Skip to main content


All links go to original editions on Google Books or unless otherwise stated, and are listed in roughly chronological order, instead of the usual alphabetical by author – use search to find authors or keywords. The contents are not necessarily vegan, or any sort of vegetarian, but indicate a movement towards more humane thought and healthy lifestyles.


Starting with Indian texts:

Outlines of Jainism by Jagmanderlal Jaini M.A., Indore. Pub. Cambridge, 1916. Founded by Mahavira, 599 BC - avoids all harm to animal life.

The Kalpa sutra, and Nava tatva: two works illustrative of the Jain religion and philosophy trans. & appendix by J. Stevenson, Bombay. Pub. London, 1818

Jaina Sutras Part I & II trans. Hermann Jacobi, Oxford 1884

Texts from the Buddhist canon, commonly known as Dhammapada, with accompanying narratives trans. Samuel Beal, Prof. of Chinese, London, 1878. Buddha (?563-483 BC)

The Lankavatara Sutra; a Mahayana text trans. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, London, 1932

Asoka, the Buddhist emperor of India by Vincent A. Smith M.R.A.S., Oxford, 1901. Asoka (273?-232 BC) banned all animal slaughter in India.

The Laws of Manu trans. George Bühler, Oxford, 1886. Somewhat disputed Hindu texts... does not prohibit meat eating but: p.99, Law 48: "Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures, and injury to sentient beings is detrimental to (the attainment of) heavenly bliss; let him therefore shun (the use of) meat."

Greece, Rome and
Early Christian

Hesiod’s Works and Days (c.800 BCE) contained in Homer's Batrachomyomachia, hymns and epigrams; Hesiod's Works and days; Musæus' Hero and Leander,      trans. George Chapman, London,1858

Hesiod: Works and Days Trans Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914. Describes a mythological 'golden age' of a plant based diet.

The life of Pythagoras: with his Symbols and      Golden verses M.Dacier 1707

Pagan Regeneration: a study of mystery initiations in the Graeco-Roman world Harold Rideout Willoughby 1929. Includes Orphic Communities. p.129: “The ascetic      prescription included an abstinence from meat...”

Herodotus - trans. Rev. William Beloe 1831. P.236:      “The neck of land which stretches from the country of the Gindanes towards the sea is possessed by the Lotophagi who live entirely upon the fruit of the lotos.

The Fragments of Empedocles (link to trans. W.E. Leonard Ph.D., Chicago, 1908. Part 2 says much about transmigration of souls and the Orphic/Pythagorean traditions.

The life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus (the Athenian)

Plato's Republic commentary by Lewis Campbell M.A., Ll.D., London, 1902.

The Republic of Plato trans. Thomas Taylor c.1800. This edition: London, c.1894. In Books II & III Plato (428-347 BC) develops the dietary ideas of Pythagoras.

The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers      By Diogenes Laertius (?412-?323 BC), includes a section on Pythagoras, trans. C. D. Yonge, 1853

Ovid's Metamorphoses by Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BC - AD 17). This edition pub. London 1822. Book 15, p.516 is a biography of Pythagoras. p.519: “He first forbid animal food to be served up at the tables of men”. 

Seneca's Morals - Seneca (c.5 BC - AD 65) - trans Sir Roger L'estrange c.1870 p110: "I gave over eating of flesh".

Plutarch's Morals Vol.5 by Plutarch (c.AD 46-c.120)- edited by W. W. Goodwin Ph.D, Harvard, 1878. Includes the essay 'Of Eating Flesh'.

Select Works of Porphyry: Containing His Four Books On Abstinence from Animal Food; etc. - Porphyry (233-304 AD), trans. T. Taylor, London, 1823

The works of the Emperor Julian . . . translated from the Greek pub. 1798. p.178: Julian . . . lived on vegetables (several references to his Pythagorean diet.)

The Ante-Nicene Fathers Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 edited by A. Roberts and J. Donaldson, Vol.2 (of 10 vols.) P.137 – ‘On Eating’, from The Instructor, by Clement of Alexandria.

