by Jack Rosenberger and Robin Armstrong
In a few weeks, about 10 million Americans will witness Lisa Simpson, one of television's most famous cartoon characters, go vegetarian-with a little help from friends Paul and Linda McCartney. The episode featuring Lisa's dietary conversion begins with the Simpsons visiting a local petting zoo, where Lisa falls in love with a group of sheep. That evening, the Simpsons have lamb chops for dinner, and Lisa makes the connection between the animal lying on her plate and the ones she was petting earlier. "In keeping with Lisa's character, she's faced with a moral crisis and forced to make a decision," says Executive Story Editor David Cohen, who is credited with suggesting Lisa's character on the show. Lisa decides to quit eating meat for ethical reasons, but soon discovers that being vegetarian means tolerating what seems like a world of morally indifferent carnivores. The Pig de Resistance comes when her father Homer hosts a meat-laden barbecue whose centerpiece is a pig roasting over an open fire. Fortunately for Lisa, the McCartneys are nearby visiting their old Indian friend Apu. They offer Lisa moral support, and Paul reveals for the very first time, that "If you play 'Maybe I'm Amazed' backward, you'll hear a recipe for really ripping lentil soup."