Carnivore Picks a Fight and Vegan Responds


O man vegetarian with lifestyle agrarian,
You’ve fallen as prey to a scam!
We advise you to eat, every day, ample meat:
Fish and beef, pork and chicken and lamb.

O great busybody, condescending and snotty,
Your words are annoying and zealous.
Your uncalled-for action shows dissatisfaction;
I think it’s because you are jealous.

Why on Earth do you deign to eat just fruit and grain?
That is why you grow sickly and frail,
Lack of protein and iron in time undermine your
Corpuscles that keep people hale.

You aren’t shrink, you aren’t doctor nor graduate-proctor,
But think so, since you’ve read some books.
Evidently you’re worried my death will be hurried,
And base this on cursory looks.

A diet of rice in no way can suffice
To supply vital organs their need;
It is very non-smart to abuse brain and heart
With this totally-vegan misdeed.

No preservative flavors leaves nothing to savor
And the texture grows rancid and stale,
You will never be strong if you eat all day long
Avocados, tomatoes, and kale.

Well, this pallor, the same as my skeletal frame,
Was inherited from both of my parents.
My appearance in truth is reflective of youth;
It is not, as you see it, aberrance.

My dear Tree-Hugger Friend, we request that you bend
This rigid and harmful obsession;
Thinking mankind is evil puts the soul in upheaval,
It’s leading you into depression.

I do not hate mankind! That is YOUR state of mind,
You’re projecting unholy neurosis.
Life is good, as am I, and I constantly try
To attain the ideal of Theosis.

You have left me resentive; I’ve little incentive
To alter the way that I feed.
Next time, try to inform using words soft and warm,
And let’s see if I’m wont to accede.

Meat and dairy are good, they’re acceptable food –
See Genesis 9:2 and 3,
Know your place and your worth on this wonderful Earth
And fulfill what God meant you to be.

Carnivore and Vegan conclude their discourse:
Thus the smug Carnivore made the Vegan quite sore
With her attitude all-patronizing.
Carnivore could not sense, because she was too dense,
That the Vegan’s blood-pressure was rising.

It took all Vegan’s might, but he acted polite,
And to Carnivore held out his hand,
And he bade her good day (but he wanted to say,
“Go away! Suck an egg! And pound sand!”).


Theosis: a process whose aim is likeness to or union with God.
Genesis 9:2-3, KJV:
2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.



Mary Gardner is a poet living in Florida.

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41 Responses

  1. Paul Buchheit

    Very clever, Mary! Some great lines in your poem. Dietary choice is sorta like politics and religion — too easy to get into an argument.

  2. Maurice O'Sullivan

    Hi Mary, Even as a carnivore, I would have to warn your meat-eater about the difficulty of citing Biblical sources. It seems pretty clear from the beginning of Genesis (Chapter 3) that the ideal diet is fruitarian or possibly full vegetarian if we add in the garden in Chaper 2. In this fallen, postlapsarian world, however, I realize many of us are also addicted to the meat of those animals that seemed to wander safely around Eden.

    • Mary Gardner

      Thanks for the comment, Maurice.
      That Carnivore in the poem has quite a chip on her shoulder.

  3. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Like Paul said, this is a very clever discourse between two probably irreconcilable sides engaged in an argument both justifying their own positions and attempting to influence each other. Well played as one caught in the middle, although I am left to draw my own conclusions as to your predilections. I agree with citing passages from scripture. If there is any doubt about the acceptance of meat in the Bible, there are multiple biblical sources referencing that fact.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    My only problem with this poem is that it has misconstrued its subject by reversing polarity. It’s not the carnivores who are going around picking fights with mild-mannered, peace-loving vegans. It’s quite the contrary.

    We meat-eaters just want to be left alone to consume our steaks, chops, ribs, and cutlets. But fanatical and ideology-driven vegans are the ones who are incessantly propagandizing the planet with their dreams of a fully plant-and-insect-based diet, and who are pressuring politicians to embed that idiotic idea in our laws. Perhaps Ms. Gardner should look into what’s happening to dairy farmers and cattle raisers in the Netherlands, who are being pushed into bankruptcy by vicious vegan legislators and environmentalist ideologues. Or the attempt by Bill Gates to buy up vast tracts of cattle-raising land in the United States, so as to make it off-limits for meat production, and thereby force up the price of meat beyond the means of the average American.

    In fact, other than myself and some others here, where has anyone in the literary world berated vegans for their stupidity? (See my poem “Cooking for Vegans” at the new Winter issue of Expansive Poetry Online.) The vegans and their allies are the ones who are on the offensive in this war.

    As for the notion that we were all originally supposed to be vegetarians because of some supposition about passages in Genesis, that isn’t even worth answering.

    Tonight, if you don’t mind, I’m having filet mignon with champignons. If you do mind, too bad — I’m having it anyway.