Al-Ma’rri (Abu ‘l-‘Ala - 973-1057, Syria/Baghdad)

The letters of Abu ʼl-ʻAlā of Maʻarrat al-Nuʻmān - D. S. Margoliouth, M.A. 1898 – biography and letters of Al-Ma’rri

The quatrains of Abu'l-Ala (Al-ma’arri)Ameen F. Rihani, 1904

The Diwan of Abu'l-Ala – Henry Baerlein, 1909

Abul Ala, The Syrian - Henry Baerlein, 1914

The Luzumiyat of Abu'l-Ala - Ameen F. Rihani, 1918

Studies in Islamic poetry R. Nicholson, 1921 – mostly poetry of Al-Ma’rri

Europe – Middle Ages to 17th Century – The Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci, artist, thinker and man of science Vol.1 by Eugène Müntz, 1898. p.17 footnote: "It appears from Corsali's letter that Leonardo ate no meat, but lived entirely on vegetables, thus forestalling our modern vegetarians by several centuries."

Discourses on the sober life (Discorsi della vita sobria) Being the personal narrative of Luigi Cornaro (1467-1566) New York, 1916 edition 

The Art of Living Long - the treatise by the celebrated Venetian centenarian, Luigi Cornaro (1465-1566), with essays, pub.1903

Utopia by Sir Thomas Moore (1478-1535) 2008 edition: p.108 "some live unmarried and chaste, and abstain from eating any sort of flesh."

The Essays of Michael de Montaigne, Vol II (1533-1592) trans. Pierre Coste, this edition London 1811

Poemata : Latin, Greek and Italian Poems by John Milton 1608-1674 ( plain text 146k) this edition c.1876. - Elegy VI, line 60: 'Let herbs to them a bloodless banquet give'

Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained this edition 1854.

The Works of Abraham Cowley Vol.III  (1620-1667), Samuel Johnson, John Aikin, this edition 1806. p.173 The Garden

Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets ( plain text 255k) by John Evelyn (1620-1706) First pub. 1699, this edition New York, 1937. From the foreword: 'Evelyn ... is probably the first advocate in England of a meatless diet.'

Tryon's Letters, Domestick and Foreign, to Several Persons of Quality, Occasionally Distributed in Subjects, Viz. Philosophical, Theological, and Moral. by Thomas Tryon (1634-1703), pub.1700 (see eg Letter XIX 'Of Flesh Broths', p.87)

A Pythagorean of the Seventeenth Century - Alexander Gordon, Liverpool 1871. Commentary on, and extracts from, Tryon’s (ovo-lacto) autobiography.

Europe 18th Century – The Age of Enlightenment

An Essay of Health and Long Life By George Cheyne, M.D. F.R.S., 1724. " Benefit of a low Diet, living altogether on 'vegetable Food and pure Element.' "

A Treatise on Health and Long Life ...: To which is Added to this Edition, (not in Any Former One) the Life of the Author By George Cheyne, 10th edition, London 1787

Fables of Mr. John Gay first appeared 1726, this edition London, 1792. John Gay (1685-1732) wrote many references to humane diet.

The Fable of the Bees by Bernard Mandeville, 1729

The Seasons by James Thomson, first pub. 1726-30, this ed. London, 1824.

An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope ((1688-1744), first pub. 1732-5, this edition 
London 1820.
 Humane commentary

Emanuel Swedenborg : a biography by James Wilkinson, Boston, 1849. p.238: He writes on the subject in his Arcana as follows: "Considered apart, eating the flesh of animals is somewhat profane...."

Works Vol.26 (inc. The Princess of Babylon) by Voltaire. This edition 1769.

The Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire, short edition 1802. See Beasts p.31

A Philosophical Dictionary Vol VI by Voltaire. See Viands p.315

Memoirs of the Life of Voltaire by Voltaire. This edition London, 1784

John Wesley (1703-1791) biography by Richard Green, pub. late 19th century. p.35: in the hope of thereby promoting his own piety, he began to use a vegetable diet.

