Which past societies were vegan?

which past societies were vegan

We all know veganism is becoming trendy and more easily accessible now, but did you know there was a lot of influence on today spanning back to ancient civilisations?

This post is going to cover societies that were more prevalently vegan in the past. 

Ancient India

Veganism in India goes back to ancient days, where they were already familiar with diets low in meat and high in greens, grains and vegetables. 

Early influencers at the time, such as the likes of Mahavira and Acharya Kundakunda are partly to thank for their influence on the vegan revolution in India. Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism are just 3 examples of religions that abstain from eating animal products. 

In fact, the earliest known date of vegetarianism spans back to 5th Century India!

Old Japan

Japan is infamous for its vegan and vegetarian options, but have you any idea as to why that is?

Well, in 675 AD Japan’s Emperor at the time, Emperor Tenmu, signed a decree banning meat consumption during farming season. It was only in 1872, when Emperor Meiji lifted the ban. 

That’s a good 1200 years, so the Japanese people had to adapt. Apart from those who consume a lot of eggs and seafood, past cultures within Japan at the time had to abide, and so could be seen to have vegan roots to an extent. 

Ethiopian culture

Ethiopian culture is rooted in veganism from many centuries back. To this day, it remains one of the most vegan friendly nations to visit, with their infamous injera and shiro spread dishes that are simply amazing.

Ethiopia is where Christianity was born, and within their orthodox religion they partake in vegan fasting days, where they eat only vegan food. 

Although not every Ethiopian is vegan, there is undoubtedly a large proportion of them that are. 

Greek culture and vegetarian diet

Although not follow by many at the time, there were some notable figures that chose to abstain from animal-based foods. 

From times as early as 6th century BC, this has been the case. With the concept of plant-based eating being somewhat normalised by figures such as Pythagorous (yes, like the theorem), who was alive around 570-495 BC. 

Fun fact: those at the time who followed a vegetarian diet were known as “pythagoreans”!

Ancient Egypt and veg-based diets

Egyptians were also reported to be a vegetarian-dominant society, as opposed to alternative Western food preferences. It was reported that Egyptians’ diets were primarily wheat and barley, along with other plant-based foods. 

When they excavated and tested mummies (which they didn’t need to), they found from Egyptian DNA, minimal traces of animal proteins in their teeth and hair. Evidence thereby suggesting that Egyptians were mainly vegetarians. 

I hope you enjoyed this post on past societies that had a note worthy vegan influence. It’s crazy how far we’ve come, who knows what kinds of societies we’ll see in the future?

Thanks for considering veganising it for your vegan lifestyle inspiration, be sure to share with a friend if you found this post useful. Stay well and stay blessed.