NO ANIMAL FOOD
NUTRITION AND DIET
RUPERT H. WHELDON
HEALTH CULTURE CO. NEW YORK—PASSAIC, N. J.
The title of this book is not ambiguous, but as it relates to a subject rarely thought about by the generality of people, it may save some misapprehension if at once it is plainly stated that the following pages are in vindication of a dietary consisting wholly of products of the vegetable kingdom, and which therefore excludes not only flesh, fish, and fowl, but milk and eggs and products manufactured therefrom.
This work is reprinted from the English edition with changes better adapting it to the American reader.
Health and happiness are within reach of those who provide themselves with good food, clean water, fresh air, and exercise.
A ceaseless and relentless hand is laid on almost every animal to provide food for human beings.
Nothing that lives or grows is missed by man in his search for food to satisfy his appetite.
Natural appetite is satisfied with vegetable food, the basis for highest and best health and development.
History of primitive man we know, but the possibilities of perfected and complete man are not yet attained.
Adequate and pleasant food comes to us from the soil direct, favorable for health, and a preventive against disease.
Plant food is man's natural diet; ample, suitable, and available; obtainable with least labor and expense, and in pleasing form and variety.
Animal food will be useful in emergency, also at other times; still, plant substance is more favorable to health, endurance, and power of mind.
Variety of food is desirable and natural; it is abundantly supplied by the growth of the soil under cultivation.
Races of intelligence and strength are to be found subsisting and thriving on an exclusive plant grown diet.
The health and patience of vegetarians meet the social, mental and physical tests of life with less disease, and less risk of dependence in old age.
Meat eaters have no advantages which do not belong also to those whose food is vegetable.
Plant food, the principal diet of the world, has one serious drawback; it is not always savory, or palatable.
Plant diet to be savory requires fat, or oil, to be added to it; nuts, peanut, and olive oil, supply it to the best advantage.
Plant diet with butter, cream, milk, cheese, eggs, lard, fat, suet, or tallow added to it, is not vegetarian; it is mixed diet; the same in effect as if meat were used.—Elmer Lee, M.D., Editor, Health Culture Magazine.
NO ANIMAL FOOD
I—THE URGENCY OF THE SUBJECT 9
II—PHYSICAL CONSIDERATIONS 17
III—ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS 35
IV—THE AESTHETIC POINT OF VIEW 46
V—ECONOMICAL CONSIDERATIONS 52
VI—THE EXCLUSION OF DAIRY PRODUCE 58
NUTRITION AND DIET
I—SCIENCE OF NUTRITION 70
II—WHAT TO EAT 82
III—WHEN TO EAT 97
IV—HOW TO EAT 103
FOOD TABLE 108
NO ANIMAL FOOD
URGENCY OF THE SUBJECT
Outside of those who have had the good fortune to be educated to an understanding of a rational science of dietetics, very few people indeed have any notion whatever of the fundamental principles of nutrition and diet, and are therefore unable to form any sound opinion as to the merits or demerits of any particular system of dietetic reform. Unfortunately many of those who do realise the intimate connection between diet and both physical and mental health, are not, generally speaking, sufficiently philosophical to base their views upon a secure foundation and logically reason out the whole problem for themselves.
Briefly, the pleas usually advanced on behalf of the vegetable regimen are as follows: It is claimed to be healthier than the customary flesh diet; it is claimed for various reasons to be more pleasant; it is claimed to be more economical; it is claimed to be less trouble; it is claimed to be more humane. Many hold the opinion that a frugivorous diet is more natural and better suited to the constitution of man, and that he was never intended to be carnivorous; that the slaughtering of animals for food, being entirely unnecessary is immoral; that in adding our share towards supplying a vocation for the butcher we are helping to nurture callousness, coarseness and brutality in those who are concerned in the butchering business; that anyone of true refinement and delicacy would find in the killing of highly-strung, nervous, sensitive creatures, a task repulsive and disgusting, and that it is scarcely fair, let alone Christian, to ask others to perform work which we consider unnecessary and loathsome, and which we should be ashamed to do ourselves.
Of all these various views there is one that should be regarded as of primary importance, namely, the question of health. First and foremost we have to consider the question of physical health. No system of thought that poses as being concerned with man's welfare on earth can ever make headway unless it recognises this. Physical well-being is a moral consideration that should and must have our attention before aught else, and that this is so needs no demonstrating; it is self-evident.
Now it is not to be denied when we look at the over-flowing hospitals; when we see everywhere advertised patent medicines; when we realise that a vast amount of work is done by the medical profession among all classes; when we learn that one man out of twelve and one woman out of eight die every year from that most terrible disease, cancer, and that over 207,000 persons died from tuberculosis during the first seven years of the present century; when we learn that there are over 1500 defined diseases prevalent among us and that the list is being continually added to, that the general health of the nation is far different from what we have every reason to believe it ought to be. However much we may have become accustomed to it, we cannot suppose ill-health to be a normal condition. Granted, then, that the general health of the nation is far from what it should be, and looking from effects to causes, may we not pertinently enquire whether our diet is not largely responsible for this state of things? May it not be that wrong feeding and mal-nutrition are at the root of most disease? It needs no demonstrating that man's health is directly dependent upon what he eats, yet how few possess even the most elementary conception of the principles of nutrition in relation to health? Is it not evident that it is because of this lamentable ignorance so many people nowadays suffer from ill-health?
