The history of western vegetarianism
Vegetarianism is not presented by complex of plant diets. Having roots in eastern philosophical streams this event provides healthy nutrition not only for human''s body but also for human''s mind. The Buddhism principle "do not harm alive creature" became the basis of vegetarian culture. Today millions of people gained easy mood from plant diet and reduction from numerous diseases.
Today''s humanity development history clearly shows that the precedents of vegetarianism were rather common events at the early stages of human development. Almost all tribes were more gatherers than hunters. The life conditions made tend people to plant eating.
But certainly original page of vegetarianism birth was opened in Far East (more exactly in India with its Buddhism and Hinduism religion''s philosophy that are based on main principle: do not make harm to alive creature). So eastern vegetarianism gave impulse to development almost to all vegetarian streams and types. The eastern history of vegetarian culture sent an impulse to western vegetarianism and influenced its development much. But eventually western vegetarianism got its originality as well although much later.
Let us look at western vegetarianism from the point of view of American society.
The beginning of vegetarianism power and rise in the USA took place in the beginning of the 20th century. But paradox was presented with reality when at the time of western vegetarianism birth it was detected the fact of new meat revolution. Another paradox shows that at that time Americans ate much less meat food than today. Maybe it can be explained by high meat price in the beginning of 20th. Today new technologies of "artificial" food industry provide big choice of cheap products. Great deal of sociological researches and experiments show quick rise of strong heart diseases, cancers, diabetes. Is there any connection between these two dramatic facts?
But fortunately the era of blind thoughtless consumers is over. "Diet for a small planet", by Frances Moore Lappe''s published in 1971, opened door to thousands of representatives of new healthier and happier generation. But it was just a successful start of endless struggle between meat eaters and crazy plant ones. The most difficult task was to crack the idea that vegetarianism is harmful for our health and that it is not possible to survive following the vegetarian diet. The book was real crucial event in life and history of the USA although it had some inexcusable mistakes (for example wrong theory about use and necessity of proteins complex combining).
1971 year is considered to be rather fruitful one that brought also the emergence of first vegetarian society in the USA , named "The Farm" and organized by the group of San Francisco youth. The work of the Farm is made a significant contribution and became a real support in development of western vegetarianism.
All these streams and innovations influenced vegetarianism in Europeas well that found a realization firstly in numerous works by Austrian professor Peter Singer. In his work the scientist presented number of ethical reasons for plant eating instead of meat nutrition. The new movement was supported by different animal rights groups.
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