History of Vegetarianism and Veganism Worldwide (1430 BCE to 1969)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-948436-73-1

Publication Date: 2022 March 7

Number of References in Bibliography: 4946

Earliest Reference: 1430 BCE

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Brief Chronology/Timeline of Vegetarianism and veganism

Vegetarianism and veganism have always been less about why you should eat plants and more about why you should not eat animals.

1430 BCE – The Hebrew Bible (Genesis): “And God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (1:28)

In the very next sentence after God gave people dominion over animals, he prohibited their use for food, implying that dominion means guardianship or stewardship. “And God said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree-yielding seed – to you it shall be for food...' And God saw everything he had made, and behold it was very good” (1:29-30).

1430 BCE – The Hebrew Bible (Exodus): The Sixth Commandment states: “Thou shalt not kill” (chapter 20, verse 13). Though simple and direct, this commandment is rarely taken literally – even though it is essential to a life of love, kindness, and compassion.

950 BCE – The Hebrew Bible (Psalms): The 104th psalm is titled “Praise to God the creator and sustainer.” In Section D, “The Fruitfulness of the earth,” verses 14-15 state: “Thou dost cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man's heart.”

935 BCE – The Hebrew Bible (Ecclesiastes): “For that which befalleth the sons of men, befalleth beasts, even one thing befalleth them: As the one dieth, so dieth the other. Yes, they have all one breath. So that a man hath no pre-eminence over a beast – for all is vanity” (3:19).

750 BCE – Mahabharata (Hindu): “The purchaser of flesh performs himsa [violence] by his wealth; he who eats flesh does so by enjoying its taste; the killer does himsa by actually tying and killing the animal. Thus, there are three forms of killing. He who brings flesh or sends for it, he who cuts off the limbs of an animal, and he who purchases, sells, or cooks flesh and eats it - all of these are to be considered meat-eaters” (Mahabharata, Anu. 115:40).

“He who desires to augment his own flesh by eating the flesh of other creatures lives in misery in whatever species he may take his birth” (Mahabharata, Anu. 115:47). “Who can be more cruel and selfish than he who increases the flesh of his body by eating the flesh of another?”

“All that kill and eat and permit the slaughter of cows rot in hell for as many years as there are hairs on the body of the cow slain.”

“Those who desire to possess good memory, beauty, long life with perfect health, and physical, moral and spiritual strength, should abstain from animal foods.”

537 BCE – The Hebrew Bible (Daniel) (1:1-21): “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's rich food, or with the wine which he drank; therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs” if they would he would be willing to make an experiment. “’Test your [four] servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's rich food be observed by you, and according to what you see deal with your servants.' So he harkened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's rich food. So the steward took away their rich food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all letters and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” At the end of the three years these four youths were found by Nebuchadnezzar to be the wisest of all, in fact “he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all the kingdom.”

600-500 BCE – The cult of Orpheus, or Orphism, emerges in the Mediterranean region. Orphics rejected animal sacrifice and ate vegetarian. They refused to be buried with a wool shroud since wool was an animal product rightly belonging to the animal.

530 BCE – Pythagoras was a vegetarian and his diet was later often called “the Pythagorean diet.”

This is the conclusion to which Plutarch [Greek biographer and moralist, lived ca. A.D. 46 to after A.D. 119], Ovid [Roman poet, lived 43 B.C. to ca. A.D. 17], Diogenes the Cynic [Greek philosopher, died ca. 320 B.C.], and Iamblichus all came to in ancient times; and modern scholars also concur. Indeed vegetarianism is one of the doctrines which is distinctively Pythagorean...

398 BCE – Plato’s Republic: In a dialog between Socrates and Glaucon, Socrates states his view that cities should be simple and the inhabitants of an ideal city live on a simple vegetarian diet, with wine in moderation. “And thus, passing their days in tranquility and sound health, they will probably live to an advanced age.”

