sex education vs abstinence only



the middle ages, also referred to as medievaltimes, the more-world-inclusive “postclassical era” or the dark ages comprise roughly thetime between the fall of the western roman empire in 476 ce and the end ofthe eastern roman empire in 1453 with the fall of constantinople. still, the exact dates ofwhat we call the middle ages remains hotly debated within a historical scholarship. whatis less hotly, if at all, debated is the question...



sex education vs abstinence only

sex education vs abstinence only, ...were there vegans? hi it’s emily from bite size vegan and welcometo another vegan nugget. in the history of veganism part one we covered ancient times.today we’re moving into the middle ages, the specific dates of which, as i mentioned,are still being debated. for the purposes


of this video we’ll stick to the late 400’sto around 1500 ce. well from now on everything is ce - so that’s much simpler! if you haven’t seen part one i’ll quicklyrecap some disclaimers: first, i will most definitely leave out important events andpeople, as all historical accounts are bound to. though not intentionally. of course, we’llnever know who and what escaped documentation. [cough]...women second, and in a similar vein, despite my bestefforts i will mispronounce names and other things. third, if i or anyone finds errors in thisvideo- or any of my videos in fact- i will keep a log of them on the blog post, whichis also where you can go to find all of my


sources for everything i state today and furtherreading. fourth, as the term “vegan” wasn’t coineduntil 1944, historically the word “vegetarian” most often meant what we now call “vegan.” fifth, and this is actually specific to thisvideo only: in reality, the term “middle ages” really only applies to europe withthe term “postclassical era” more accurately encompassing that time period on a globalscale. but as “middle ages” and “medieval times” and “the dark ages” are far morerecognizable terms, i chose to identify this video the way that i have. with all of that out of the way, onwards to:


[booming voice] - the history of veganism! part two the postclassical era or whatever you wantto call it, is characterized by the development of three of the great world religions, namelychristianity, islam and buddhism. the rise of trade and military contact between civilizations,and invasions from central asia. as with part one, the vast majority of examples in thisvideo will be linked to religion. this is an historical account and religion is a partof history, especially in this era. islam was the dominant religion, thoughchristianity and buddhism also flourished, primarily in the west and east respectively.china expanded its influence into japan and


korea with the spread of buddhism and confucianism.trading began to grow, and ideas were exchanged along with goods. as we often saw in ancient times, and nowto a far greater extent, the vegans and vegan-ish of the middle ages were- by the majority- motivatedby religious purity, digestive health, simplicity and inexpensiveness over any particular moralconviction. there existed a variety of beliefs about abstention from eating animals and one’spersonal level of immaculateness. for example, meat consumption was linked to gluttony andrampant sexual desires amongst early christians and abstaining was thought to quell thesevices. abstention itself was often viewed as piety through self-denial.


in his text “the ethics of diet: a catenaof authorities deprecatory of the practice of flesh-eating” from 1883, howard williamspaints a less-than ideal picture of the middle ages in regards to ethical veganism stating:“we look in vain for traces of anything like the humanitarian feeling of plutarchor porphyry [who were late greek philosophers we covered in the history of veganism part one] the mentalintelligence as well as capacities for physical suffering of the non-human races - necessarilyresulting from an organisation in all essential points like our own - was apparently whollyignored; their just rights and claims upon human justice were disregarded and trampledunder foot…they were treated as beings destitute of all feelings…in those terrible ages ofgross ignorance, of superstition, of violence,


and of injustice - in which human rights wereseldom regarded - it would have been surprising indeed if any sort of regard had been displayedfor the non-human slaves”. as williams sets forth, this period of timeseems to be somewhat sparse on ethical discussions and reliable research in regards to veganism,at least that i could find in the time i had. as a result of the nature of the informationi could find, this video will follow less of a linear structure than the last and insteadconcentrate more on specific divisions both by religious beliefs and philosophical reasoning. let’s begin with the medieval christians.there is a widely-held belief, at least online, that the majority of the early christian fatherswere vegan, or at least vegetarian. i found


