Cover image for Vegetarianism : a history
Title:
Vegetarianism : a history
Author:
Spencer, Colin.
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Second edition].
Publication Information:
New York : Four Walls Eight Windows, 2002.

©2000
Physical Description:
xiv, 384 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Originally published under title: The heretic's feast. Hanover, NH : University Press of New England, 1993.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781568582382
Format :
Book

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Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library TX392 .S722 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Colin Spencer provides an in-depth account of vegetarianism. From prehistory to the present, he discusses those who came to vegetarianism by choice, from the religions who preach it such as Hinduism and Seventh-Day Adventism, to the individuals who practice it, including Leonardo da Vinci and, ironically, Adolf Hitler. Throughout history, vegetarians have been maligned and persecuted by their meat-eating brethren. Spencer looks at the psychology of abstention, the ideas behind a meat-free diet, as well as the environmental effects of meat production and the implications of genetic engineering. Although the vegetarian movement dates back to 600 B.C., it is only now becoming a practice valued by many who previously would have wondered, "Where's the beef?"


Author Notes

In addition to his many acclaimed books on vegetarian cooking, Colin Spencer has written regular food columns for The Guardian and Country Living. He lives on the south coast of England, where he grows rare and unusual vegetables


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Those who believe that vegetarianism is part of our historical and evolutionary destiny will resonate with Spencer's pro-vegetarian treatment of the subject. Those who value presentation of all sides of an argument will rail that this talented researcher fails to present ideas that do not support his hypothesis. To gain converts among those with other views, he would need to analyze positions and data that do not support his pre-drawn conclusions and show why these are wrong or inconclusive. Instead he selected only those observations that fit with his conclusions. The author has done a great deal of research gathering materials on vegetarianism from many sources. His arguments for vegetarianism contain the old saws about pacifism and new myths such as vegetables being less subject to foodborne diseases. He mixes up pieces about the organic movement and vegetarianism. For all these areas, he chooses to present those studies that promote his viewpoint. This book could be described as a long persuasive essay that contains lots of history, but it fails to meet the rigorous standards of unbiased observation that would earn it its given title. ^BSumming Up: Optional. All levels. J. M. Jones College of St. Catherine


Table of Contents

Foreword for 2nd Editionp. viii
Forewordp. x
Acknowledgementsp. xiv
1 In the Beginningp. 1
The Decisive Primate
The Aquatic Ape?
Toolmakers and Gatherers
Migration
The Emergence of Humans
Gathering Food
Taming the Environment
Surplus Food
Altars and Gardens
2 Pythagoras and His Inheritancep. 38
Meat in Homer
The Life of Pythagoras
The Teaching
Beans
The School at Croton
Stories
Religious Practice
The Orphic Religion
Egypt
Zoroaster
The Pythagorean Enigma
Empedocles
The Pythagoreans
Aristoxenus
The Heritage of Pythagoras
3 Indiap. 70
The Indus Valley
The Aryan Invasion
Hinduism
Buddhism
Jainism
Asoka
4 Plato to Porphyryp. 85
Plato at Table
Greek Food
Aristotle
The Stoics
Rome
Plutarch
The Neoplatonists
Porphyry
5 Early Christianityp. 107
St Paul's Gospel
The Essenes
The Dietary Laws
Christian Expansion
Asceticism
Meat and Milk
The Quail Plague
Clean or Unclean
6 Gnostic Sects and the Manicheansp. 126
Whence Came the True Voice of God?
The Equality of Women
Gnostic Variety
Manicheanism
Augustine of Hippo
7 The Bogomils, the Cathars and the Orthodox Churchp. 142
The Paulicians
The Massalians
The Bogomils
Royal Converts
Growing Heresies
Pure and Vegetarian
Cathar Doctrine
The Albigensian Crusade
Two Christian Saints
The Criminal Prosecution of Animals
Articles of Faith
Medieval Fasting
8 The Renaissancep. 169
Riches and Famine
Dissident Voices
Renaissance Man Himself
Food as Secular Ritual
Rediscoveries
Explorations
9 The Clockwork Universep. 187
Cartesianism
More Dissidents
Thomas Tryon
Soul Searching
To Eat Meat or Not?
Two Poets
Pierre Bayle
10 The Rise of Humanismp. 213
The Reforming Spirit
Belief and Scepticism
Voltaire
Paine
Paley
Franklin
Ritson and the Cry of Nature
The Agricultural Revolution
Shelley
11 Docks and Dandelionsp. 238
Swedenborg's Disciples
Concordium
Ramsgate and After
The Indian Mutiny
Animal Slaughter
The United States
London and Reform
George Bernard Shaw
Wagner
Croydon and the Simple Life
Animal Welfare
Tolstoy and the Dukhobors
Gandhi and the Danielites
The Flowering of the Ethic
12 Sunlight and Sandalsp. 275
Poverty and War
Criticism and Ridicule
Raw Foods
Hitler
Between the Wars
The Order of the Cross and Mazdaznanism
The Second World War
13 Sentient or Machine?p. 296
The Counter-Culture
Modern Farming
Caring for the Environment
The Concept of Pure Food
Government Bungling
Genetic Engineering
Class
The Reason Why
The Future
Afterwordp. 331
Appendix 1 The Later History of Buddhismp. 336
Appendix 2 Manicheanism in Chinap. 339
Appendix 3 Modern Hinduismp. 342
Appendix 4 The Rise of the Vegetarian Cookery Bookp. 344
Notesp. 346
A Select Bibliographyp. 367
Indexp. 372

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