October 1st was World Vegetarian Day! Created to celebrate a healthy lifestyle and established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 with a mission to “promote the joy, compassion, and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism”. World Vegetarian Day has become a phenomenon.
To celebrate the progress of healthy living, we here at Crateful have decided to give you the brief history of vegetarianism.
Rooted in ancient Greek and Indian civilizations, vegetarianism became a practice and theory that involved voluntarily abstaining from the consumption any land or sea animal while also avoiding animal derivatives, i.e, eggs, and dairy. The vegetarian diet was developed by philosophers and religious groups as a stance against violence toward animals.
In Greece, the vegetarian diet was referred to as “abstinence from beings with a soul”. But after the Christianization of the Roman Empire, vegetarianism largely became a thing of the past in Europe until the Renaissance. This time, the diet was based on ethical motivation and was famously supported by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo’s support raised worldwide awareness over time but was aggressively opposed by philosophers like Immanuel Kant and René Descartes who believed that man did not owe any ethical duties toward animals.
IN THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY
During the age of enlightenment, England was a place of amazing ideas and great progress. The vegetarian ideas were welcomed there more than anywhere else in the world and began to spread rapidly. This allowed working class people to practice vegetarianism and established more advanced groups throughout the region, but the vegetarianism movement ultimately failed after more popular struggles gained traction in Europe.
In the late 1800’s women became the mascots for the vegetarian movement and were commonly depicted in journals as healthy English women. Women were also more supportive of the welfare of animals and discussed vegetarianism more openly than men. In a domestic setting, women arranged community entertainment and activities that promoted vegetarianism and cooked vegetarian meals at home to promote the diet to their immediate families. Non-domesticated women wrote articles, held lectures, edited journals and wrote cookbooks to get the word out about vegetarianism. The Women’s Vegetarian Union was established in 1895 and was designed to promote a “purer and simpler” diet.
In 1908, the International Vegetarian Union was founded. Popularity grew exponentially as a result of environmental, ethical, economic and nutritional worries. In 1961, Cranks, the first successful vegetarian restaurant, opened in the UK. And the emerging Indian ideals of nonviolence toward animals became increasingly popular in the Western world leading to vegetarianism taking form on a large scale.
Today there are more than 7.3 million vegetarians in the U.S. alone, making up 3.2 percent of the population. The vegetarian diet has come a long way since it’s invention in the 19th century.
OUR VEGETARIAN MENU
Now that you know a little bit about the history of vegetarianism, try our vegetarian menu that is wholly organic and rich with cheeses, eggs, exotic vegetable and ancient grains.