"Bitter to your Stomach, but Sweet as Honey in your Mouth": Vegetarianism, Animals and Working Towards an Ecospiritual Poetry'

  • Hester Jones Senior Lecturer University of Bristol UK
Keywords: vegetarianism, poetry


The first part of this article outlines traditional and Christian ethical arguments about animal autonomy, in particular as these relate to the question of vegetarian practice; it goes on (in the second section) to indicate some ways in which more recent feminist and eco-feminist arguments help to steer a path through what has become something of an ethical dilemma. Some of these arguments point to the arts as most helpfully articulating, or at least beginning to imagine, ways of relating to the animal world. Consequently, the essay concludes by illustrating how one of the arts – poetry – may indeed point to what could be called an eco-spiritual approach to animal life, in particular through its use of metaphorical language, and thus offer a challenge to points of view that justify human dominion over non-human animal life.  

La primera parte de este artículo esboza argumentos éticos tradicionales y cristianos sobre la autonomía animal, en especial cuando tienen relación con la cuestión de la práctica vegetariana. La segunda sección muestra alguna de las maneras en las que algunos de los argumentos feministas y ecofeministas más recientes ayudan a abrir un camino a través de lo que se ha convertido en algo parecido a un dilema ético. En algunos de estos argumentos, las artes son consideradas como mecanismos que nos pueden servir para articular más eficazmente - o, al menos, para empezar a imaginar - modos de relación con el mundo animal. Por consiguiente, este artículo concluye ilustrando cómo una de las artes - la poesía - puede efectivamente apuntar lo que podría ser considerado como una aproximación ecoespiritual a la vida animal, en particular a través de su uso del lenguaje metafórico y, por tanto, cuestionar los puntos de vista que justifican el dominio humano sobre la vida animal no humana.



Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Hester Jones, Senior Lecturer University of Bristol UK

Hester Jones has been Senior Lecturer in English in the University of Bristol (UK) since 2007; before this she was Lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool. She has published in the areas of eighteenth-century poetry (particularly Alexander Pope), women and writing (including work on Adrienne Rich and Emily Dickinson), and more recently in the area of spirituality, writing and gender (work which includes discussion of Christina Rossetti, Josephine Butler, Octavia Hill). Presently she is preparing a monograph on Twentieth-Century Poetry and Christian Belief, to be published by Liverpool University Press.  

Ecospirit: Religion and the Environment