Animal Rights Throughout History; Veganism Is Not A Recent Concept


I’m making separate posts on individual issues related to Veganism, so that anyone who wants a handy reference guide to each issue won’t have to go through my entire link list to find it. The links included in each individual post may not be updated regularly, so the Master List will be the only place to find complete updates. These posts will be comprehensive enough to cover most or all questions related to each issue however.

Disclaimer: My only goal with this list is to produce as comprehensive a resource for Vegan information as possible. I am 100% Abolitionist Vegan and 100% against exploitation of nonhuman or human animals, any type of violence against human or nonhuman persons or property, welfare regulation, any form of speciesism, ethnic bigotry, genderism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., any of the large governmental or non-governmental nonhuman animal organizations, “happy meat,” vegetarianism, veg*nism, Meat-Free Mondays, or other forms of reductionism and anything else that makes it seem like any form of violence or exploitation of animals is ok. If any of those positions are endorsed on any site in this list, or any language is used to imply that, it’s not that I included that link because I agree, but simply because I don’t control every bit of information on all of these sites.

In the 10th century A.D. lived an atheist Arab poet named Abu ‘L’Ala Ahmad ibn ‘Abdallah al-Ma’arri, who wrote this:

I No Longer Steal From Nature

You are diseased in understanding and religion.
Come to me, that you may hear something of sound truth.
Do not unjustly eat fish the water has given up,
And do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals,
Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught
for their young, not noble ladies.
And do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking eggs;
for injustice is the worst of crimes.
And spare the honey which the bees get industriously
from the flowers of fragrant plants;
For they did not store it that it might belong to others,
Nor did they gather it for bounty and gifts.
I washed my hands of all this; and wish that I
Perceived my way before my hair went gray!

~ Al-Ma’arri

Al-Ma’arri on Wiki:

Most people think that humans have been killing nonhumans in huge numbers for all of recorded history, that it’s the only reason we have evolved to the point we have, and that most humans get a large portion of their diets from animal substances. Further, they think that before the 20th century, no one ever questioned the idea that humans were morally justified in exploiting their fellow sentient beings. None of these things is true. They are nonsensical myths that are perpetuated merely because some humans will look for any tiny sliver to grasp to justify immorally exploiting nonhumans (and humans) for their pleasure, amusement, or convenience.

Sub-Section 1B7:
Animal Rights History:

“World History Of Vegetarianism”:

Percy Bysshe Shelley:

“On Veganism From a Medieval Arab Poet”:

“Ancient Vegans: Porphyry”:

“A Vegan Booklet of 1655 – ……don’t think about ‘almost five o’clock’!”:

“Diet of ancient Egyptians inferred from stable isotope systematics”:

“Introduction to New McDougall Book — The Starch Solution”:

Prototype Vegans:


As a bonus, here is a list of notable animal rights proponents throughout history:

Hans Christian Andersen – 1805-1875 – Danish writer of fairy tales
Susan B. Anthony – 1820-1906 – US feminist and anti-slavery campaigner
Charlotte Bronte – 1816-1855 – English writer; author of Jane Eyre
Leonardo da Vinci – 1452-1519 – Italian painter, architect and engineer
Albert Einstein – 1879-1955 – Swiss-German scientist; author of the theories of relativity
Ralph Waldo Emerson – 1803-1882 – US philosopher, essayist and poet
Henry Ford – 1863-1947 – US car manufacturer
St. Frances of Assisi – 1182-1226 – Italian founder of Franciscan order of friars
Benjamin Franklin – 1706-1790 – US scientist and diplomat; inventor of the lightning conductor
Mahatma Gandhi – 1869-1948 – Indian nationalist leader and advocate of non-violence
Martin Luther – 1483-1546 – German church reformer; founder of Protestantism
Sir Isaac Newton – 1642-1727 – English physicist and mathematician
Plato – 428-347 BC – Greek philosopher
Plutarch – 46-120 BC – Greek philosopher and biographer
Pythagoras – 580-500 BC – Greek mathematician and philosopher
Albert Schweitzer – 1875-1965 – French theologian, missionary and Nobel Peace Prize winner
George Bernard Shaw – 1856-1950 – Irish dramatist, novelist and socialist
Henry David Thoreau – 1817-1862 – US writer; back-to-nature exponent
Leo Tolstoy – 1828-1910 – Russian novelist; author of War and Peace
Vincent Van Gogh – 1853-1890 – Dutch Post-Impressionist painter
Voltaire – 1694-1778 – French writer
H.G. Wells – 1886-1946 – English science fiction writer
John Wesley – 1703-1791 – English founder of Methodism

If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. It’s easy and great for you, incredible for the animals, and wonderful for the planet. If you’re already Vegan, please educate non-Vegans about why they should go Vegan. Please rescue, volunteer, adopt, foster, spay, and neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication whenever you can. Please feed your nonhuman family Vegan where you can. These things are the most important, morally responsible things to do and are desperately needed by everyone.

To learn more about Abolitionist Veganism and the issues I’ve outlined in this post, check out The Master List Of Vegan Info:


3 thoughts on “Animal Rights Throughout History; Veganism Is Not A Recent Concept

  1. I am not finding a reference to David Nibert’s work. Do you have any? Are you aware of it? His talk on is called the Animal Industrial Complex. It is a brilliant historical analysis. His book Animal Oppression and Human Violence should definitely be on your list. Do you have a book list?

    • I had not heard of him. Thanks!

      I will look into his work and give you my impressions. If he fits with the theme of the Master List I’ll add some links 🙂

      I do have a couple short lists on the Master List of various books. You can search it by keyword “books” in your browser. You’ve seen the Master List right?

    • From what I read his work sounds great. I will try to find some more of his stuff to read as I go. For now, I added a couple links to books of his to the Master List. Are there any specific URLs that you can give me that are his best stuff online?

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