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A little vegan history.


michaelhobson
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I first read about Fruitlands about 15 years ago. Before that I though veganism was a new concept, but really it has been around for at least 200 years or more.

 

If you aren't familiar with Bronson Alcott, he is Louisa May Alcott's father. She is famous for her book "Little Women".

 

I included a couple of quotes, click the link for the whole story.

 

 

From: http://www.alcott.net/alcott/home/fruitlands.html

 

The few months between June of 1843 and January of 1844 were some of the most important of Amos Bronson Alcott’s life. These were the months he and his family spent living in a utopian community he had cofounded to enable himself and his followers to create an example of perfect Transcendental living.

 

At Fruitlands, Lane advocated a strict policy of abstinence. “Neither coffee, tea, molasses, nor rice tempts us beyond the bounds of indigenous production,” Lane wrote. “No animal substances neither flesh, butter, cheese, eggs, nor milk pollute our tables, nor corrupt our bodies.” By living on a simple diet, the members of Fruitlands were to eliminate their need for trade and minimize labor.

 

If Alcott felt Brook Farm was not “austere enough,” he certainly made up for this lack at Fruitlands. Absolutely no meat or other animal products were eaten (hence the name Fruitlands). In fact nothing from animals (including wool, honey, wax, or manure) nor even animal labor were used by the community. The founders felt men should not take anything from animals, for they should be as free as humans. Bronson Alcott’s idealism was so strong, in fact, that he would not permit canker-worms to be disturbed, and forbade the planting of such vegetables and roots as grow downward instead of upward into the air.

 

Bronson Alcott’s eleven-year-old daughter, Anna, agreed with her father’s vegan beliefs. “We have power to think and feel with,” she wrote, “and they have not the same power of thinking, they should be allowed to live in peace and not made to labour so hard and be eaten so much. Then to eat them! Eat what has life and feelings to make the body of the innocent animals! . . . Besides flesh is not clean food, and when there is beautiful juicy fruits who can be a flesh-eater?”

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they were totally ahead of their time

 

Totally! Can you imagine a New England winter in the 1840's with no wool! They didn't exactly have polar fleece. And no leather, what kind of shoes did they have? Well, the place didn't last long. Basically they were cold and hungry.

 

I'm thinking vegan commune in the Pittsburgh area. Anybody up for it? I promise you can have shoes and warm clothes.

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they were totally ahead of their time

 

Totally! Can you imagine a New England winter in the 1840's with no wool! They didn't exactly have polar fleece. And no leather, what kind of shoes did they have? Well, the place didn't last long. Basically they were cold and hungry.

I'm thinking vegan commune in the Pittsburgh area. Anybody up for it? I promise you can have shoes and warm clothes.

 

yep. I'm in!

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Try Pythagoras, I think he consumed honey but other than that no meat, its not clearly stated if he was vegan or not, so I dont know about milk and eggs, I dont think he consumed those either. Also some of the sanitariums, orphanages, and health spas of the day (1800's) were also meat free. John Harvey Kellog, the man that invented Graham flour...I think Samuel or David Graham, thoreau, many in the women's rights movement: vegetarian (whatever that means). Benjamin Rush (a signer on the declaration of independence) proposed there are "physical causes upon the moral faculty" and that "A vegetarian diet, moderation in alcohol consumption, cold baths, work and solitude will restore the weakened moral faculty." The chief significance of Rush's psychiatric work lay in the way he took insanity, including moral derangement — conditions still widely viewed as signs of sin or demonic possession — and redefined them as mental (clinical) diseases. Rush's work was additionally significant because it attempted to remove criminality from the clergy's hands and incorporate it into the psychiatrist's domain.

Quotes from "THE UNREPENTANT HORSE-SLASHER: MORAL INSANITY AND THE ORIGINS OF CRIMINOLOGICAL THOUGHT."

 

So many historical non-meat eaters (vegetarians)

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I looked into a vegan commune some time ago & was surprised that some of them take veganism to the point where they don't allow pets. Ya know, that was a new one to me, although technically, I can see where 'owning' an animal might be contrary to the vegan philosophy.

 

What do you all think? I can't imagine the person I would be without having had the contact with, especially the intimate contact of living with animals. Living with animals has made me a better person.

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I looked into a vegan commune some time ago & was surprised that some of them take veganism to the point where they don't allow pets. Ya know, that was a new one to me, although technically, I can see where 'owning' an animal might be contrary to the vegan philosophy.

 

What do you all think? I can't imagine the person I would be without having had the contact with, especially the intimate contact of living with animals. Living with animals has made me a better person.

 

Yes, 'owning' pets is contrary to vegan philosophy. However, many vegans care for animals that non-vegans have abandoned. One problem here is bringing meat in to vegan space, even if it is to be served to carnivores such as cats. Then there are issues such as restricting animals freedom to wander as they please, neutering etc.

 

Also, pets are an issue in all communal situations, not just vegan ones. People tend to arrive with pets and then leave without them! People also have very different ideas about how many pets are acceptable, what areas of communal space pets should have access to, what quality of diet is acceptable etc. Communes without specific pet policies tend to fail early. Pets are a big issue in community!

 

As for me personally, unlike many on this forum I prefer humans to animals. Animals shed constantly, puke and pee on just about everything etc.

 

(I know many of you disagree and your pet doesn't do that stuff and they are your children yada yada yada. )

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Animals shed constantly, puke and pee on just about everything etc.

 

 

 

You cannot have nice things with pets! You are right - they shed, puke & pee on everything! I have to be careful where I put my library books, cuz sure enough one of the cats will find them & puke all over them.

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Try Pythagoras, I think he consumed honey but other than that no meat, its not clearly stated if he was vegan or not, so I dont know about milk and eggs, I dont think he consumed those either.

 

Yeah Pythagoras is awesome. He's my favorite philosopher. Judging by the section of Ovid's Metamorpheses, "Pythagoras's Teachings," Pythagoras and his followers did consume milk but shunned all other meat.

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