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Vegetarian propaganda in World War One

I produced this research project in my final year of BA History at Lancaster University, it was graded first class. This topic is little studied so I wanted to share in case helps anyone else’s research on vegetarian history.

The aim of this project is to determine the ways in which vegetarian organisations utilised the events of World War One to increase popularity for their movement, and therefore to identify how significant a role the war played in the history of vegetarianism. I will assess the significance of meat shortages, as a result of which vegetarian organisations were afforded a direct line of communication with the British masses as they helped to guide the public in their preparation of meatless meals throughout wartime. I will identify a turning point in how meatlessness for the first time became a marker of patriotism, challenging the traditional association of beef with notions of Englishness. This period is also significant because the public experienced first-hand that a meatless (or vegetarian) diet was both nutritionally and economically viable, and therefore within the grasp of the working classes. Whilst the association of vegetarianism with the middle class continued after the war, the public had gained practical experience of preparing vegetarian meals and a series of wartime cookbooks to assist in this. The war also caused similarities between vegetarianism and other minority movements in British society to become evident, creating for the movement a more diverse support base which I will go on to discuss. This project will examine the small amount of existing historiography of vegetarianism during WWI, engaging with the works of Carol Adams, James Gregory and Hilda Kean amongst others in order to assess the significance of the war upon the movement’s popularity and public understanding of it. Much of this project’s conclusions are drawn from research undertaken at the Vegetarian Society Archives in Manchester, in particular the Vegetarian Messenger periodical which was released throughout the duration of the war and provides plenty of useful insights. The Times and The Daily Mirror were popular mainstream newspapers during the period and analysis of their articles, comments and in particular advertisements also illustrates the changing representation of meatlessness and vegetarianism in Britain and public perception of the movement both during and in the aftermath of the war.

Vegetarianism in Britain on the eve of WWI

When the Vegetarian Society formed in Manchester in 1847 they popularised the term “vegetarian”, establishing it as an identifying name for followers of the nascent ideology. In this project the term ‘vegetarian’ will be used to describe products explicitly created to be an alternative to meat or a person who consciously refuses to consume meat, as opposed to products which happen to contain no meat or a person who is unable to afford meat products but would consume them if they could. The Vegetarian Society had approximately 5000 members in 1897, though the number of vegetarians at any one time is of course difficult to assess because of the nature of the ideology and lack of records.[1] Whilst it is therefore not possible to provide evidence of the number of converts to vegetarianism as a result wartime, there is a wide primary source base which I will analyse to reveal changing representations of vegetarianism in the press prior to, during and after the war.

Before the Great War Vegetarian Society activities were often only accessible to the middles classes, with events like private cookery classes, all-inclusive summer schools and fundraising events, some of which continued throughout the war.[2] Membership was also expensive: annual membership to the London Vegetarian Society cost 2s6d.[3] One Daily Mail article from 1913 questioned whether vegetarians wanted to spread the ideology to the working classes: “Why, then, are the [cookery] books not cheaper? Surely vegetables are cheaper than meat?”[4] Contrary to this idea, there are examples of vegetarians actively trying to engage the working classes, for example the London Vegetarian Society’s promotion of “halfpenny dinners to poor children”.[5] James Gregory’s Of Victorians and Vegetarians also acknowledges how Thomas Allinson, founder of the Natural Food Company, promoted vegetarianism in his column in The Weekly Times and Echo, although as a liberal newspaper promoting social progress it had a specific readership.[6] Table 1 also reveals that vegetarian publications were not disproportionally expensive at around one penny, but in spite of this the movement maintained a strong reputation as middle class on the eve of WWI. The Daily Express published a poem entitled “The Super-Vegetarian” in 1914 illustrating this perception (Appendix Figure 1.) The poem describes vegetarianism as a “transcendental craze”, whereby the middle class live on a diet of “pickled daisies” and “curried buttercups.”[7]

Table 1: Publication prices before WWI
Publication Price
Punch 3d
The Vegetarian 1 1/2d
The Times 1d
The Vegetarian Messenger 1d
The Humanitarian 1d
Daily Mirror 1/2d
Daily Express 1/2d
Daily Mail 1/2d