    • Paul Buchheit

      “Vicious vegan legislators” trying to control people’s choices, and decisions about their own bodies. Sounds like another familiar issue.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        Yes, Democrats push laws that deny the unborn baby the right to choose whether he lives or dies.

        I’m seeing a pattern here.

    • Paul Freeman

      You are misinformed, Joseph. Vegans don’t eat insects, as you state above. They’re such gentle people, they don’t even exploit bees for their honey.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        To Paul and Paul —

        The question is one of levels of power. Despite the efforts of conservatives, not a single abortion has been stopped in the United States, and not a single mutilating transgender operation has been thwarted. In fact these unnatural atrocities have been increasing, and academia, the mainstream media, and legislators are pushing hard to protect and promote them. All conservative activity on these issues has essentially been moot.

        But ask yourselves this: who’s protecting those Dutch farmers from being forced out of business? Who’s fighting the deliberate attempts by Gates and others to keep meat prices high? Who’s stopping those wealthy vermin in Davos and the WEF from ordering the rest of us to eat tofu and bugs and ersatz meat?

        Are you guys in a dream world? Do you not see the gaping disparity between the weak political power of conservative resisters and the juggernaut of globalist power and left-liberal proselytizing?

        As for vegans being “gentle” people — well, I can only suppose you haven’t met any of them. They are fanatical partisans for their strange religion, and would be perfectly happy seeing all of us being forced to eat insects and tofu. The ones that I have had dealings with remind me of Munster Anabaptists.

        You two guys really take the cake. Is there any leftist idiocy you DON’T support?

      • Paul Freeman

        Mike, quoting famous people to get the last word, as you do incessantly, or quoting one of the world’s many holy books as a crowd-pleaser to claim victory in what was never an argument in the first place, is becoming boring.

  5. C.B. Anderson

    I have no fear of wan vegans. What they do or say is their own business, and nobody else should care. Just give me a nice Porterhouse steak and I’ll believe I’m in heaven.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      They’re trying to make veganism OUR business as well. These vegans aren’t like the peaceful Amish, sequestered in some little 18th-century German lifestyle in obscure corners of Pennsylvania. They are activists and propagandists and troublemakers. And they seriously believe that eating meat is a moral crime.

      Remember what Whittaker Chambers said: “You may not be interested in Communism, but Communism is very interested in you.”

      • Joshua C. Frank

        Yes, anyone who eats meat is worse than Hitler, but a mother who hires a hit man to kill her unborn baby (or, in some places, even 4 weeks after birth), a death more gruesome and painful than even factory-farmed animals have to suffer, is exercising her inalienable right.

  6. Paul Buchheit

    Joseph, vegans may be irritating to people like you, but most of the people opposed to meat-eating are thinking about the world to be occupied by our children and grandchildren.

    Beef and pork production is polluting our air and water, according to reliable research (which I can provide upon your request) and literally killing THOUSANDS of Americans each year.

    Has “conservative activity” addressed THIS?

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Ah, Paul — so now it comes out at last. You really DO want to strangle the production of beef and pork. And it’s a quasi-religious goal for you, fueled by terror over air and water pollution, and “concern for the children” (a common and over-used left-liberal trope in argument).

      As for “reliable research,” what exactly is that? Bogus reports drawn up by environmentalist devotees, progressivist dieticians, leftist NGOs, and whatever politically appointed Gesundheit Nazi has the biggest megaphone? Don’t talk to us about “research” when it is an open secret that “research” by left-liberals is purely framed to support preconceived ideological conclusions.

      As for thousands of Americans being killed, I’d think you would have some immediate concern for the thousands who are being killed right now by the fraudulent “vaccines” cooked up by the ghouls in Big Pharma.

      You want to see the real face of veganism and environmentalism? Look at the snarling mug of that fanatical Great Thunberg.

      • Paul Buchheit

        Joseph, I’m starting to see that it’s pointless trying to communicate with a science denier, one who questions the millions of lives saved by vaccines, and one who might risk infecting someone else all in the name of ‘freedom.’

      • Mike Bryant

        Paul, yes it is pointless, so stop.

        “In a remarkable article, published online, a professor at Ohio State University has spilled the beans on how you can be brainwashed—so as to, as he puts it, “update” your “beliefs.” Updating means to agree with his position on such so-called facts as global climate change. You see, if you disagree with him, then you must be a “science denier.”
        One should understand that the term “science-denier” is not innocuous. It is a slander, by subtle association with the term “Holocaust-denier.” In other words, if you use scientific data to contradict the claims of climate socialists, then you are in the same category as Nazi sympathizers. The use of that term, “denier,” in the title of Tsipursky’s article is accusatory, and it reveals the arrogance and judgmental character of the left that prohibit fair debate.” -Robert Arvay



      • Paul Buchheit

        Holocaust denier? That’s an absurd comparison.

