Stefany Anne Golberg, who’s currently penning a book about vegetarians and monsters (we hope she got a big advance), makes an interesting point in the food edition of Lapham’s Quarterly: Frankenstein’s monster hated meat. What can we learn from this troubling tale? Like many vegetarians of today, his existence was clouded by alienation, indignation, and shame.
To wit: “It shouldn’t be surprising that Frankenstein’s monster is a vegetarian, because we’ve always known that vegetarians are monsters.”
Indeed: “Monty [Golberg’s chipper nickname for the beast] survived on a diet of peace and wonder. Just being filled him with awe, and though he was often confused, and sometimes angry, he was happy in his way.”
Nonetheless: “The vegetarian life was a solitary existence. Nature gave Monty everything he needed, but nothing felt right, because he understood that he was alone.”
Take note: “For Mary Shelley, Monty’s vegetarian diet is an expression of independence and sensitivity.”
And finally: “[W]hen Monty cannot compel Frankenstein and the other humans with compassion, with reason, with justice, he resorts to the final weapon of the monster, and the vegetarian—righteousness.”
Oh, but take heart, vegetarians of today! We hear that Beowulf was very into organ meats. And in the meantime, we hope that Haley Joel Osment has taken this under advisement.
The Monster Ate Vegetables [Lapham’s Quarterly]
Related: Haley Joel Osment to Try Acting As a Grown-up in New Frankenstein Movie [Vulture]