many compelling-sounding quotes that, whentraced to their source and more fully evaluated, were not the gems of vegan extolling theywere purported to be. while many of these early christian men valuedasceticism, they denounced the complete prohibition of meat, wine, and sex championed by marcionites,manichaeists, those still ascribing themselves to the pythagorean belief of transmigration,and more extreme ascetics. there are some, however, like st. anthony who survived solelyon bread, salt, and water, and later in life, olives, pulse, oil, and possibly dates. and he liveduntil the ripe age of 105 years old. not too shabby for a desert-dwelling vegan monk. though there were exceptions, the generalthrust of the early church leaders was a turning


away from the strict prohibition of meat inwhat they saw as a truer adherence to christ’s teachings over old superstitions and heresy.st. augustine made a rather startling remark on the matter in his writing “onthe morals of the manichaeans,” a group we also covered in part one, saying “you'reabstaining from the slaughtering of animals and from injuring plants is shown by christto be mere superstition…we see and hear by their cries that animals die in pain, althoughman disregards this in a beast, with which as not having a rational soul, we have nocommunity of rights”. basically meaning, because animals don’tdisplay rational thought in a way that we can appreciate, we might as well ignore their obvious criesof pain. or more simplified: they’re different


so they don’t matter. sound familiar? ofcourse augustine, after his conversion, lived as a strict vegetarian except when he’dgo into town occasionally, though his reasons were largely ascetic in nature. now really getting into the middle ages, sometimebetween 529 and 547, saint benedict of nursia, a christian monk, wrote the rule of saintbenedict, a book of precepts for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot,which continues to be used by those in the benedictine order. regarding food, st. benedictstated that there would be two meals available a day with only two kinds of cooked foodsunless fresh fruit and vegetables were available, at which point a third could be added, and“all except the very weak and the sick abstain


altogether from eating the flesh of four-footedanimals.” this again reflects the ascetic abstention from animals, which is a spiritualrather than moral issue. jumping ahead quite a bit within the churchwe come to st. francis of assisi, perhaps the christian most associated withvegan-ness and the patron saint of animals. it was said of st. francis that “he walkedthe earth like the pardon of god” rescuing lambs from their fate in the marketplace,rabbits from the hunter’s snare, pleading the case of mistreated creatures before popesand kings. while many claim that st. francis was a strict vegetarian, the evidence is simplynot there. however, that should not discount his workcalling for the respect and protection of


animals, which reaches into modern times withpope john paul ii calling for us to follow the example of st. francis “who looked uponthe creation with the eyes of one who could recognize it in the marvelous work of thehand of god. his solicitous care, not only towards men but also towards animals…wetoo are called to a similar attitude…it is necessary and urgent that with the exampleof the poor man of assisi, one decides to abandon unadvisable forms of domination, thelocking up of all creatures.” sadly, the rather brash philosophy of augustineseemed to take precedence and was echoed and expanded by thomas aquinas in the 1200's. aquinas brought together greek philosophy and catholic tradition, which basically becamethe official doctrine of the roman church


in regards to animals, releasing people fromany guilt they might feel for harming other beings. in his summa theologica, aquinas broughtforth such gems as: “"dumb animals and plants are devoid ofthe life of reason whereby to set themselves in motion; they are moved, as it were by another,by a kind of natural impulse, a sign of which is that they are naturally enslaved and accommodatedto the uses of others.” and “"he that kills another's ox, sins, not through killingthe ox, but through injuring another man in his property,” very much laying the groundfor thinkers like descartes, who we will encounter in part three. interestingly enough, aquinasdid speak out against outright cruelty against animals, but for the sake of humans, not theanimals themselves cautioning that "cruel


habits might carry over into our treatmentof human beings." now sadly, the rule of st. benedict whereinmonks were to abstain from meat, at least from the four-footed animals did not holdup over time. historian christian hibbert states that “meat, once provided only forthe sick, was now enjoyed by all in the infirmary; and when this was forbidden by papal statute,a ‘misericorde’, ‘the chamber of mercy’, between the infirmary and the refectory, wheremeat was freely allowed on the table. this, too, was prohibited by papal statute; butin 1339 the pope, recognizing that the prohibition was unenforceable, conceded that the monksmight continue to relish their meat in the ‘misericorde’ provided that only halftheir number did so at a time, and the other half


