Radical forms of vegetarianism gathering pace in Russia

Veganism makes the radical group of the vegetarian movement

Vegetarians of the planet have recently celebrated the day of Vegans – the most radical group of the movement. Vegetarianism is gathering pace in the world again, although the peak of the movement occurred in Europe in the beginning of the last century. The idea of the meat-free nourishment has changed a lot since that time, though.

The international statistics does not have any information about the number of people, who do not eat meat because of their moral beliefs, not poverty. The percentage of vegetarians in Great Britain is rather low: only seven percent, or 4.2 million people. The number of Russian vegetarians is not known at all. The center of the vegetarian association told the Izvestia newspaper that about ten thousand Muscovites do not have meat dishes on their daily menus. However, only 264 vegetarians are registered on the website of the association.

The roots of the Russian vegetarianism of the XX century are clear. Peasants used to constitute the vast majority of the Russian population. They ate meat only on Sundays or on holidays. Russian fighters for people's happiness used to associate meat with easy life, satiety and over-indulgence. Leo Tolstoy propagandized the idea of self-restraint, which implied vegetarianism too. Vegetarian restaurants and hospitals used to be very popular in Russia in those years. Nowadays Russians become vegetarians for two reasons: they either believe that eating meat is bad for health or they wish to express their outlook.

”Young people become more attracted to ideas of vegetarianism and veganism in particular,” Elena Marueva, the director of the center for protection of animals' rights, said in an interview with the Izvestia. “We are moved with the idea of life without violence, without slaughtering animals and treating them brutally,” said she.

According to traditional medicine, essential amino acids that can be found in meat are vital for the human body construction. Their herbal analogues require larger volumes of food. Vegetarian diet is not recommended for children when they grow and become sexually mature. Nevertheless, a lot of doctors have become more favorable to vegetarianism in recent years, especially to the mild form of it, which allows eating dairy products and eggs.

”We add meat products to the diets of absolutely all diseases. The energy that sick people take from meat is much more important for them than for healthy individuals. No vegetarian diet can be a replacement for it,” specialist of the healthy food center, Vladimir Moskalev said.

Veganism makes the radical group of the vegetarian movement. Proponents of veganism do not eat meat, fish, eggs, fowl, milk and their derivatives. In addition, they do not wear leather or fur clothes, they do not use animal-tested cosmetics and they strongly object to any brutal kind of entertainment such as hunting, circus, or corrida. The above-mentioned views are based on the belief that humans must not kill any living creatures, that life is supposed to be morally high and pure. The views bring vegans closer to certain Oriental religions. Fructarians are toughest vegans – they are the people, who eat only raw vegetable and fruit. A lot of celebrities and public figures become vegans when they feel that they have had and accomplished all they could in life. Paul McCartney, his daughter Stella are vegans, McCartney's first wife Linda was a vegan too. Leo Toltsoy and Adolf Hitler were vegetarians as well.

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Author`s name Olga Savka