From Pythagorus to PETA:  

Essay-Writing Made Painless

(a humane response to college writing)
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Vegetarians, Vegans, and Meatless Dietary Rules Over History

 Explore the Cult of the Bean-Eaters, and find how to protect pigeons from exploitation!

It's all here, and more, in an exciting exercise designed to help hone composition skills and build confidence, all while avoiding the traps of unintentional plagiarism.

(c) susan smith nash, 2004

In your own words, write responses to the following questions. You may respond in outline form, or may shape it in the form of an essay.

Cat's Kitchen

1. A Scene from the Pythagorean Bean Cult: Please describe a Pythagorean dinner party scene -- what are they drinking, eating, talking about? Why? Who? Make it vivid. It can be funny, too.  (Do some online research -- did Pythagoras believe in bean eating?  or, did he believe that fava beans contained the souls of departed loved ones?)

2. What is a vegetarian? What is a vegan? Why do they follow their dietary laws? Where did you get your information?

3. Pythagoras: What did he have to say about eating certain substances? Why were his dietary rules? Why? Where? Who cared & why? When? Where did you get your information? Do you agree? Would you try this at home?

4. Later Vegetarians and Vegans: Who were they? When? Where? Why didn't they believe in eating meat? Who told them not to? In what book or writing did they get their instruction? When was it written? By whom? Where? Where did you get your information?

5. Characteristics of the groups of people who do not eat meat: Are they cults? What are some of their beliefs? What do they think about their own existence? Their identity? Their relation between human and animal life? Why did they think so? Who were there leaders? Where did you get your information?

6. Recent Vegetarian Organizations and Movements: Who are they? Where do they exist? Where are most of them? Describe these in your own words and list the places. Why do such organizations exist? Why do you think they exist? What social, psychological, or physical need are they satisfying? Are some people motivated by fear? Do some people want to be affiliated with a popular group that has famous celebrities and gets a lot of publicity? Why? When? What are some examples?

7. The Thin Line Between Eating and Acting Up: What is PETA? What does PETA stand for? Why / where / when organized? Do you like PETA? What appeals to you most? What annoys you? (if anything) What annoys other people? Does PETA ever seem absurd? What was PETA proposing for Slaughterville, Oklahoma? (where did you find this out?)


graphics & survival guide © 2004 by susan smith nash, ph.d.