“We do not adequately realize today how very deep within our psyche is the reverence for the consumption of meat or how ancient in our history is the ideological abstention from the slaughter of animals for food. The precise beginnings of the vegetarian ethic are lost in the priestly cults of ancient Egypt, but through the Orphic movement vegetarianism became one of the influences upon Pythagoras, who gave his name to the diet. After his death a clear thread can be traced from antiquity to present times. In the East, in India and China, as part of Hinduism and Buddhism, vegetarianism has flourished and numbers millions of converts. From the days of imperial Rome… to the most hated Christian heresy of all, Manicheanism and its progeny, the Bogomils and Cathars, abstention from meat was seen as a sign of the devil’s works, a clear rebellion against the word of God as revealed in biblical text. Persecution began once Pauline Christianity started to colonize Europe, and wherever it spread vegetarianism was reviled.” The author also presents such prominent believers as Ovid, da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Tolstoy, Gandhi and Hitler.
Publisher: Univ. Press of New England
Paperback: 416 pages