"You know what I've been thinking about lately? If I had the opportunity either to give up the need for food or the need for sleep, which would I choose? It's an interesting survey question, no? I mean, these are two physical necessities that consume a great deal of one's time. Imagine how much more productive one could be if one didn't have to interrupt one's activities periodically to eat--to say nothing of sleeping, which, if done according to the advice of experts, takes up about a third of one's life! We'd all be better off, in a sense, if we did not have to eat and/or sleep. At the same time, though, people undeniably derive pleasure from these activities: A fine meal, a peaceful nap on a lazy summer afternoon--these are true luxuries, and it could be argued that the enjoyment of such pleasures comprises part of what it is to be human. Of course, if one were able to forego either eating or sleeping, then one would, in fact, be something OTHER than human--at least as we all understand the term.
"So, getting back to the original question: Which would you rather give up, assuming you could give one up. If you were told that your stomach would never again rumble in hunger, or that you would never again feel weariness overtake you. You could save all the money you currently spend on food. You could make productive use of the time you now spend asleep--reading the books you've always wanted to read, writing the novel you've never had the time to compose.
"I think, for me, I would give up the need to eat. I've never gotten a true sensual thrill from the gastronomic arts. Oh, certainly, I've had some delicious meals, but, on the whole, I am truly one of those who eats to live rather than who lives to eat. If I never had to satisfy my hunger, I would not feel I was missing much. Sleep, on the other hand, is one of my great pleasures. Curling up under a blanket on a chilly, rainy morning. Enjoying the strange worlds that populate my dreams. I would be loath to give all that up. And I think--in the case of sleep--I WOULD be giving it up. After all, a person can still eat even if he does not NEED to do so--I think, in fact, most people do this on a regular basis: eat when they are not especially hungry, but merely out of a sense of ritual or schedule. Sleep on the other hand, would seem to be impossible if one does not need to do it. Have you ever tried to sleep when you are just not tired? Not easy, is it?
"So, on the whole, while either option provides the possibility of a much more efficient and productive life, I would certainly forego the need for food, if given the choice, before I gave up the embrace of Morpheus."
"Um. . . That's great, Sir, but I just asked if you wanted fries with your burger."