The Rise of the Flesh-Avoiders

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Modern vegetarianism is concerned largely with issues of animal welfare but its roots are to be found in the early-modern desire to promote spirituality by curbing humanity’s excessive appetites

Erica Fudge

History Today

Published in Miscellanies.

An English translation of the essay De esu carnium, written by the first-century Greek philosopher Plutarch, was published in 1603.

Samer 2bTranslated by Philemon Holland, the text was given the title ‘Whether it be lawfull to eate flesh or no’ and opens with a bang:

But you demand of mee, for what cause Pythagoras abstained from eating flesh? And I againe doe marvell … what motive and reason had that man, who first approached with his mouth unto…

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