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The Bloodless Revolution (book)

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Subject: Jewish Vegetarians of North America, Élise Desaulniers, Veganz, Toronto Vegetarian Association, Victoria Moran
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The Bloodless Revolution (book)

The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism From 1600 to Modern Times
Author Tristram Stuart
Original title The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the discovery of India
Cover artist Chin-Yee Lai
Country United States
Language English
Subjects Vegetarianism-Europe-History. Vegetarianism-Religious aspects-Hinduism-History. Europeans-India-History-17th century. Europeans-India-History-18th century. Vegetarianism-United States-History.
Publication date
Media type Paperback and Hardcover
Pages (Hardcover)xxvi, 628 p. [24] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.(Paperback)688
ISBN ISBN 0-393-05220-6 ISBN 978-0393052206 (Hardcover), ISBN 0-393-33064-8 ISBN 978-0393330649 (Paperback)
613.2/6209 22
LC Class TX392 .S86 2007

The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism From 1600 to Modern Times is a history of the vegetarian movement in Western/Eastern society system by Tristram Stuart.

From the book's Introduction:

"... In the era preceding the Industrial Revolution the question of meat-eating was one of the fiercest battle-fronts in the struggle to define humanity's proper relationship with nature. The vital question;"should humans be eating animals?' was a serious challenge to Western society's belief that the world and everything in it had been made exclusively for mankind." Vegetarians called for a wholesale reappraisal of the human relationship with nature."
"... The argument that raged in the formative period between 1600 and 1830 helped to shape the values of modern society. Understanding the history of our ideas sets modern culture in a striking new light and can overturn our most entrenched assumptions. The early history of vegetarianism reveals how ancient ethics of abstinence, early medical science and Indian philosophy have influenced Western culture in profound and unexpected ways."

From the book jacket:

"How Western Christianity and Eastern philosophy merged to spawn a political movement that had the prohibition of flesh at its core."
"A grand history made up of interlocking biographies of extraordinary figures from the English Civil War to the era of Romanticism and beyond. The Bloodless Revolution is filled with stories of spectacular adventure in India and subversive scientific and moral controversies carved out at the dawn of the modern age." "When seventeenth-century European travelers returned from India, they triggered a crisis in the conscience of the Western world by telling stories of a meatless society fueled entirely by vegetables, milk, and fruit. Dissenting from the entrenched custom of eating meat. Thomas Tryon established a quasi-Hindu society in London, and his extraordinary books later converted Benjamin Franklin to vegetarianism."

From the New York Times - Sunday Book Review

"Stuart’s argument really does alter perceptions. Though the word “vegetarianism” was coined only in the 1840s, Stuart shows how Western civilization evolved through the values and views of eccentrics, missionaries, doctors, poets and philosophers, all of whom fervently went the way of no flesh. Pythagoras was often cited as a spiritual and dietary model as the debate over vegetarianism entered the West’s philosophical mainstream through such figures as Descartes and Bacon. But religion seems to have provided the main counterpoint. After discovering the laws of motion, Newton obsessively sought a primal ur-religion out of which current beliefs developed; had he succeeded in discovering such a law of religious motion, one crucial element would have been vegetarianism. Stuart writes: “Newton passionately wanted his scientific revolution to be accompanied by a bloodless revolution.”"[1]


  1. ^ New York Times - Sunday Book Review. By Edward Rothstein. Published: February 25, 2007 "The Way of No Flesh"

External links

  • Library of Congress Entry
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