Further, not only does diet exert a definite influence upon physical well-being, but it indirectly affects the entire intellectual and moral evolution of mankind. Just as a man thinks so he becomes, and 'a science which controls the building of brain-cell, and therefore of mind-stuff, lies at the root of all the problems of life.' From the point of view of food-science, mind and body are inseparable; one reacts upon the other; and though a healthy body may not be essential to happiness, good health goes a long way towards making life worth living. Dr. Alexander Haig, who has done such excellent and valuable work in the study of uric acid in relation to disease, speaks most emphatically on this point: 'DIET is the greatest question for the human race, not only does his ability to obtain food determine man's existence, but its quality controls the circulation in the brain, and this decides the trend of being and action, accounting for much of the indifference between depravity and the self-control of wisdom.'
The human body is a machine, not an iron and steel machine, but a blood and bone machine, and just as it is necessary to understand the mechanism of the iron and steel machine in order to run it, so is it necessary to understand the mechanism of the blood and bone machine in order to run it. If a person understanding nothing of the business of a chauffeur undertook to run an automobile, doubtless he would soon come to grief; and so likewise if a person understands nothing of the needs of his body, or partly understanding them knows not how to satisfy them, it is extremely unlikely that he will maintain it at its normal standard of efficiency. Under certain conditions, of which we will speak in a moment, the body-machine is run quite unconsciously, and run well; that is to say, the body is kept in perfect health without the aid of science. But, then, we do not now live under these conditions, and so our reason has to play a certain part in encouraging, or, as the case may be, in restricting the various desires that make themselves felt. The reason so many people nowadays are suffering from all sorts of ailments is simply that they are deplorably ignorant of their natural bodily wants. How much does the ordinary individual know about nutrition, or about obedience to an unperverted appetite? The doctors seem to know little about health; they are not asked to keep us healthy, but only to cure us of disease, and so their studies relate to disease, not health; and dietetics, a science dealing with the very first principles of health, is an optional course in the curriculum of the medical student.
Food is the first necessary of life, and the right kind of food, eaten in the right manner, is necessary to a right, that is, healthy life. No doubt, pathological conditions are sometimes due to causes other than wrong feeding, but in a very large percentage of cases there is little doubt that errors in diet have been the cause of the trouble, either directly, or indirectly by rendering the system susceptible to pernicious influences. A knowledge of what is the right food to eat, and of the right way to eat it, does not, under existing conditions of life, come instinctively. Under other conditions it might do so, but under those in which we live, it certainly does not; and this is owing to the fact that for many hundred generations back there has been a pandering to sense, and a quelling and consequent atrophy of the discriminating animal instinct. As our intelligence has developed we have applied it to the service of the senses and at the expense of our primitive intuition of right and wrong that guided us in the selection of that which was suitable to our preservation and health. We excel the animals in the possession of reason, but the animals excel us in the exercise of instinct.
It has been said that animals do not study dietetics and yet live healthily enough. This is true, but it is true only as far as concerns those animals which live in their natural surroundings and under natural conditions. Man would not need to study diet were he so situated, but he is not. The wild animal of the woods is far removed from the civilized human being. The animal's instinct guides him aright, but man has lost his primitive instinct, and to trust to his inclinations may result in disaster.
The first question about vegetarianism, then, is this:—Is it the best diet from the hygienic point of view? Of course it will be granted that diseased food, food containing pernicious germs or poisons, whether animal or vegetable, is unfit to be eaten. It is not to be supposed that anyone will defend the eating of such food, so that we are justified in assuming that those who defend flesh-eating believe flesh to be free from such germs and poisons; therefore let the following be noted. It is affirmed that 50 per cent. of the bovine and other animals that are slaughtered for human food are affected with Tuberculosis, or some of the following diseases: Cancer, Anthrax, Pleuro-Pneumonia, Swine-Fever, Sheep Scab, Foot and Mouth Disease, etc., etc., and that to exclude all suspected or actually diseased carcasses would be practically to leave the market without a supply. One has only to read the literature dealing with this subject to be convinced that the meat-eating public must consume a large amount of highly poisonous substances. That these poisons may communicate disease to the person eating them has been amply proved. Cooking does not necessarily destroy all germs, for the temperature at the interior of a large joint is below that necessary to destroy the bacilli there present.
Although the remark is irrelevant to the subject in hand, one is tempted to point out that, quite apart from the question of hygiene, the idea of eating flesh containing sores and wounds, bruises and pus-polluted tissues, is altogether repulsive to the imagination.
Let it be supposed, however, that meat can be, and from the meat-eater's point of view, should be and will be under proper conditions, uncontaminated, there yet remains the question whether such food is physiologically necessary to man. Let us first consider what kind of food is best suited to man's natural constitution.
