Annotations - MRL Freshel, "The Golden Rule Cook Book" (1908)

the beginner in Vegetarianism

The term “vegan” was not coined until 1944. Freshel uses the term “vegetarian” and, perhaps due to her anticipation of a readership of “beginner” vegetarians, does use eggs, milk, and butter in her recipes, while frequently offering alternatives to these animal-derived products. In her introductory discussion Freshel expresses a gradualist approach to veganism:

“Those who would 'strain at gnats' while swallowing camels, criticise the Vegetarian for his kid gloves and his leather shoes; but perfect conditions do not yet prevail for the absolutely consistent carrying out of his principles; his effort is to help to bring these to pass, and he does not refrain from beginning for the reason that he cannot yet do all. An adequate substitute for leather has been made which experiments have proven of value, but, as yet, there is no demand which justifies its manufacture.”

Of course, Freshel contributed materially and crucially to this process via the Millenium Guild's experiments with faux fur and vegan substitutes for feathers, and the work of the Millenium Food Company to promote plant-based alternatives to flesh foods.