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The Profound Legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi: A Pillar in Animal Rights History

The Timeless Influence of Saint Francis on Animal Welfare

Saint Francis of Assisi, born in the late 12th century, has left an indelible mark on the world, particularly in the realm of animal rights. His teachings and actions have been a cornerstone for animal welfare movements, transcending time and geography. This article delves into the life, philosophies, and impact of Saint Francis, shedding light on why he remains a pivotal figure in advocating for the rights of all animals.

Read more: The Profound Legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi: A Pillar in Animal Rights History

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The History of Vegetarianism & The Good Life

BROOKSVILLE, MAINE — Food columnist Avery Yale Kamila spoke July 30 to a full house at The Good Life Center about “Vegetarianism & The Good Life.” Kamila discussed her work to unearth 300 years of lost vegetarian history in Maine. Her research reveals that the pursuit of the Good Life has always been integral to Maine vegetarianism.The stone house built by hand by Helen and Scott Nearing is now the nonprofit The Good Life Center in Brooksville Maine
Kamila said Father Sebastian Rale is the earliest vegetarian she has documented in Maine. She shared an excerpt of a 1722 letter Rale wrote where he reported exclusively eating what we would today call vegan meals. She also discussed how vegetarianism was part of the early 19th century Temperance movement, talked about the significance of the 1834 Sylvester Graham riot in Portland and surveyed Maine native Ellen G. White’s influence on the national vegetarian movement.

The Nearing home is much as it was in 1995 when Helen Nearing died Scott Nearing had died in 1983 at age 100 including the kitchen where their wood fired cookstove still dominates the roomKamila capped her presentation with an overview of Helen and Scott Nearing’s influential vegetarianism. The Nearings moved to Brooksville in 1952 to create their Forest Farm, which is now the nonprofit The Good Life Center. They are the authors of the 1970 vegetarian bestseller "Living the Good Life." Helen was a lifelong vegetarian, which Kamila said is rare, and Scott adopted vegetarianism in 1917. She also said current reporting on the Nearings often omits their vegetarianism, which she said was central to The Good Life.

Kamila’s research into Maine’s vegetarian past is available in the open access Maine Vegetarian History Project website, Since 2009, Kamila has written a column about vegan and vegetarian food for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and its affiliated newspapers.

About the Author:

Avery Yale Kamila


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The Good Life Center

372 Harborside Road

Harborside, Maine, 04642

(207) 374-5386 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Diet of Early Humans

Feature Article:
>> Carnivore, Herbivore, or Omnivore: The Prehistoric Menu and the Vegan Future of Homo Sapiens by Alex Fernandes

A collection of articles:


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Vegetarian History

A chronological account - links to large collections of articles.

Note - these are not just lists of 'famous vegetarians' - they are people with a view on the subject, the articles explain whether they put those veiws into practice.

The diet of early humans
- the views of naturalists, archaeologists and others

Ancient Greece and Rome (800 BCE - 325CE)
- Hesiod, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Diogenes, Epicurus, Ovid, Seneca, Plutarch, Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus

Ancient India and The East (800 BCE - 232BCE)
- Hinduism, Jainism, Zoroaster, Buddhism and more

Jesus and the early Christians
- The Essenes, Clement of Alexandria and more

Europe: The Middle Ages to the 17th Century
- Monasteries, St.Francis of Assisi, Leonardo Da Vinci and many more

Europe: 18th Century
Newton, Cheyne. Swedenborg, Wesley, Rousseau, Bentham and more

North America: 18th Century
Franklin, Payne, Jefferson, Johnny Appleseed and more

England: Early 19th Century
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Bible Christian Church, many more

Europe: Late 19th Century
- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Kingsford, Annie Besant, the formation of the Vegetarian Society UK, and more

USA: 19th Century
- Sylvester Graham, Henry David Thoreau

Asia and Pacific up to 1900
- Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka

Europe: Early 20th Century
- George Bernard Shaw, Albert Schweitzer, Hitler and much more

North America: early 20th Century
- Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Spock and more

Europe: late 20th Century
- Yehudi Mehuin, Linda McCartney, Poland, Oxford Vegetarians many more

North America: late 20th Century
- Toronto Vegetarian Association and more

Africa: 20th Century

Asia-Pacific: 20th Century

Latin America: 20th Century

India/South Asia: 20th Century

SW Asia (Middle East): 20th Century

Quotations and Poetry, mostly by Historical Characters

Compiled by John Davis

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Download the Vegetarian Nutrition Booklet for Kids and Adolescents