Thomas Tryon (6 September 1634 – 21 August 1703) was an English sugar merchant, author of popular self-help books, and early advocate of vegetarianism.
Born in 1634 in Bibury near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, he had to work spinning wool as a child and received no education.As a teenager, he worked as a shepherd till the age of eighteen and managed to learn reading and writing in his spare time. In 1652 he moved to London without telling his parents and apprenticed with a hatter. He became an Anabaptist in 1654 under the influence of his master. He liked the ascetic lifestyle of that congregation, but soon he found his own independent spiritual way after reading the writings of Jakob Böhme. In 1657 he heard an inner voice, which he named the "Voice of Wisdom", encouraging him to become a vegetarian and to live on a frugal diet. He married in 1661 but failed to convert his wife to his lifestyle.
He traveled to Barbados hoping to succeed in his hat trade and to profit from greater religious tolerance there, but was shocked by the cruelty of slavery in the plantations.In 1669 he returned to London and settled in Hackney. In 1682 his inner voice told him to engage in writing and to publish books in order to propagate temperance and nonviolence. So in the last two decades of his life he published twenty-seven works on a wide range of subjects, including education, nutrition, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco and other health issues, and treatment of slaves. At the same time he continued his hat trade and grew wealthy. Some of his self-help books sold very well. His most widely read book was The Way to Health, published in 1691 as a second edition of Health's Grand Preservative; or, The Women's Best Doctor (1682). It inspired Benjamin Franklin to adopt vegetarianism. Tryon’s writings also impressed playwright Aphra Behn (whose “On the Author of that Excellent Book Intitled The way to HEALTH, LONG LIFE, and HAPPINESS,” appears in Tryon's 1697 Way to Health"), and vegetarian poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Tryon died in 1703 and his Memoirs were published posthumously in 1705.
Tryon’s ideas on historical and philosophical matters were heavily influenced by ancient Pythagoreanism, Hinduism, and the teachings of German occultist Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa.He considered himself a Christian and tried to reconcile Biblical, Pythagorean and Hindu teachings. His conviction was that there was one true original religion of mankind, followed by Moses, Pythagoras and the Indian Brahmins, but perverted by the majority of Christians. According to him, the main tenets of that faith were pacifism and non-violence to animals; benevolence to all species and vegetarianism were prerequisites for spiritual progress and a possible restoration of Paradise. He explicitly advocated animal rights.
Tryon was of the opinion that humans are a miniature image of the universe (microcosm).He voiced ecological and conservationist concerns about the pollution of rivers and the destruction of forests. He did not believe in reincarnation, but assumed that the souls of sinners take on the forms of vicious beasts in a nightmarish afterlife.
Tyron has been associated with the history of animal rights. Historians have described Tyron as the first known author to use the word "rights" in regard to animals in his book The Way to Health, Long Life and Happiness, published in 1683.He commented that man "would fain be an absolute monarch or arbitrary tyrant, making nothing at his pleasure to break the laws of God, and invade and destroy all the rights and of the inferior creatures."
Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.
A lacto-vegetarian diet is a diet that includes vegetables as well as dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee, cream, and kefir.
The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom is a British registered charity which was established on 30 September 1847 to promote vegetarianism.
Christian vegetarianism is the practice of keeping to a vegetarian lifestyle for reasons connected to or derived from the Christian faith. The three primary reasons are spiritual, nutritional, and ethical. The ethical reasons may include a concern for God's creation or a concern for animal welfare. Likewise, Christian veganism is the abstaining from the use of all animal products for reasons connected to or derived from the Christian faith.
Vegetarianism is strongly linked with a number of Dharmic traditions (religions) that originated in ancient India. In Jainism, vegetarianism is mandatory for everyone; in Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism, it is promoted by scriptures and religious authorities but is not mandatory. Comparatively, in the Abrahamic religions, the Bahá'í Faith and certain Dharmic religion such as Sikhism, vegetarianism is less commonly viewed as a religious obligation, although in all these faiths there are groups actively promoting vegetarianism on religious grounds.
