Naturalism in the Veg*n and Raw Foods Movements
Posted in the Vegetarian Forum
#1 Sep 29, 2012
Exploring the Roots of Naturalism in the Vegetarian, Raw Foods, Natural Hygiene, and Vegan Movements
Documented by excerpts from publications from the early 1800’s, supplemented with select earlier and later excerpts.
Many of the more idealistic beliefs found in vegetarian-related advocacy today have historical roots in religion, mythology, and/or old, outdated science. The hostility that some modern vegetarian advocates display towards non-vegetarians has historical roots in the cultural imperialism of the early 1800’s. Instead of being repeated (often without question), these outdated beliefs and attitudes should be rejected and excluded from modern vegetarian, raw-foods, natural hygiene, and vegan activism.
A few highlights:
William Lambe, M.D., 1815, makes the earliest scientific argument for eating raw foods. He is probably the first raw vegetarian (probably vegan) diet guru.
The bogus argument that “humans can’t eat meat because they lack fangs and claws” dates to Plutarch, about 2000 years ago.
Fruit diets have as their philosophical foundation the Christian “Garden of Eden” paradise story. This also appears to be the basis for the bogus “wild animals never get sick” claim.
Controversy over fruit diets dates back to the time of Galen (1800 years ago).
Article structure. This article is written for both casual readers and scholars with an interest in the history of vegetarianism, raw foods, and natural hygiene. Many of the primary sources cited here are out-of-copyright, and lengthy excerpts from the full text are provided in an appendix. The reference list also includes URLs and links to full text online, for those who wish to read the complete original sources. Internal links to excerpts from full-text sources and other article sections are provided for those who want to read the article (or parts of it) on a by-topic basis. The structure of the article – discussion section, a summary, with excerpts from full text – introduces some redundancy if one reads the article in a straight-line, sequential way.
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