The most powerful opposition faced by vegetarian propagandists prior to the war was the powerful association of meat, in particular roast beef, with traditional notions of Englishness.[8] Rowntree’s Food Surveys demonstrate how a family’s meat consumption increased proportionally to income, and regardless of income families spent more on meat than any other grocery.[9] Meat consumption was a marker of affluence and social status in Edwardian society, which valued rich, decadent foods, with Palethorpes Sausages for example using words like “autocrat”, “reputation” and “royalty” to appeal to the consumer’s desire for social affluence (Appendix Figure 2).[10] The Palethorpes advertisement also highlights meat’s position as a food for male consumption, with an attractive woman serving but not consuming the sausages.[11] Meat was represented as essential for healthiness (Appendix Figure 3) and providing strength for manual labour, therefore suggesting a man should reduce his consumption could have been interpreted as interfering with his duty to provide for his family.[12] Walter Scott’s The Psychology of Advertising provided expert advertising techniques to meat sellers; he encouraged meat companies such as Armour to use images of small cut pieces of meat as opposed to a carcass, because “We not only object to thinking of ourselves as carnivorous but we object to having animals connected in any way with our foods.”[13] The meat industry had invaluable advertising resources and a wealth of symbolism which it could employ to promote consumption of its products, making it a powerful industry for vegetarian organisations to compete with.

The pre-WWI association of meat with British nationalism cannot be over emphasised. Brand’s Beef Tea emphasised how it uses “only prime selected BRITISH MEAT”, “No Foreign Extracts” and is the ““John Bull” amongst beef teas” (Appendix Figure 4). John Bull was commonly used in meat advertisements to connect the product with nationalism in the consumer’s mind.[14] Meat was also presented as the centrepiece of the traditional British meal, the Sunday Lunch or Christmas Dinner, with Palethorpes advising that “NO X’MAS DINNER is complete” without it.[15] As a potent symbol of national pride, meat held a firm position in British culture prior to the war and attempts to criticise meat consumption were largely deemed unpatriotic. We will now move on to consider Adams’ claim that the Great War propelled vegetarianism as a movement into the twentieth century.[16]

            Meat rationing and the challenging of meat’s role as the prime British food

            Importation problems which began when Britain entered the war meant that most of the British public had no alternative but to drastically cut back on meat consumption.[17] Mobilising troops meant that the government had more men to feed, and conscription of agricultural workers meant that less animals were being fed, reared and taken to slaughter.[18] The Food Controller asked the public to voluntarily reduce their consumption, and key figures in advertising such as Charles Higham were employed by the government to promote economisation and boost morale.[19] Campaigns about economising were relentless: cinema screenings, a Food Economy Handbook and speakers spread throughout the nation.[20] A full-page spread of advertisements under the heading “Eat Less Meat: an earnest appeal” (Appendix Figure 5) was released by the National War Savings Committee, endorsing consumption of meat alternatives as a matter of national duty. The Mayor of London commented that “if he had enough vegetables properly cooked he would become a vegetarian” for the sake of economy.[21] Though reducing meat consumption was encouraged from 1915, compulsory rationing was finally introduced in January 1918 and by April meat, butter, sugar and beer were all on ration.[22] The word “meatless” filled the newspapers (Table 2) and, for arguably the first time, government and Vegetarian Society propaganda were aligned in their attempts to reduce the British public’s desire to eat meat. The Vegetarian Messenger, a monthly Vegetarian Society publication which was released monthly throughout the war, reads “The leading newspapers of the land are advising people to become Vegetarians […] What grander result could we expect after sixty years or so of propaganda than to have the Press teaching our lessons?”[23]


