NoNineteenth-century Britain was one of the birthplaces of modern vegetarianism in the West. In 'Of Victorians and Vegetarians' James Gregory explores the relationship between this newly organized movement and wider culture and society. It evolved with a myriad of meanings and voices: partly for propagandist reasons, but also because of the varied motivations and characteristcs of vegetarians. Teetotallers, animal lovers, mystics, spiritualists and theosophists, as well as those who saw the diet as an effective and democratic medical treatment, all provided the constituents for a movement whose critics associated it with radicalism and faddism. Frequently counter-cultural, in its association with socialism and communitarianism throughout the period, vegetarianism also expressed in heightened form the already well-established values of self-help, philanthropy, thrift, Puritanism, domesticity and a belief in progress
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