[Footnote 1: It seems reasonable to suppose that granting the organism has such natural needs satisfied as sleep, warmth, pure air, sunshine, and so forth, fundamentally all susceptibility to disease is due to wrong feeding and mal-nutrition, either of the individual organism or of its progenitors. The rationale of nutrition is a far more complicated matter than medical science appears to realise, and until the intimate relationship existing between nutrition and pathology has been investigated, we shall not see much progress towards the extermination of disease. Medical science by its curative methods is simply pruning the evil, which, meanwhile, is sending its roots deeper into the unstable organisms in which it grows.]
There are many eminent scientists who have given it as their opinion that anatomically and physiologically man is to be classed as a frugivorous animal. There are lacking in man all the characteristics that distinguish the prominent organs of the carnivora, while he possesses a most striking resemblance to the fruit-eating apes. Dr. Kingsford writes: 'M. Pouchet observes that all the details of the digestive apparatus in man, as well as his dentition, constitute "so many proofs of his frugivorous origin"—an opinion shared by Professor Owen, who remarks that the anthropoids and all the quadrumana derive their alimentation from fruits, grains, and other succulent and nutritive vegetable substances, and that the strict analogy which exists between the structure of these animals and that of man clearly demonstrates his frugivorous nature. This view is also taken by Cuvier, Linnaeus, Professor Lawrence, Charles Bell, Gassendi, Flourens, and a great number of other eminent writers.' (see The Perfect Way in Diet.)
Linnaeus is quoted by John Smith in Fruits and Farinacea as speaking of fruit as follows: 'This species of food is that which is most suitable to man: which is evidenced by the series of quadrupeds, analogy, wild men, apes, the structure of the mouth, of the stomach, and the hands.'
Sir Ray Lancaster, K.C.B., F.R.S., in an article in The Daily Telegraph, December, 1909, wrote: 'It is very generally asserted by those who advocate a purely vegetable diet that man's teeth are of the shape and pattern which we find in the fruit-eating, or in the root-eating, animals allied to him. This is true.... It is quite clear that man's cheek teeth do not enable him to cut lumps of meat and bone from raw carcasses and swallow them whole. They are broad, square-surfaced teeth with four or fewer low rounded tubercles to crush soft food, as are those of monkeys. And there can be no doubt that man fed originally like monkeys, on easily crushed fruits, nuts, and roots.'
With regard to man's original non-carnivorous nature and omnivorism, it is sometimes said that though man's system may not thrive on a raw flesh diet, yet he can assimilate cooked flesh and his system is well adapted to digest it. The answer to this is that were it demonstrable, and it is not, that cooked flesh is as easily digested and contains as much nutriment as grains and nuts, this does not prove it to be suitable for human food; for man (leaving out of consideration the fact that the eating of diseased animal flesh can communicate disease), since he was originally formed by Nature to subsist exclusively on the products of the vegetable kingdom, cannot depart from Nature's plan without incurring penalty of some sort—unless, indeed, his natural original constitution has changed; but it has not changed. The most learned and world-renowned scientists affirm man's present anatomical and physiological structure to be that of a frugivore. Disguising an unnatural food by cooking it may make that food more assimilable, but it by no means follows that such a food is suitable, let alone harmless, as human food. That it is harmful, not only to man's physical health, but to his mental and moral health, this book endeavours to demonstrate.
With regard to the fact that man has not changed constitutionally from his original frugivorous nature Dr. Haig writes as follows: 'If man imagines that a few centuries, or even a few hundred centuries, of meat-eating in defiance of Nature have endowed him with any new powers, except perhaps, that of bearing the resulting disease and degradation with an ignorance and apathy which are appalling, he deceives himself; for the record of the teeth shows that human structure has remained unaltered over vast periods of time.'
According to Dr. Haig, human metabolism (the process by which food is converted into living tissue) differs widely from that of the carnivora. The carnivore is provided with the means to dispose of such poisonous salts as are contained in and are produced by the ingestion of animal flesh, while the human system is not so provided. In the human body these poisons are not held in solution, but tend to form deposits and consequently are the cause of diseases of the arthritic group, conspicuously rheumatism.
There is sometimes some misconception as regards the distinction between a frugivorous and herbivorous diet. The natural diet of man consists of fruits, farinacea, perhaps certain roots, and the more esculent vegetables, and is commonly known as vegetarian, or fruitarian (frugivorous), but man's digestive organs by no means allow him to eat grass as the herbivora—the horse, ox, sheep, etc.—although he is much more nearly allied to these animals than to the carnivora.
We are forced to conclude, in the face of all the available evidence, that the natural constitution of man closely resembles that of fruit-eating animals, and widely differs from that of flesh-eating animals, and that from analogy it is only reasonable to suppose that the fruitarian, or vegetarian, as it is commonly called, is the diet best suited to man. This conclusion has been arrived at by many distinguished men of science, among whom are the above mentioned. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and to prove that the vegetarian is the most hygienic diet, we must examine the physical conditions of those nations and individuals who have lived, and do live, upon this diet.