The Vegetarian Society immediately recognised that wartime conditions would provide a new opportunity to reach the public, because it created a need for mass education about the preparation of meatless meals. The October 1914 issue of the Vegetarian Messenger reads “Vegetarians feel this [the outbreak of war] to be an opportunity of suggesting the adoption of a Vegetarian diet” because “a nourishing, healthy diet may be provided from Vegetarian foods at less cost than when flesh is used.”[24] One article from The Times describes how some members of the British public struggled with meatless meals, with someone’s reaction to a vegetable pie being “I don’t call that a dinner.”[25] Meatlessness also baffled nutritional experts of the time, with “Teachers of Domestic Economy” saying that “vegetarian dishes and dishes of cereals cannot become palatable with a majority of English people”.[26] One reader of the Daily Mirror even expressed a fear that reduced meat consumption or popularisation of vegetarianism would trigger a shortage of eggs and fish.[27] Vegetarians were therefore able to assist the public by educating them on how to prepare satisfying meatless meals. Prominent vegetarians were employed by the government to promote meatlessness, including suffragette Leonora Cohen and future founder of the vegan movement Dugald Semple.[28] They also offered free cookery classes and “Food for War Time” exhibitions for the public.[29] A stream of cookery books containing meatless and vegetarian recipes were published, including Nellie R. de Lissa’s War-time Cookery, Rose Brown’s Cheap Recipes for War Time and Ernest Oldmeadow’s Home Cookery in War-Time. Prominent vegetarian Hallie Miles published the recipe book Economy in Wartime, which met huge success and released 13 updated editions. Miles also held “a series of Patriotic Teas […] for our wounded soldiers once a fortnight, and a concert afterwards, with a collection for one of the War Funds at the close.”[30] The meat shortages therefore provided an opportunity for vegetarians to utilise their knowledge to assist people on the Homefront, and to appear more integrated with the national effort and less isolated from the rest of society.

The case study of Hallie and Eustace Miles’ vegetarian restaurant reveals how wartime conditions boosted their custom. In The Untold Tales of Wartime London: A Personal Diary by Hallie Eustace Miles, Miles writes that her offer to send a leaflet with meatless recipes to anyone who sent a stamped envelope received over 3000 replies, and she says that her vegetarian restaurant was “absolutely packed.”[31] She also writes “the chief thing that keeps us going is our happiness in being able to help in this great food crisis”, suggesting she saw her vegetarian company as actively assisting the national effort.[32] This viewpoint is however called into question when we acknowledge that only the wealthy could dine out during wartime. In addition, the introduction to her book Economy in War Time reads “Those who have to give up flesh foods for the sake of economy cannot be called “vegetarian” – they are just would-be meat eaters, who cannot afford to eat meat”, but she does not then go on to make a case for vegetarian ideology.[33] Perhaps she thought it inappropriate to discuss ideology in war time; perhaps she thought people would make the connection to vegetarianism naturally once they began preparing meatless meals; or perhaps she valued public image or commercial profit over spreading the ideology. Case studies such as this could support the argument that vegetarianism was more the creation of a new, niche market as opposed to an ethical consumer movement. Regardless, Miles’ restaurant and cookbook were extremely popular during the war and the increase in custom increased once the meat shortage was over.

Companies which were founded by vegetarians with the explicit intention of providing the public with alternatives to meat also recognised that they could tailor their advertising campaigns to make their products satisfy the public’s concern for nutrition in the face of the meat crisis. Mapleton’s Nut Food Company, founded in Manchester in 1903 by vegetarian Hugh Mapleton, is a prime example.[34] A Mapleton’s factory in Hamburg, Germany, had been opened just before war broke out and was then taken over by the Germans, however the war triggered a wider success for the company back home. Mapleton’s featured no advertisements in The Times before 1914, but during the war years the periodical features six Mapleton’s advertisements. One of these directly appeals to British nationalism and the patriotic effort, titled “WHAT GERMAN DIET LACKS”.[35] Mapleton’s advertisements encouraged the viewed to remember the name “Mapleton’s” by repeating it twice in large lettering, and downward pointing arrows appealed to the reader’s natural curiosity, suggesting utilisation of advertising techniques taken from Bridgewater’s Advertising, or the Art of Making Known which was released prior to the war.[36] Although it remained a small company, the war enabled Mapleton’s to take the first steps towards creating a recognisable brand identity, featuring in a national newspaper and presenting itself as a part of the national effort.

