The Butter Battle Begins

Posted: 5 September, 2007 in My thoughts


The Butter Battle Book was originally written by Dr. Seuss for kids. It was actually an anti war story or a parable about mutually assured destruction during the Cold War era. It can also be viewed as a satirical work showing the silly things that people were giving their lives for. Dr Seuss uses the hyperbole of two nations fighting over the method of buttering bread.

The Story is about the Yooks and the Zooks who live on opposite sides of a curving wall. The Yooks wear blue and the Zooks wear orange. The main disagreement is that the Yooks eat their bread butter-side up and the Zooks think it ought to be eaten butter-side down. They go on to devise all manner of weapons to destroy each other as a result of this difference of opinion.

I’m not writing this article primarily to promote the book (which may be read in less than 5 minutes if you ever feel inclined) but particularly to take sides. After much deliberation with myself, I have become convinced that the Zooks are the correct ones, and ought to win the war.

Why have I come to this conclusion about something so insignificant? Well, on the occasion that I have too much time on my hands and I think about life in general, I once thought about why we butter bread on the top. I suppose the reason is because it is most practical due to the existence of gravity and the fact that toppings stick to the surface they rest on. This however, doesn’t apply to sandwiches comprised of two slices of bread, or rolls for that matter 🙂 And since our tongues (which actually do the tasting) are on the bottom of our mouths, facing up – it’s simply absurd that we also place our toppings facing up.

It seems to me that for decades we have eaten our food upside-down! I tried doing it right-way up, and the taste really comes through stronger, which is the reason we put toppings on sandwiches in the first place – right?

In conclusion, I believe that in most cases, eating bread butter-side down is the logical choice and I therefore declare myself a proud Zook 😉


  1. Kaitlin says:

    I have a question, or two, for you Dr. Beetge. How do you butter your bread if you intend to eat it upside down? Do you butter it with the bread on top and the knife underneath or do you butter it with the knife on top and bread on the bottom and then just flip it over when it’s time to eat it? 😀

  2. Anton says:

    You’ve got it wrong… when I plan to eat my bread THE RIGHT WAY UP 🙂 I’ll butter it on top and then flip it round 😀

  3. Su says:

    I did a quick search, and did you know there’s actually a “butter vs. margerine” debate going around?
    (Check it out: I’m sorry Antz, you might eat your bread butter-side down, but I think I’ll stick to marg 😉

  4. Kaitlin says:

    Oh, I’m so confused. I think I shall just pretend to know what you mean, Antz. 🙂

  5. Hinglish says:

    you’re just messed…thats all. who eats their bread with the butter at the bottom(or marg :-)) how do you hold it too? if its buttered at the bottom, your hand just gets buttered while you eat the dumb sandwich. would you also then, for the same reason, put whatever else you’re having on your sandwich on the outside and not the inside? (i mean ham, jam, cheese, whatever) 😀

  6. caleb gage says:

    for once jonno has a point 😛

  7. Anton says:

    Good reasoning Jonno – I wouldn’t take it so as to put toppings on the outside of a roll though… It would not be practical and would kinda defeat the purpose of having a roll at all:)
    Also, just to clarify – my article applies mainly to toppings (whether butter or margerine is used is irrelevant) and also mainly to closed sandwiches ie. sandwiches comprised of two slices of bread on top of each other
    I’m talking about deriving maximum enjoyment from eating within practical boundaries. For example – which is more enjoyable: walking, driving, or being shot by a human cannon? Obviously the cannon, but this is highly impractical as arriving at your destination simply cannot be done in order that life is preserved. Walking is impractical too because its slow, but driving in a car is a compromise and maximum profit can be procured within practical boundaries.

  8. Kez says:

    I think Dr. Beetge just likes having the excuse to get his fingers all sticky so that he can lick them after he has eaten his bread the RIGHT WAY UP 😉

  9. lil.rebb says:

    I actually agree with antz on this. It is most enjoyable with the butter-side down. And if you don’t want to have buttered fingers when your done, then just don’t butter the sides. At least it works for me.

  10. Anton says:

    Fantastic – the Zooks have a convert 😉

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