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Ancient India and The East
Zoroaster (?628BCE-?551BCE)

zoroaster Avestan name for Zarathustra. Persian prophet, founder of Zoroastrianism. Various account claim he lived anywhere from 6,000 to 100 BCE, rpoably in what is now eastern Iran.

from a reader in the, UK:
According to Colin Spencer in The Heretic's Feast (Fourth Estate, 1994), Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism (aka Parseeism in India) was "an abstainer from meat" who "forbade all animal sacrifice" and was a considerable influence on Pythagoras. CS reckons that "in his concepts of dualism and monotheism he influenced Judaeo-Christianity and in other ways Hinduism". There are still Z'ians / Parsees in India and possibly also in Iran where the religion was founded.

[the origns of this account can be seen in the following quote from Wikipedia: "The Pythagorean tradition considered the mathematician to have studied with Zoroaster in Babylonia (Porphyry Life of Pythagoras 12, Alexander Polyhistor apud Clement's Stromata I.15, Diodorus of Eritrea, Aristoxenus apud Hippolitus VI32.2). "]

 

from a reader in the UK:
Although I am a humanist I do take an interest in world religions. This is from my "A Handbook of Living Religions" x John R Hinnells, published 1984 x Viking.
"In dietary matters their religion gives Zoroastrians great freedom, in that they are required only to refrain from anything that might belong to the evil countercreation (e.g. a hideous fish). Under Muslim and Hindu pressure many now refrain, however, from pork and beef, and some Parsis are vegetarian by choice".
There are Parsis In Iran as well as India and in other countries. In fact three Parsis have sat in the House of Commons.

  • Zoroastrianiam - Dastur Khurshed. D. Dabu, M.A . (F.T.S. High Priest Wadiaj AtashBeheram Bombay) - from the souvenir book of the 15th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, India, 1957. Very pro-vegetarian . . .