Stop paying taxes? Escape to the woods? Sit in? Why not go vegetarian instead?

Stefany Anne Golberg in The Smart Set, via Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish:

ScreenHunter_02 Feb. 08 23.31 “Is it not a reproach that man is a carnivorous animal? True, he can and does live, in a great measure, by preying on other animals; but this is a miserable way — as anyone who will go to snaring rabbits, or slaughtering lambs, may learn…Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals….”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

In 1845, Henry David Thoreau set off on a lone journey into the woodlands owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. He wanted to know if living more simply, in closer proximity to nature, would make him a better person, and if being a better, simpler person was the path to creating a better society. Walden is a unique and pioneering work in civil disobedience. But Thoreau’s two years in the woods were part of late-18th- and 19th-century America’s many experiments with alternative ways of life. All over the United States, people were living guinea pigs of their own idealism. Wacky communes espousing everything from free love to chastity sprouted up from Massachusetts to Texas. These eccentric communities shared one fundamental creed: that self-improvement, self-discovery, and self-fulfillment were essential to achieving a better society. At a time when the Western world was being swallowed by industrial smokestacks, and men, women, and children toiled away in nightmarish working conditions, Utopian community leaders went back to the basics, namely, the power of the individual to control his own destiny and do good, often in opposition to the mainstream. It’s no surprise, then, that diet was considered central to radical self-improvement. Vegetarianism was honored as the most radical diet of them all.

More here.