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Vegetarian

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The earliest record of vegetarianism comes from the 7th century BCE, inculcating tolerance towards all living beings. Parshwanatha and Mahavira, the 23rd & 24th tirthankaras in Jainism respectively revived and advocated ahimsa and Jain vegetarianism in 8th to 6th century BC; the most comprehensive and strictest form of vegetarianism. Vegetarianism was also practiced in ancient Greece and the earliest reliable evidence for vegetarian theory and practice in Greece dates from the 6th century BC. The Orphics, a religious movement spreading in Greece at that time, also practiced and promoted vegetarianism. Greek teacher Pythagoras, who promoted the altruistic doctrine of metempsychosis, may have practiced vegetarianism, but is also recorded as eating meat. A fictionalized portrayal of Pythagoras appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in which he advocates a form of strict vegetarianism. It was through this portrayal that Pythagoras was best known to English-speakers throughout the early modern period and, prior to the coinage of the word "vegetarianism", vegetarians were referred to in English as "Pythagoreans".

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