“But Glaucon objects to the simplicity of the fare, saying that it would be better suited for a community of swine. Rather the citizens should live in a civilized manner. They ought to recline on couches and have the usual dishes and dessert of a modern dinner – implying that they ought to enjoy the luxury of eating meat.”

Socrates then helps him to understand the full implications of his objections. Using the Socratic method of question and answer, he gets Glaucon to agree that the city will need “great quantities of all kinds of cattle for those who wish to eat them.” “Then shall we not experience the need of medical men also to a much greater extent under this than under the former regime?"

"Yes, indeed," replies Glaucon.

“The country, too, I presume, which was formerly adequate to the support of all its inhabitants, will now be too small, and adequate no longer. Shall we say so?”

“Certainly,” says Glaucon .

“Then must we not cut ourselves a slice of our neighbors' territory, if we are to have land enough for both pasture and tillage; while they will do the same to ours, if they, like us, permit themselves to overstep the limit of necessaries and plunge into the unbounded acquisition of wealth?”

“It must be inevitably so, Socrates.”

“Will our next step be to go to war, Glaucon , or how will it be?”

“As you say.”

Plato (lived about 428-348 B.C.) was an ancient Greek philosopher, often considered the most important figure in Western philosophy. Plato was a student of Socrates, and later became the teacher of Aristotle. He founded a school in Athens named the Academy.

238 BCE – The Seventh Pillar Edict, by King Ashoka.

The exact date of this edict is not known. King Ashoka of India (lived ca. 304-232 B.C.) was a great exponent and popularizer of Buddhist thought, or Ahimsa, and of vegetarianism – as well as a powerful political leader. Before his conversion to Buddhism, Ashoka, a bold conqueror, had caused the deaths of thousands of human beings. After he adopted the teachings of Buddha, the wholesale destruction of men and animals in his kingdom ceased and relative peace prevailed. He prohibited the sacrifice of animals as offerings and restricted the eating of meat. In one of his famous pillar edicts he declared: “I have enforced the law against killing certain animals,... but the greatest progress of Righteousness among men comes from the exhortation in favor of non-injury to life and abstention from killing living beings.”

Source: “The Seventh Pillar Edict” in William de Bary, et al. Translator and editor. 1958. Sources of Indian Tradition. New York: Columbia University Press.

Note: Ashoka ascended to the throne in 269 BCE inheriting the Mauryan empire founded by his grandfather.

76 CE – The writings of Plutarch (A.D. 46-120) on vegetarianism. The most outstanding exponent of this way of life was Plutarch, the Greek-born philosopher, who lived in Rome around AD 46-120.

He wrote that he would never sell an ox who had served him well, and he defended animals in his two tracts on eating flesh and in his 'Life of Marcus Cato.' Unlike Pythagoras, Plutarch did not base his vegetarianism upon the idea of reincarnation, but upon a general duty of kindness to human and nonhuman alike. He argued that much of the world's cruelty arose from humankind's uncontrolled passion for meat.

57 CE – New Testament of the Bible: Romans (Christianity): “Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make others fall by what he eats; it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble” (chapter 14, verses 20-21).

Background: St. Paul wrote this letter to the Romans in about A.D. 56. He probably wrote it from Corinth, Greece, during his 3-month visit there, at the end of his third missionary journey.

50 BCE – Dhammapada (Buddhism): “To avoid causing terror to living beings, let the disciple refrain from eating meat... the food of the wise is that which is consumed by the sadhus [holy[ ]men]; it does not consist of meat...”

8 CE – Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Book 15) (Roman): “Oh how criminal it is for flesh to be stored away in flesh, for one greedy body to grow fat with food gained from another, for one live creature to go on living through the destruction of another living thing... Make not their flesh your food, but seek a more harmless nourishment. Take not away the life you cannot give. For all things have an equal right to live.”

000 – In India, many of the writings (Vedas, Puranas) and spiritual teachings (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism) from earliest times to the present advocate ahimsa (non-violence) and vegetarian diet – but a few of the Vedas advocate animal sacrifices by Hindu priests.