Free Thoughts Upon the Brute-creation By John      Hildrop, London, 1742

Observations on man, his frame, his duty, and his expectations Vol.2 by David Hartley (1705-1757), first pub. 1749. This edition 1801. Much concerned with animals as food eg: 'With respect to animal diet, let it be considered,      that taking away the lives of animals, in order to convert them into food, does great violence to the principles of benevolence and compassion.' p.222.

A Dissertation on the Duty of Mercy and Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals By Humphrey Primatt, London 1776

An Introduction To The Principles Of Morals And Legislation by Jeremy Bentham, first pub.1780. This      edition 1823. (“can they suffer?”)

Disquisitions on Several Subjects by Soame Jenyns, first pub. London 1782; this edition 1822. p.19: Disquisition II - On Cruelty to Inferior Animals

Rousseau's Emile; or, Treatise on education this edition New York, c.1892

John Howard (1726-1790) Biography of the prison reformer by Edgar C. S. Gibson, London, 1901. p.180:      "has been accustomed for years to exist on vegetables and water, a little bread, and a little tea."

Letters from a citizen of the world to his friends in the East by Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), this ed.1840 'I have seen the very men who thus boasted of their tenderness, at the same time devour the flesh of six different animals tossed up in a fricasee.' p.32.

The Task by William Cowper, first pub.1782; this edition London, 1817

The Cry of Nature (html page on by John Oswald - full text from 1791

Paul and Virginia By Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, this edition, London 1898

Studies of Nature Vol. IV By Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, this edition 1796

Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy this edition 1835

Schiller's "The song of the bell"; and other poems Trans. Thomas C. Zimmerman, pub. Pennsylvania, 1896 - see Der Alpenjäger (The Hunter of the Alps) in both German and English

North America – 18th century

The Ephrata community 120 years ago The Ephrata 'vegan' community was founded by German settlers in Pennsylvania in 1721, this account pub.1905

Souvenir book of the Ephrata cloister complete      history, pub.1921

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin edited by John Bigelow, 1868 edition

The Dorrellites 'vegan' community in 1790s New England. See pp.82-89 of this extremely hostile volume of 'History and proceedings of the Pocumtuck Valley memorial association' pub.1905.

Johnny Appleseed : a pioneer hero by W. D. Haley, 1871. This edition 1955. Johnny (1774-1846) was based in Western Pennsylvania. p.8: 'He believed it to be a sin to kill any creature for food'.

England: early 19th Century

An Essay on Abstinence from Animal Food by Joseph Ritson, published 1802

Joseph Ritson, A Critical Biography by Henry Alfred Burd, 1916

Joseph Ritson, Percy Shelley and the making of romantic vegetarianism (link to ucdavis) - essay by      Timothy Morton from 'Romanticism 2006

The Code of Health and Longevity Or a Concise View of the Principles Calculated for the Preservation of Health and the Attainment of Long Life. Vol III: by John Sinclair, pub 1807.

The Surgical Works Vol.2 by John Abernethy, pub, London 1811. 'Of Tumours' p.93: '...the power of the regimen recommend by Dr. Lambe should be fairly tried.'

Facts authentic, in science and religion: designed to illustrate a new tr. of the Bible by William Cowherd, 1818

Water and Vegetable Diet in Consumption, Scrofula, Cancer, Asthma, and Other Chronic Diseases by Dr. William Lambe, First Pub. London 1815 as 'Additional reports on the effects of a peculiar regimen in the cases of cancer, scrofula, consumption, asthma and other chronic diseases.' This edition 1850 New York with intro by Joel Shew M.D. - p.90/91: "My reason for objecting to every species of matter to be used as food, except the direct produce of the earth, is founded as may be seen in my last publication on the broad ground that no other matter is suited to the organs of man, as indicated by his structure. This applies then with the same force to eggs, milk, cheese, and fish, as to flesh meat."

The Life of William Lambe M.D. (PDF 500k on - by E. Hare, 1873, complete text of the 1897 reprint.

The Return to Nature: or, A defence of the vegetable regimen; - John Frank Newton, the original 1811 edition.