maintaining the vegetarian rule elsewhere.” which all seems like a bargaining game ofsemantics in the end. as we saw in the beginning, the early christian fathers’ condemnationof the complete abstinence from meat was driven by the desire to disassociate from other spiritualsects they saw as heretical rather than due to any actual alignment with christ’s teachings.of course once humans are given leave to indulge, we typically do. there is, however, some light towards theend of the dark ages of the christian church in sir thomas more. in his landmarkwork “utopia” he condemns hunting stating: "hunters also and hawkers (falconers), forwhat delight can there be, and not rather


displeasure, in hearing the barking and howlingof dogs?…if the hope of slaughter, and the expectation of tearing the victim in piecespleases you, you should rather be moved with pity to see an innocent hare murdered of adog - the weak by the strong, the fearful by the fierce, the innocent by the cruel andpitiless.” unfortunately, more doesn’t completely banslaughter in his utopia, leaving it instead to criminals who had been degraded from therights of citizenship. but the utopians do not perform ritual slaughter, as he states:"they kill no living animal in sacrifice, nor do they think that god has delight inblood and slaughter. who has given life to animals to the intent they should live.”and, almost 500 years before the documentary


cowspiracy, more decried the land use requiredby the animals products industry stating: “they (the oxen and sheep) consume, destroy,and devour whole fields, houses, and cities…they enclose all into pastures, they throw downhouses they pluck down towns; and leave nothing standing but only the church, to be made asheep house; for one shepherd or herdsman is enough to eat up that ground with cattle.” and finally, more argues against the objectionstill cited today “well that’s what we’ve always done” stating: "'these things'say they, 'pleased our forefathers and ancestors - would to god we could be so wise as theywere!' and, as though they had wittily concluded the matter, and with this answer stopped everyman's mouth, they sit down again as who should


say, 'it were a very dangerous matter, ifa man in any point should be found wiser than his forefathers were.' “ basically meaning:just because it’s what we’ve always done, doesn’t mean it’s the best idea. now shifting gears a bit, in part one we spokea good deal about the platonists and neo-platonists, many of which were vegetarian and some whoeven espoused arguments echoed by today’s vegans, such as plutarch’s pointing outthat our bodies aren’t designed for the consumption of flesh and porphyry, in who’swriting we found the first strictly ethical argument for veganism over 2,200 years ago. so what happened to the descendants of thisschool of thought? well the neoplatonic academy


was shut down by emperor justinian i in hisattempt to stamp out anything seen as a religion outside of orthodoxy. according to historianagathias, the dispersed neo-platonists, with as much of their library as could be transported,found temporary refuge in the persian capital of ctesiphon, and afterwards at edessa, whichjust a century later became one of the places where muslim thinkers encountered ancientgreek culture and took an interest in its science and medicine. this leads us into the house of wisdom orbayt al-hikma and the islamic golden age, which is believed to have started somewherebetween 786 and 809 and ended with the sack of bagdad in 1258, though some scholars placethe end into the 15th and 16th centuries.


the golden age of islam was a time when themuslim world experienced scientific, cultural, and economic flourishing, and the house ofwisdom was a major intellectual center during this period, bringing forwards much of thephilosophy from greco-roman culture through the translating of all scientific and philosophicalgreek texts available. the quran itself, which is the holy book ofislam, said to have been revealed to the prophet muhammad over a period of 23 years, from the22nd of december 609 and concluding in 632, the year of his death, contains passages whichcan be interpreted as inline with vegan ideals. sura 6:38 states: “there is not an animal(that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communitieslike you. nothing have we omitted from the


