Thursday, February 14th, 2013
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Were These World War II British Vegans the First Hippies?

You know who ELSE was a vegan in 1945?Where did the whole vegan thing come from? I always figured it was a 1970s thing, or maybe it went back to Berkeley in the early 1960s. According to the Vegan Society, the non-dairy/egg-free vegetarian craze began in London back in 1944. That was not a fun year to be in London, what with the aerial bombings and rocket attacks. Here's what they said in the very first issue of their newsletter:

That freedom has now come to us. Having followed a diet free from all animal food for periods varying from a few weeks in some cases, to many years in others, we believe our ideas and experiences are sufficiently mature to be recorded. The unquestionable cruelty associated with the production of dairy produce has made it clear that lacto-vegetarianism is but a half-way house between flesh-eating and a truly humane, civilised diet, and we think, therefore, that during our life on earth we should try to evolve sufficiently to make the "full journey."

The "full journey" is, of course, World War II-era British slang for sodomy. Or not, we don't know! But here it is, the original Brooklyn Vegan.

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Pandemic Endemic (#3,825)

I remember reading long ago in a Pleasant Company catalog about a little girl named Molly, and the little plastic copies of her typical, English, WW2 era lunch – celery sticks and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Meat was scarce in that place and time, fortunately Victory Gardens were not.

If Molly could live without butter or organ pies, then anyone can! Even though she was pretend. And you are real.

freetzy (#7,018)

Yes, of course, let's all take advice on what to eat from English people.

LondonLee (#922)

Being a kid in London during the Blitz didn't turn my mother into a Vegan. It did, however, provide her with an endless supply of "you don't know how lucky you are" stories to use against me when I was young.

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