An anthology of writings on vegetarianism from a wide range of religious traditions.
Stretching back more than two thousand years and spanning diverse traditions, religious vegetarianism has an ancient and rich history. In this book, Kerry S. Walters and Lisa Portmess gather writings that reflect devotional as well as more analytical responses to age-old questions of animal suffering, dietary practice, and human responsibility. These include writings from ancient Orphic and Pythagorean authors, writings that span centuries of Indian and Buddhist thought, and writings from the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic traditions. Interesting both to those well-versed in the literature of vegetarianism as well as to others encountering it for the first time, are tensions within traditions over the use of animals for food—whether such use is consonant with fundamental values of the faith, whether religious law or tradition requires vegetarian practice, and what place animals are thought to hold in the order of nature.
Kerry S. Walters is Professor of Philosophy and Lisa Portmess is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Gettysburg College. They are coeditors of the companion volume Ethical Vegetarianism: From Pythagoras to Peter Singer, also published by SUNY Press.
"An anthology of the caliber of Religious Vegetarianism makes a wonderful case for the ability of scholars today to be able to go into the oldest, most established traditions or codified entities and expose the unexpectedly radical ideas that are embedded there." — Worldviews
"This wonderful book provides the cornerstone, the religious basis for a diet rich in compassion and a credit to faith." — Ingrid Newkirk, President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
"Religious Vegetarianism is a stimulating collection of diverse and often out-of-the-way texts. The contrast between Eastern and Western religious texts on vegetarianism should prove to be especially thought-provoking for adherents of Western religions." — Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation