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The New Vegetarians.


The amazing rise of interest in vegetarianism may seem like a current phenomenon, but remarkable men and women throughout the ages have been adhering to this way of life in various countries and within many religions.

Rynn Berry set himself a goal, to interview celebrities of our time who adhere to the vegetarian ethics in the quest of determining their reasons, their successes, and what the regimen means to them. He spoke with movie stars, religious leaders, scientists, and artists. Their responses have made a worthy book.

"Meat-eating is going out of fashion," the author believes. At schools and colleges across the country, he reports, many of western society's future leaders are converting to vegetarianism.

For some, vegetarianism is chic and fashionable, he found. However, the element of faddism often fades as the essence of the practice imbues the individual. Many who begin for health reasons say they experienced a spiritual transformation that went beyond the narrow concern with food and health.

Cloris Leachman, the actress, told Berry that her transformation came when she was rinsing a chicken in the sink. She experienced an overwhelming uneasiness. "It was like bathing a baby." The barbarianism of meat eating, she acknowledged, reminded her of the ancient Israelites prohibition against cooking a calf in its mother's milk. From then on, conversion to vegetarianism moved quickly and convincingly.

With each interviewee, Berry delved into other aspects of the subject's life that revealed a sensitivity to the logic of not depending upon slaughter to live.

Writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1978, spoke of his lifetime devotion to the philosophy of respecting the earth's fellow creatures. "In shedding blood," Singer said, "there is always an element of lust." He considers lust and sadism closely allied.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Vegetus Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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