Figured I would spend some time on other peoples why’s and provide a historical 101 for those interested. I mentioned, people may chose a vegetarian diet for many reasons: religion, anti-establishment tendencies, health, decreasing your carbon foot on and on. This week I want to break etiquette and discuss religion.
Many religions abstained from meat. Ancient religions as the Pythagoreans and Zoroastrianism to Buddhist, Janism, Hinduism, Rastafarian, some Christian and Jewish secs, and even Neo-Pagans follow some form of vegetarianism. One of my favorite vegetarian religions/cults has always been the Pythagoreans. They were the followers of Pythagoras 570-495 BC, father of the Pythagorean Theorem A2+ B2 = C2, a mathematician, musician, mystic, and scientist. Sometimes my ego likes to think of me as all of the above. Like Buddhist, Pythagoreans believed in reincarnation, therefore eating animals was not allowed because you may return as one. It is said that Pythagoras once heard the cry of a friend in the bark of a dog. No thank you.
Humanitarianism seems to be the connection between religion and vegetarianism. The essential ideology to do no harm, participate in non-violence, have a condemnation of cruelty, and at the core be kind to all living things resonates within many religions. The concepts are endearing and idyllic. I have to admit I subscribe to all the above reasons even though I would not consider myself religious, but a student of religion.
Whether the modern veghead will accept it, religion has contributed a great deal to the vegetarian culture. Without the Seventh Day Adventist, the US would not have health food stores, food co-ops, and don’t forget the Soccer Moms Mecca… Whole Foods. The Seventh Day Adventist philosophy evolved from Protestant Christianity during the middle of the 19th century. Religious and dietary teachings of the infallibility of scripture, vegetarianism, and health were key concepts followed by parishioners. By the turn of the century, Adventist companies such as Kellogg’s, Battle Creek Food Company, and Loma Linda Foods were preparing “Health Food” for Adventist communities. In 1902 the Southern California Adventist Conference opened the first health food store in San Diego. Wow, now I know why there is 5% more vegetarians in Cali that the rest of the US, look out Whole Foods.
Other Religious notable contributions are the plethora of ethic restaurants that are heavenly alternatives to American food. Transitioners can always count on Indian, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Chinese, and Thai Restaurants to offer a melody of flavors that will make you never miss flesh.
Rant Warning: The point of discussing religion, we need to know where we came from to know where we are going. Ignorance may be bliss but your still an ignorant F*@k if you’re not understanding of other peoples ideologies on the topic and only concerned with your own particular opinion……………….Whew. I have wanted to say that to so many Co-op’ers over the years.
Next Week Carbon Food Print
How can you eat anything with eyes? ~Will Kellogg