English poet, a friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge, attacked by Byron; poet laureate (1813-43)
Note: there is no evidence that Southey adopted a meatless diet, however he was in close contact with Shelley in Keswick in early 1812, a few weeks before Shelley became vegetarian. Queen Mab which Shelley wrote the same year was much influenced by Southey.
From The Dancing Bear
Alas, poor Bruin! How he foots the pole,
And waddles round it with unweildy steps! . . .
But we are told all things were made for man;
And I'll be sworn there's not a fellow here
Who would not swear 'twere hanging blasphemy
To doubt that truth. Therefore as thou wert born,
Bruin, for Man, and Man makes nothing of thee
In any other way - most logically
It follows thou wert born to make him sport;
That that great snout of thine was form'd on purpose
To hold a ring; and that thy fat was given thee
For an approved pomanium! To demur
Were heresy. And politicians say
(Wise men who in the scale of reason give
No foolish feelings weight) that thou art here
Far happier than thy brother bears who roam
O'er trackless snow for food . . . Besides
'Tis wholesome for thy morals to be brought
From savage climes into a civilised state,
Into the decencies of Christendom.
Bear, Bear! It passes in the Parliament
For excellent logic, this!