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Beans and Greens: The History of Vegetarianism

by Stephanie Butler The History Channel :


Early America had at least one famous vegetarian: Benjamin Franklin. Franklin wrote in his autobiography that he began eating a plant-based diet at the tender age of 16, after reading a book that advocated the practice.


Franklin wrote that, much like many modern day teenagers, his “refusal to eat Flesh occasioned an inconveniency,” and was often mocked by others. He began eating fish on a sea voyage a few years later, but ate mainly vegetarian for the rest of his life.


Notable early vegetarians included Leo Tolstoy, George Bernard Shaw, Mahatma Gandhi and American Bronson Alcott, a Transcendentalist teacher, reformer and the father of “Little Women” author Louisa May Alcott.


A meatless diet was referred to as a “Pythagorean diet” for years, up until the modern vegetarian movement began in the mid-1800s. While Pythagoras was an early proponent of a meatless diet, humans have been vegetarians since well before recorded history.


Most anthropologists agree that early humans would have eaten a predominantly plant-based diet; after all, plants can’t run away. Additionally, our digestive systems resemble those of herbivores closer than carnivorous animals. Prehistoric man ate meat, of course, but plants formed the basis of his diet.


It wasn’t until the 1960s that vegetarianism moved into mainstream American life and the movement’s growth picked up speed in the 1970s when a young graduate student named Francis Moore Lappe wrote a book called Diet for a Small Planet.


In it, she advocated a meatless diet not for ethical or moral reasons, but because plant-based foods have much less impact on the environment than meat does.


Today, many vegetarians refuse meat because of animal rights issues, or concerns over animal treatment, a principle first espoused in Peter Singer’s 1975 work “Animal Liberation.”


How to Do a One Day Fast


Imagine sipping coconut water and fresh fruit and vegetable juices all day long.


Click here to watch the video








Allan Savory says the only way to green

the world's deserts and reverse climate change

is by mimicking natural herds that once roamed the

earth and protected the grasslands from becoming



The adoption of a lacto-vegetarian or semi lacto-vegetarian diet can save

the planet from climate disaster by using grass-grazing herds

of dairy cows and buffalos to provide us

a protein source and at the same time restore deserts

to grassland.


Why is livestock being demonized by the popular culture when

it can be the key factor to save the earth from desertification and climate change?


By using the milk of the animals to make cheese and yogurt we don't reduce the size

of the herd. If meat is the main source of protein and not milk then the herd will be reduced and won't

be as effective to restore the desert to grasslands.



Watch the TED talk:

How to green the world's deserts

and reverse climate change by Allan Savory by clicking here.



Read a talk given by Allan Savory that explains in depth his holistic

method and how it came to be. Followed by questions and answers.







Grasslands are vast landscapes that have the capacity, if properly managed, to address some of humanity’s most urgent challenges such as water and food insecurity, poverty, and climate change.


Currently, grasslands are desertifying at alarming rates.

Holistic Management of grasslands results in the regeneration of soils, increased productivity and biological diversity, as well as economic and social well-being.




of the Earth's land surface is grasslands

of the world’s grasslands have been degraded





as a result of Savory’s large-scale implementation of Holistic Planned Grazing