This book provides a history and background of vegetarianism and veganism from prehistoric times to the present day, with detailed discussions of the practice in each historical period. Ancillary chapters provide information on important individuals and organizations in the field, relevant data and documents on the topic, an annotated bibliography, a chronology of important events, and a glossary of terms. Of special interest is the Perspectives chapter, in which stakeholders in the topic write about some specific aspect of its importance in their own lives. Intended for high school, college, and general readers, the volume covers vegetarianism and veganism in cultures around the world. Specific topics include ancient views of vegetarianism, religious stands on the practice, the growth of vegetarian and vegan institutions, and current controversies over the practice of meat-free diets. It also includes a host of resources that readers can use for further research in the field.