© 2012 niall. All rights reserved.



Scultz: I always thought of you as an Aryan.
The Barber: I’m a vegetarian.
Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator

Strolling, I yammered metaphysics with Abramowitz,
a jaundice-yellow (“it’s really tan”)
and fly-weight pacifist,
so vegetarian,
he wore rope shoes and preferred fallen fruit.
Robert Lowell, Memories of West Street and Lepke

“Don’t you know that meat is murder?”,
The dippy hippy cried.
So, I hit him with a leg of lamb –
And sure enough,
he died.
Other Theresa, Vegetarian Poem

who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht
& tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,
Allen Ginsberg, Howl

Let me confess!
A languid love for Lilies does not blight me!
Lank limbs and haggard cheeks do not delight me!
I do not care for dirty greens
By any means.
I do not long for all one sees
That’s Japanese.

Then a sentimental passion of a vegetable fashion must excite
your languid spleen,
An attachment à la Plato for a bashful young potato, or a not-too-French French bean!
Gilbert and Sullivan, Patience

A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.
Gertrude Stein, Wars I Have Seen


I seem to have talked a lot about food recently. Mushrooms. Sushi.

I’m a vegetarian. I don’t eat meat but I do eat eggs and milk and fish. Apparently that’s officially an ovo-lacto-pesco-vegetarian.

Years ago when I became a vegetarian I thought I would probably also have to accept some counterbalancing costs. Reduced stamina or power or speed perhaps.

But I never did. There was no downside.

Japanese food is basically vegetarian anyway.


free e-book + background poems and articles

Other Theresa’s site and poems

Robert Lowell, Memories of West Street and Lepke

Allen Ginsberg, Howl

The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan by Sir W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

Gertrude Stein, Wars I Have Seen


photo: a good sandwich by Shannalee
and check out the recipe for that cool ALT sandwich too


published contemporaneously on the aikido site aikiweb

my columns on aikiweb


© niall matthews 2012


  1. niall

    Thanks Carina. Yeah there’s some great vegetarian Greek food.

    It’s very easy to be a vegetarian in the UK but it’s a little difficult in Japan. Surprisingly!

  2. Thank you Niall for this vegetarian post. I was on a seminar in Tenerife this weekend and we had dinner with the Sensei in a greek restaurant, the delicious food we tasted there was also mostly vegetarian.
    And here an excellent recite of Patience

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