The Vegetarian Society grew out of health reform, temperance and philanthropic movements of the early nineteenth century, endorsing vegetarianism as a means to better health, alongside a wider political and social context.
The Vegetarian Messenger was founded by the Vegetarian Society in 1851, and had an annual circulation of 20,000 copies during the 19th century. This December 1914 issue included a set of recipes for traditional Christmas foods made without meat.
That these recipes appear opposite an article on the conditions of 'Horses on the Battlefield' by feminist and animal rights campaigner Lizzy Lind-Af-Hageby, shows the wider political engagement of the Vegetarian Society at this time.
During each World War the magazine promoted a vegetarian diet as more patriotic than meat eating (because it was less costly) and advocated on behalf of vegetarian soldiers.