275 CE – Porphyry, On Abstinence from Animal Food (Lebanon). Porphyry is nearly on par with Plutarch as most eloquent advocate for vegetarianism, though of course he had Plutarch's earlier model to follow. This work makes the case for animals' rationality and language as part of a broad and detailed endorsement of vegetarianism.

410 CEA Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, by Fa-hsien. Kapleau (1982, p. 38) notes: “One can judge how deeply the doctrine of ahimsa [non-violence; dynamic harmlessness] had penetrated the Indian consciousness from this picture of India given us at the beginning of the 5th century by Fa-hsien, the famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrim:

“The inhabitants are numerous and happy... Throughout the country the people do not kill any living creature, nor drink intoxicating liquor... they do not keep pigs and fowl, and do not sell live cattle; in the markets there are no butcher shops and no dealers in intoxicating drink... Only the Chandalas (the most despised caste) are fishermen and hunters and sell flesh meat...” [emphasis added].

420 CE – Lankavatara Sutra (Mahayana Buddhist). In Chapter 8 of D.T. Suzuki's 1932 translation of this famous Buddhist sutra, the great Bodhisattva (enlightened soul) Mahamati asks the Buddha for his views “regarding the merit and vice of on meat-eating.” The Buddha replies:

“For fear of causing terror to living beings, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva who is disciplining himself to attain compassion, refrain from eating flesh."

676 CE - First decree prohibiting the eating of meat in Japan issued by Emperor Tenmu. In about 600 Prince Shotoku (Shotoku Taishi) introduced Buddhism into Japanese culture, and translated key Buddhist texts into Japanese.

Source: The History and Culture of Japanese Food, by Naomichi Ishige (Kegan Paul, 2001).

900 CE – Shrimad Bhagavatam or Bhagavata Purana (Hindu) compiled by Vyasadeva, with commentary. “A cruel and wretched person who maintains his existence at the cost of others' lives deserves to be killed for his own external well-being, otherwise he will go down by his own actions (karma)” (1.7.37).

~1000 CE - al-Ma'arri (Syria), atheist philosopher who lived vegan and advocated same in a poem (posthumously) titled "I no longer steal from nature"

1200 CEBenxin Zhaishu Shipu [Vegetarian recipes from the Pure Heart Studio], by Chen Dasou (Southern Song dynasty, China). Seeks to reverse the exotic and bizarre gastronomic excesses of the Southern Song by promoting the simplicity and elegance of vegetarian fare – including soyfoods such as tofu.

1683The Way to Health, Long Life, and Happiness…, by Thomas Tryon, published (see Howard Williams, 1896, p. 242-48).

1691Wisdom’s Dictates, by Thomas Tryon published as a book. He is the first to use (in the title) the term “eating flesh” to refer to eating meat.

1724An Essay on Health and Long Life, by George Cheyne is printed in London. It is the earliest document seen to contain the term “vegetable diet.”

1727The History of Japan, by Engelbert Kaempfer (originally in German) is printed in London for the translator.

In Chapter IX, “Of the fertility of the country as to plants,” the section titled Gokokf [Goku-fu] ("five grains," p. 121-22) states: “The chief produce of the Fields, which contributes most to the sustenance of Life, is by the Japanese comprehended under the name of Gokokf, that is, the five Fruits of the Fields. 'Tis by their good or bad growth they estimate the value of the Ground, the fruitfulness of the Year, and the wealth of the Possessor. They make up the chief dishes at their meals, and make good the want there is of Flesh-meat, which Custom and Religion forbid them to eat.”

Note: This is the earliest English-language document seen that contains the term “Flesh-Meat” (regardless of capitalization).

1743Del vitto Pitagorico per uso della medicina. Discorso [The Pythagorean (vegetarian) diet for use as a medicine. Discourse], by Antonio Celestino Cocchi published in Florence, Italy. He is the first to use the term Pythagorean diet to refer to a vegetarian diet.

In 1745 an English translation of this book was printed in London. Its title was The Pythagorean Diet, of Vegetables only,... It was the earliest known use of this term in English.

