Oleg Gadetsky. Writer. Psychologist trainer. Conducts trainings in Russia, Europe, Asia and the USA.
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Vegetarianism of the 1860s

Did you know that vegetarianism in pre-revolutionary Russia was common? So everyone can say thatBeing a vegetarian is not a new feature, but a very old and rare one.

Vegetarianism came to Russia in the mid-1860s, when it first appeared in St. PetersburgThe first society of vegetarians. They called him a joke "Neither fish nor meat."At the beginning of the century, he was headed by Alexander Petrovich Zelenkov, MD, surgeon. His spouse in1913 released the first vegetarian cookbook with the title “I do not eat anyone.”

The society began to publish the journal Vegetarian Gazette in 1904. Moscow became the center of vegetarianism in 1909, when the Moscow Vegetarian Society was founded. The ideas of non-meat became very popular among educated youth, students, intellectuals.

A significant contribution to the spread of the idea of ​​killing-free nutrition was made by L.N. Tolstoy.In the rejection of animal food, Tolstoy saw the "first stage" of the renewal of moral life.His preaching of abstinence, simplification, returning to the natural life found wide popularity among thinking people. Under the influence of Tolstoy, such figures of Russian culture as Nikolai Leskov and Ilya Repin refused to eat meat.

vegetarianism in Russia differed from European in that it was understood here not only as a matter of food, but as a matter of moral outlook.

From 1900 to 1914 there was a period of greatest development of Russian vegetarianism. Vegetarian societies were established in 15 cities of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The largest society with its print organ was in Kiev. Vegetarian settlements, schools, kindergartens, canteens were organized on the basis of societies (by 1914, there were 73 canteens in Russia).

During World War I, vegetarian societies equipped beds for military hospitals, and in the canteens in the canteens, every day the soldiers in the reserve fed free of charge. For horses were created hospitals.

With the establishment of Soviet power, a tacit ban was imposed on vegetarian ideas., and societies one after another began to close. Several Moscow activists were convicted for a term of 3 to 5 years in prison in Butyrka.

The spread of vegetarianism as food was contrary to the Soviet economy and the industrial supply system. Even many years later, the word “vegetarianism” could not be found in the dictionaries of the Russian language, and in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia of 1961 one could find: “Vegetarianism based on false hypotheses and ideas has no adherents in the Soviet Union.”

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