07/05/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Abraham Lincoln's Vegetarian Address

"Four score and seven meals ago my conscience brought forth to the anti-rebel north a new diet conceived in kindness and dedicated to the proposition that all animals are created equal.

"Now I am engaged in a civil anti-meat war, ingesting dishes that often contain tasty tofu and tempeh. We are here on a cruel factory farm that helped inspire that war. We have come to dedicate this hormone-haunted farm as a final resting place for animals who gave their lives that we might eat unhealthily. It is altogether fitting and proper that ex-carnivores do so, even those who aren't vegans.

"But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate ... we cannot consecrate ... we cannot toss an organic salad on ... this hallowed ground. The caged and brutalized animals who suffered here have consecrated it far above the power of biped chowhounds to add or detract.

"Frank Perdue may little note nor long remember what we say here in 1863, but faux-meat fans must never forget what is done to animals. It is for us -- and future vegetarians like Coretta Scott King, Dennis Kucinich, and Spock the Vulcan -- to be dedicated to the unfinished work of treating all creatures like we would our beloved cats and dogs. It is for us to be dedicated to the great tasks remaining before us: putting catsup and sliced pickles on veggie burgers, and giving a full measure of don't-buy-meat devotion when spending whole paychecks at Whole Foods.

"We here resolve that animals shall not have died in vain and that a nation which will one day see my own GOP crudely attack Sonia Sotomayor shall have a new birth of decency as well as pasta primavera infused with crisp zucchini. Only then will the "red meat" Republicanism that opposes the people, annoys the people, and doesn't deserve to be in People magazine finally perish from the earth."