1776An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith, is the earliest known English[-]language document that contains the term “butcher’s-meat.”

1776 – “XXI. Case of an angina pectoris, with remarks,” by John Fothergill (in London) is the earliest document seen that mentions a “strict vegetable diet,” a phrase later used to describe vegan diets.

1785The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, by William Paley (in London) is the earliest document seen that mentions not eating the “flesh of animals.”

1793The Private Life of the Late Benjamin Franklin [1706-1790] explains how he lived for one year on a “vegetable diet” in order to save money and have more time to read during lunch.

1809 – The Bible Christian Church is organized in Manchester, England, as an unsectarian Church on the principle of entire abstinence from stimulating food and drink - flesh and alcohol. Members could not consume intoxicating liquors or the flesh of animals (Food, Home and Garden. 1889. March, p. 18-19).

1811The Return to Nature, or, a Defence of the Vegetable Regimen, by John Frank Newton critiques the myth of Prometheus as an allegory of meat-eating, as fire is necessary to make meat palatable and digestible for humans, and as its effects "eat away" at the liver, which Prometheus suffers as his punishment. Newton, and especially this argument, is a major influence on Percy Bysshe Shelley.

1812Vegetable Cookery, by “A Lady,” authored anonymously by Martha Brotherton, is England’s first true vegetarian cookbook. The 3rd edition was published in 1829 and the 4th edition in 1833 (451 + 3 pages; 1,261 recipes).

1813A Vindication of Natural Diet…, by the British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, is based on his own experience of 8 months on a vegetarian diet. It was one of his earliest works. He stated: “There is no disease, bodily or mental, which adoption of vegetable diet and pure water has not infallibly mitigated, wherever the experiment has been fairly tried. Debility is gradually converted into strength, disease into healthfulness... the unaccountable irrationalities of ill temper, that make hell of domestic life, into a calm and considerable evenness of temper.”

1813Queen Mab, also by Shelley, is an epic poem in which the fairy queen makes a poetic and allusive case for humanity overcoming its myriad ills by embracing peace and vegetarianism. In his notes to the poem, Shelley makes the case much more directly and explicitly, citing Newton's Prometheus argument.

1817 - Bible Christians, led by Rev. William Metcalfe, immigrate to Philadelphia from England.

While at Salford, Rev. Metcalfe formed a desire to immigrate to America, the land of civil and religious freedom. In the early spring of 1817 a company of 41 persons, all members of the “Bible-Christian Church” embarked from Liverpool for Philadelphia. “This little community comprised two ministers, - the Rev. James Clarke and the Rev. William Metcalfe, - with twenty other adults and nineteen children. After a tedious journey of eleven weeks, they all landed safely and in good health at the port of their destination, on the 15th of June” (p. 16-17).

Their goal was to start a branch of their church in Philadelphia. Instead they dispersed. Only eleven adults and seven children stayed together and remained true to their principles in Philadelphia. They were advised by strangers who had no sympathy for their ideals that “it would be impossible to live in this hot climate without animal food.” But Rev. Metcalfe had extraordinary perseverance and strong principles. (Metcalfe 1872, Chap. 2)

He also had a wife, Susanna, who started a successful school in the northern suburb of Kensington when his own school had failed due to yellow fever and he was destitute. William began working at Susanna's school and soon expanded its operations. The first Bible Christian Church building was in Kensington. Both William and Susanna were deeply dedicated vegetarians who held their little flock together. (History of the Bible Christian Church 1922, p. 36).

More than any other single man, Rev. William Metcalfe is responsible for vegetarianism taking root in America. But it's quite possible he would not have prevailed without Susanna.

1821Abstinence from Animal Flesh, by William Metcalfe is published in Philadelphia – the earliest US document seen that makes the case for vegetarianism.

1833The Graham Journal starts publication monthly in Boston, Massachusetts, edited by David Campbell and focusing on the work of Sylvester Graham. In 1847 it is renamed Graham Journal of Health and Longevity. It advocated vegetarianism, whole-grain bread, and a simple, sober lifestyle.

