Spock Is A Vegetarian

July 31, 2007

I read the fact that Spock is a vegan over on Elaine Vigneault’s blog. I never really thought about Spock’s eating habits before, but being a fan of Original Series Trek I should know if this is true.

I can only think of a few instances where Spock is seen eating a meal. First is the episode Amok Time where he undergoes Pon Far and throws a tray of plomeek soup that Nurse Chapel has made out of his cabin door. Plomeek soup has no meat and is some sort of bland breakfast dish. If you want to make an approximation for yourself, follow this recipe.

There, I found this info about Vulcans and vegetables:

Mr. Spock would NEVER eat a soup with a chicken stock base. Right from the start, everyone knew that Mr. Spock was a vegetarian, like all Vulcans. Yes, okay, Vulcans began as a warring, violent race, but they saved themselves from destruction by adopting a philosophy of logic and nonviolence… it is no more logical to kill another species for food than it is to hunt it to extinction.

The second instance the episode All Our Yesterdays where Spock is stuck in an ice cave with a woman (Zarabeth) back in time, and is forced to eat meat. In this episode it’s made clear that Spock doesn’t normally eat meat. He confesses:

“I’m behaving disgracefully. I have eaten animal flesh and I’ve enjoyed it. What is wrong with me?

For more dirt on Vulcan eating habits, Wikipedia states:

Vulcans are vegetarians, though they are known to consume seafood. They are repeatedly stated to be herbivorous in the (non-canon) TAS episode “The Slaver Weapon,” by the carnivorous Kzinti. Vulcans do not like to touch their food with their hands, preferring to use utensils whenever possible (though there are numerous cases where Vulcans have broken this rule). It is a Vulcan custom for guests in the home to prepare meals for their hosts.

I think there’s an opportunity to explore some cool Vulcan vegetarian dishes. I could find this page with some names of Vulcan meals and Tufeen Hushani (Vulcan Wedding Cake)… but that’s it. Here’s hoping someone does some more research into the eating habits of Vulcans so more of us can live long and prosper.

Comments

  1. Urbanist says:

    Very odd – I wonder if they carried that consistently through and applied it to all vulcans on the other shows? Unfortunately, geeky though I am, I’m not going to research it :)

  2. tunequest says:

    [nerdhat]
    I guess that makes sense. Animal husbandry requires many more resources than basic agriculture. A single cow requires 13.6 Mbtu of energy to raise and feedlot cows consume roughly 22 lbs of corn each day.

    Vulcan is an arid planet and the logical course to maximize agricultural output would be to grow fruit and vegetable crops for Vulcans to eat, not animals.
    [/nerdhat]

  3. webomatica says:

    I believe the idea was extended to other shows but I’m not as familiar with the others. I think once again the idea of Vulcan diet is yet another area where the show was ahead of its time.

  4. Wow, a thorough analysis!
    The Vulcan recipes are my favorite. Now that’s just funny :)

  5. This fact has never dawned on me. This must be all Vulcans. Funny all the times I watched it I never noticed!

  6. S.R.J. says:

    I see the recipes have Vulcans eating eggs and butter. I find that difficult to accept since those foods still require violence and oppression toward other species. Surely Vulcans would be vegans. How could they justify keeping thousands of chickens for the purpose of harvesting their eggs? What would they do with those thousands of chickens once they were “spent” (past their laying prime)? The planet would quickly get overrun by chickens (or other egg-laying birds) when the spent birds weren’t slaughtered . . . not to mention that they’d have twice as many chickens as we keep here on Earth because we automatically slaughter the male chicks but Vulcans wouldn’t do that.

    And the milk? I spent my summers on my grandparent’s farm and there are few sounds more sorrowful than the sound of a mother cow being separated from her baby before their time so that humans could drink her milk. Would Vulcans tear apart mothers and children so they could have butter? And, again, a milk cow must be bred every year to keep her milk flowing. What would Vulcan do with all those cows piling up since they wouldn’t be making them into veal?

    It is my opinion that Vulcans would not merely be vegetarian. Their logic and peaceful philosophy would demand nothing less than veganism.

