The Bloodless Revolution

The Bloodless Revolution

A Cultural History of Vegetarianism From 1600 to Modern Times

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
Presents a look at how Western Christianity and Eastern philosophy merged to spawn a political movement that had the prohibition of meat at its core.

Norton Pub
The Bloodless Revolution is a pioneering history of puritanical revolutionaries, European Hinduphiles, and visionary scientists who embraced radical ideas from the East and conspired to overthrow Western society's voracious hunger for meat. At the heart of this compelling history are the stories of John Zephaniah Holwell, survivor of the Black Hole of Calcutta, and John Stewart and John Oswald, who traveled to India in the eighteenth century, converted to the animal-friendly tenets of Hinduism, and returned to Europe to spread the word. Leading figures of the Enlightenmentamong them Rousseau, Voltaire, and Benjamin Franklingave intellectual backing to the vegetarians, sowing the seeds for everything from Victorian soup kitchens to contemporary animal rights and environmentalism.Spanning across three centuries with reverberations to our current world, The Bloodless Revolution is a stunning debut from a young historian with enormous talent and promise.
How Western Christianity and Eastern philosophy merged to spawn a political movement that had the prohibition of meat at its core.

Book News
This social and intellectual history of vegetarianism in Europe is simultaneously broad-ranging and remarkably nuanced in its understandings of how the vegetarian movement was based in varied and sometimes contradictory sources, including Biblical understandings of the fall, Enlightenment searches for a better human diet, French revolutionary understandings of hierarchies of oppression, and colonial encounters with India. He traces these and other strands as they interacted with each other and as they reacted to the meat-eaters backlash that, in its very sharpness, testified to the power of the vegetarian challenge. He also makes the case that the varied vegetarian movements helped lay the basis for the emergence of the modern ecological consciousness that plays such a large role in contemporary world politics. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

A cultural and political history of vegetarianism explains how puritanical revolutionaries, European Hinduphiles, and visionary scientists conspired to overthrow Western society's fierce devotion to the consumption of meat, tracing three centuries of the movement from eighteenth-century converts to Hinduism to present-day environmentalism and the animal rights movement.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2007
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780393052206
Branch Call Number: 613.262 STUAR
Characteristics: xxvi, 628 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Notes: Originally published: Great Britain : HarperPress, under the title The Bloodless revolution : radical vegetarians and the discovery of India, 2006


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Jun 14, 2015

Being vegetarian for many decades now I was fascinated to find out when going without meat first came about and when it evolved into a lifestyle choice. I was a little disappointed as it is not an easy read. Written more in a dry academic style of prose rather than in a way that could capture one's attention and keep you interested. Though I did learn a lot about politics, culture, religion and philosphers from the 14th century though to present day. At times it almost felt like I was reading A history of society rather than one of a food revolution.


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