1835 Record of a School, by Elizabeth Peabody, is published, chronicling the innovative teaching of Bronson Alcott at his Temple school in Boston. Bronson was the father of Louisa May Alcott and went vegetarian this year. Peabody notes Alcott reading to his all-ages students from Shelley's Queen Mab. Peabody's book, which makes Alcott famous throughout Boston and New York, is given to James Pierrepoint Greaves in England by British travel writer Harriet Martineau, who is herself quite skeptical of the school. But dietary vegan Greaves is so taken upon finding a kindred spirit in the US that he launches a planned community and school named Alcott House at Ham Common in Surrey.

1838Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men, and by Experience in All Ages, by William A. Alcott is published in Boston. (xi + 276 p). The author (lived 1798-1859) was the second cousin of Bronson Alcott and a founding member of the American Vegetarian Society in 1850.

1838 May – A vegetarian wedding is held in Philadelphia, uniting two of the most important figures of 19th-century abolitionism, Theodore Weld and Angelina Grimke, both fervent Grahamites.

1840 – David Campbell folds Graham Journal and moves with his wife to supervise the implementation of the Graham diet in the dining halls at Oberlin College. The students, initially game to try the revolutionary new system, soon get tired of the bland food (spices are prohibited) and revolt, sending Campbell packing, along with the meatless edict, only one year later.

1841 Dec. – The Healthian: a Journal of Human Physiology, Diet, and Regimen starts publication at Alcott House at Ham Common in Surrey, then London. It was edited by William Horsell.

1842 April – An article titled “Flesh diet” is published in The Healthian (London) (p. 33-35, 42-43); it contains the earliest known use of the word “vegetarian” (used twice) or the word “vegetarians.”

1843 June – Bronson Alcott and his family, along with Charles Lane from Alcott House, launch the vegan utopian community Fruitlands, which lasts only six months. Still the commune does have some influence, with visitors such as Theodore Parker, Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, who would launch his own experiment in simple living "off the grid" two years later.

1843 Oct. – British and Foreign Society for the Promotion of Humanity and Abstinence from Animal Food established at Alcott House Concordium, Ham Common, Richmond, Surrey, England. This is the world’s first vegetarian society – but it did not last.

“Here that fine mystic, James Pierrepont Greaves, William Oldham, and others united to form a fraternity of water-drinkers, Vegetarians, and truthseekers. They published a paper called The Healthian, which was succeeded by The New Age and Concordium Gazette. It was a monthly. The first number appeared 6th May, 1843, and the last 1st December, 1844” (W.E.A. Axon 1893).

1845 Dec. – The Water-Cure Journal begins publication by Fowler & Wells in New York, with Joel M. Shew, editor.

1846 Aug. – The Truth-Tester, Temperance Advocate, and Healthian begins monthly publication at Douglas, Isle of Man. Owned and edited by William Horsell.

1847 May – A letter published in Truth-Tester under the headline “Useful suggestions,” written from Whitchurch, Hants [Hampshire], England by “A Vegetarian,” and dated April 1, sets in motion the formation of the world’s first vegetarian society that lasts. It begins:

“Dear Sir, – I have often thought it desirable, that vegetarians as a body, were better organized – drawn more often into contact with each other – or that extensive and particular statistical information could be regularly obtained, respecting the numbers, occupation, and daily dietary and sanatory [sic] habits of those who abstain from the flesh and blood eating practices of our fellow-countrymen;…”

1847 Sept. 30 – The world’s first vegetarian society (that lasts) holds its first meeting at Northwood Village, Ramsgate, Kent, England. Its name: The Vegetarian Society. The president is James Simpson, with Joseph Brotherton, Esq., M.P., presiding; he has been an abstainer from animal food for the last thirty years.

Of the 265 charter members, 91 had abstained from meat less than 10 years, and 72 had been vegetarians for more than 30. Only one had a record of 40 years.

This society, The Vegetarian Society of the U.K., still exists.

