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Category Archive: History

Here are all the SuperVegan blog posts categorized under History. XML

  1. Bloodless Revolution released in the US

    Filed under: Books Food History

    Tristam Stuart’s The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times (a book I’ve previously expressed interest in) is now available in the US. There’s an extensive review by Steven Shapin in the New Yorker which makes for a very good read.

    While certainly a good writer and scholar, Stuart is not a vegetarian himself, as related in this Guardian column, where he uses deer overpopulation as an excuse to shoot and eat one. As far as I’m concerned, if you think anyone needs to be killed to stop overpopulation, you should seriously consider starting with yourself, at least as a rhetorical exercise.

  2. On Tuesday, as part of the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, there’s a screening of Animal People: The Humane Movement in America.

    The documentary takes a look at the history of the animal protection movement and includes interviews with Peter Singer, Tom Regan, Ingrid Newkirk, Gene Bauston, Dr. Neal Barnard, and others.

    The film is playing at Village East Cinemas, 181 Second Ave., NYC, 212-529-6998. To order tickets online ($12), click here.

  3. On Thursday, I went to Stand-up NY (kind of an unlikely venue) for a lecture by Dr. Michael Greger, for a presentation based on his new book, Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching.

    The talk was both fascinating and terrifying. Did you know, for example, that all human infectious diseases are thought to have originated from animals—the flu from sheep, colds from horses—and that infectious diseases did not exist before humans started to domesticate animals? (In populations that hunt and eat wild animals, there are no such diseases.) Hence, a virus of our own hatching.

    Some facts from the book:

    “In 1918, half the world became infected and 25% of all Americans fell ill. Unlike the regular seasonal flu, which tends to kill only the elderly and infirm, the flu virus of 1918 killed those in the prime of life. Public health specialists at the time noted that most influenza victims were those who ‘had been in the best of physical condition and freest from previous disease.’ Continue Reading…

  4. Tonight (Sunday) is the 25th anniversary of PBS’s Nature series, and to celebrate, the channel is airing Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History.

    Chimpanzees “provides a sobering glimpse into their use in science and entertainment” and features three groups that work to save our closest relatives from experimentation: Save the Chimps, the Fauna Foundation, and the Center for Great Apes.

    Want to do your part to liberate these primates from laboratories? Ask the government to stop funding animal research, and e-mail the National Center for Research Resources about instituting a permanent moratorium on the breeding of chimps.

    Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History airs at 8 p.m. ET tonight. Check here for your local listings.

  5. An Excerpt From The Bloodless Revolution

    Filed under: Books History

    The Guardian has published an excerpt from The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times, a new book by Tristram Stuart.

    The book is an in-depth examination of the origins of modern, Western vegetarianism. It follows the movement from early British encounters with Hinduism and Enlightenment philosophy through to the present. A choice quote:

    Amazingly, three of Europe’s most important early seventeenth-century philosophers – Descartes, Gassendi and Francis Bacon – all advocated vegetarianism. At no time before or since has vegetarianism been endorsed by such a formidable array of intellectuals, and by the 1700s their pioneering work had blossomed into a powerful movement of scientific vegetarianism.

    And it seems some things never change:

    Although most people preferred not to think about it, the vegetarians insisted that filling the European belly funded the torture of animals in unpleasant agricultural systems, and ultimately the rape and pillage of the entire world.

    I look forward to reading this book. I really don’t know my pre-20th century roots when it comes to veganism. I suspect I’m not alone in this.

    While The Bloodless Revolution was released in the UK today, the US release isn’t until January, 2007.

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