book, and they (all) shall be gathered totheir lord in the end.” and 24: 41: “seest thou not that it is allah whose praise allbeings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds (of the air) with wings outspread?each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise, and allah knows well all that theydo.” there are also various verses which emphasizethe use of fruits and vegetables to sustain both humans and animals alike (sura 6:141,16:67, sura 23:19) and evidence that animal sacrifice is nota means to absolution or salvation: “their flesh and their blood reach not allah,but the devotion from you reacheth him.” (sura 22:37) there also exist various hadith, which arecollections of reports of the teachings and


deeds of muhammed, whereas the quran was saidto have been relayed to him by god. the hadith are widely accepted as part of islamic teachings.though the proposed dates of their composition ranges from the time of muhammed’s life to200 years following his death. i’ll list some of the more striking hadiths.those without reference numbers were ones whose exact origin i was unable to find, sotake those with a grain of salt: "it behooves you to treat the animals gently"(hadith muslim, 4:2593), "a good deed done to an animal is as meritoriousas a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad asan act of cruelty to a human being" “do not allow your stomachs to become graveyards!”


“all creatures are like a family (ayal)of god: and he loves the most those who are the most beneficent to his family.”““he who takes pity {even} on a sparrow and spares its life, allah will be mercifulon him on the day of judgment.” “allah will not give mercy to anyone, exceptthose who give mercy to other creatures.” now sufism is a more mystical branch withinislam, of which many followers extolled the virtues of vegetarianism. 15th century poetkabir sahib, simultaneously revered by sufis, yogis, hindus, and sikhs and belonging toall by his own accord wrote of his ethical objection to eating animals:“o muslims, i see you fasting during the day,but then to break your fast you slaughter


cows at night.at one end is devotion, at the other murder. how can the lord be pleased? my friend, pray cut the throat of anger,and slaughter the ravages of blind fury, for he who slaughters the five passions,lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride, will surely see the supreme lord face to face.” kabir wasn’t the first poet to speak outagainst animal consumption, however. enter the ethical, non-religious poet of medievaltimes: the blind poet abul ê¿ala al-maê¿arri originally from syria, he spenttime in bagdhad during the islamic golden age, fiercely decried the teachings of anyreligion, calling them a “fable invented


by the ancients” and was, in his own words,a “pessimistic freethinker.” he lost his sight to smallpox at the age of four and beganhis life as a poet around 11 or 12, often writing scathingly against the consumptionof animals in the most vegan of middle ages poetry: “thou art diseased in understanding andreligion. come to me, that thou mayst hear the tidings of sound truth.do not unjustly eat what the water has given up, [i.e. fish] and do not desire as foodthe flesh of slaughtered animals. or the white (milk) of mothers who intendedits pure draught for their young, not noble ladies.and do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking their eggs; for injustice is the worstof crimes.


and spare the honey which the bees get betimesby their industry from the flowers of fragrant plants;for they did not store it that it might belong to others, nor did they gather it for bountyand gifts. i washed my hands of all this; and would thati had perceived my way ere my temples grew hoar! [i.e. hair became grey…] interesting that it takes a man who cannotsee to bring light to the dark ages. abul ê¿ala al-maê¿arri is basically laying downthe tenants of veganism to the extent, or even more so, that we heard in porphyry’swriting that closed out part one. this excerpt is from a set of correspondences between al-maê¿arriand ab㭠‘imrã¡n who wanted an explanation for al-maê¿arri’s abstention from animals,very likely to try and pull a theological


reasoning from him as asceticism was theonly widespread motivation for such practices. ab㭠‘imrã¡n even brings forth the argumentthat animals eat other animals, so god must intend for us to. and now we’ve found the true gem of thedark ages: the genesis of the compelling argument still so effectively employed today, over 1,000years later: “lions tho.” in his text studies in islamic poetry, r.a.nicholson states that maê¿arri wrote many passages preaching abstention from meat, fish,milk, eggs, and honey “on the plain ground that to partake of such food is an act ofinjustice to the animals concerned, since


