Famous Vegetarians You Should Know From History
Some people are under the misconception that vegetarianism and veganism are new lifestyles. Those within the community know this is wrong. People all over the world have led plant-based diets for thousands of years. Some of those people are even famous. Keep reading to learn about some famous vegetarians you should know from history so that you can politely correct misinformed people.
Leonardo da Vinci
A little-known fact about the iconic Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci is that he was vegetarian. While he never used the specific word ‘vegetarian’ to describe his plant-based eating habits, he made his opinions about eating animals known. His personal writings share concerned reflections on the treatment of animals, especially those raised for human consumption. We have reason to believe he shared these thoughts with others as well since contemporaries who knew him mentioned in letters that he was too gentle to eat animals.
Yes, the incredible voice behind Frankenstein and much of science fiction was a vegetarian. She was possibly a vegetarian her entire life since her mother also led a plant-based diet, and later, her husband did as well. She even cast her lifestyle onto her fictional creations, describing that the namesake monster in Frankenstein doesn’t eat meat but forages for plants and berries to eat. Her dedication to the vegetarian diet is impressive since she includes it in both her real and fictional worlds.
There’s a lot of fact and fiction about Johnny Appleseed in the world, but we do know that he was a real person and a vegetarian. He traveled and planted orchards across the US, mostly to create apples for hard cider since water was often dangerous to drink at the time. In his travels, he always respected animals and refused to eat them, leading a plant-based diet. You can still pay respects to this incredible gardener and inspiring vegetarian by visiting his last fruitful tree in Savannah, Ohio.
Susan B. Anthony
This incredible Quaker woman spoke out against slavery and helped women get the right to vote. In addition to those human-based forms of social justice, she also advocated for animals. She spoke at the first-ever American Vegetarian Society meeting and advocated for plant-based diets despite public disagreement. Her vegetarian legacy continues today as the only vegetarian printed on United States money.
Some of the famous vegetarians you should know from history are people you’ve learned about all your life. However, we seldom learn about their food preferences and how their vegetarianism helped make the world a better place. We can educate other people today, though, and share how these famous people chose to consider the welfare of animals throughout their lives.