The history of the philosophy of nutrition, which implies the total or partial exclusion of meat and other animal products from the diet, goes back a long way. The name was introduced in England, but people knew about vegetarianism before Christ. In antiquity, carcasses of killed animals were considered impure food, so priests not only did not eat such meat but also did not even touch it.
For the first time, evidence of people who consciously gave up meat appeared in the V-IV millennium BC. They believed it helped them perform magical rituals and communicate with deities. It was mostly priests who followed the principles of vegetarianism that lived in ancient Egypt. It is believed that this was because most Egyptian deities had the appearance of beasts. Scientists speculate that the Egyptians were convinced that the spirits of the dead animals were interfering with communication with the higher powers.
The hatha yoga influence on the formation of vegetarianism
Modern scholars have been able to discover that in ancient India between the sixth and the second millennia BC, hatha yoga was born as a special philosophical system that helps human beings to improve on the physical and spiritual level. One of the teachings is zero consumption of meat products. The followers of this system believed that all the suffering and illnesses of the killed animal, together with the meat, were passed on to the person, so he could not be happy.
Buddhism and vegetarianism
Researchers believe that the birth of Buddhism is a separate stage in the development of vegetarianism. Buddha is the founder of this religion, who, together with his followers, advocated the complete elimination of wine and meat products from the diet of man. The killing of any living being led to moral condemnation and was considered an act of aggression. Modern adherents of this religion do not always adhere to vegetarianism. They are mainly Buddhists living in the harsh climatic conditions of Tibet and Mongolia. Despite this, they preach the Buddha’s precepts that forbid the use of dirty, dead meat. Such a product is considered anything that is directly related to a person, such as an animal killed specifically for one person or the hands of that person.