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(UK) Vegetarian roots: The extraordinary tale of Reverend Cowherd

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  • AnimalConcerns.org
    The Beefsteak chapel hardly sounds like a place where vegetarians would be welcome, but more than 200 years ago, this tiny chapel in Salford was the British
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 17, 2012
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      The Beefsteak chapel hardly sounds like a place where vegetarians
      would be welcome, but more than 200 years ago, this tiny chapel in
      Salford was the British birthplace of the meat-free diet.

      In an even greater twist, the cleric who preached the moral virtues of
      vegetarianism was the Reverend William Cowherd. His Beefsteak Chapel
      was the country's first vegetarian church.

      Cowherd, born almost 250 years ago on Sunday 16 December, demanded his
      congregation eat a meat free diet.

      At this time the poor would eat the cheapest meat. This meant a diet
      featuring a great deal of offal - sometimes stomach or intestines.

      Cowherd believed that God inhabited every animal and as such it was a
      sin to eat meat. His followers - aptly named Cowherdites - went on to
      form the Vegetarian Society.
      ...
      Abstinence from meat became part of the church's creed. Cowherd told
      his congregation it was a sin to eat meat and it could make them
      behave aggressively.

      The Vegetarian Society quotes him saying: "If God had meant us to eat
      meat, then it would have come to us in edible form as is the ripened
      fruit."
      ...
      After Cowherd's death in 1816, Joseph Brotherton became the Beefsteak
      Chapel's minister and continued his mission. Along with other
      Cowherdites, Brotherton helped form the Vegetarian Society in 1847.

      --
      full story:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20666581

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