Hippie culture was a counterculture movement that developed in the 1960s. Therefore the followers of this culture sometimes lived in vegetarian hippie communities and also referred to themselves as “flower children”. In addition, they liked to define themselves as a counter-cultural movement and had a wide diffusion among young people. Hippies followed social models in which they rejected middle-class values. In particular they inherited the values of the Beat Generation. In addition, they had as a reference values of the counterculture that permeated the communities especially of young people. So they listened to psychedelic rock (Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, The Velvet Underground, The Rolling Stones etc.). Moreover they also practiced the sexual revolution and sometimes used certain types of drugs such as cannabis and psychedelics. In fact they saw in these substances a means to explore new states of consciousness.
DESIRE FOR FREEDOM AND ANTI-CONFORMISM
Moreover, they dreamed of a world based on the pursuit of total freedom with a lifestyle that reflected this desire. They wanted to point out that hippie culture was a counterculture movement therefore they pursued the most unbridled nonconformity. In addition, this movement was strengthened by the opposition movement to the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Then this movement was full of pacifist references both in thought and in music (for example John Lennon) and in the creation of vegetarian hippie communities. In particular, it was a predominantly youth cultural movement often criticized by the media, politics and the church. But it massively influenced almost every aspect of the culture of the time. Firstly, fashion, music, cinematography, art.
However, this cultural movement was described by Timothy Miller as a new religious movement. Therefore, hippies possessed values influenced by what they believed to be the great masters of the past. That is, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Francesco D’Assisi, Hermann Hesse, Gandhi. In addition they considered the cursed poets of the 1800s such as Baudelaire and Verlaine as reference points for their opposition to the canons of their period. So among the first to propose communes as an expression of hippye culture were Neal Cassady, Ken Babbs, Navy Gray.
SOME NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF THE MOVEMENT
However, this nonconformism did not always manifest itself with the desire for a healthy life. So, there were cases of consumption of LSD or other drugs. Firstly they were, according to some hippyes, the means to start the “mental” journey which was an inner and outer metaphor of detachment from negative reality and the achievement of a new state of consciousness.
COMMUNITY, SHARING AND SELF-SUBSISTENCE
In addition, this opposition to the dominant culture of those years gave rise to the desire for detachment from society. Therefore numerous communities called “communes” were born that tried to be self-sufficient. In fact, it happened that groups of young people inspired by communal and progressive ideas occupied abandoned land to found an autonomous community by living in tents or shacks. Moreover it happened very often that the members of this cultural movement were vegetarians and environmentalists. In fact they were pacifists and preached love and brotherhood. However the love for nature was reflected in the respect for animals and, consequently, in the opinion that it was immoral to kill other animals to use them as food. In fact, one of the sources of hippie inspiration was St. Francis who considered all animals to be brothers.
In particular, not all hippie communities were vegetarian or vegan. However, this trend was widespread. In addition, the desire for self-sufficiency from the outside world produced the will to be self-sufficient from the food point of view. Then community subsistence crops spread in which wheat, corn, legumes, fruit, vegetables were grown. In addition, dairy animals and chickens were raised for eggs. Moreover all the foods suitable for a vegetarian diet. Then there were also vegan hippies but they were not very frequent. In particular, theirs was an autonomy of self-consumption. So, they produced what was needed for their livelihood and a small excess quantity that was sold in the markets along with small handicrafts. In addition, these communities sought to minimize waste and maximize reuse. In other words, an attempt was made to put into practice what is now called the “circular economy”.
The hippies of the 70s loved to wander in flea markets and flea markets. Morereover they also lived in vegetarian hippie communities. Therefore to look for clothes that were obviously not elegant but which, combined with each other, provided these new bohemians with an unconventional style that characterized them. In addition, the “gypsy” aspect they acquired was a characteristic that distinguished them from the rest of society. In conclusion, they desired an unconventional lifestyle as opposed to that of the bourgeois world.
In addition, some hippie communities used to move and settle in different and folkloric places. Thus absorbing local customs and traditions. In fact, the mythical journey of the hippies was the one in India. That is, in the land of spirituality.
In addition, their cuisine was made up of simple foods, not very elaborate and, if possible, self-produced. So they preferred ingredients such as rice, legumes, fruit, vegetables. However, they sought sources of livelihood by producing fruit preserves that they put up for sale. Or they sewed fabrics that they sold in the markets. In addition, they practiced a diet that could be considered quite healthy. Moreover, one of the basic vegetarian meals in the communities was rice with legumes. However often they produced the food in their vegetarian hippie communities. That is, it was a low-fat meal, free of cholesterol and triglycerides, rich in protein. However, combining rice and legumes in the same dish gives a high biological value to the food as the amino acid content of rice and legumes are complementary to them. In addition, rice and vegetable dishes were frequent: they are also very healthy.
Then most of the communities were vegetarian, therefore not vegan. However they could have some dairy goat from which to obtain excellent ricotta and cheese, yogurt. In addition, common condiments were very popular today but not very popular fifty years ago, namely turmeric and ginger. Moreover the excess of agricultural production was sold in the markets of nearby towns or cities.
EQUALITY AND ANTI-CONSUMER ATTITUDES
In particular, this simple lifestyle, with little waste, based in part on the self-production of livelihoods, was strongly opposed by politics. However, hippie culture was an counterculture movement so it was opposed to the imposition of the consumer economy so those who were simple and morally clean boys and girls were often described as dirty and parasites. In reality it was the power that feared a change in society in an egalitarian and anti-consumerist direction. Therefore began a demonization of these communities and this lifestyle took on a negative and antisocial connotation.
Finally, those naturalistic and healthy lifestyles of those communities were demonized together with community attitudes contrary to what the consumerist society represented. In addition, after all this the culture of consumption of junk food was imposed, that is fast food that has caused so much damage especially to US citizens.