Thomas Tryon, sheep and the politics of Eden

Geoffrey Plank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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The English writer Thomas Tryon (1634–1703) believed that sheep were survivors from the original earthly paradise, and that as morally perfect beings they could serve as role models for humans. Tryon advocated vegetarianism, pacifism and an end to slavery as it was practiced in the Caribbean. He was an ambitious and influential reformer on several fronts, but the restoration of Eden was his ultimate goal. Tryon celebrated sheep-like meekness, a stance that complicated his reform efforts. His agenda and sheep-inspired persuasive strategy reflect the momentous intellectual and moral ferment surrounding human relations with animals in the seventeenth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-581
Number of pages17
JournalCultural and Social History
Issue number5
Early online date18 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • Thomas Tryon (1634–1703)
  • sheep
  • vegetarianism
  • antislavery
  • Quakers

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