it inflicts unnecessary pain upon them.”he even goes so far as to speak out against the wearing of animal skins, advocated for woodenshoes, blames “fine ladies who wear fur,” and speaks out against hunting saying:“hunt not the beast; o, be thou more humane, since hunter here nor hunted long remain;the smallest grub a life has in it which thou canst not take without inflicting pain.the wooden shoes i do like just because that skin did once live, aye, and even think.” now if that’s not veganism, i don’t knowwhat is. it’s not entirely clear where al-maê¿arricame across such concepts, though it’s speculated that he encountered buddhist and jainist influencesis his time in baghdad. of course nicholson rightly


points out that one doesn’t necessarilyhave to have “gotten” these kind of ethical convictions from anywhere other than one’sown conscience. now to our final leg of the middle ages: buddhism,confucianism, and taoism. as we saw in part one, chinese buddhism, and taoism in the late4th century, required that monks and nuns eat an egg free, onion free vegetarian diet.we also spoke briefly of emperor tenmu, who actually reigned in the middle ages from 673to 686. in 675, tenmu banned the consumption of meat due to buddhist influences. this banwas renewed by succeeding emperors throughout the asuka period of classical civilization. the vegetarianism of buddhists in the middleages and throughout time is always debated,


with some practitioners incredibly strictand others consuming all matter of animal products depending on the school of thought. within buddhism exist many sutras, or sermonsof the buddha, some with strict vegetarian/vegan rules and others with more laxness where dietis concerned, though none so far as i could find advocating the slaughter of animals. the mahaparinirvana sutra, a mahayana buddhistscripture most likely written in the first century but translated and disseminated inthe middle ages is purported to be the final teachings of the buddha on the eve of hisdeath and fiercely rejects the consumption of any meat, even going so far as to say vegetarianfood touched by meat should be washed before


eating and picking meat out of a dish is notsufficient. reasons for abstention reign from frighteningother animals: “all creatures can recognise a person who eats meat and, when they catchthe odour, they are frightened by the terror of death. wherever that person roams, thebeings in the waters, on dry land or in the sky are frightened. thinking that they willbe killed by that person, they even swoon or die. for these reasons, bodhisattva-mahasattvasdo not eat meat.” to more ethical decrees that meat eating “cutsoff the seed of great kindness” the laá¹…kävatära så«tra written between350-400 but translated and disseminated in medieval china in the 600s, is another textof mahayana buddhism which also speaks out


thoroughly against the consumption of animalswith passages like: “when i teach to regard animal flesh eatingas if it were the eating of an only child or as an intoxicant, how can i allow my disciplesto eat food consisting of flesh and blood, which is gratifying to the unwise and whichis shunned by the wise, which brings about much harm and keeps away many benefits? animalflesh eating was not part of the wisdom the ancient rishis and was not meant to beappropriate food for any human being.” and more health-centric passages as:“let the bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, totally refrain from animal flesh eating.those who eat animal flesh sleep uneasily and when they awake in the morning are distressed…theyare never satisfied. their diet is not attuned


to what is appropriate in taste, digestion,and nourishment…they cease to believe that they can become free from all diseases anddo not have a clear aversion towards all the causes of diseases.” also of great importance in china and asiain the middle ages were taoism and confucianism. while confucianism doesn’t have any explicitteachings on animals per se, mencius, an influential follower of confucius said that kindness orlove should be extended to all things living based upon the fact that the “inability tobear the suffering of others” being a distinguishing character of humans. mencius’ insights were further developedby the neo-confucianists of the sung dynasty and taken even further by wangyangming, of the ming dynasty though the fact remained that confucianismwas largely anthropocentric, meaning seeing


humans as the most significant species onthe planet…wait…has there been a modern resurgence of confucianism? is that’s what’s going on? now taoism, as i said earlier, often mirroredthe practices of the buddhists with at least the chinese monks and nuns abstaining frommeat and eggs and essentially eating a vegan diet within their abbeys. taoism’s founderlao tzu taught that everything alive in the universe (plants, animals, and people) sharedin a universal life-force. though founded in the 4th century bce, formal taoist schoolsstarted forming and flourishing in the middle ages. dr. louis komjathy, a professor of theologicaland religious studies states that “we find