It might be mentioned, parenthetically, that among animals, the herbivora are as strong physically as any species of carnivora. The most laborious work of the world is performed by oxen, horses, mules, camels, elephants, all vegetable-feeding animals. What animal possesses the enormous strength of the herbivorous rhinoceros, who, travellers relate, uproots trees and grinds whole trunks to powder? Again, the frugivorous orang-outang is said to be more than a match for the African lion. Comparing herbivora and carnivora from this point of view Dr. Kingsford writes: 'The carnivora, indeed, possess one salient and terrible quality, ferocity, allied to thirst for blood; but power, endurance, courage, and intelligent capacity for toil belong to those animals who alone, since the world has had a history, have been associated with the fortunes, the conquests, and the achievements of men.'
Charles Darwin, reverenced by all educated people as a scientist of the most keen and accurate observation, wrote in his Voyage of the Beagle, the following with regard to the Chilian miners, who, he tells us, live in the cold and high regions of the Andes: 'The labouring class work very hard. They have little time allowed for their meals, and during summer and winter, they begin when it is light and leave off at dusk. They are paid L1 sterling a month and their food is given them: this, for breakfast, consists of sixteen figs and two small loaves of bread; for dinner, boiled beans; for supper, broken roasted wheat-grain. They scarcely ever taste meat.' This is as good as saying that the strongest men in the world, performing the most arduous work, and living in an exhilarating climate, are practically strict vegetarians.
Dr. Jules Grand, President of the Vegetarian Society of France speaks of 'the Indian runners of Mexico, who offer instances of wonderful endurance, and eat nothing but tortillas of maize, which they eat as they run along; the street porters of Algiers, Smyrna, Constantinople and Egypt, well known for their uncommon strength, and living on nothing but maize, rice, dates, melons, beans, and lentils. The Piedmontese workmen, thanks to whom the tunnelling of the Alps is due, feed on polenta, (maize-broth). The peasants of the Asturias, like those of the Auvergne, scarcely eat anything except chick-peas and chestnuts ... statistics prove ... that the most numerous population of the globe is vegetarian.'
The following miscellaneous excerpta are from Smith's Fruits and Farinacea:—
'The peasantry of Norway, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, and of almost every country in Europe subsist principally, and most of them entirely, on vegetable food.... The Persians, Hindoos, Burmese, Chinese, Japanese, the inhabitants of the East Indian Archipelago, and of the mountains of the Himalaya, and, in fact, most of the Asiatics, live upon vegetable productions.'
'The people of Russia, generally, subsist on coarse black rye-bread and garlics. I have often hired men to labour for me. They would come on board in the morning with a piece of black bread weighing about a pound, and a bunch of garlics as big as one's fist. This was all their nourishment for the day of sixteen or eighteen hours' labour. They were astonishingly powerful and active, and endured severe and protracted labour far beyond any of my men. Some of these Russians were eighty and even ninety years old, and yet these old men would do more work than any of the middle-aged men belonging to my ship. Captain C. S. Howland of New Bedford, Mass.'
'The Chinese feed almost entirely on rice, confections and fruits; those who are enabled to live well and spend a temperate life, are possessed of great strength and agility.'
'The Egyptian cultivators of the soil, who live on coarse wheaten bread, Indian corn, lentils, and other productions of the vegetable kingdom, are among the finest people I have even seen. Latherwood.'
'The Greek boatmen are exceedingly abstemious. Their food consists of a small quantity of black bread, made of unbolted rye or wheatmeal, and a bunch of grapes, or raisins, or some figs. They are astonishingly athletic and powerful; and the most nimble, active, graceful, cheerful, and even merry people in the world. Judge Woodruff, of Connecticut.'
'From the day of his irruption into Europe the Turk has always proved himself to be endowed with singularly strong vitality and energy. As a member of a warlike race, he is without equal in Europe in health and hardiness. His excellent physique, his simple habits, his abstinence from intoxicating liquors, and his normal vegetarian diet, enable him to support the greatest hardships, and to exist on the scantiest and simplest food.'
'The Spaniards of Rio Salada in South America,—who come down from the interior, and are employed in transporting goods overland,—live wholly on vegetable food. They are large, very robust, and strong; and bear prodigious burdens on their backs, travelling over mountains too steep for loaded mules to ascend, and with a speed which few of the generality of men can equal without incumbrance.'
'In the most heroic days of the Grecian army, their food was the plain and simple produce of the soil. The immortal Spartans of Thermopylae were, from infancy, nourished by the plainest and coarsest vegetable aliment: and the Roman army, in the period of their greatest valour and most gigantic achievements, subsisted on plain and coarse vegetable food. When the public games of Ancient Greece—for the exercise of muscular power and activity in wrestling, boxing, running, etc.,—were first instituted, the athletae in accordance with the common dietetic habits of the people, were trained entirely on vegetable food.'
Dr. Kellogg, an authority on dietetics, makes the following answer to those who proclaim that those nations who eat a large amount of flesh-food, such as the English, are the strongest and dominant nations: "While it is true that the English nation makes large use of animal food, and is at the same time one of the most powerful on the globe, it is also true that the lowest, most miserable classes of human beings, such as the natives of Australia, and the inhabitants of Terra del Fuego, subsist almost wholly upon flesh. It should also be borne in mind that it is only within a single generation that the common people of England have become large consumers of flesh. In former times and when England was laying the foundation of her greatness, her sturdy yeomen ate less meat in a week, than the average Englishman of the present consumes in a single day.... The Persians, the Grecians, and the Romans, became ruling nations while vegetarians."
