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How Communists and Bolschewiks persecuted Vegetarians in Russia

 
Anonymous Coward
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02/12/2013 10:44 AM
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How Communists and Bolschewiks persecuted Vegetarians in Russia
They labelled vegetarianism a 'bourgeois' and unacceptable attitude for commies.


History of the Russian Vegetarian Societies

Vegetarianism appeared in Russia in 14th century. The famous Russian saints – Sergiy Radonezhskiy, Seraphim Sarovskiy, Epiphaniy the Wise - in their sermons persuaded the orthodoxies that the true belief in God was incompatible with eating of meat and called them to follow Lenten mode of life. The majority of Russians observed the fasts (over 200 days per year) and kept to Lenten fare. The representatives of many religious communities were passionate adherents of the vegetarianism. In the late 19th and early 20th century Lev Tolstoy, the famous Russian writer and philosopher made a great contribution in the development of the vegetarian concept and its introduction in the common life. He believed that vegetarianism was very useful from the moral, ethical, medical and economic point of view.

At the beginning of the 20th century about ten societies were established in Russia: in Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Saratov, Poltava, Odessa, Minsk and in other cities. Moscow vegetarian society was founded in 1909. L.N. Tolstoy became its honorary member. The Moscow vegetarian society was a very active one: a dinning-hall was set up, lectures were delivered, articles dedicated to vegetarian problems were published, a Society Almanac was issued.

Due to vegetarian societies dinning-halls were established in 24 Russian cities – 6 in Moscow, 7 – in Kiev, 5 – in Saint Petersburg. Hospitals with vegetarian nutrition were founded, vegetarian newspapers and magazines etc. were published as well.

In April 1913 in Moscow there took place the 1st All-Russia Vegetarian Congress. Vegetarianism was widely spread in the country. Among vegetarians were the writers Bunin and Leskov, the composer Skryabin, the painter Levitan, the scientist Rerikh, the academician Nesmeyanov and other famous people. The famous Russian wrestler Ivan Poddubny also followed the vegetarian diet.

The revolution of 1917 stopped the development of vegetarianism in Russia. The Soviet State authorities considered vegetarianism as a pseudoscientific theory that reflected the bourgeois ideology and therefore harmed to Soviet people. In 1929 the last vegetarian society in Moscow was closed [the 1926 IVU Congress in London, England, received apologies from the Russian Society for being unable to attend]. The communist leaders scorned the principle idea of the vegetarianism – non-violence, spirit of independence, love to all the living and freedom of thinking. The leaders of the vegetarian societies were persecuted, many of them arrested and sentenced.

The Big Soviet Encyclopedia (1961) commented: "Vegetarianism is based on false hypothesis and ideas and has no followers in the Soviet Union!" The word "vegetarian" was taken away from the dictionaries of the Russian language.

The revival of vegetarianism was in post-war period when the interest in oriental systems of health, particularly in yoga increased. This time is marked by successful medical work of professor Uriy Sergeevich Nikolaev, who treated psychic diseases by means of diet with further adoption of vegetarian food. Later U.S. Nicolaev managed to establish the department of medical fasting for somatic patients in Moscow State hospital 1968.

Uriy Sergeevich Nikolaev was a son of the passionate adherent of Lev Nicolaevich Tolstoy’s teaching – Sergey Nicolaev, who’s wife took part in foundation of Moscow dinning-halls, all his children were vegetarians from childhood as well as some of his grandchildren. Uriy Sergeevich Nikolaev interested himself in natural philosophy, oriental methods of health, was in correspondence with several foreign doctors-naturopaths and gathered around himself a large amount of Muscovites and people from other cities those who were interested in natural ways of health. In Moscow’s cultural centers lectures concerning natural methods of health, especially – vegetarianism were held; volunteers translated and reprinted free of charge books of foreign authors: P. Bregg, G. Shelton, A. Cheis, M. Gerson, K. Geffery. So by the time of the first vegetarian society in post-soviet Russia, in 1989, there were a lot of people seeking to shape vegetarian movement.

In 1989 at the time of perestroika in the USSR on initiative of Y.S. Nikolaev, Doctor of medicine, T.N. Pavlova (Center of ethical attitudes towards animals) and Irina. L. Medkova (Vegetarian Medical Center) at the Ecological Fund of the Soviet Union there was established a vegetarian society. The Vegetarian Society is headed by Tanya .N. Pavlova.


[link to www.ivu.org]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 34243201
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02/12/2013 11:04 AM
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Re: How Communists and Bolschewiks persecuted Vegetarians in Russia
whats the oldest vegetarian culture
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 35823559
Germany
03/09/2013 07:18 AM
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Re: How Communists and Bolschewiks persecuted Vegetarians in Russia
whats the oldest vegetarian culture
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 34243201


Unknown, but there were vegans/vegetarians in Greece.

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