“Eating vegetarian doesn't mean you have to eat boring, humdrum dishes.”
It's not at all a new idea, the idea of vegetarianism has been around for a long time even before many of us could ever imagine.
As we all know the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras for his mathematical theorem, yet for centuries, he is famous as the "Father of vegetarianism." Not only him but a meatless diet was popular as a “Pythagorean diet” for years, up until the modern vegetarian movement (the mid-1800s). And, apart from that, even vegetarians were often called Pythagoreans until a different word was created.
The term "vegetarian" was coined by the British Vegetarian Society (the mid-1800's). Its Latin meaning is “the source of life.” Vegetarianism is very old even before recorded history.
Many anthropologists believe that most early humans were gatherers rather than hunters. Humans of early times believed in eating mainly plant foods. Well, it was supported by the fact that the human digestive system resembles that of herbivores rather than carnivorous animals.
Also, early humans who were plant-eaters believed the fact that non-vegetarian humans experience major health problems such as cancer and heart disease much more than people eating vegetarian diets.
“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”
― Leo Tolstoy
When it comes to India, there are approximately 360 million vegetarian people more than all of the vegetarians in the world combined. No wonder that vegetarianism has its roots in the civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient India as well.
One of the major beliefs they followed was all who were tied to vegetarian have the virtues of temperance, abstinence, and self-control, whereas all who used to have a diet too rich in meat products have the virtues of lust, drunkenness, and general hooliganism.
Notably, there were many early vegetarians, including Mahatma Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, American Bronson Alcott, George Bernard Shaw, and many more.
Some of the famous early vegetarians in history taught us beautiful things, such as:
In the same era of Pythagoras, “Siddhartha Gautama” began a 25-year journey in India. He followed strict vegetarianism. He even wrote,
“It is more important to prevent animal suffering, rather than sit to contemplate the evils of the universe praying in the company of priests.”
Leonardo da Vinci’s vegetarianism has also been credited to reading about the life of Pythagoras. His thoughts were,
“My body will not be a tomb for other creatures.”
As he strictly embraced Ahimsa, he also showered thoughts on vegetarianism. He wrote-
“To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.”
Albert Einstein’s vegetarianism story is a little different. He adopted vegetarianism toward the end of his life, indicating that he gave up meat and fish. His common belief was the man was not born to be a carnivore. Also, he wrote,
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution of a vegetarian diet."
In the 1970s, a young graduate student named Francis Moore Lappe wrote the book “Diet for a Small Planet." In her book, she focuses on a meatless diet, not only for ethical or moral reasons but also because plant-based foods have much less impact on the environment than meat does.
We must say, not only because of history but also because of animal rights issues, or concerns over animal treatment, many vegetarians refuse meat even now.
Vegetarian is not just a type of diet, but more of a lifestyle. It’s a healthier choice you make for the people, for the animals, and for a better planet