In Fruits and Farinacea, Professor Lawrence is quoted as follows: 'The inhabitants of Northern Europe and Asia, the Laplanders, Samoiedes, Ostiacs, Tangooses, Burats, Kamtschatdales, as well as the natives of Terra del Fuego in the Southern extremity of America, are the smallest, weakest, and least brave people on the globe; although they live almost entirely on flesh, and that often raw.'
Many athletic achievements of recent date have been won by vegetarians both in this country and abroad. The following successes are noteworthy:—Walking: Karl Mann, Dresden to Berlin, Championship of Germany; George Allen, Land's End to John-o'-Groats. Running: E. R. Voigt, Olympic Championship, etc.: F. A. Knott, 5,000 metres Belgian record. Cycling: G. A. Olley, Land's End to John-o'-Groats record. Tennis: Eustace Miles, M.A., various championships, etc. Of especial interest at the present moment are a series of tests and experiments recently carried out at Yale University, U.S.A., under Professor Irving Fisher, with the object of discovering the suitability of different dietaries for athletes, and the effect upon the human system in general. The results were surprising. 'One of the most severe tests,' remarks Professor Fisher, 'was in deep knee-bending, or "squatting." Few of the meat-eaters could "squat" more than three to four hundred times. On the other hand a Yale student who had been a flesh-abstainer for two years, did the deep knee-bending eighteen hundred times without exhaustion.... One remarkable difference between the two sets of men was the comparative absence of soreness in the muscles of the meat-abstainers after the tests.'
The question as to climate is often raised; many people labour under the idea that a vegetable diet may be suitable in a hot climate, but not in a cold. That this idea is false is shown by facts, some of which the above quotations supply. That man can live healthily in arctic regions on a vegetable diet has been amply demonstrated. In a cold climate the body requires a considerable quantity of heat-producing food, that is, food containing a good supply of hydrocarbons (fats), and carbohydrates (starches and sugars). Many vegetable foods are rich in these properties, as will be explained in the essay following dealing with dietetics. Strong and enduring vegetable-feeding animals, such as the musk-ox and the reindeer, flourish on the scantiest food in an arctic climate, and there is no evidence to show that man could not equally well subsist on vegetable food under similar conditions.
In an article entitled Vegetarianism in Cold Climates, by Captain Walter Carey, R.N., the author describes his observations during a winter spent in Manchuria. The weather, we are told, was exceedingly cold, the thermometer falling as low as minus 22 deg. F. After speaking of the various arduous labours the natives are engaged in, Captain Carey describes the physique and diet of natives in the vicinity of Niu-Chwang as follows: 'The men accompanying the carts were all very big and of great strength, and it was obvious that none but exceptionally strong and hardy men could withstand the hardships of their long march, the intense cold, frequent blizzards, and the work of forcing their queer team along in spite of everything. One could not help wondering what these men lived on, and I found that the chief article was beans, which, made into a coarse cake, supplied food for both men and animals. I was told by English merchants who travelled in the interior, that everywhere they found the same powerful race of men, living on beans and rice—in fact, vegetarians. Apparently they obtain the needful proteid and fat from the beans; while the coarse once-milled rice furnishes them with starch, gluten, and mineral salts, etc. Spartan fare, indeed, but proving how easy it is to sustain life without consuming flesh-food.'
So far, then, as the physical condition of those nations who are practically vegetarian is concerned, we have to conclude that practice tallies with theory. Science teaches that man should live on a non-flesh diet, and when we come to consider the physique of those nations and men who do so, we have to acknowledge that their bodily powers and their health equal, if not excel, those of nations and men who, in part, subsist upon flesh. But it is interesting to go yet further. It has already been stated that mind and body are inseparable; that one reacts upon the other: therefore it is not irrelevant, in passing, to observe what mental powers are possessed by those races and individuals who subsist entirely upon the products of the vegetable kingdom.
When we come to consider the mentality of the Oriental races we certainly have to acknowledge that Oriental culture—ethical, metaphysical, and poetical—has given birth to some of the grandest and noblest thoughts that mankind possesses, and has devised philosophical systems that have been the comfort and salvation of countless millions of souls. Anyone who doubts the intellectual and ethical attainments of that remarkable nation of which we in the West know so little—the Chinese—should read the panegyric written by Sir Robert Hart, who, for forty years, lived among them, and learnt to love and venerate them as worthy of the highest admiration and respect. Others have written in praise of the people of Burma. Speaking of the Burman, a traveller writes: 'He will exercise a graceful charity unheard of in the West—he has discovered how to make life happy without selfishness and to combine an adequate power for hard work with a corresponding ability to enjoy himself gracefully ... he is a philosopher and an artist.'