            The success of Allinson’s Natural Food Company and Pitman’s Health Food Company also increased during wartime. Before the war Thomas Allinson ran a vegetarian hygienic hospital in Willesden for the working class, and was one of Britain’s most vocal endorsers of vegetarianism for health reasons.[37] Prior to the war Allinson promoted his wholegrain bread as an excellent source of nutrition, and during wartime these claims were corroborated by the government who promoted the ‘national loaf’ of wholegrain bread (Appendix Figure 6.) The company continued to prosper after Allinson’s death in 1918 and into peacetime: two new mills were built before 1921 which still stand today. Pitman’s Health Food Company opened in 1905, and the company name is the first documented use of the term “Health Food” in Britain.[38] It was named after the 1898 vice-president of the Vegetarian Society and sold purely vegetarian produce. Its position as a health food company appealed to people during WWI, in particular housewives who were tasked with providing nutritious meatless meals when meat had previously been presented as integral to any healthy meal. In WWI vegetarian companies therefore became a solution to the public’s preoccupations about health during a meat shortage, and began developing a reputation as companies which were morally concerned with their consumers’ health.

            Commercial companies which produced meatless (as opposed to deliberately vegetarian) products also recognised the shortages as an opportunity to question the previously uncontested role of meat in the British diet. Quaker Oats released an advertisement in 1915 saying “You can save more money and your family will be healthier”, suggesting the nutritional superiority of oats over meat.[39] The advertisement also quotes Mr Bonar Law, who would become prime minister in 1922, suggesting his endorsement of the product. They fortify this technique in 1916, with one advertisement stating “High cost of meat is a good thing – it is teaching thousands the super-value of Quaker Oats.”[40] St. Ivel Lactic Cheese also recognised the public’s desire for an alternative to meat in their diets. In the years leading up to the war St. Ivel did not claim in any advertisements that cheese was nutritionally superior to meat, but once the shortage began they repeatedly claimed that “St. Ivel Lactic Cheese contains three times as much nutriment as the best lean meat” (Appendix Figure 7.) From 1914-1918, 50% of St. Ivel advertisements claimed that their product provided more nutrient than meat. As Table 3 demonstrates, this continued this advertising strategy in the post-war years, albeit to a lesser extent. The decision of St. Ivel to adopt this advertising strategy was a result of pragmatism in the face of the meat crisis, and it contributed to the creation of a discourse in advertisements which disputed meat’s position as the most nutritious food source.


            Food rationing also presented an opportunity for the vegetarian movement to generate publicity through requesting special rations. The Executive Committee of the Vegetarian Society sent multiple letters to the Food Controller, Lord Devenport, appealing for “rations of other food in lieu of any flesh-meat ration” and published the correspondence in The Vegetarian Messenger.[41] With meat in short supply the government acquiesced and news about this policy was publicised in the national press, working to normalise the word in the public sphere.[42] There was now an official government policy in place for practising vegetarians, granting the movement a kind of formal recognition from the government. Furthermore, discussion in the Vegetarian Messenger about special rationing in other countries contributed to the development of an international network of vegetarians. Contact was maintained between vegetarians in Hamburg and Leipzig throughout the war, suggesting some vegetarians might have valued their philosophy more than the national effort.

            Expanding the support base beyond the middle classes

            Whilst the wider British public was becoming knowledgeable on the preparation of meatless meals, and the role of meat in the British diet was being called into question, vegetarianism as an ideology was also spreading amongst other minority groups in Britain. As Adams first suggested in 1990, the Great War helped to create a lasting relationship between vegetarianism, pacifism and feminism, enabling vegetarian ideology to spread beyond the middle classes.[43] The Humanitarian was a publication “opposed to all unavoidable suffering on any sentient being” in which vegetarian and pacifist propaganda were routinely positioned beside one another, simultaneously satisfying Walter Scott’s theories of repetition and association and making the pacifist reader more receptive to vegetarian propaganda.[44] Furthermore, conscripts requesting vegetarian meals were told “it would be impossible to agree to the proposals you suggest,” leading to numerous vegetarians becoming conscientious objectors.[45] This created a point of contact between vegetarians and pacifists, both resisting societal pressure to fight in the war. Many imprisoned conscientious objectors preferred the vegetarian option which conscientious objector Fenner Brockway had led a hunger strike for: one prisoner said that in Dartmoor, around half of the 1200 inmates opted for the vegetarian meal.[46] The two minority groups therefore found common ground in WWI publications because of physical proximity and their united rejection of traditional values of masculinity, one rejecting the archetypal masculine food of meat, the other the archetypal masculine activity of warfare.

