402 Cohen Hall
It may already seem odd to talk about an ancient history of vegetarianism. The topic seems so modern as to be almost faddish. Most contemporary thinkers on vegetarianism are happy to reinforce their pioneer status with a strongly presentist bent. The past appears a long dogmatic slumber, illustrated by passages from Augustine and Descartes, until Peter Singer's Animal Liberation suddenly emerges from the mist in 1975. But the modern custom is reinventing a wheel that exists in certain pockets of ancient esoteric philosophy. A closer study of it will illuminate some distinctive aspect of both the ancient and modern worlds.