1847 – A book titled A Few Recipes of Vegetarian Diet; with Suggestions for the Formation of a Dietary, from which the Flesh of animals is Excluded… (39 pages, no author, published in England) is the earliest book seen that contains the word “vegetarian.”

1848 Aug. – The Vegetarian Advocate begins publication on the Isle of Man, then London. It is the earliest known periodical with the word “Vegetarian” in its title.

1849 April – A letter by Rev. William Metcalfe in Philadelphia proposes the formation of an American vegetarian society in the Water-Cure Journal (p. 116-17).

1850 May 15 – The American Vegetarian Society is founded at Clinton Hall in New York. This is America’s first vegetarian society. “Dr. William A. Alcott, of West Newton, Massachusetts, called the meeting to order by nominating Dr. Joel Shew, of New York, as President pro tem, and Mr. Joseph Wright, A.M., of Camden, New Jersey, as Secretary.”

They teach abstinence from flesh and from wine. Their superb monthly publication, American Vegetarian and Health Journal, begins in Nov. 1850, edited by Wm. Metcalfe. But the journal lasts only until late 1854. Each September they hold an annual meeting in Philadelphia. Unlike the publication, the annual meetings continued into the 1860s. Almost all are in Philadelphia, excepting the 1852 meeting in New York City.

1851 – James Simpson, president of The Vegetarian Society in England, reports that membership is now nearly 700 adults, 153 of whom have not tasted animal flesh for more than 20 years (Fruits and Farinacea, 2nd ed. 1854. p. 190).

1852 Oct. – The New York Vegetarian Society is founded in New York City. This is America’s second vegetarian society. They never published a periodical. Their early meetings are given in-depth coverage by the New York Daily Times and the American Vegetarian and Health Journal.

By May 1900 they are still holding monthly meetings in Manhattan.

1854Walden, or Life in the Woods, by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) published. “It may be vain to ask why the imagination will not be reconciled to flesh and fat. I am satisfied that it is not. Is it not a reproach that man is a carnivorous animal? True, he can and does live, in a great measure, by preying on other animals; but this is a miserable way – as anyone who will go to snaring rabbits, or slaughtering lambs, may learn – and he will be regarded as a benefactor of his race who shall teach man to confine himself to a more innocent diet. Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with more civilized.”

1862 Oct. 16 – Rev. William Metcalfe dies in Philadelphia at age 75. His remains are interred in the burial ground attached to the church which had been built under his auspices. With his death, the American Vegetarian Society dissipates.

1867Deutsche Verein fuer natuerliche Lebensweise [German Natural Living Society] is founded at Leipzig, Germany by Eduard Baltzer. This is Germany’s first vegetarian society. In June 1868 their periodical was Vereins-Blatt fuer Freunde der Natuerlichen Lebensweise (Vegetarianer) (German) began publication by Mr. Baltzer. In 1881 [it] is renamed Vegetarische Rundschau, then in 1887 is renamed Thalysia, and in 1889 Der Vegetarier: Zeitschrift fuer Harmonische Lebensweise.

1868Stuttgarter Vegetarierverein [Stuttgart Vegetarian Society] is established by Gustav von Struve. It was expanded in 1877 to become the Süddeutschen Vegetarierverein (South German Vegetarian Association).

1877The Dietetic Reformer starts publication in London by F. Pitman.

1879 – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg starts publishing Good Health in Battle Creek, Michigan. It continues Health Reformer (1867-1878). It finally ceases publication in 1953.

1880La Societe Vegetarienne de Paris [Vegetarian Society of Paris] is founded in Paris by Dr. Hureau de Villeneuve. By 1882 it is renamed La Societe Vegetarienne de France. Its periodical, Bulletin de la Societe Vegetarienne, was published from 1881 to 1914.

1883 Feb. – Vegetarian Caroline Earle White of Philadelphia founds the American Anti-Vivisection Society, originally called the American Society for the Restriction of Vivisection, but changing to the more severe name as politicians' promises to enact regulatory legislation continued to go nowhere.