The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept and practice amongst a significant number of people are from ancient India, especially the Jains. and the ancient Greek civilizations in southern Italy and Greece. In both instances, the diet was closely connected with the idea of nonviolence toward animals, and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers.
Thomas Ignatius Maria Forster was an English astronomer, physician, naturalist and philosopher. An early animal rights activist, he promoted vegetarianism and founded the Animals' Friend Society with Lewis Gompertz. He published pamphlets on a wide variety of subjects, among other things, morality, Pythagorean philosophy, bird migration, Sati, and "phrenology", a term that he coined in 1815.
Howard Williams was an English humanitarian and vegetarian, and author of the book The Ethics of Diet, an anthology of vegetarian thought.
Vegetarianism in the Romantic Era refers to the rise of vegetarianism associated with the Romanticism movement in Western Europe from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century. Many of the late Romantics argued in favor of a more natural diet which excluded animal flesh for a plethora of reasons including the state of human and animal health, religious beliefs, economy and class division, animal rights, literary influence, as well as from new ideas about anthropology, consumerism, and evolution. The modern vegetarian and vegan movements borrow some of the same principles from the late Romantics to promote the adoption of diets free from animal products.
Dugald Semple (1884–1964), was a Scottish advocate of "simple living", a naturalist, prolific author, and fruitarian. He is sometimes credited with cofounding the vegan movement in 1944 without using the term 'vegan'. Semple's mother hailed from a farm near Beith, and his father worked as a tailor. He was born in Johnstone near Paisley, Scotland. Cathie Amos was his wife, who predeceased him, dying of heart failure in 1941, Dugald died in Fairlie. They had no children, although Cathie had a son, Ian, who was killed in World War I.
Jewish vegetarianism is a commitment to vegetarianism that is connected to Judaism, Jewish ethics or Jewish identity. Jewish vegetarians often cite Jewish principles regarding animal welfare, environmental ethics, moral character, and health as reasons for adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet.
A Vindication of Natural Diet is an 1813 book by Percy Bysshe Shelley on vegetarianism and animal rights. It was first written as part of the notes to Queen Mab, which was privately printed in 1813. Later in the same year the essay was separately published as a pamphlet.
Rynn Berry was an American author on vegetarianism and veganism, as well as a pioneer in the animal rights and vegan movements. A frequent international lecturer, Berry's books have been translated into many languages, and he was locally and internationally known in the vegan community. He served on advisory board of the American Vegetarian Association.
An Essay on Abstinence from Animal Food, as a Moral Duty is a book on ethical vegetarianism and animal rights written by Joseph Ritson, first published in 1802.
John Frank Newton (1767-1837) was a British vegetarianism activist and Zoroastrian.
John Howard Moore was an American zoologist, philosopher, educator and socialist. He advocated for the welfare and rights of animals and authored several articles, books, essays and pamphlets on ethics, vegetarianism, humanitarianism and education. He is best known for his work The Universal Kinship (1906), which advocated for a secular sentiocentric philosophy he called the doctrine of "Universal Kinship", based on the shared evolutionary kinship between all sentient beings.
Charles Walter Forward (1863-1934) was a British animal rights activist and historian of vegetarianism.
Figs or Pigs? is an 1896 manual on vegetarianism and fruitarianism compiled by James Madison Allen, which contains observations from the author, as well as numerous quotations from eminent authors and authorities.
Shelley's Vegetarianism is a 1891 pamphlet on the vegetarianism of Percy Bysshe Shelley by William Axon, published by the Vegetarian Society. It is a printing of a lecture delivered by Axon before the Shelley Society, at University College in 1890.
The Meat Fetish is a 1904 essay by Ernest Crosby on vegetarianism and animal rights. It was subsequently published as a pamphlet the following year, with an additional essay by Élisée Reclus, entitled The Meat Fetish: Two Essays on Vegetarianism.
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