Vegetarianism And The Vegetarian Movement Beliefs

With the growing interest in the health benefits of the vegetarian diets, it is easy to forget why vegetarianism was invented in the first place. The vegetarian websites are full of information why vegetarianism is good for us ? it lowers our Body Mass Index, makes us healthier and better-looking. In this flood of information it is easy to miss the fact that the first vegetarians weren't interested in their health at all. There were other, more serious, reasons to quit eating meat.

Roots: ethics

Though it is said that Buddha never ate meat, the first vegetarians we know of for sure were the philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome. They were the first to notice the ultimate cruelty connected with killing animals only to feed humans. Pythagoras, Plutarch, Seneca ? everyone of them became a vegetarian because of ethical reasons. This notion was also visible in many various religions, including Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and several Christian churches.

Though now we tend to think that vegetarianism was brought to the Europe and the USA from India and Tibet, the first modern vegetarians were Christians horrified by the idea of eating other living creatures. It is true, however, that the vegetarian movement gained momentum in the seventies thanks to growing popularity of traditional Chinese, Indian and Tibet culture. It was no more than 50 years ago when vegetarianism became also a matter of health.

Today: health

The recent years were the time of a considerable shift in the vegetarian movement ideas. Instead of the outrage caused by unnecessary deaths of animals, most vegetarians tend to be fueled rather by the health benefits of the vegetarian of and diets.

For good or for ill, the ethics fades into the background. However, it is still good to remember that being a vegetarian is, above all, about not killing innocent beings.

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About The Author, Samantha Brown