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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else here read Tristram Stuart's The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times?

I read it. I also reviewed it on Anyway, I'll give a slightly more cursory review here.

Strong points:

-Very detailed history.

-Entertaining and colorful personalities, such as Roger Crab, George Cheyne, and others, from scientists to religious extremists and mystics to doctors to philosophers.

-Some insightful ideas regarding the connections between European vegetarianism and Indian/Hindu influence.

Weak points:

-Sometimes Stuart's enthusiasm for seeing an Indian source in all European vegetarianism leads him to, in my view, pay too little attention to indigenous European vegetarian movements prior to the English civil war. Saint Francis of Assasi isn't mentioned, the Cathars and Leonardo da Vinci get only cursory mentions, etc.

-Stuart seems to enthusiastic to see animal welfare activists who stopped short of vegetarianism and vegetarians as opponents, rather than being basically on the same side, while ignoring those who were opposed to both animal welfare and vegetarianism.

-Focuses on personalities and ideas, but has no information on the larger culture, statistics, or demographics (for instance, the demographics of how many British vegetarians there were at a given time).
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