Historical material

I’ve been delving into Church-related aspects of organised veggie/vegan activity in Britain for several years now.

If anyone wishes to check out the extent to which Christian theology has played a largely forgotten role in efforts to promote ethical awareness towards diet, over the past two centuries, my blog (‘Christian vegetarianism - an archive’) presents material from archive journals along with links to related websites and details of my recently published book.

It’s all amateur but almost entirely original research which should provide a substantial resource for those interested. If nothing else, Christian critics of humane and compassionate values towards the lives of other creatures tend to be the least aware of the input of some of their most respected figures, in the historical ‘Food Reform’ movement. That may change, eventually, but campaigners who choose to deal with such notions (on Christian terms) should find the insights of earlier vegetarian and vegan activists rather useful in the course of future advocacy.

All best wishes,

John Gilheany

Trying to use Christian theology to further vegetarianism?

One would have to ignore so much of the central pillar of Christian theology (The bible) to push that agenda it isn’t even funny.

Sorry buddy but it is a bit of a long stretch and even you must see that.

It’s not as much of a stretch as you might think. I’m currently agnostic (but raised Christian) so I’d like to think I’m carrying very little bias on the subject of religion and its place in the rights debate.

I haven’t done much research but I have read about sects of Christianity that promote vegetarianism (not veganism, but it’s on the right path!). There are plenty of pamphlets and campaign materials strictly devoted to showing Christians that their faith shows them that they shouldn’t eat animals. I was actually given a cd the other day about it by the owners of a vegan danish bakery near where I live, I was quite surprised to see it tucked away in my box of free samples.

While religions do have dogma that go against animal rights and veganism they also have dogma that supports it. 80-90% of the world population is religious in some way and Christianity is one of the largest three. To simply say Christianity is bad for veganism is ignoring a large part of the world that we can’t afford to ignore.

I also think your blog sounds like a neat idea and while it may not pertain to me exactly I’ll definitely check it out. :slight_smile:

The story of Cain and Abel leaps to mind. This is almost concrete evidence right off the bat. But you’re right in that the bible contradicts itself on the matter quite a bit, hence it is inconclusive and not a valid source to use for either argument.

Along with growing groups of thinking and compassionate Christians (such as the C.V.A.) I’m not exactly keen on the idea of surrendering theology and progressive ethics to the negative ideas which tend to dominate today’s Churches. The majority of Christians are both hostile towards veganism and unaware of their own historical contribution to the growth of Western vegetarianism in equal measure.

There’s too rich a legacy to leave untapped and anyone involved in the promotion of veganism should probably be prepared for a “long stretch” of several centuries before society (including religious elements of the ‘general public’) would be all that likely to embrace our ideals.