Early days of the Right Honorable George Canning – by John Frank Newton, 1828, giving more details about himself. 

  - Byron and Shelley

Life of Lord Byron : with his letters and journals (Vol.1 - to 1811) pub. London, 1839, this edition 1854. p.356 -      1811, June 25: "… an entire vegetable diet, neither fish nor flesh coming within my regimen.”

Life of Lord Byron : with his letters and journals (Vol.2 - 1811-13) pub. London, 1839, this edition 1854.

Life of Lord Byron : with his letters and journals (Vol.3 1814-17) pub. London, 1839, this edition 1854. p.337: abstinence.... like some years ago, ...of diet, and, with the exception of      some convivial weeks and days, (it might be months, now and then,) have kept to Pythagoras ever since.

Lord Byron's Don Juan first two Cantos pub.1819, unfinished at Canto 16 on Byron's death in 1824. This complete edition from Philadelphia, 1859. Overall it      reflects Byron's inconsistency about his diet.

Shelley  at Oxford (1810/11) - by Thomas Jefferson Hogg, Shelley's friend at Oxford. This edition from 1904.

Letters from Shelley to Thomas Jefferson Hogg (1810/11) - with notes by W. M. Rossetti and H. Buxton Forman, 1897

Letters from Shelley to Elizabeth Hitchener - Vol.1, 1811 - privately printed 1890

Letters from Shelley (& some by Harriet) to Elizabeth Hitchener - Vol.2, 1812 - privately printed 1890

A Vindication of Natural Diet (original 1813) - new edition from 1884, with a preface by Henry S. Salt and W.E.A. Axon.

The life of Percy Bysshe Shelley: Vol.1

The life of Percy Bysshe Shelley Vol.2 by Jefferson      Hogg, pub. 1858 (in 4 volumes but only 2 finished). This is a much critcised biography, more about Hogg than Shelley.

Letters from Shelley to William Godwin Vol.1 - 1812 & 1816

Letters from Shelley to William Godwin Vol.1 - 1816 to 1820 – both vols. privately printed 1891

Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus 1823      edition, by Mary W. Shelley. Written 1816-17, first pub.1818. (later revised 1831)

Letters from Shelley to Jane Clairmont (1816-1822) - privately printed 1889

The Shelley Society's papers. 1886-1888 - 20 articles by various authors

A Shelley Primer - by Henry S. Salt 1887

Percy Bysshe Shelley: A Monograph - Henry Stephens Salt, 1888

An Examination of Hogg's "Life of Shelley" - Henry  Stephens Salt, 1889

Shelley's Vegetarianism - by W.E.A.Axon, 1890

Shelley's principles; has time refuted or confirmed them? by Henry S. Salt, 1892

Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet and pioneer; a biographical study - by Henry S. Salt, 1896

Peacock's memoir of Shelley, with Shelley's letters to Peacock - Thomas Love Peacock 1785-1866 - edited by H.F.B. Brett-Smith, 1909

The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley - ed by George Woodberry, 1901

Selected prose works of Shelley - edited by Henry S. Salt, 1915 - The necessity of atheism -- A letter to Lord Ellenborough -- A refutation of deism -- A defence of poetry -- Essay on the literature, the arts, and the manners of the Athenians -- On life -- On a future state -- Essay on Christianity

USA – Early 19th century – Graham and Alcott

History of the Philadelphia Bible Christian Church, 1817-1917 – centenary book

Letters of Pestalozzi on the Education  of Infancy      – published Boston 1830. Written by Pestalozzi to J. P. Greaves, and this book read by Bronson Alcott.

