Advert for the Alpha Vegetarian Restaurant
Printer: Tarrant & Son
Medium: Print on paper
Vegetarianism became steadily more popular in the 19th century. Mrs James Simpson published the first vegetarian cookery book in 1812. The Vegetarian Society was formed in 1847, and by the 1880s there were many vegetarian restaurants around the country.
An early and noteworthy advocate of vegetarianism in this era was the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. In his pamphlet 'A Vindication of Natural Diet', he wrote: "The whole of human science is comprised in one question: How can the advantages of of intellect and civilisation be reconciled with the liberty and pure pleasures of natural life ... I believe that abstinence from animal food and spirituous liquors would, in a great measure, capacitate us for the solution of this important question." It is clear from this pamphlet that Shelley's vegetarianism was bound up in a hatred of the physical suffering of animals bred for slaughter.