Most animal parts come so deconstructed from the whole that I don’t think of animals at all when I’m cooking. Steak tips are steak tips. Hamburgers are hamburgers. This is perhaps how I’ve lived as a meat eater, in a kind of denial: I’m not eating animals, I’m eating meat. But recently I came face to face with an animal part that threatened my usual delusion. At a recent family reunion, my brother-in-law, Tom, gave me a gift from Vermont: the tongue of his young grass-fed, organic heifer.