            The war also increased support for vegetarianism within the feminist movement. Before the war, some feminists had already commented on their subordinate position as meat consumers: Dora Messon won a National Union of Women’s Suffrage competition in 1908 for her poster of “Mrs John Bull”, who refuses to give a further serving of “political help” to her sons before she has helped herself (Appendix Figure 8.) During the war this was taken further with some feminists encouraging women reject the masculine pursuit of meat consumption entirely, with suffragette Leonora Cohen arguing that vegetarian meals took less time to prepare than meat and so freed women’s time for more important issues.[47] Whilst the archetypal masculine figure of the soldier was fighting on the front line, women were assuming more powerful positions on the home front (Appendix Figure 9) and her “service work” was changing from cooking the family meal to digging fields and labouring in factories.[48] Suffragette Charlotte Despard triangulated feminism, pacifism and vegetarianism when she founded the Women’s Peace Crusade, which opposed conscription and provide members with cheap vegetarian meals.[49] A propaganda leaflet found in Glasgow, where Despard’s organisation was based, said “Shall the sword devour forever?”[50] Considering Despard’s vegetarianism, this could be interpreted as simultaneously a rejection of warfare and the “devouring” of meat. Adams argues that manhood is constructed, in part, by access to meat eating and control of other bodies, and during the war access to women’s bodies was physically denied to men on the front line whilst access to animal’s bodies was denied to men on the home front. The empowerment of women during WWI has been well-discussed, and the vegetarianism of a number of powerful female figures in WWI Britain revealed a link between feminism and vegetarian ideology.

            In addition, Kean argues that whilst war encouraged violence between humans, it encouraged compassion towards the animals it involved.[51] Whilst Anti-Vivisection League campaigns encouraged people to recognise animal suffering in test labs (Appendix Figure 10), during the war it was next to men in the trenches.[52] Nine million animals were killed in World War One, with 200,000 mules, 47,000 camels and 11,000 oxen used by the British Army in 1917 alone.[53] Some question the ethics of discussing animal life in times of human suffering, including one animal league in The Humanitarian in 1919: “Personally we have sometimes thought that when the war broke out […] it would have been wiser to suspend the League at once […] There are occasions when, however urgent the need, it is wider, and in the long run more effective, to stand aside and wait.”[54] Far from pushing animal issues to the side, however, the war heightened them by uniting ‘man and beast’ on the front line.[55] This is shown in how the Dumb Animals League raised the equivalent of £6m in today’s money for wounded war horses (Appendix Figure 11.) It is reasonable to suggest that exposure to animal suffering in the war made some individuals more receptive to the meaning of vegetarianism.

            Long-term influence of the war upon vegetarianism

            The public’s new understanding of how to prepare cheap, meatless meals did not mean that the practise continued once the shortages were over, partially because propaganda had strongly promoted meatless meals as “Food for War Time” as opposed to “Food” (Appendix Figure 12.) As The Humanitarian commented, there was a “queer assumption that economy is desirable only in war-time, or more in war-time than in peace.”[56] Meat companies advertised how their products would return with the soldiers, and people craved a return to the normality of pre-war life in which meat consumption was routine. Vegetarian propaganda during wartime also did not address the social elements of the ideology which were essential to enabling an individual to extend it beyond wartime, such as how a housewife would explain to a returning husband that she would no longer eat or serve him meat. In the Daily Mirror in 1919 a man discussed his friend’s conversion to vegetarianism: “drop by drop, all the joy is draining out of his home […] I do not think his wife sees the humour of it. The best soul in the world, she would give half her possessions to see her man a little less “moral.””[57] It was clear that the public’s newly acquired competency at producing meatless meals had not converted them to the philosophy; indeed, The Humanitarian commented in January 1919 that meat consumption was “soon likely to be revived with all the more zest and with renewed appetite.”[58] Table 4 demonstrates that there was little increase in discussion of vegetarianism after the war, though the consistent appearance of the word “vegetarian” in periodicals throughout the war years (the fact that mentions of the word did not drop significantly) is significant because paper shortages would have meant that newspaper space was greatly reduced in comparison with pre-war years. As Table 2 demonstrates, the word “meatless” all but disappeared after the war because the absence of meat was no longer an issue; however, discussion of vegetarianism did not decrease in a similar fashion and continued to be discussed post-war with a slight increase in consistency. It would be worthwhile to study different publications, such as The Women’s Dreadnought or The Vote, which were read by members of minority movements during the war and whose connection with vegetarianism could have increased after the war as a result of the overlaps exposed between the movements during wartime.