Record of a School by Elizabeth Peabody 1835, about Bronson Alcott's school

Conversations with Children on the Gospels by Bronson Alcott, 1836

Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men, and by Experience in All Ages by William Andrus Alcott, 1838

Discourses on a Sober and Temperate Life – original by Luigi Cornaro, 16th century Italy. The edition with intro and notes by Sylvester Graham, New York, 1833

A Defence of the Graham System of Living: Or, Remarks on Diet and Regimen. Dedicated to the Rising Generation by Sylvester Graham, New York, 1835

Nature's own book by Asenath Nicholson, 1835 – a not-very-strict Grahamite

A treatise on bread, and bread-making by Sylvester Graham, Boston 1837

Lectures on the Science of Human Life by Sylvester Graham, first pub. Boston 1839. this edition pub. by William Horsell, London 1849

The philosophy of sacred history considered in relation to human aliment and the wines of Scripture - by Sylvester Graham, edited by Henry S. Clubb, pub. W. Horsell, London, 1859

Lectures to ladies on anatomy and physiology by Mary Gove Nichols, Boston, 1842 - many references to the vegetable diet.

Nichols' health manual : being also a memorial      of the life and work of Mrs. Mary S. Gove Nichols – Thomas Nichols, 1887

Bronson Alcott at Alcott House, England, and Fruitlands, New England (1842-1844) by F. B. Sanborn, 1908

Bronson Alcott's Fruitlands (1843) by Clara Endicott Sears with Transcendental Wild Oats (1876) by Louisa May Alcott, 1915 edition

The Dial (Vol.3 – 1842-3) – the Transcendentalist journal, articles on Greaves and Alcott.

Pedlar's Progress The Life Of Bronson Alcott by Odell Shepard, Boston, 1937

England – mid 19th century

The Healthian - April and part of May 1842 (PDF 2.5mb,, courtesy of Bill Shurtleff and University of California at Berkeley)

The law and method in spirit-culture: an interpretation of A. Bronson Alcott by Charles Lane, 1843, includes the full text of the letter from Greaves to Alcott.

A brief account of the First Concordium, or Harmonious Industrial College - published at the Concordium, 1843 (PDF 419k courtesy of Maynard Clark and Harvard University).

The New Age - Concordium Gazette - from Alcott House, Ham Common, Surrey. Complete issues - May 1843 to December 1844

Fruits and Farinacea the proper food of man by John Smith, (1798-1888) London 1845

Hydropathy for the People by William Horsell, written in England in 1845, with notes by Russell Trall M.D. for this New York, 1850 edition.

Punch magazine, 1848, Vol.XIV – includes a sarcastic piece about The Vegetarian Society which was founded in September 1847.

Vegetarian messenger Vol.1 – Vegetarian Society UK, 1849/50

The penny vegetarian cookery – by the Vegetarian Messenger, 1850 – mostly ovo-lacto, but much is vegan, even a vegan omelet.

Vegetarian messenger Vol.2 – Vegetarian Society UK, 1850/51

Vegetarian messenger Vol.3 – Vegetarian Society UK, 1851/52

Vegetarian messenger Vol.4 – Vegetarian Society UK, 1852/53

Vegetarian messenger Vol.5 – Vegetarian Society UK, 1853/54

Vegetarian messenger Vol.6 – Vegetarian Society UK, 1854/55

Vegetarian messenger Vol.7 – Vegetarian Society UK, 1855/56

On the mode of communication of cholera by John Snow, 1855 - expanded from the 1849 pamphlet.

On chloroform and other anaesthetics: their action and administration by John Snow - published shortly after his death in 1858, and including a brief 'Life of John Snow' by Benjamin W. Richardson M.D. who knew him, but was very hostile to his vegetarianism. 

USA later 19th century

Religion, Natural and Revealed by Orson S. Fowler, New York, 1st pb. 1844, 10th edition 1848 p.136: Were a flesh diet productive of no other evil consequence than lowering ... benevolence that alone should forever annihilate so barbarous a practice'.

Physiology, animal and mental by Orson S. Fowler, New York, 1847, 5th edition 1851 (half of Fowler &      Wells, NY, which published many of the veg-related books on this page).

Hydrotherapy or The Water-Cure by Joel Shew, New York 1851.

