In the mid-seventeenth century, vegetarianism acquires both a new political energy and a new philosophical narrative of origins. Andrew Marvell's and John Milton's contemporaries across the political spectrum are increasingly invested for differing reasons in an Eden in which plants and people nourish each other in innocence. Marvell in “The Garden” builds on this narrative, imagining a Paradise in which fruits offer themselves to the speaker in a strenuous and sexualized consumption. Milton in Paradise Lost partly adopts Marvell's vegetarian passions, as his Eve both loves and eats her amorous Edenic garden. Both Marvell and Milton, however, distance themselves in different ways from any direct correlations between Eve's vegetarian cuisine and the innocence of Eden. Although both poets invoke the vegetarians' myth of origins, they also avoid some of the correlative theories of gender and purity with which that philosophy was often elided.

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