Howard Williams was an English humanitarian and vegetarian, and author of the book The Ethics of Diet, an anthology of vegetarian thought.
The book, first published in 1883, tells the history of vegetarianism since the writings of the first Pythagorean philosophers of the Ancient World until the author’s time. Among the authors mentioned in the book are: Ovid, Plutarch, Porphyry, Luigi Cornaro, Michel de Montaigne, John Ray, Voltaire, Alexander Pope, Percy Shelley, Alphonse de Lamartine, Joseph Ritson, and Gustav Struve. Not all authors mentioned in the book were vegetarians, but they all had critical views of meat-eating).
It was of some importance at the time. As Jon Gregerson wrote in Vegetarianism: A History, “Not unimportant in the momentum gathered by the Vegetarian Movement in late Victorian England was a book by one Howard Williams entitled The Ethics of Diet, which was published in 1890”. It was read by Indian spiritual leader Mohandas Gandhi, Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, English social reformer Henry Stephens Salt, and Portuguese philosopher Jaime de Magalhães Lima.
It is important that those who read this book should not try to take an indecent advantage of Catholic self-criticism. When we are willing to bring some honest criticism to our own positions, the lumbering Institution will become a Movement again, and we shall rediscover the Pilgrim Church.