Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Vegetarianism as a term, only came into general use after the formation of the Vegetarian Society at Ramsgate in England in 1847. However, the phenomenon, that is to say the existence of significant numbers of people who as a matter of principle did not eat animal flesh, dates back to classical times or beyond. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras (6th century bc) gave his name to a diet which precludes meat, although it is not certain to what extent he followed this himself (e.g. whether he ate fish).