The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

G.K. Chesterton on Vegetarianism

Leave a comment

“THEN, of course, there is the larger and more philosophical riddle of why the vegetarians, or fruitarians, try to make their dishes sound, or even seem, like meat dishes? Why do they talk non-sense about nut-cutlets or tomato toad-in-the-hole? Why do they make nutton rhyme to mutton, and nutter rhyme to butter? It seems a futile poetical exercise. It cannot be supposed to take anyone in. We meat-eaters might as well pretend that cutlets grow on trees. We might as well talk about picking sausages in the hedgerows, or growing fish-cakes in our garden. But while it is not deceptive, it is degrading. It is beneath the dignity of men who (though a trifle mad) are manifestly sincere believers in their cause, that they should elaborately mimic the shapes and titles of the systems which they seek to dethrone.

“We expect Food Reformers to be prigs; but they need not be snobs too. If they really think it wrong to eat meat, if they honestly consider it a kind of cannibalism, why should they introduce reminders of the revolting habit that they renounced? When the South Sea Islanders are reclaimed from cannibalism, I never heard that their dishes were called “Smith Sauté” or “Brown à la Maître d’Hôtel.”

“Moreover, these disguises are artistically very inappropriate to the cause in question. There is poetry in nearly everything, even in a fruit diet. But the poetry depends wholly on the simplicity; there is a certain human and traditional beauty about the idea of a man living on wild fruits in a wood or on rich fruits in a garden; but not about a man eating mashed and mis-named fruit along with a cup of Brunak. These fruitarian gourmets and epicures take away from a fruit diet the one real attraction that it has ever had for human imagination—its directness, its coolness and cleanliness, its scent of Eden. I will eat nuts with any man—or any monkey. But they must be nuts—not nutton, or nutter, or nusco, or nutrogen, or nuttolene, or nuttose, or nutarian Cashew.”



Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s