Vegetarianism in Russia in the 19th century

Vegetarianism is a way of life for many people today who care about their health. After all, the consumption of only plant foods allows you to keep the body young and healthy for a long time. But it is worth noting that the beginning of vegetarianism was laid many thousands of years ago. Vegetarianism has its roots in the distant past. There is evidence that our ancient ancestors, who lived several millennia ago, were vegetarians. In modern Europe, it began to be actively promoted in the early 19th century. It was from there that half a century later it came to Russia. But at that time, vegetarianism did not become so widespread. As a rule, this direction in food was inherent only to the upper class. A great contribution to the spread of vegetarianism was made by the great Russian writer L.N. Tolstoy. It was his propaganda of the consumption of only plant foods that contributed to the emergence of numerous vegetarian communities in Russia. The first of them appeared in Moscow, St. Petersburg, etc. In the future, vegetarianism also affected the outback of Russia. However, it did not receive such mass recognition in Russia in the 19th century. However, numerous vegetarian communities existed in Russia until the October Revolution. During the uprising, vegetarianism was proclaimed a bourgeois relic and all communities were eliminated. So vegetarianism was forgotten for quite a long time. Another class of adherents of vegetarianism in Russia were some of the monks. But, at that time, there was no active propaganda on their part, so vegetarianism was not widely spread among the clergy. In the 19th century, a number of spiritual and philosophical estates were adherents of the consumption of only plant foods. But, again, their number was so scanty that they could not have a big impact on society. Nevertheless, the very fact that vegetarianism reached Russia speaks of its gradual spread. Let us also note the fact that common people (peasants) were involuntary vegetarians in Russia in the 19th century; poor class, who could not provide themselves with good nutrition. Willy-nilly, they had to consume only plant foods, as there was not enough money to purchase food of animal origin. Thus, we see that vegetarianism in Russia began its main origin in the 19th century. However, its further development was opposed by a number of historical events that became a temporary barrier to the spread of this “lifestyle”. In conclusion, I would like to say a few words about the benefits and negative aspects of vegetarianism. The benefit, of course, is undoubted – after all, by consuming only plant foods, a person does not force his body to work on processing “heavy” meat food. At the same time, the body is cleansed and replenished with essential vitamins, trace elements and nutrients of natural origin. But it is worth remembering that plant foods lack a number of vital elements for humans, the absence of which can lead to certain diseases. Therefore, partial vegetarianism has recently begun to be widely promoted, when dairy products can be eaten.  

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