Speaking of the Indian peasant a writer in an English journal says: 'The ryot lives in the face of Nature, on a simple diet easily procured, and inherits a philosophy, which, without literary culture, lifts his spirit into a higher plane of thought than other peasantries know of. Abstinence from flesh food of any kind, not only gives him pure blood exempt from civilized diseases but makes him the friend and not the enemy, of the animal world around.'
Eastern literature is renowned for its subtle metaphysics. The higher types of Orientals are endowed with an extremely subtle intelligence, so subtle as to be wholly unintelligible to the ordinary Westerner. It is said that Pythagoras and Plato travelled in the East and were initiated into Eastern mysticism. The East possesses many scriptures, and the greater part of the writings of Eastern scholars consist of commentaries on the sacred writings. Among the best known monumental philosophical and literary achievements maybe mentioned the Tao Teh C'hing; the Zend Avesta; the Three Vedas; the Brahmanas; the Upanishads; and the Bhagavad-gita, that most beautiful 'Song Celestial' which for nearly two thousand years has moulded the thoughts and inspired the aspirations of the teeming millions of India.
As to the testimony of individuals it is interesting to note that some of the greatest philosophers, scientists, poets, moralists, and many men of note, in different walks of life, in past and modern times, have, for various reasons, been vegetarians, among whom have been named the following:—
Manu Zoroaster Pythagoras Zeno Buddha Isaiah Daniel Empedocles Socrates Plato Aristotle Porphyry John Wesley Franklin Goldsmith Ray Paley Isaac Newton Jean Paul Richter Schopenhauer Byron Gleizes Hartley Rousseau Iamblichus Hypatia Diogenes Quintus Sextus Ovid Plutarch Seneca Apollonius The Apostles Matthew James James the Less Peter The Christian Fathers Clement Tertullian Origen Chrysostom St. Francis d'Assisi Cornaro Leonardo da Vinci Milton Locke Spinoza Voltaire Pope Gassendi Swedenborg Thackeray Linnaeus Shelley Lamartine Michelet William Lambe Sir Isaac Pitman Thoreau Fitzgerald Herbert Burrows Garibaldi Wagner Edison Tesla Marconi Tolstoy George Frederick Watts Maeterlinck Vivekananda General Booth Mrs. Besant Bernard Shaw Rev. Prof. John E. B. Mayor Hon. E. Lyttelton Rev. R. J. Campbell Lord Charles Beresford Gen. Sir Ed. Bulwer etc., etc., etc.
The following is a list of the medical and scientific authorities who have expressed opinions favouring vegetarianism:—
M. Pouchet Baron Cuvier Linnaeus Professor Laurence, F.R.S. Sir Charles Bell, F.R.S. Gassendi Flourens Sir John Owen Professor Howard Moore Sylvester Graham, M.D. John Ray, F.R.S. Professor H. Schaafhausen Sir Richard Owen, F.R.S. Charles Darwin, LL.D., F.R.S. Dr. John Wood, M.D. Professor Irving Fisher Professor A. Wynter Blyth, F.R.C.S. Edward Smith, M.B., F.R.S., LL.B. Adam Smith, F.R.S. Lord Playfair, M.D., C.B. Sir Henry Thompson, M.B., F.R.C.S. Dr. F. J. Sykes, B. Sc. Dr. Anna Kingsford Professor G. Sims Woodhead, M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S. Alexander Haig, M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P. Dr. W. B. Carpenter, C.B., F.R.S. Dr. Josiah Oldfield, D.C.L., M.A., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. Virchow Sir Benjamin W. Richardson, M.P., F.R.C.S. Dr. Robert Perks, M.D., F.R.C.S. Dr. Kellogg, M.D. Harry Campbell, M.D. Dr. Olsen etc., etc.
Before concluding this section it might be pointed out that the curious prejudice which is always manifested when men are asked to consider any new thing is as strongly in evidence against food reform as in other innovations. For example, flesh-eating is sometimes defended on the ground that vegetarians do not look hale and hearty, as healthy persons should do. People who speak in this way probably have in mind one or two acquaintances who, through having wrecked their health by wrong living, have had to abstain from the 'deadly decoctions of flesh' and adopt a simpler and purer dietary. It is not fair to judge meat abstainers by those who have had to take to a reformed diet solely as a curative measure; nor is it fair to lay the blame of a vegetarian's sickness on his diet, as if it were impossible to be sick from any other cause. The writer has known many vegetarians in various parts of the world, and he fails to understand how anyone moving about among vegetarians, either in this country or elsewhere, can deny that such people look as healthy and cheerful as those who live upon the conventional omnivorous diet.
If a vegetarian, owing to inherited susceptibilities, or incorrect rearing in childhood, or any other cause outside his power to prevent, is sickly and delicate, is it just to lay the blame on his present manner of life? It would, indeed, seem most reasonable to assume that the individual in question would be in a much worse condition had he not forsaken his original and mistaken diet when he did. The writer once heard an acquaintance ridicule vegetarianism on the ground that Thoreau died of pulmonary consumption at forty-five! One is reminded of Oliver Wendell Holmes' witty saying:—'The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye: the more it sees the light, the more it contracts.'
