Renan Larue

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Renan Larue
Larue in 2013
Occupation(s)Historian, professor, writer
Known forCreating the first vegan studies course in the United States
Notable workLe végétarisme et ses ennemis (2015)

Renan Larue is a French writer, literary scholar and historian of vegetarianism. He is the author of several books on vegetarianism or veganism, including Le végétarisme et ses ennemis (2015), a history of vegetarianism from Pythagoras until the modern day, and La pensée végane: 50 regards sur la condition animale (2020). In 2016 he offered the first course in vegan studies in the United States at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in the Côtes-d'Armor,[2] Larue studied French literature at the Paris-Sorbonne University, graduating in 2000 with a BA. He went on to obtain three master's degrees: in history from the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris in 2002, in philosophy from the University of Paris I in 2003, and in classical literature from the University of Strasbourg in 2006. In 2007, he received an Agrégation de lettres modernes.[1]

Larue was awarded a PhD in French literature in 2011 by the University of Picardy Jules Verne.[1] His PhD dissertation focused on the history of vegetarianism in the West and formed the basis of his first book, Le végétarisme et ses ennemis.[3]


Larue is an assistant professor of French literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[1] In 2016 he offered a course in vegan studies, the first course of its kind in the United States.[4][5][6] He currently runs the Vegan Studies program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[7]


In Le végétarisme et ses ennemis (2015), Larue reviews the history of vegetarianism in the West, focusing on the historical figures who defended it, including Pythagoras, Porphyry and Plutarch. He describes the attitudes of the major monotheistic religions towards the ideas conveyed by vegetarians, with particular emphasis on the hostility of the Catholic Church. He then turns to the Age of Enlightenment, where Voltaire played a leading role in the defense of vegetarianism, alongside Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Nicolas de Condorcet, Maupertuis, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre and Morelly. The book ends in the 20th century, with the story of the birth of veganism through the Vegan Society co-founded by Donald Watson, Elsie Shrigley and others.[8][9]

In Le véganisme (2017), co-authored with Valéry Giroux, Larue, himself vegan, defends veganism as a philosophy and way of life, understood as a social and political movement based on a commitment to, as far as practically possible, avoid the subjugation, mistreatment and killing of sentient beings.[10] In Le Végétarisme des Lumières (2019), he examines the medical and philosophical debates around vegetarianism that took place in 18th-century France.[11] He also authored the preface to La révolution antispéciste ("The antispeciesist revolution"), a selection of twelve texts from the journal Cahiers antispécistes ("Antispeciesist notebooks").[12]


Larue received the Best PhD Dissertation Award from the University of Picardy Jules Verne in 2011.[1] In 2016, the Académie Française awarded him the Prix La Bruyère silver medal for his book Le végétarisme et ses ennemis.[13]

Selected works[edit]

  • (2014). Voltaire. Larue, Renan (ed.). Pensées végétariennes [Vegetarian thoughts]. Paris: Mille et une nuits. ISBN 978-2-7555-0725-6. OCLC 874779576.
  • (2015). Larue, Renan. Le végétarisme et ses ennemis: vingt-cinq siècles de débats [Vegetarianism and its enemies: Twenty-five centuries of debate] (in French). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. ISBN 978-2-13-061903-1. OCLC 902800957.
  • (2017). Giroux, Valéry; Larue, Renan. Le véganisme [Veganism]. Paris: Que sais-je?. ISBN 978-2-13-074947-9. OCLC 1005210137.
  • (2019). Larue, Renan. Le végétarisme des Lumières: l'abstinence de viande dans la France du XVIIIe siècle [Vegetarianism during the Enlightenment: Abstinence from meat in 18th-century France]. Paris: Classiques Garnier. ISBN 978-2-406-08709-0. OCLC 1105220048.
  • (2020). Larue, Renan. La pensée végane: 50 regards sur la condition animale [Vegan thoughts: 50 perspectives on the condition of animals]. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. ISBN 978-2130819004


  1. ^ a b c d e "Renan Larue". Department of French and Italian, UC Santa Barbara. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  2. ^ Cugnier, Stéphane (11 April 2016). "Un Breton enseigne le végétarisme en Californie". Ouest-France.
  3. ^ Dicks, Brett Leigh (19 April 2016). "Animal Ethics 101" (PDF). Santa Barbara Independent. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 January 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  4. ^ Garcia, Léna (15 March 2016). "What Vegans Study: First-of-Its-Kind UCSB Class Examines Intersection of Food, Philosophy, and Veganism". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  5. ^ Burnouf, Sylvie (23 September 2017). "Eleveurs et végans, un dialogue impossible?". Le Monde.
  6. ^ Boulo, Justine (27 November 2017). "Pourquoi déteste-t-on les vegans?". Archived from the original on 27 November 2017.
  7. ^ "SESSION SCHEDULE: VEGAN LITERATURE". University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  8. ^ Droit, Roger-Pol (22 January 2015). "2 500 ans sans viande, ou avec". Le (in French). Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  9. ^ Lussier, Renaud (28 February 2015). "La philosophie dans l'assiette: des racines du végétarisme à la "zoopolis"" [Philosophy on the plate: from the roots of vegetarianism to "zoopolis"]. Le Devoir (in French). Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Idées - Valery Giroux et Renan Larue: le véganisme" [Ideas - Valery Giroux and Renan Larue: veganism]. RFI (in French). 13 October 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  11. ^ Audidière, Sophie (25 December 2019). "Végétariens éclairés". La Vie des idées (in French).
  12. ^ Bonnardel, Yves; Lepeltier, Thomas; Sigler, Pierre, eds. (2018). La révolution antispéciste [The antispeciesist revolution]. Renan Larue. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. ISBN 978-2-13-079909-2. OCLC 1026490292.
  13. ^ "Renan Larue". Académie française. Retrieved 6 March 2021.