  7. Sub. M. says:

    I agree with S.R.J.’s hypothesis. Veganism seems to be the logical choice, both ethically and practically for the Vulcans. If there is no husbandry for meat, it is doubtful that logic would permit expending the energy and resources necessary to produce dairy or eggs. And dairy and egg production are inevitably connected to some degree of animal suffering. As for seafood: science has only recently shown fish to have pain receptors and complex neural systems. I’m sure the Vulcan’s would have figured this out and understood it to be just as morally relevant as the killing of other animals…so I would maintain that the show was nevertheless far ahead of its time, and that logic can fill in the gaps for us.

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  9. Rabbi Gershom here (vegetarian and author of “Jewish Themes in Star Trek”): The “Vulcan” recipes with eggs and butter are non-canonical, probably made up by fans. Spock was never shown eating these foods. As far as I know, the whole Vulcan culture is vegetarian. However, being logical, they would not starve themselves to death if only flesh foods were available, hence Spock eating meat in “All Our Yesterdays” when it was the only food in a glacier environment. (I'm not sure about the seafood reference — Vulcan is a desert planet, where would they get fish?)

    In the Next Generation series, a lot of the foods eaten on starships are replicated, i.e., they LOOK like meat but are actually artificially produced from pure recycled energy. In “Lonely Among Us” (TNG), when a carnivorous Antican ambassador wants live food, he is told by Riker that “We no longer enslave animals for food purposes.”

    “But we have seen Humans eat meat, “replies the Antican.

    “You have seen something as fresh and tasty as meat, but inorganically materialized out of energy from our transporter,” replies Riker.

    So the ideal of vegetarianism is there in Star Trek — however, not everyone is a vegetarian and meat is eaten by Humans and various aliens in some Trek episodes. Still, the series does legitimize vegetarianism.

  10. Sovay says:

    Great post! Just to add one thing, in the episode “The city on the edge of forever” Kirk enters the room where he and Spock are staying with some groceries and says “Mr. Spock, I've brought you some assorted vegetables; Bologna and a hot roll for myself”
    So Kirk seems to acknowledge that Spock wouldn't be into bologna :)

  11. webomatica says:

    Brilliant – I should review that episode and look for that one line!

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  13. Jean says:

    I think if you look at Wikipedia now you will find that it has been updated. There is no reason for the comment about Vulcans eating seafood, I have no idea where that came from. If they are vegetarian why would they eat meat in the form of fish? Fish eaters are not vegetarian.

  14. karracaz says:

    There was a recipe book supposedly written by Nurse Chapel that included favourite dishes by Mr Spock and also Leonard Nimoy. It states in that book that he is vegetarian but not a vegan. I tend to think that he would be a vegan unless on Vulcan the 'milk' comes from a plant… like cocoanut milk. I also think that animal husbandry would be limited but the animals would be kept as wild as possible.

  15. Disciple White Wind says:

    Hey! I would just like to add to the data.

    In Star Trek Enterprise, season 1, episode 16, “Fusion,”

    a group of vulcan civilians who are radical in their acceptance of emotion visit the enterprise. A few of the vulcans were with a couple crew members.

    On the captains dinner plate is chicken… The vulcan asks, “What is that?” and the captain says, “It’s chicken.” The vulcan says, “Do you mind if I try some?”

    The captain kind of reluctantly, but also willingly gives the vulcan the chicken, while saying, “It’s…meat, you know.”

    And the vulcan ate it. But he was an experimenter vulcan, he abandoned the old traditions, so i think this adds further evidence to their being a vegetarian race!

  16. Amy says:

    Nonsense. Replicator technology saw the end of the need to slaughter animals, so thankfully there’s both an end to that violence, and to vegetarians. I think it was a DS9 episode I saw that in, they were hosting a colony of humans who still used farm animals and said it was primitive.

  17. Veggie Vulcan says:

    Thank you! I am a Spock lover and a Vegetarian so I use the name “Veggie Vulcan” as my name on websites and people find it ridiculous but he’s a Vegetarian so there!