            The emergence of vegetarian literature inspired by wartime, a lasting form of propaganda, also developed the culture of vegetarianism. As Adams highlights, before the war Frankenstein was one of the only pieces of vegetarian literature, with Shelley creating a Frankenstein’s monster as vegetarian: “My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid, to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment.”[59] The monster was an allegory for the outcast status of women and animals in a man’s world, and through literature Shelley’s message was immortalised. There was a sharp increase in the production of vegetarian literature in WWI and the interwar period, with writers including Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf, Agnes Ryan, John Beverley Nichols, Isadora Duncan, Henry Stephens Salt and Edward Carpenter contributing to this form of lasting vegetarian propaganda. These authors therefore created a space in which vegetarian thought could be communicated and become lasting.

            Developing the historiography of vegetarianism would not only be useful for documenting the rise of the movement in itself, but would also be a useful framework to be considered by other ethical consumption (or non-consumption) movements today. The demise of the cooperative and Chartist movements are well-documented, but the success of this movement which began around the same period has received far less attention.[60] The cooperative movement’s failure to adapt to the demand for of-the-age advertising techniques stands in contrast with vegetarian companies such as those discussed in this project which adapted to the time and utilised techniques from the latest advertising manuals: perhaps successful advertising played a key role in the ethical consumer movement’s exponential success up to today.

            Furthermore, the Great War did provide a platform for vegetarian organisations to reach the British masses through the press. Vegetarian organisations and companies patriotically assisted the national effort by educating the public on the preparation of ‘meatless meals’. I would however argue that the decision made by vegetarian organisations and companies to fall in line with government terminology by using the word “meatless” as opposed to “vegetarian” in their wartime communications with the public, and describing a meat free diet as a direct response to wartime (e.g. Miles’ Economy in Wartime) as opposed to an ideology, contributed to the public dismissing the advantages vegetarianism could proffer in peacetime. The links created between the vegetarian, feminist and pacifist movement during wartime were arguably the greatest development the movement underwent as a result of the war. It helped the nascent movement to venture beyond the middle classes wherein the movement’s foundations in Britain lay, and found elements of common ground with other leftist political factions. Literature highlighting the relationships formed between these movements furthermore helped to develop a more complete vegetarian culture. Overall, the Great War forced the British public to question the primacy of meats in their diets: they could survive without it in an economical fashion, and a meal without roast beef was no longer inherently antipatriotic. Whilst vegetarian organisations therefore failed to communicate the meaning which is essential to most people who adopt the ideology – opposition to cruelty – they fully seized the opportunity to educate the public on how to create economic, nutritious meals containing not a shred of meat. This laid the foundations for the explosion of vegetarianism that would escalate for the next century.


                Primary sources

Bridgewater, Howard, Advertising, or the Art of Making Known (Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1910).

Daily Mirror.

Miles, Hallie, Economy in War Times (Methuen, 1915).

Scott, Walter Dill, The Psychology of Advertising (Small, Maynard & Company, 1913).

The Humanitarian.

The Times.

Vegetarian Messenger.

Vegetarian News.

                Secondary sources

Adams, Carol J., The Sexual Politics of Meat (Continuum, 2002).

Berriedale-Johnson, Michelle, The Victorian Cookbook (Ward Lock, 1989).

Burnham, Karyn, The courage of cowards: the untold stories of First World War conscientious objectors (Pen & Sword, 2014).

Charman, Isobel, The Great War: The People’s Story (Random House, 2014).

Clampin, David, Advertising and propaganda in World War II (I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, 2014).

Clampin, David, ‘To guide, help and hearten millions’, Journal of Macromarketing, 29 (2009), pp. 58-73.