at least three important views concerningand types of engagement with animals [in classical taoism]: (1) emphasis of importance offreedom and wildness or animal flourishing, whether human or “non-human”; (2) criticismof the human tendency to distort the natural state of animals and in the process, distorttheir own innate nature and inner power; and (3) recognition of animals and other dimensionsof nature as potential teachers of human beings. in classical daoism, and especially in theprimitivist lineage, it thus appears that humans may be the least realized when it comesto expressing their innate nature. in order to return to their original connection withthe dao [the way], humans may observe animals and other living beings for guidance.”


the taoist text the zuangzi states that domesticatinganimals can cause a practitioner to lose the capacity to embody the tao: “horses andoxen have four feet—this is what i mean by celestial. putting a halter on thehorse’s head, piercing the ox’s nose—this is what i mean by the human. so i say: donot let what is human wipe out what is celestial; do not let what is purposeful wipe out whatis fated.” with the organization of taoism prior to andthroughout the middle ages, early taoist communities rejected blood sacrifices which were standardwithin china. unfortunately this did not extend to their personal diets as "historical sourcesindicate that animal slaughter, blood sacrifice, and meat consumption were excluded from earlydaoist ritual contexts but that daily communal


life still involved eating slaughtered animals.”priests and those wanting to purify themselves, however, would adopt and/or maintain a vegetariandiet. though it comes from far before the organizationof taoism and the persistence of animal consumption, i’ll leave you with a beautiful passageof zuangzi analysis by dr. komjathy: "as one begins to renounce an instrumentalistand desire-based existential mode—as one begins to return to one’s original conditionof attunement with the dao—one may then accept animals and other organic beings asone’s teachers. according to the zhuangzi, one may learn carefree wandering from birds. one may learn joy from fish, embodied in spontaneity and playfulness.


one may learn the possibility of a more expansiveperspective from sea turtles. one may also learn the value of uselessnessfrom old, gnarled trees. >from a classical and foundational daoistviewpoint, these are the lessons learned from close observation of nature, of the dao manifestingin the world and everything in existence. if one recognizes this value and wishes thatsuch lessons be available to others, one must work to preserve wild places and make spacefor the wild being of animals. they are essential to animals flourishing. they are necessaryfor human participation in the dao. the zhuangzi in turn urges one to imagine a world freeof cages, corrals, hooks, lures, nets, pens, snares, and traps. i hope that you enjoyed this look into themedieval times of veganism.


the time it took to produce this video clocksin at about [71 hours] over a period of about 4 and a half days..so basically…doing alot of this…and this… if you’d like to help support bite size vegan so i can keepputting in the long hours to bring you this educational resource, please check out thesupport links in the video description below where you can give a one-time donation orreceive perks and rewards for your support by joining the nugget army- the link for thatis also in the icard sidebar. i’d love to hear your thoughts on thedark ages of vegan development. there was some backsliding it seems but also some raysof light amidst it all. let me know your thoughts in the comments! if you enjoyed this video, please give ita thumbs up and share it around for the love


of vegan history. if you’re new here, be sureto hit that big red subscribe button down there for more awesome vegan content everymonday, wednesday, and some fridays, and to not miss out on the rest of the vegan historyseries- next time we’re moving into semi-modern times and back to a more linear format.and hey, check out some of my other videos while you’re here including part one. and remember,extra resources and citations for everything i talked about are in the blog post for thisvideo linked up below and in the sidebar. now go live vegan, make history, and i’llsee you soon. first, i will most definitely leave out important events...bli..la..la..la the qur'an itself which is the holy bowl...blaaaah


there are also variest verses which...which the blind poet abul 'al... abul 'ala al... abul 'ala al-maê¿arri anthropocen... anthropocentric anthropocentic...tric anthropocentic.....anthro..po..cen..tic...tric throughout the asuka period of classic sil...sil...lalala...oh my god!


in the islamic golden age which is believed to sal...lalala...ahhhh! subtitles by the amara.org community


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