
yoinkie Says:

jeez, ok Im sorry for trying and discussing this story( which was copy and pasted, and no credit given). Here, just ignore my other comments and use this one:

OMG What a great story! You blew my mind mannnnnnnnnnnnn.