Cudworth, Erika, Social Lives with Other Animals (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

DeMello, Margo, Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-animal Studies (Columbia University Press, 2012).

Fox, Michael Allen, Deep Vegetarianism (Temple University Press, 1999).

Gregory, James, Of Victorians and Vegetarians (Tauris, 2007).

Hallifax, Stuart, Great War Britain London: Remembering 1914-18 (The History Press, 2014).

Harrison, Brian, ‘Animals and the State in Nineteenth-Century England’, The English Historical Review, 88:349 (1973), pp. 786-820.

Hopley, Emma, Campaigning Against Cruelty (The British Union of Abolition, 1998).

Kean, Hilda, Animal Rights, political and social change in Britain since 1800 (Reaktion Books, 1998).

Leneman, Leah, ‘The awakened instinct: vegetarianism and the women’s suffrage movement’, Women’s History Review, 6:2 (1997), pp. 271-287.

Lytton, Constance, Prisons and Prisoners: some personal experiences (Heinemann, 1914).

Midgley, Mary, Animals and Why They Matter (University of Georgia Press, 1998).

Monger, David, Patriotism and Propaganda (Liverpool University Press, 2012).

Nath, Jemál, ‘Gendered fare? A qualitative investigation of alternative food and masculinities’, Journal of Sociology, 47:3 (2011), pp.261-278.

Nevett, T.R., Advertising in Britain (Heinemann, 1982).

Perren, Richard, ‘Farmer and consumers under strain: allied meat supplies in the First World War’, The Agricultural History Review, 53:2 (2005), pp. 212-228.

Shurtleff, William, History of Cheese, Cream Cheese and Sour Cream Alternatives (Soyinfo Center, 2013).

Shurtleff, William, Origin and Early History of Peanut Butter (Soyinfo Center, 2015).

Tallontire, Anne, Ethical Consumers and Ethical Trade: A Review of Current Literature (University of Greenwich, 2001).

Thomas, Keith, Man and the natural world: changing attitudes in England 1500-1800 (Penguin, 1984).

Woods, Abigail, A Manufactured Plague: The History of Foot-and-mouth Disease in Britain (Earthscan, 2004).


Figure 1: ‘The Super-Vegetarian’, Vegetarian Messenger, November 1914.


Figure 2: ‘Palethorpes’, The Daily Mirror, November 25 1911.


Figure 3: ‘Bovril’, Daily Mirror, February 29 1908.


Figure 4: ‘Brand’s Beef Tea’, The Times, April 18 1907.


Figure 5: ‘Eat Less Meat’, The Times, December 16 1916.

Figure 6: ‘Allinson Bread’, The Times, September 9 1916.


Figure 7: ‘St. Ivel Lactic Cheese’, The Times, May 23 1916.


Figure 8: Poster designed by Dora Meeson Coates for a National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies competition, 1908. Taken from https://womanandhersphere.com/2015/10/02/suffrage-storiescollecting-suffrage-countdown-to-12-october-and-release-of-the-film-suffragette-dora-meeson-coates-poster/ [Accessed 04.05.2016].


Figure 9: Recruitment poster for the Women’s Land Army, 1917. Taken from http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-womens-land-army-in-pictures [Accessed 04.05.2016].


Figure 10: The great anti-vivisection demonstration to Hyde Park, October 28 1911. Photo taken from Emma Hopley, Campaigning Against Cruelty (The British Union of Abolition, 1998), p. 24.

Figure 11: ‘Our Dumb Friends League’, Poster 1912. Taken from http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30131 [Accessed 04.05.2016].


Figure 12: ‘Food for War Time’, The Times, September 7 1914.


[1] Keith Thomas, Man and the natural world changing attitudes in England 1500-1800 (Penguin, 1984), p. 297.

[2] ‘The Vegetarian Society’s Summer School’, The Vegetarian Messenger (hereon referenced VM), January 1919.

[3] ‘The London Vegetarian Society’, The Vegetarian News, February 1921.

[4] ‘The Week’s Bills’, Daily Mirror, August 15 1913.

[5] ‘Halfpenny Dinners for Poor Children’, The Times, November 8 1913.

[6] James Gregory, Of Victorians and Vegetarians (Tauris, 2007), p. 156.

