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Vegetarian America: A History [Hardcover]

by Karen Iacobbo, Michael Iacobbo
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 30, 2004 0275975193 978-0275975197

The first complete history of vegetarianism in the United States, this story reveals the people, the organizations, and the events from the late 1700s to the present. Despite generally held notions that today's vegetarianism sprang from 1960s counterculture and that prior to that its only advocates were fanatics and fringe groups, the authors explore strong movements in other historical eras, the proponents of which included esteemed physicians, socialites, and other notable members of the establishment. Until now, no one has chronicled the contributions that advocates of vegetarianism have made to the American way of life in areas such as general eating habits, preventative medicine, feminism, environmental awareness, and elsewhere.

From Johnny Appleseed and the Bible-Christians to John Harvey Kellogg and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the story features dedicated and colorful characters who persevered, undaunted by the many obstacles that they faced, to convince their fellow Americans of the benefits of vegetarianism. From a religious movement, to an ethical concern about the rights of animals, to many recent nutritional discoveries, vegetarianism is a movement that continues to evolve and grow.

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Vegetarian America: A History + Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty
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Editorial Reviews


"Every once in a while someone comes along and sees the need for explaining, or defining, and clarifying a basic reality. The Iacobbos have certainly done this with their book. It is a major breakthrough, both journalistically and inspirationally."-Colman McCarthy, Columnist, The Washington Post


"Karen and Michael Iacobbo have done a stellar job at digging down to the roots of our vegetarian heritage. Their new book is a bountiful harvest of fascinating information, and should be required reading for anyone walking the veg way."


Jeff Nelson, President,

) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (April 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275975193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275975197
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #795,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This book is facinating. What a treasure!
If you are a vegetarian you will love this book.You will be surprised and in awe of those who have ventured the path before you.
Not a vegetarian but have a love for history especially presented in an entertaing and informative manner? If so, you will find this book rich with facinating information that can not be found anywhere in one volume. The first chapter for example, grabs the reader by describing the vegetarian path of our dear and beloved Ben Franklin.
This book is a must for both vegetarians and lovers of history.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure Trove of Vegetarian History August 16, 2004
The Iacobbos' book is an excellent introduction to the vegetarian movement in the United States. The authors adroitly blend a sociological approach to vegetarianism with colorful, informative sketches of the lives of major historical figures in the movement from William Alcott, Sylvester Graham and John Harvey Kellogg to contemporary advocates of vegan and raw food dietetic practices and animal rights crusaders. The authors weave together various threads of health-related social reformism of the 19th Century such as natural hygiene, anti-tobacco and temperance movements along side vegetarianism in an intriguing and well-researched book. Students, culinary historians, and general readers alike will be well served by this source.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful History Resurrected By Writer Power June 25, 2005
Karen and Michael Iacobbo are brilliant writers, tenacious

researchers, scribes of compassion whose pens are magic wands

touching all hearts by enlivening the vegetarian past of America. They describe the Bible Christian Church whose pastors Metcalfe and Cowherd had names which perhaps sparked their consciousness, the poetry of John Harvey Kellogg, MD, the dedicated life of Sylvester

Graham (after whom Graham crackers are named), the feminist

activism of Connie Salamone for female chickens and cows

who are in prison, the passion of Ellen G White and other

Seventh Day Adventists, the power of Srila Prabhupad whose

Hare Krishna movement has given out trillions of free vegetarian

meals around the world.

They delineate ethical, health, energy, environment, esthetic

and other reasons to take the plunge into a nonviolent diet.

Vegetarians now receive life insurance discounts as the average

abstainer from flesh lives 7 years longer.

The Iacobbo's cover Alex Hershaft, founder of the Great American Meatout,

PETA activists, Dudley Giehl, author and founder of Animal

Liberation in NYC, raw vegetarian meals for Congress, and

thousands more activists.

This poster has one point of separation, believing that

vegetarian diet began not with Pythagoras and the Greeks

but with Rama, considered by a billion Hindus to be the

first Avatar, about whose Spirit of which vegetarianism

was a part, the Ramayana was written 20,000 years ago.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Vegetarian America: A History is a most entertaining history of the practice of vegetarianism in the United States, from the late 1700s to the present. Defying the notion that American vegetariasm sprang solely from the 1960's radical counterculture, Vegetarian America examines movements from a wide variety of eras, and the physicians, socialites, feminists and other prominent figures who embraced it, from Johnny Appleseed and the Bible Christians to John Harvey Kellogg and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Exploring motives that ranged from religious movements to concern about animal rights to nutritional discoveries, Vegetarian America is a truly amazing, deftly researched and succinctly presented tour of the side of America that is not so commonly seen amid the thousands of turkey, beef, and ham commercials.
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