        I came to this site for the poetry, but I get politics. THAT is what should stop.

      • Mike Bryant

        This is what is absurd… that you, a man of science, would hold that anyone who questions “settled” science is a denier. By your definition of science, Einstein is the ultimate science denier. He was ridiculed and shunned. The scientists called him names. Science is all about considering every challenge.
        Every place you and I have ever been is all about politics. Every poetry site is political.
        Politics will never stop.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Paul, you came to this site for poetry? Well, there’s plenty of good poetry here, goddammit!

        The plain fact is that you have another agenda, which you have admitted in a previous post. You wanted a poetry website where there would be nothing to disturb your cherished beliefs, and you are pissed off that the SCP has not been that kind of place.

        Why should we change, just to make you and Freeman comfortable? Since when do conservatives have to be quiet so that you can come here and bask in an apolitical haven of uncontroversial commentary? Can you name a single left-liberal poetry site that would do a similar favor for us?

        You say that politics should stop. Why don’t you be honest and say what you REALLY mean — namely, that conservative politics should stop so that you and your pals can enjoy not dealing with contrarian arguments?

        This holier-than-thou left-liberal arrogance is insufferable. The problem, Paul, is that you aren’t even aware that you suffer from it.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        Damn straight I deny science! But thanks for lumping us in with Holocaust deniers… though since you deny the Abortion Holocaust, that’s the pot calling the kettle black.


        1. Science is like a politician: it will say whatever you want it to say. Experts work for money, not for truth. Once you know this, all science’s findings become suspect. That’s why, for any issue, there are people with equal degrees of knowledge and authority making diametrically opposed claims.

        2. Science intrudes into areas beyond its jurisdiction. For example, people claim science has proven evolution, but evolution can’t be proven or disproven with the scientific method, which by definition is about repeatable experiments.

        3. Even if science’s findings are true, this knowledge has mostly not been beneficial for humanity. We’ve used it to invent machines that do our work for us and make us lazy, and tyrants are using it to control the people more effectively.

        In short, science is the bad boy on the street who fills your children with his misinformation about sex before they’re old enough to understand any of that.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      Well, I’m a conservative, and I said this in a comment on another poem:

      “The whole environmentalist movement is disingenuous. Why should the liberals give a damn about future generations when they freely slaughter their own children by abortion and have contracepted most of the next generation out of existence to begin with? This is not the behavior of people who care about future generations. No, that whole movement is merely a tool to control the people. The phrase ‘population control’ has a double meaning.

      “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: as long as the liberals are in favor of abortion, they don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to morality, any more than the Nazis did.”

  7. Paul Buchheit

    You guys keep speaking for me, making up arguments along the way, like the ‘arrogance’ of liberals.

    Liberals, especially progressives, are focused on society, and on social responsibility. In general, conservatives conflate society with socialism and socialism with communism. They want to ‘conserve’ the status quo, which generally means their own privileged positions.

    If you’re still reading, let me say that my objection to this site is not so much the political viewpoints as it is the malicious and insulting comments often expressed by some of the SCP contributors.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      Most of the malicious and insulting comments I see here come from liberals. When I say the Abortion Holocaust is a greater atrocity than the Nazi Holocaust, that’s not an insult; that’s verifiable from body counts alone (over 1.6 billion worldwide since 1980), let alone anything else.

  8. Norma Pain

    Thank you Mary, I loved your poem and enjoyed the back and forth discussion that it sparked.

  9. Margaret Coats

    Mary, yours is obviously a good choice of topic! This is a fine fiction, and fun because it has some changes from the usual. First, a vegan is more likely to be a woman, and second, when vegans get political, they become tyrants playing the blame game. Nice to see your dialogue poem imagine the less common conversation of a male vegan nagged by a female carnivore. And you offer a resolution where the lady seems to soften her words and quotes Scripture, whereupon the gentleman restrains himself in speech if not in thought. Artful indeed!

    With regard to the Scripture citations, both are correct. After creation, God assigns us plant food as His original intent, but after the incredibly harsh conditions created by the Flood, He mercifully allows meat. Clearly He intended to do so by having Noah take seven (not just two) of each kind of clean animal (good for food) into the Ark. And we are still in the post-Flood stage on Earth, where weather poses normal challenges to growing enough food for all–and where the lamb cannot yet safely lie down with the lion.

    • Mary Gardner

      Margaret, I am delighted that you like the poem. Thank you for your spot-on analysis and the enlightening explanation of God’s clearance for Man to eat meat.
      The twist of characters stems from the old editorial advice about dog-bites-man vs man-bites-dog. I deliberately withheld the Carnivore’s gender until the last to surprise everyone.


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