[7] ‘The Super-Vegetarian’, VM, November 1914.

[8] Erika Cudworth, Social Lives with Other Animals (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), p. 83.

[9] B. Seebohm Rowntree, Poverty: A Study of Town Life (Macmillan, 1901).

[10] Isobel Charman, The Great War: The People’s Story (Random House, 2014), p. 12.

[11] Margo DeMello, Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-animal Studies (Columbia University Press, 2012), p. 142.

[12] Gregory, Victorians, p. 13.

[13] Walter Dill Scott, The Psychology of Advertising (Small, Maynard & Company, 1913), pp. 206-210.

[14] Jemál Nath, ‘Gendered fare? A qualitative investigation of alternative food and masculinities’, Journal of Sociology, 47:3 (2011), p. 262.

[15] ‘Palethorpes’, Daily Mirror, December 12 1908.

[16] Carol J. Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat (Continuum, 2002), p. 133.

[17] Abigail Woods, A Manufactured Plague: The History of Foot-and-mouth Disease in Britain (Earthscan, 2004), p. 85.

[18] Richard Perren, ‘Farmer and consumers under strain: allied meat supplies in the First World War’, The Agricultural History Review, 53:2 (2005), p. 212.

[19] T. R. Nevett, Advertising in Britain (Heinemann, 1982), p. 142.

[20] Charman, The Great War, p. 280.

[21] ‘The Queen at Economy Exhibition’, The Times, June 27 1916.

[22] Karyn Burnham, The courage of cowards: the untold stories of First World War conscientious objectors (Pen & Sword, 2014), p. 98.

[23] ‘High Prices of Foods’, VM, September 1914.

[24] ‘Food for War-Time’, VM, October 1914.

[25] ‘Catering for Working Girls’, The Times, February 4 1918.

[26] ‘Meatless Days’, The Times, October 3 1916.

[27] ‘Evasive Food’, Daily Mirror, February 26 1918.

[28] VM, January 1916.

[29] ‘Special Cookery Demonstrations’, VM, October 1914.

[30] Hallie Miles, The Untold Tales of Wartime London: A Personal Diary (Cecil Palmer, 1930), entry for December 1914.

[31] Miles, Untold, entry for February 1917.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Hallie Miles, Economy in War Time (Methuen, 1915), p. 5.

[34] William Shurtleff, Origin and Early History of Peanut Butter (Soyinfo Center, 2015), p. 196.

[35] ‘Mapletons’, The Times, September 16 1916.

[36] Howard Bridgewater, Advertising, or the Art of Making Known (Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1910), p. 13.

[37] Gregory, Victorians, p. 79.

[38] William Shurtleff, History of Cheese, Cream Cheese and Sour Cream Alternatives (Soyinfo Center, 2013) p. 388.

[39] ‘Quaker Oats, The Times, July 27 1915.

[40] ‘Quaker Oats’, The Times, October 16, 1916.

[41] ‘Vegetarian Rationing’, VM, January 1918.

[42] ‘The New Ration Books’, The Times, October 15 1918.

[43] Adams, Sexual Politics, p. 136.

[44] Scott, Psychology, p. 9.

[45] ‘Vegetarians in the Army’, VM, February 1916.

[46] VM, January 1920.

[47] Nath, ‘Gendered fare?’, p. 269.

[48] Cudworth, Social Lives, p. 89.

[49] Adams, Sexual Politics, p. 113.

[50] ‘“Pacifist” Leaflets’, The Times, November 16 1917.

[51] Hilda Kean, Animal Rights, political and social change in Britain since 1800 (Reaktion Books, 1998), p. 169.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Kean, Animal Rights, p. 167.

[54] ‘After the War’, The Humanitarian, January 1919.

[55] Kean, Animal Rights, p. 167.

[56] ‘Economy in Wartime’, The Humanitarian, December 1917.

[57] ‘Is it possible to be too moral?’, The Daily Mirror, January 23 1919.

[58] ‘After the War’, The Humanitarian, January 1919.

[59] Adams, Sexual Politics, p. 120.

[60] Anne Tallontire, Ethical Consumers and Ethical Trade: A Review of Current Literature (University of Greenwich, 2001), p. 3.


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