In conclusion, there is, as we have seen in our review of typical vegetarian peoples and classes throughout the world, the strongest evidence that those who adopt a sensible non-flesh dietary, suited to their own constitution and environment, are almost invariably healthier, stronger, and longer-lived than those who rely chiefly upon flesh-meat for nutriment.
The primary consideration in regard to the question of diet should be, as already stated, the hygienic. Having shown that the non-flesh diet is the more natural, and the more advantageous from the point of view of health, let us now consider which of the two—vegetarianism or omnivorism—is superior from the ethical point of view.
The science of ethics is the science of conduct. It is founded, primarily, upon philosophical postulates without which no code or system of morals could be formulated. Briefly, these postulates are, (a), every activity of man has as its deepest motive the end termed Happiness, (b) the Happiness of the individual is indissolubly bound up with the Happiness of all Creation. The truth of (a) will be evident to every person of normal intelligence: all arts and systems aim consciously, or unconsciously, at some good, and so far as names are concerned everyone will be willing to call the Chief Good by the term Happiness, although there may be unlimited diversity of opinion as to its nature, and the means to attain it. The truth of (b) also becomes apparent if the matter is carefully reflected upon. Everything that is en rapport with all other things: the pebble cast from the hand alters the centre of gravity in the Universe. As in the world of things and acts, so in the world of thought, from which all action springs. Nothing can happen to the part but the whole gains or suffers as a consequence. Every breeze that blows, every cry that is uttered, every thought that is born, affects through perpetual metamorphoses every part of the entire Cosmic Existence.
We deduce from these postulates the following ethical precepts: a wise man will, firstly, so regulate his conduct that thereby he may experience the greatest happiness; secondly, he will endeavour to bestow happiness on others that by so doing he may receive, indirectly, being himself a part of the Cosmic Whole, the happiness he gives. Thus supreme selfishness is synonymous with supreme egoism, a truth that can only be stated paradoxically.
Applying this latter precept to the matter in hand, it is obvious that since we should so live as to give the greatest possible happiness to all beings capable of appreciating it, and as it is an indisputable fact that animals can suffer pain, and that men who slaughter animals needlessly suffer from atrophy of all finer feelings, we should therefore cause no unnecessary suffering in the animal world. Let us then consider whether, knowing flesh to be unnecessary as an article of diet, we are, in continuing to demand and eat flesh-food, acting morally or not. To answer this query is not difficult.
It is hardly necessary to say that we are causing a great deal of suffering among animals in breeding, raising, transporting, and killing them for food. It is sometimes said that animals do not suffer if they are handled humanely, and if they are slaughtered in abattoirs under proper superintendence. But we must not forget the branding and castrating operations; the journey to the slaughter-house, which when trans-continental and trans-oceanic must be a long drawn-out nightmare of horror and terror to the doomed beasts; we must not forget the insatiable cruelty of the average cowboy; we must not forget that the animal inevitably spends at least some minutes of instinctive dread and fear when he smells and sees the spilt blood of his forerunners, and that this terror is intensified when, as is frequently the case, he witnesses the dying struggles, and hears the heart-rending groans; we must not forget that the best contrivances sometimes fail to do good work, and that a certain percentage of victims have to suffer a prolonged death-agony owing to the miscalculation of a bad workman. Most people go through life without thinking of these things: they do not stop and consider from whence and by what means has come to their table the flesh-food that is served there. They drift along through a mundane existence without feeling a pang of remorse for, or even thought of, the pain they are accomplices in producing in the sub-human world. And it cannot be denied, hide it how we may, either from our eyes or our conscience, that however skilfully the actual killing may usually be carried out, there is much unavoidable suffering caused to the beasts that have to be transported by sea and rail to the slaughter-house. The animals suffer violently from sea-sickness, and horrible cruelty (such as pouring boiling oil into their ears, and stuffing their ears with hay which is then set on fire, tail-twisting, etc.,) has to be practised to prevent them lying down lest they be trampled on by other beasts and killed; for this means that they have to be thrown overboard, thus reducing the profits of their owners, or of the insurance companies, which, of course, would be a sad calamity. Judging by the way the men act it does not seem to matter what cruelties and tortures are perpetuated; what heinous offenses against every humane sentiment of the human heart are committed; it does not matter to what depths of Satanic callousness man stoops provided always that—this is the supreme question—there is money to be made by it.
A writer has thus graphically described the scene in a cattle-boat in rough weather: 'Helpless cattle dashed from one side of the ship to the other, amid a ruin of smashed pens, with limbs broken from contact with hatchway combings or winches—dishorned, gored, and some of them smashed to mere bleeding masses of hide-covered flesh. Add to this the shrieking of the tempest, and the frenzied moanings of the wounded beasts, and the reader will have some faint idea of the fearful scenes of danger and carnage ... the dead beasts, advanced, perhaps, in decomposition before death ended their sufferings, are often removed literally in pieces.'
And on the railway journey, though perhaps the animals do not experience so much physical pain as travelling by sea, yet they are often deprived of food, and water, and rest, for long periods, and mercilessly knocked about and bruised. They are often so injured that the cattle-men are surprised they have not succumbed to their injuries. And all this happens in order that the demand for unnecessary flesh-food may be satisfied.
