Ian McDonald, creator of The Vegan Option internet radio show (some might call it a podcast...) and blog, crowdfunded an extensively researched 15-part audio history of vegetarianism in 2017.
The series aims to cover the entire known history of vegetarian practice and its political, religious, economic and social context. Each episode is about 30 minutes long.
The 15 episode titles are:
- Ahimsa – Jains and other śramaṇas of iron age India
- The Middle Path – visiting the birthplace of Buddhism
- Pythagoreans – on the Cults of Orpheus and Pythagoras in Ancient Greece, at the British Museum
- Ashoka – India’s animal advocate Buddhist king
- Flesh and Spirit – on the ascetics of the near east, their strict vegetable diets, and their varied spiritual ideas
- Hinduism – how vegetarianism becomes a major part of medieval India
- Heresies – abstemious religions struggle against Christian persecution, but Buddhism & other vegetarian faiths spread throughout East Asia
- Contacts – when Islam and Christianity venture into India, not only does it force local vegetarian traditions to adapt, but some of the monotheists adopt vegetarianism
- Renaissance – venturing to Paris as its thinkers rediscover the vegetarianism of antiquity, and recoil in horror from Descartes’ denial of animal feelings
- Revolution – on the English civil war, diet gurus, and the poetry of Sensibility
- Enlightenment – on Colonial India, Voltaire, Rousseau, and the vegetarian radicals of the French Revolution
- Radicals & Romantics – at the sites of vegetarian communities in England & the USA, we discover how various groups cohered into a vegetarian movement
- The Vegetarians – on Slavery Abolitionism, colonialism in India, and Victorian reformers
- Diet Reform – on consumerism, “back to nature”, and Gandhi
- Liberation – on veganism, hippies, and the animal rights movement
All episodes are available online to listen to or download in MP4 and MP3 format. Complete transcripts are also provided.