13

It is commonly believed that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. Sometimes that is used as some sort of argument-by-association that vegetarianism is a bad idea:

For example, "Vegetarians Are Evil" web-site:

Adolph (sic) Hitler would have been a model PETA activist. Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian - although it is widely known that in his early years he would have a lapse and indulge in the odd liver dumpling.

There are some, especially vegetarians, who claim this is not true.

For example, Michael Bluejay:

For Hitler, there's no compelling evidence that he stuck with a real veggie diet for any appreciable length of time. Multiple sources document him as eating meat throughout the 1930's.

Is there any evidence for Hitler's vegetarianism? If so, was is there any indication as to the motivation and extent of Hitler's vegetarianism?

(Of course, I do not mean to indicate that Hitler being or not being a vegetarian would be an argument relevant to modern vegetarianism.)

  • 4
    I am finding questions like this hard to answer, because Wikipedia covers it well, and no counter-argument has been provided to raise any skepticism. – Oddthinking Feb 13 '14 at 1:46
  • 2
    My apologies then. Indeed, not much can be added to that. My only defense was that top Google hits included pages such as vegetariansareevil.com/hitler.html and michaelbluejay.com/veg/hitler.html which left me unwilling to search the web further. – Jakub Konieczny Feb 13 '14 at 1:57
  • Ah, that second link is perfect - much better than the Yourofsky one, IMHO. It makes an actual argument that Hitler was not a vegetarian. Now there is a case to answer! – Oddthinking Feb 13 '14 at 3:53
  • 2
    I particularly like this line: "To be sure, Hitler professed to be a vegetarian..., but the primary sources that I have cited in my book show that while he paid lip service to vegetarianism, he was not consistent in his practice of the diet." That said, the whole argument reminds me of a line in the cartoon Daria: "Sugar is bad. Hitler ate sugar" – AthomSfere Feb 14 '14 at 1:11
  • 3
    Vegetarians are evil because Hitler was vegetarian is the dumbest argument I've ever heard. Anyone using it is definitly not worth listening to. – Julien N Feb 19 '14 at 10:24
7

The following photo shows Hitler eating meet with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin:

enter image description here

And, as you can see, Rynn Berry has written a monograph disproving the point, the full text of which can be purchased here for all the sordid details.

Michael Bluejay also points out:

Robert Payne is widely considered to be Hitler's definitive biographer. In his book, Hitler: The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler, Payne says that Hitler's "vegetarianism" was a "legend" and a "fiction" invented by Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda. According to Payne:

"Hitler's asceticism played an important part in the image he projected over Germany. According to the widely believed legend, he neither smoked nor drank, nor did he eat meat or have anything to do with women. Only the first was true. He drank beer and diluted wine frequently, had a special fondness for Bavarian sausages and kept a mistress, Eva Braun… His asceticism was fiction invented by Goebbels to emphasize his total dedication, his self-control, the distance that separated him from other men. By this outward show of asceticism, he could claim that he was dedicated to the service of his people. In fact he was remarkably self-indulgent and possessed none of the instincts of the ascetic.

  • 6
    Payne's ''The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler'' is not regarded as reliable. It even has Hitler spending a year in Liverpool in England, when records show he was in Vienna. – Henry Feb 14 '14 at 8:09
  • 1
    Call me confused but I don't see Hitler eating meat in that picture. – NPSF3000 Jul 17 '15 at 21:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .