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The Logical Vegetarian*


G. K. Chesterton

“Why shouldn’t I have a purely vegetarian drink? Why shouldn’t I take vegetables in their highest form, so to speak? The modest vegetarians ought obviously to stick to wine or beer, plain vegetarian drinks, instead of filling their goblets with the blood of bulls and elephants, as all conventional meat-eaters do, I suppose.” — DALROY.

    YOU will find me drinking rum,
    Like a sailor in a slum,
You will find me drinking beer like a Bavarian.
    You will find me drinking gin
    In the lowest kind of inn,
Because I am a rigid Vegetarian.

    So I cleared the inn of wine,
    And I tried to climb the sign,
And I tried to hail the constable as “Marion.”
    But he said I couldn’t speak,
    And he bowled me to the Beak
Because I was a Happy Vegetarian.

    Oh, I knew a Doctor Gluck,
    And his nose it had a hook,
And his attitudes were anything but Aryan;
    So I gave him all the pork
    That I had, upon a fork;
Because I am myself a Vegetarian.

    I am silent in the Club,
    I am silent in the pub,
I am silent on a bally peak in Darien;
    For I stuff away for life
    Shoving peas in with a knife,
Because I am at heart a Vegetarian.

    No more the milk of cows
    Shall pollute my private house
Than the milk of the wild mares of the Barbarian;
    I will stick to port and sherry,
    For they are so very, very
So very, very, very Vegetarian.

* From Wine, Water and Song, Poems by G. K. Chesterton; 1915, Methuen and Co.; London, 1915; pp. 31-33.

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