lisa the vegetarian

By Fabrizio Cirnigliaro

After a visit to a petting zoo and an encounter with a lamb, Lisa cannot continue to eat meat so she decides to become a vegetarian. Her relatives jeer her about this choice (the jingle “You don’t win friends with salad” is a tear-jerker…). The strife with the school is really strong, too.


The barbecue organized by Homer will touch off Lisa and she’ll get so angry to the extent that she’ll throw away the main course. Lisa will take comfort in the Jet Market, where she’ll meet three other vegetarians: Apu, Paul and Linda McCartney.

This episode is a classic and it’s one of the best of the series. It faces an issue that is quite important, in a really professional way. At the same time, funny jokes never lack.

In 1995—the year when this episode went on the air for the first time—there were already millions of vegetarians all over the world, but this issue hardly appeared on TV. It’s unusual to hear someone talk about the difficulty that the vegetarian faces daily. The response of people (her family, the school, etc.) toward Lisa and her choice, represents this aspect really well. Lisa start figuring out this problem and she’ll find the biggest trouble in school. When she voices her ideas that are at enmity with the teacher and the chef, it launches a “free-thinking alarm”. In order to confute Lisa’s ideas a didactic is shown film where Troy McClure explains why it’s right to eat meat. The response of Lisa’s classmate after the film (“You're stupid to ask all those questions about meat”), prove how much children's feelings and minds are easy to influence with small advertisements and propaganda. Just when Lisa is almost giving up her vegetarian diet, Apu will come to help her with a vegetarian hot-dog. Lisa remains a vegetarian for all the Simpsons seasons. It’s a permanent change for this character because the people who do this kind of choice hardly revert back.. It’s not like quitting smoking. Often in The Simpsons, at the end of the episode, there’s a return to the beginning. Not in this case. There’s a full support to the battle engaged by Lisa and there aren’t other interpretative positions (it’s quite unusual in The Simpsons). On the contrary, there is an introduction on the motivations that induce a lot of people to become vegetarian, without using a petty way.

Lisa refuses to eat the lamb cutlets because she was thinking that they came from the little lamb she was playing with. A similar scene, but a bit more strong, was described by a big thinker:

“The things that we euphemistically call “meat” are, in truth, pieces of a killed animal’s corpse. Why do we have to turn our stomach into a cemetery? ”

-Tiziano Terzani

Thanks to Luca Feliciotto for the translation from Italian to English



A vegetarian since 1999, Fabrizio was born in Siracusa, Sicily, and now resides in Milan.

Fabrizio's Blog

Fabrizio with his son Carlo.

Review in Italian

  forum + auction + about us + recipes + contact us + links + link to us + Archive  
© 2005