Vegetarianism in Ancient India

Vegetarianism is the practice of having a meat-free diet. There are different types of vegetarianism, e.g. lacto-vegetarians will eat dairy products but not eggs, and vegans will eat no products derived from animals. The first evidence for any type of vegetarianism comes from ancient Greece and India. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras (570-495 BCE) advocated vegetarianism and at around the same time in India, Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, was also advocating vegetarianism. Despite popular perceptions to the contrary, the Buddha, a younger contemporary of Mahavira, was not a vegetarian and did not explicitly insist on its practice in any of his teachings.



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