Vegetarians by historian Rynn Berry draws our attention to an
interesting fact - so many of the most influential people our world has
known, from religious leaders to our greatest thinkers, writers, and
artists, have found reasons to abstain from meat.
Those reasons are varied, as Berry points out. For Leonardo da Vinci,
it was largely about morality, and Tolstoy saw it as reformation from
his debauched life. For Sylvester Graham, it was about health.
Pythagoras, whose theorem school children learn by heart, made
vegetarianism a central tenant of his philosophical school. Plato and
Socrates followed a vegetarian diet, proving that both brain and brawn
could be sustained by plants.
Using a variety
of sources to
verify his claims (The Dead Sea Scrolls for Jesus), Berry credits a
number of famous men and women with following a vegetarian diet,
Jesus, Mahavira (founder of Jainism), Lao Tzu (Taoist),
Plutarch, Percy Bysshe Shelley, George Bernard Shaw,
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and many
Of course, when you start to realize that the spiritual founders of our
religions and many of our greatest minds prefer plants to flesh, it
begs the question: Does vegetarianism spur one on to greatness, or do
great people simply realize the benefits of vegetarianism and adopt it?
Famous vegetarians is a great, well-researched book and should be of
interest to anyone curious about vegetarianism and its greatest