1881 Oct. – The Perfect Way in Diet: A Treatise Advocating a Return to the Natural and Ancient Food of our Race, by Anna Kingsford (1846-1888), M.D., published.

The Encyclopedia Britannica (1929, at Vegetarianism) considers this book one of the two classics on the subject. It is a revised and enlarged translation of the author's July 1880 thesis for Doctor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Paris, under the title De l'alimentation végétale chez l'homme.

1883The Ethics of Diet, by Howard Williams, first published in England (xii +336 p.). A classic compendium of writings by eminent thinkers throughout history in favor of vegetarian ideas.

1884 – The periodical Reforme Alimentaire is published in Brussels, Belgium. It continues until 1914.

1886 June 16 – Vegetarian Society of Australia is formed at Melbourne. This is Australia’s first vegetarian Society. Edgar Crook has written an excellent book, Abstainers! about the history of Australian vegetarian societies (2005) – free online.

1886 June – The Vegetarian Society of America is founded by Bible Christians in Alnwick, Pennsylvania, a tiny rural town about 20 miles north of Philadelphia.

1888 – The London Vegetarian Society is established. The first president was Mr. Arnold Hills, who also began publishing a magazine titled The Vegetarian in 1889. From 1921 to 1958 it was titled Vegetarian News.

1889 Jan. – The periodical Food, Home and Garden begins publication in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the Vegetarian Society of America at 936 Franklin St. Edited by Rev. Henry S. Clubb. It continues until 1900.

1892 Dec. – “The First Step,” by Leo Tolstoy, is published in the New Review (London). This is one of the best essays on vegetarianism ever written. It is later expanded and published elsewhere. Tolstoy characterizes abstinence from animal foods as the first step toward moral perfection.

1895 July – The independent periodical The Vegetarian begins to be published in New York City by The Vegetarian Publishing Co. It lasts until Dec. 1898.

1895 – The periodical Die Vegetarische Warte begins to be published monthly at Frankfurt am Main, Germany, by the Deutschen Vegetarier-Bund. It lasts until 1933.

1895 Dec. – Chicago Vegetarian Society is founded. Its magazine, Chicago Vegetarian, starts in Sept. 1896 and lasts until 1899.

1896 Sept. – The magazine Vegetarian – Fruitarian – Humanitarian starts to be published in Chicago by the Vegetarian Society of America. It continues until 1941. It changes title many times. In May 1927 it is being published in Lewiston, Idaho by Jean R, Albert.

1897 – The magazine Vegetarische Bode (Vegetarian Messenger) begins publication at Amsterdam, Netherlands: Organ of the Nederlandse Vegetariersbond. It continues until 1969.

1898 Jan. – The monthly magazine Vegetarian Messenger and Review begins publication in Manchester, England, by the Vegetarian Society. It continues The Vegetarian Messenger and is continued by The Vegetarian Messenger and Health Review after 1 year. The latter lasts until 1952.

1899 – Protose is created by vegetarian John Harvey Kellogg and his wife Ella Eaton Kellogg at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, and sold by the Sanitas Nut Food Co., Ltd. One of the earliest meat alternatives developed in the U.S., Protose is a blend of ingredients of which peanut butter is the most prominent. Protose was offered commercially by Worthington Foods, which continued its manufacture well into the mid-20th century. (Source: Ad in Modern Medicine {Battle Creek, Michigan}. 1899. June.

1902 Jan. – The Naturopath and Herald of Health begins to be published in New York City by Benedict Lust, N.D. It advocates a vegetarian diet. It continues until 1915 with various name changes. All of Lust’s excellent magazines are owned by the National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon.

1902 June 4 – The Los Angeles Vegetarian Society now exists (Los Angeles Evening Express, p. 8). We do not know when it was organized. It was reorganized in June 1912. For many years Dr. Pietro Rotondi was its president.

1910 – No Animal Food: Two Essays and 100 Recipes, by Rupert H. Wheldon is published in London by C.W. Daniel. It is the first expressly vegan cookbook, though lacking that as yet uncoined term.

