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The Vegan Option

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Ian McDonald brings you "Stories, science, and analysis from vegan perspectives."

VegHist Ep 9: Renaissance. Descartes, Montaigne, Gassendi, and the “sparing diet”
8 Dec 2016 at 6:34am

Ancient philosophers inspire Renaissance thinkers to challenge the old hierarchy of man over beast. 

Episode 9: Renaissance

Old medieval certainties are cracking under the combined assault of new sciences and rediscovered classics. It’s an age when “natural philosophers” combine scientific discovery with philosophical treatises, and when their Republic of Letters transcends political boundaries in the name of free thought.

It’s the age of Descartes, whose mechanical philosophy dismisses animals as “automatons”. But rivals like Gassendi suggest that animals have more in common with humans than he thinks. Ian traces the trail from Paris to the Mughal Court and back to the medical schools of the Enlightenment. He discovers the forgotten story of how Christian mythology, early anatomy, classical thinkers, and Indian medicine came together in respected medical schools that taught students to prescribe a vegetable diet.

Play or download (61MB MP3 44min) (via iTunes)

Contributors: Justin Begley, University of Oxford (academia.edu) Jean-Charles Darmon (Université de Versailles) (on Wikipedia) Deepak Kumar (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Tristram Stuart (tristramstuart.co.uk) (on Wikipedia) Click to view slideshow. Readings Lucretius, “On the Nature of Things”, 56 BCE (see translations by Hugh Munro 1910 & Cyril Bailey 1900) Montaige, “Apology [in the old sense of “propounding”] for Raymond Sebond”, 1580 (see translation by Charles Cotton) Gassendi, Letter to Van Helmont, 1629 Descartes, Letter to Henry More, 1649 Descartes & Gassendi, Appendix to Meditations, 1642 Bernier, appendix to “Concerning Happiness”, 1674 (see translation) Bernier, “Travels in the Mogul Empire”, 1670 (see translation by Constable 1891 & Smith 1916) Philip Hecquet, “Traité des dispenses du Carême” (translation for by Elisabeth Lyman) John Wallis & Edward Tyson, 1700 (see below) Alexander Munro, “An Essay on Comparative Anatomy”, 1744 Herman Boerhaave & William Cullen taken from Stuart (see below)

Descartes’ readings represent the course of his philosophy, but aren’t in chronological order in the show. Descartes first propounded his mechanistic ideas about animal “automatons” in his 1638 “Discourse on Method”, but articulated it more clearly for us in a letter from 1649. He didn’t touch on it in his First Meditations (1641), but Gassendi did raise it in his response.

Geek Reference of the Month

Just Lady Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle. And all the characters in the show who are leading scientists.

Credits

Background advice came from Renan LaRue and Antonia Lolo. Location photographs are by Vincent Migeotte, my production assistant in Paris.

The theme music is by Robb Masters.

The period music was Anna Simboli’s performance of ‘Signor, quell’infelice’ from L’Orfeo by Montiverdi (CC-BY); and, to evoke 1700 London, Papalin’s performance on recorders of Henry Purcell’s Sonata in C Major (CC-BY), which is dedicated to Lady Rhodia Cavendish.

Archive monastery bells recorded by Robin Whittaker, Gregorian chant CC-BY Ramagochi, fast ticking recorded CC-BY Patrick Liberkind, and clockwork toy recorded CC-BY Steven Brown.

The cover picture is The Garden of Eden, by Jan Brueghel.

I’m very grateful to the actors of historical drama group Joot Theatre Company, at the University of Dundee – Connor Ogg (Monro), Iain Brodie (Cullen) and Vachel Novesha. Dr Jo George is their director of Joot Theatre Company, and was extremely helpful in helping set this up, and Brian Hoyle was their studio producer. Other parts were played by Sally Beaumont (Margaret Cavendish) and Guillaume Blanchard.

