Vegan delight (1994)

This might be the most well-known of Benjamin Zephaniah's vegan-related poems. It's from his 1994 book "Talking Turkeys". The book was published on Viking Books and Puffin Books (which belongs to Penguin Books) no less.

Vegan Delight

Ackees, chapatties
Dumplins an nan,
Channa an rotis
Onion uttapam,
Masala dosa
Green callaloo
Bhel an samosa
Corn an aloo.
Yam an cassava
Pepperpot stew,
Rotlo an guava
Rice an tofu,
Puri, paratha
Sesame casserole,
Brown eggless pasta
An brown bread rolls.

Soya milked muesli
Soya bean curd,
Soya sweet sweeties
Soya’s de word,
Soya bean margarine
Soya bean sauce,
What can mek medicine?
Soya of course. Soya meks yoghurt
Soya ice-cream,
Or soya sorbet
Soya reigns supreme,
Soya sticks liquoriced
Soya salads
Try any soya dish
Soya is bad. [He means bad as in "Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good" (Run DMC, 1986).]

Plantain an tabouli
Cornmeal pudding
Onion bhajee
Wid plenty cumin,
Breadfruit an coconuts
Molasses tea
Dairy free omelettes
Very chilli.
Ginger bread, nut roast
Sorrell, paw paw,
Cocoa an rye toast
I tek dem on tour,
Drinking cool maubi
Meks me feel sweet,
What was dat question now?
What do we eat?

You can listen to Benjamin Zephaniah recite this poem (while walking through a Safeway supermarket) in the Vegan Society' video "Truth or Dairy" which also came out in 1994. (Go to 2:32 min to listen to the poem.)

For those who like their vegan history facts precise: Truth or Dairy was premiered in Soho (central London) on Tuesday 27 September 1994. (Check the Winter 1994 edition of The Vegan for more info.)

Some more info on the video "Truth or Dairy": "However, it wasn’t until the society’s 50th anniversary in 1994 that the society [Vegan Society] had a new film to offer the public [the previous Vegan Society video came out in 1976]. Louise Wallis, the president of The Vegan Society, launched a Vegan Video Fund. A new video, Truth or Dairy, was launched to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the society. It was the first film of the now awardwinning director Fanny Armstrong, who would later go on to make the documentary McLibel and the acclaimed The Age of Stupid. Franny and her sister Boo were friends with Louise Wallis, and they volunteered their services because their father worked in TV and allowed them to use his equipment. Louise, fellow trustee of the society Frank Hudson, Franny, and Boo had no prior filmmaking experienced but produced a video that was ground-breaking in its use of humour and its approach to the topic." (from the Vegan Society's text "Ripened by Human Determination", 2014)

Also check out these poems by Benjamin Zephaniah: