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Colin Spencer provides an in-depth account of vegetarianism. From prehistory to the present, he discusses those who came to vegetarianism by choice, from the religions who preach it such as Hinduism and Seventh-Day Adventism, to the individuals who practice it, including Leonardo da Vinci and, ironically, Adolf Hitler. Throughout history, vegetarians have been maligned and persecuted by their meat-eating brethren. Spencer looks at the psychology of abstention, the ideas behind a meat-free diet, as well as the environmental effects of meat production and the implications of genetic engineering. Although the vegetarian movement dates back to 600 B.C., it is only now becoming a practice valued by many who previously would have wondered, Wheres the beef?