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  • I spent Friday evening interviewing someone born in 1951, raised vegan, and still vegan. (For #VegHist Ep 15). https://t.co/LnMJaAuufJ 5 days 11 hrs ago
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  • I spent Friday evening interviewing someone born in 1951, raised vegan, and still vegan. (For #VegHist Ep 15). https://t.co/LnMJaAuufJ 5 days 11 hrs ago
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  • NEW PODCAST: #VegHist Ep 12. Abolitionist veg'ns in Wild West + How Raj promoted vegetarianism + Victorian Ldn https://t.co/yJagSAjUEu 7 days 5 hrs ago
  • #FF @harish_bhimani, 1 of India's most recognisable voices, who contributed his acting to "Vegetarianism: The Story So Far" ep 13. Thanks! 7 days 10 hrs ago
  • NEW SHOW: #Vegetarian #History EP13 covers the Victorian age, when veg'ns are organised, radical, & intersectional.... https://t.co/tNYxIW2mAb 7 days 10 hrs ago
  • Memorial Hall Deerfield MA, nr Vermont border, has vegan shoes from 1790s veggie free love cult of William Dorrell.... https://t.co/skQeZKQQBM 8 days 5 hrs ago
  • We reviewed how Frankenstein's creature fits into #Vegetarian #History in Ep 12 - but what about Veg sci-fi?... https://t.co/xaslXtvd0s 8 days 5 hrs ago
  • Mike Volmar @fruitlands shows Ian the attic of a New England vegan commune where @LouisaMayAlcott lived.... https://t.co/rOfs8pGdbh 9 days 3 hrs ago
  • RT @schrodingerskit: ...unlike the energy used to process it https://t.co/Pjd1qpbunT 9 days 6 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • Ian talks #VegHist on today's @GoVeganRadio 5:45 PST (= 00:45 GMT tomorrow, confusingly for him). Listen live at https://t.co/LZDPEB5tU0 11 days 0 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • Ian talks #VegHist on today's @GoVeganRadio 5:45 PST (= 00:45 GMT tomorrow, confusingly for him). Listen live at https://t.co/LZDPEB5tU0 11 days 0 hrs ago
  • The steps up to this car park in Salford, NW England, actually belong to a Victorian vegetarian church!... https://t.co/FO8RQ7Baw1 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • Ian talks #VegHist on today's @GoVeganRadio 5:45 PST (= 00:45 GMT tomorrow, confusingly for him). Listen live at https://t.co/LZDPEB5tU0 11 days 0 hrs ago
  • The steps up to this car park in Salford, NW England, actually belong to a Victorian vegetarian church!... https://t.co/FO8RQ7Baw1 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • @BigIssue How could I buy a copy of last week's issue (May 8)? 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • Ian talks #VegHist on today's @GoVeganRadio 5:45 PST (= 00:45 GMT tomorrow, confusingly for him). Listen live at https://t.co/LZDPEB5tU0 11 days 0 hrs ago
  • The steps up to this car park in Salford, NW England, actually belong to a Victorian vegetarian church!... https://t.co/FO8RQ7Baw1 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • @BigIssue How could I buy a copy of last week's issue (May 8)? 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • This is the only UK club with all-vegan catering. So congratulations! Stagg (who turned @ChicagoMaroons veg in 1900... https://t.co/Z7wW9hQ0nP 11 days 14 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • Ian talks #VegHist on today's @GoVeganRadio 5:45 PST (= 00:45 GMT tomorrow, confusingly for him). Listen live at https://t.co/LZDPEB5tU0 11 days 0 hrs ago
  • The steps up to this car park in Salford, NW England, actually belong to a Victorian vegetarian church!... https://t.co/FO8RQ7Baw1 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • @BigIssue How could I buy a copy of last week's issue (May 8)? 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • This is the only UK club with all-vegan catering. So congratulations! Stagg (who turned @ChicagoMaroons veg in 1900... https://t.co/Z7wW9hQ0nP 11 days 14 hrs ago
  • Monument to Lib veg MP Brotherton; began municipal cemeteries & chaired @vegsoc's 1st meeting. (Pic CCbySA Plucas58... https://t.co/Nolp5hdifS 12 days 5 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • Ian talks #VegHist on today's @GoVeganRadio 5:45 PST (= 00:45 GMT tomorrow, confusingly for him). Listen live at https://t.co/LZDPEB5tU0 11 days 0 hrs ago
  • The steps up to this car park in Salford, NW England, actually belong to a Victorian vegetarian church!... https://t.co/FO8RQ7Baw1 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • @BigIssue How could I buy a copy of last week's issue (May 8)? 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • This is the only UK club with all-vegan catering. So congratulations! Stagg (who turned @ChicagoMaroons veg in 1900... https://t.co/Z7wW9hQ0nP 11 days 14 hrs ago
  • Monument to Lib veg MP Brotherton; began municipal cemeteries & chaired @vegsoc's 1st meeting. (Pic CCbySA Plucas58... https://t.co/Nolp5hdifS 12 days 5 hrs ago
