Veganism is an extreme form of vegetarianism, and though the term was coined in 1944, the concept of flesh-avoidance can be traced back to ancient Indian and eastern Mediterranean societies.
Vegetarianism is first mentioned by the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras of Samos around 500 BCE.
In addition to his theorem about right triangles, Pythagoras promoted benevolence among all species, including humans.
Followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism also advocated vegetarianism, believing that humans should not inflict pain on other animals.
The meatless lifestyle never really caught on in the West, although it would sometimes pop up during health crazes and religious revivals.
The Ephrata Cloister, a strict religious sect founded in 1732 in Pennsylvania, advocated vegetarianism — as well as celibacy (Now that’s too extreme)