The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of India Tristram Stuart shows that in fact people have argued against eating meat for hundreds of years.

Stuart tells of the religious arguments which were put forward in the 17th Century - the mainstream view was that man's dominion over the animals gave us the right to eat them, but there were plenty who disagreed with this view. The Brahmins showed that meat wasn't the necessity that many thought it was. The scientific advances of the 18th century gave us a better understanding of nutrition, showing that it was indeed possible to get all we need from vegetable sources. The Romantic movement added the idea that the natural world wasn't just there to be exploited, increasing the popularity of vegetarianism.

It's a long book - Stuart finds that nearly every notable person had a view one way or another on the subject. Those interested simply in the history of vegetarianism might find it hard to plough through, and would probably also want more than the single chapter devoted to the last 200 years. It's more suited to those with a general interest in the way people thought in earlier centuries. "; include "amazinf.php"; ?>