The history of vegetarianism in Australia is only two centuries old and it’s full of characters

While the global roots of vegetarianism go back many thousands of years, here in Australia the movement dates back only a couple of centuries.  

Until then, Australian First Nations people consumed a roughly 30 to 90 per cent plant-based diet, depending on where they lived, says historical researcher – and lifelong vegetarian – Edgar Crook.

He says the vegetarian movement was introduced to Australia via Europeans – first Swedenborgians, a religious group of Bible literalists, who arrived here in the 1830s, then other religious groups such as Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons and Methodists, all of whom touted a meat-free diet. 

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