I argue that Fruitlanders saw dietary restrictions as a fundamental prerequisite for a new political world. Animal products not only made people physically ill, they argued, but also stunted spiritual development and, consequently, the ability to participate in communal living. In a vegan world, by contrast, humans would be spiritually perfect. Greed and envy would be moot; individually-owned property would be unneeded; and labor would be exchanged freely and with good will. Since they thought the best way to form this world was to act in accordance with their beliefs, they approached their communal life with anarchist economic principles.
These reformers believed that those who could adhere to vegan principles were eligible participants for a new, more radical world devoid of property, unfair exchange, governmental regulation, and hierarchy. As Charles Lane explained, “The evils of life are not so much social or political, as personal, and a personal reform only can eradicate them.” That reform began with their choices about food.
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