Philosophy of Health: Natural Principles of Health and Cure by Larkin Baker Coles M.D. Boston, first pub. 1848 - 26th revised edition 1851 (claims 28,000 sold) p.51 The Quality of Foods (promotes lacto-vegetable diet)

- Russell Trall

The hydropathic encyclopedia Vol.1 by Russell Trall, 1855 (orig.1851) – includes ovo-lacto-dietetics

The Hydropathic Encyclopedia Vol.2 by Russell      Trall, New York, 1854 (orig.1851) – appears to be vegan, but see below…

The New Hydropathic Cook-book: With Recipes      for Cooking on Hygienic Principles - by Russell Trall, 1854, includes the use of milk and eggs, but see below:

The hygeian home cook-book; or, Healthful      and palatable food without condiments - by Russell Trall, 1874 – the first vegan cookbook, see Preface.

- Thoreau

Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), first pub.1854. This edition with intro by Will H. Dircks, 1886.

Life and writings of Henry David Thoreau by Henry S. Salt, witten 1890 - 1896 edition

Anti-slavery and reform papers - Thoreau, Henry David, ed. H. Salt,1890

Selections from Thoreau - Thoreau, Henry David, 1895, ed H. Salt 1895

Poems of nature - Thoreau, Henry David, ed. H. Salt, 1895

 More late 19th century USA

Health: Its Friends and Foes by Reuben D. Mussey M.D., LL.D, Boston, 1862. p.169: Chapter VIII - Man by nature a vegetable eater - vegetarianism

Recollections of a busy life by Horace Greeley (1811-1872) pub.1868 - editor of the NY Tribune p.98: Chapter VIII - Temperance in all things

Horace Greeley Voice Of The People by William Harlan Hale, 1950.

Health in the Household, Or, Hygienic Cookery by Susanna Way Dodds, 1883 – argues strongly for plant-foods only, but then includes meat . . .

The stomach: its disorders and how to cure them by J.H. Kellogg, Battle Creek, 1896

Figs or pigs? Fruit or brute? Shall we eat flesh? : a comprehensive statement of the principal reasons for entertaining the vegetarian or fruitarian principle - James Madison Allen, 1896 – promotes veganism

Food, Home and Garden - Journal of the Vegetarian Society of America Vols I-III, 1897-99; edited by Henry Clubb

The Golden Age Cook Book by Henrietta Latham Dwight, New York, 1898

Every living creature; or, Heart-training through the animal world by Ralph Waldo Trine, 1899

The Vivisection Question articles from 1880 to 1900 compiled by Albert Leffingwell M.D, 1901

Europe – late 19th century

Les Confidences: Confidential Disclosures by Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869) 1857 edition. p.60: 'to kill animals for the purpose of feeding on their flesh is one of the most deplorable and shameful infirmities of the human state'.

The Descent of man – Charles Darwin, 1871

Fruit and bread : a scientific diet by Gustav Schlickeysen, translated from the German by M. L. Holbrook, New York,1877 – original German edition appears to have been 1875. Strongly Darwinian, the earliest known vegan (frugivorous + grains) book from Germany.

The Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger, August, 1884 - The Vegetarian Society (Manchester), one complete issue - the first section of a large book of other misc. articles.

Sir Isaac Pitman, his life and labors by Benn Pitman (brother) 1902

The life of Sir Isaac Pitman by Alfred Baker, 1908

Essays on Diet - Prof. Francis W. Newman, 1883

Memoir and letters of Francis W. Newman - Isobel Giberne, 1909

Fifty Years of Food Reform by Charles Forward, London 1897 ( 20mb PDF)

Tolstoy biography by Romain Rolland, 1911

Musicians of Today - by Romain Rolland, includes Wagner and Hugo Wolf, 1915

- Henry Salt
(also much by Salt on Shelley and Thoreau      above)

Literary Sketches - Henry Stephens Salt, 1888

Godwin's "Political justice"; a reprint of the essay on "Property", from the original edition; - Godwin, William, 1756-1836, ed. Salt 1890

