International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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History of Vegetarianism - Europe: The Middle Ages to the 18th Century
The Cathars (11th - 13th Centuries)

Cathar or Catharist a Christian sect in Provence in the 12th and 13th centuries who believed the material world was evil and only the spiritual was good. (from Medieval Latin Cathari, from Greek Katharoi, the pure).

From an unclear source:

To cite another sad example: in southern France a group of Albigensian vegetarians (a Cartharist religious group) were put to death by hanging in 1052 because they refused to kill a chicken!

Some sources claim that the Cathars were all vegetarian, but a more detailed history records that the Priests abstained from animal flesh, because it is the product of sexual intercourse, but they ate fish which is not. The ordinary Cathars apparently ate anything.

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