  • @robinince @BigIssue @themonkeycage If I can be any practical assistance with that, would be delighted to help. I k... https://t.co/WPzs0XyJOe 14 days 5 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • Ian talks #VegHist on today's @GoVeganRadio 5:45 PST (= 00:45 GMT tomorrow, confusingly for him). Listen live at https://t.co/LZDPEB5tU0 11 days 0 hrs ago
  • The steps up to this car park in Salford, NW England, actually belong to a Victorian vegetarian church!... https://t.co/FO8RQ7Baw1 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • @BigIssue How could I buy a copy of last week's issue (May 8)? 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • This is the only UK club with all-vegan catering. So congratulations! Stagg (who turned @ChicagoMaroons veg in 1900... https://t.co/Z7wW9hQ0nP 11 days 14 hrs ago
  • Monument to Lib veg MP Brotherton; began municipal cemeteries & chaired @vegsoc's 1st meeting. (Pic CCbySA Plucas58... https://t.co/Nolp5hdifS 12 days 5 hrs ago
  • @robinince @BigIssue @themonkeycage If I can be any practical assistance with that, would be delighted to help. I k... https://t.co/WPzs0XyJOe 14 days 5 hrs ago
  • Conversations about Victorian #vegetarian & progressive MP Joseph Brotherton in the building he set up as Salford's... https://t.co/kr17RjLMwt 14 days 5 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • Ian talks #VegHist on today's @GoVeganRadio 5:45 PST (= 00:45 GMT tomorrow, confusingly for him). Listen live at https://t.co/LZDPEB5tU0 11 days 0 hrs ago
  • The steps up to this car park in Salford, NW England, actually belong to a Victorian vegetarian church!... https://t.co/FO8RQ7Baw1 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • @BigIssue How could I buy a copy of last week's issue (May 8)? 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • This is the only UK club with all-vegan catering. So congratulations! Stagg (who turned @ChicagoMaroons veg in 1900... https://t.co/Z7wW9hQ0nP 11 days 14 hrs ago
  • Monument to Lib veg MP Brotherton; began municipal cemeteries & chaired @vegsoc's 1st meeting. (Pic CCbySA Plucas58... https://t.co/Nolp5hdifS 12 days 5 hrs ago
  • @robinince @BigIssue @themonkeycage If I can be any practical assistance with that, would be delighted to help. I k... https://t.co/WPzs0XyJOe 14 days 5 hrs ago
  • Conversations about Victorian #vegetarian & progressive MP Joseph Brotherton in the building he set up as Salford's... https://t.co/kr17RjLMwt 14 days 5 hrs ago
  • @robinince @BigIssue Hope you enjoy the next ep of "Vegetarianism: The Story So Far". Thanks for mentioning it! Rea... https://t.co/NO7JtZJI5c 15 days 3 hrs ago
  • This #VegetarianWeek, hear the amazing backstory to today's veg movement whilst you commute/travel/do chores. https://t.co/FPxWo0UEDU 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • Hear a 19th century vegetarian hymn! Sung by @St_Marys_Choir Part of a #Radio #History of #Vegetarianism Ep 12.... https://t.co/Et7NZnTUpy 10 days 9 hrs ago
  • RT @andrewlwbarnes: @jimmympierson good article in paper. I was raised vegan over 30 years ago. So were my siblings. Now our kids too...i... 10 days 22 hrs ago
  • Ian talks #VegHist on today's @GoVeganRadio 5:45 PST (= 00:45 GMT tomorrow, confusingly for him). Listen live at https://t.co/LZDPEB5tU0 11 days 0 hrs ago
  • The steps up to this car park in Salford, NW England, actually belong to a Victorian vegetarian church!... https://t.co/FO8RQ7Baw1 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • @BigIssue How could I buy a copy of last week's issue (May 8)? 11 days 10 hrs ago
  • This is the only UK club with all-vegan catering. So congratulations! Stagg (who turned @ChicagoMaroons veg in 1900... https://t.co/Z7wW9hQ0nP 11 days 14 hrs ago
  • Monument to Lib veg MP Brotherton; began municipal cemeteries & chaired @vegsoc's 1st meeting. (Pic CCbySA Plucas58... https://t.co/Nolp5hdifS 12 days 5 hrs ago
  • @robinince @BigIssue @themonkeycage If I can be any practical assistance with that, would be delighted to help. I k... https://t.co/WPzs0XyJOe 14 days 5 hrs ago
  • Conversations about Victorian #vegetarian & progressive MP Joseph Brotherton in the building he set up as Salford's... https://t.co/kr17RjLMwt 14 days 5 hrs ago
  • @robinince @BigIssue Hope you enjoy the next ep of "Vegetarianism: The Story So Far". Thanks for mentioning it! Rea... https://t.co/NO7JtZJI5c 15 days 3 hrs ago
  • RT @robinince: here is my latest radio review for @BigIssue https://t.co/SbHLPYCufT 15 days 3 hrs ago

Cached every 5 min. Retweets are not included (coming soon).



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TAGS: vegan podcasts, vegan food blogs, vegan blogs, vegan youtubers, vegan youtube, vegan feeds, vegan videos, vegan shows, vegan news, vegan media, vegan tv, vegan video Other projects I'm working on:
Vegan Protein Powder - VeganProteinPowder.com       
Vegan Symbol - VeganSymbol.com