1927 Oct. 15 – The Vegetarian Society of the District of Columbia is founded. As of 1992 it is the oldest existing vegetarian organization in the United States (Talk with Keith Akers; News & Observer {Raleigh, North Carolina}. 28 April 1983, p. 64).

1933 Jan. – California Health News, biweekly, begins to be published by Clark Irvine in Hollywood California – in the depths of the Great Depression. It is strongly vegetarian. In Sept. 1937 the title is shortened to Health News.

1944 Nov. – Vegan News, a quarterly, begins publication in Leicester, England. The subtitle reads: “Quarterly magazine of the non-dairy vegetarians.” Mr. Donald Watson, Secretary of the Leicester Vegetarian Society, was instrumental in forming "The Vegan Society." He was both a founder and the first secretary. He coined the word “vegan,” though some sources claim it was his wife Dorothy who first suggested the term. In April 1946 the quarterly's title was shortened to The Vegan. By Aug. 1946 the Vegan Society had about 100 members and The Vegan had a circulation of 1,500 copies.

1945 June – The Toronto Vegetarian Association is established in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

In the early 1950s it joined with a few other small vegetarian groups and called itself ‘The Canadian Vegetarian Union - Toronto Unit.’ The first newsletter, simply called ‘Newsletter’ or sometimes ‘Toronto Newsletter, was published in April 1954.

1946Vegan Recipes by Fay Keeling Henderson, published in London by H.H. Greaves (68 p.), is the 2nd earliest vegan cookbook seen.

1947 July 30 – Dr. John Maxwell of Chicago, age 81, announces intention to run for president of the United States on the American Vegetarian Party. Simon Gould will run for vice president (New York Times, p. 44).

1948 Oct. – Vegetarian News Digest begins monthly publication in Los Angeles. Joel V. Striegel is the editor and publisher.

1951 June 3 – A new vegetarian society is founded in Minnesota, and is growing fast. (Vegetarian News Digest {Los Angeles}. Fall. p. 25).

1951 Nov. – The Progressive Vegetarian Guild, a new vegetarian society, has been formed in Spokane, Washington (Vegetarian News Digest {Los Angeles}. Fall. p. 25).

1952 fall – A new vegetarian society is founded in Boston, Massachusetts (Vegetarian News Digest {Los Angeles}. Fall. p. 34).

1953 May – A new vegetarian society named Association Luxembourgeoise pour L'Alimentation Rationelles (ALPAR) is founded in Luxembourg. The progress and formation of this society is largely the work of Henri Meier, a most learned and multi-lingual gentleman in the prime of life at age 65 (Vegetarian News Digest {Los Angeles}. Spring p. 23).

1960 Feb. 8 – The American Vegan Society is founded in Malaga, NJ by Jay Dinshah. Freya Smith marries Jay six months later and becomes his partner in running the society, becoming president of AVS in 2000 after Jay's death.

1961 Feb. 27 – The Pakistan Vegetarian Society is founded in Karachi (The British Vegetarian. 1967. Sept/Oct. p. 442).

1964 Nov – The Federacion Vegetariana Española [Spanish Vegetarian Federation] is founded in Spain (The British Vegetarian. 1969. Nov/Dec. p. 573).

1965 – Freya Dinshah publishes the first vegan cookbook in the U.S., Freya's Vegan Kitchen.

1969 Dec. – New vegetarian societies are formed in Germany (two), Switzerland (Geneva), Italy (Perugia), France, Great Britain (British Vegetarian Youth Movement), Mandalay / Burma, South Africa (Durban), India (Bombay), Ghana (West African Vegetarian Society), British Guiana, Ceylon, North Ireland (Ulster), Australia (South), USA (American Vegetarian Union).

1969 – Vegetarian influences in the USA: Macrobiotics, Seventh-day Adventists. Active vegetarian societies in several states (see above). In the UK: The Vegetarian Society of the UK (VSUK).

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