- The Vegan Museum wants you to know all about the history of vegetarianism.
- Vegetarians used to be called Pythagoreans in an ode to the famed Greek mathematician, Pythagoras.
- Known for his Pythagorean theorem, Pythagoras was once considered the “father” of vegetarianism.
A museum about veganism is trying to preserve American vegetarian and vegan history.
The vegetarian movement has surprisingly deep roots in the Americas, as well as across the globe dating back centuries, and the Vegan Museum wants to make sure you know all about it.
“The influence of historical American vegetarians and vegans is significant and ongoing, however, vegetarians are a minority group long ignored by many historians and cultural critics,” reads a press release from the museum, which was founded in 2017.
The museum is based in Illinois but has an active traveling exhibition, as well as virtual exhibits with a plethora of facts.
For example, vegetarians used to be referred to as Pythagoreans after the ancient Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, who remains well known for his Pythagorean theorem, among other things. But before he was the bane of every high school kid’s existence, Pythagoras was considered the “father of vegetarianism,” according to the online exhibit “America’s Hidden Meals: The History of Vegetarianism in the US.”
Citing ethical concerns, Pythagoras and his followers didn’t eat animals, according to the virtual exhibit. As a result, before his kind was referred to as vegetarians, they were called Pythagoreans.
After Pythagoras died in 495 BC, the movement he ascribed to lived on. Notable vegetarian activists pushed the movement forward in 17th- and 18th-century England with theories about animal suffering, and the movement followed them to the colonies in the Americas, according to the virtual exhibit.