Songs of freedom - Salt, Henry Stephens, 1893

Animals' Rights, considered in Relation to Social Progress by Henry S. Salt 1894

Pamphlets V, 1836-1895 - includes 'On Certain Fallacies' by Henry Salt

Humanitarian Essays: Being Volume III. of "Cruelties of Civilization." - Henry Stephens Salt , Humanitarian League , London, 1897

The logic of vegetarianism; essays and dialogues - Henry Salt, 1906

The Humanities of Diet (PDF 42k on - by Henry Salt, 1914

Killing for sport : essays by various writers - Salt, Henry Stephens, 1915

Seventy years among savages by Henry S. Salt, 1921 -  autobiographical essays

Asia and the Pacific
– 19th and 20th centuries

Thoreau's philosophy of life, with special consideration of the influence of Hindoo      philosophy by Helena A. Snyder, Dissertation, Heidelberg University, 1902. p.20 Abstinence from meat eating

The Hindoos as they are: a description of the manners, customs, and inner life of Hindoo society in Bengal by Shib Chunder Bose, first pub.1881. This edition Calcutta, 1883. 'The writer has exposed the ... evils to India of English dietetic habits' (Howard Williams in Ethics of Diet).

Poetical works of Edwin Arnold : containing The light of Asia 1883. p.95: 'henceforth none Shall spill the blood of life nor taste of flesh' (in 1891 Arnold was Vice-President of the Bayswater Vegetarian Club, of which Gandhi was Secretary)

A guide to health - Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1921

An Autobiography or The story of my experiments with truth - M. K. Gandhi, 1925

A Quest For Gandhi by Reginald Reynolds, 1952. Personal account of Ghandi at the ashrams.

Europe and USA – 20th century

Romain Rolland; the man and his work by Stefan Zweig, New York, 1921

Thirty-nine reasons why I am a vegetarian Henry Stephen Clubb, published by the Vegetarian Society of America, Philadelphia, 1903

Unpolished rice, the staple food of the Orient Henry Clubb, 1905

The Universal Kinship by J. Howard Moore (1862-1916), pub. Chicago, 1906. "kinship of all the inhabitants of the planet Earth"

No Animal Food and Nutrition and Diet with Vegetable Recipes – Rupert H. Wheldon, England, 1910. This ed. New York. – the first British vegan cookbook

Humanitarian Philosophy by Emil Edward Kusel, Los Angeles, 1912

A great Russian tone-poet, Scriabin by A.E. Hull, London 1918. Refers to Scriabins theosophy, from about 1904, which led to his vegetarianism.

The Natural Diet of Man by John Harvey Kellogg 1923

The Vegan – the magazine of the Vegan Society UK, all issues from 1944, link to

Vegetarian Times - US bi-monthly magazine, the link goes to January 1980. See 'Browse all issues' for the complete subsequent issues, currently up to 2004.

Vegan Views – UK magazine, some items from 1975 onwards, online version free to download.

General histories on

The Ethics of Diet - A Catena (HTML pages, full text) by Howard Williams, 1st published 1883, text from the 2nd edition, 1896.

Souvenir Book of the 15th World Vegetarian Congress - India, 1957 - (HTML pages) - huge collection of articles by various worldwide authors.

The Vegetarian Movement in England, 1847-1981 : A Study in the Structure of its Ideology(HTML pages) PhD Thesis by Julia Twigg, 1981.

Vegetarianism in Australia, A History (PDF 8mb) by Edgar Crook, 2008 

Most recent books are still subject to  copyright, so not available for free online. Links below are to some recommended books via

Animal Liberation: Peter Singer,  1975, revised 1990, chap.5, on history, is still good, and way ahead of anything else written at that time.

Search for a New Eden: James Pierrepont Greaves (1777-1842) : The Sacred Socialist and His Followers by J. E. M. Latham, 1999 – the story behind Alcott House. This takes a rather condescending view of their diet, and has some mistakes, but much valuable research.

Vegetarian America: A History by Karen and Michael Iacobbo, 2004

Of Victorians and Vegetarians: The Vegetarian Movement in Nineteenth-Century Britain by James Gregory, 2007. A non-vegan perspective, but more useful history.

  • Created on .