Those who defend flesh-eating often talk of humane methods of slaughtering; but it is significant that there is considerable difference of opinion as to what is the most humane method. In England the pole-axe is used; in Germany the mallet; the Jews cut the throat; the Italians stab. It is obvious that each of these methods cannot be better than the others, yet the advocates of each method consider the others cruel. As Lieut. Powell remarks, this 'goes far to show that a great deal of cruelty and suffering is inseparable from all methods.'
It is hard to imagine how anyone believing he could live healthily on vegetable food alone, could, having once considered these things, continue a meat-eater. At least to do so he could not live his life in conformity with the precept that we should cause no unnecessary pain.
How unholy a custom, how easy a way to murder he makes for himself Who cuts the innocent throat of the calf, and hears unmoved its mournful plaint! And slaughters the little kid, whose cry is like the cry of a child, Or devours the birds of the air which his own hands have fed! Ah, how little is wanting to fill the cup of his wickedness! What unrighteous deed is he not ready to commit.
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Make war on noxious creatures, and kill them only, But let your mouths be empty of blood, and satisfied with pure and natural repasts.
OVID. Metam., lib. xv.
That we cannot find any justification for destroying animal life for food does not imply we should never destroy animal life. Such a cult would be pure fanaticism. If we are to consider physical well-being as of primary importance, it follows that we shall act in self-preservation 'making war on noxious creatures.' But this again is no justification for 'blood-sports.'
He who inflicts pain needlessly, whether by his own hand or by that of an accomplice, not only injures his victim, but injures himself. He stifles what nobleness of character he may have and he cultivates depravity and barbarism. He destroys in himself the spirit of true religion and isolates himself from those whose lives are made beautiful by sympathy. No one need hope for a spiritual Heaven while helping to make the earth a bloody Hell. No one who asks others to do wrong for him need imagine he escapes the punishment meted out to wrong-doers. That he procures the service of one whose sensibilities are less keen than his own to procure flesh-food for him that he may gratify his depraved taste and love of conformity does not make him less guilty of crime. Were he to kill with his own hand, and himself dress and prepare the obscene food, the evil would be less, for then he would not be an accomplice in retarding the spiritual growth of a fellow being. There is no shame in any necessary labour, but that which is unnecessary is unmoral, and slaughtering animals to eat their flesh is not only unnecessary and unmoral; it is also cruel and immoral. Philosophers and transcendentalists who believe in the Buddhist law of Karma, Westernized by Emerson and Carlyle into the great doctrine of Compensation, realize that every act of unkindness, every deed that is contrary to the dictates of our nobler instincts and reason, reacts upon us, and we shall truly reap that which we have sown. An act of brutality brutalizes, and the more we become brutalized the more we attract natures similarly brutal and get treated by them brutally. Thus does Nature sternly deal justice.
'Our acts our angels are, or good or ill, Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.'
It is appropriate in this place to point out that some very pointed things are said in the Bible against the killing and eating of animals. It has been said that it is possible by judiciously selecting quotations to find the Bible support almost anything. However this may be, the following excerpta are of interest:—
'And God said: Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat.'—Gen. i., 29.
'But flesh with life thereof, which is the blood thereof, ye shall not eat.'—Gen. ix., 4.
'It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings, that ye shall eat neither fat nor blood.'—Lev. iii., 17.
'Ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl, or beast.'—Lev. vii., 26.
'Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.'—Lev. xvii., 14.
'The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.'—Isaiah lxv.
'He that killeth an ox is as he that slayeth a man.'—Isaiah lxvi., 3.
'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.'—Matt. ix., 7.
'It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor to do anything whereby thy brother stumbleth.'—Romans xiv., 21.
'Wherefore, if meat maketh my brother to stumble I will eat no flesh for evermore, that I make not my brother stumble.'—1 Cor. viii., 13.
The verse from Isaiah is no fanciful stretch of poetic imagination. The writer, no doubt, was picturing a condition of peace and happiness on earth, when discord had ceased and all creatures obeyed Nature and lived in harmony. It is not absurd to suppose that someday the birds and beasts may look upon man as a friend and benefactor, and not the ferocious beast of prey that he now is. In certain parts of the world, at the present day—the Galapagos Archipelago, for instance—where man has so seldom been that he is unknown to the indigenous animal life, travellers relate that birds are so tame and friendly and curious, being wholly unacquainted with the bloodthirsty nature of man, that they will perch on his shoulders and peck at his shoe laces as he walks.
It may be said that Jesus did not specifically forbid flesh-food. But then he did not specifically forbid war, sweating, slavery, gambling, vivisection, cock and bull fighting, rabbit-coursing, trusts, opium smoking, and many other things commonly looked upon as evils which should not exist among Christians. Jesus laid down general principles, and we are to apply these general principles to particular circumstances.
The sum of all His teaching is that love is the most beautiful thing in the world; that the Kingdom of Heaven is open to all who really and truly love. The act of loving is the expression of a desire to make others happy. All beings capable of experiencing pain, who have nervous sensibilities similar to our own, are capable of experiencing the effect of our love. The love which is unlimited, which is not confined merely to wife and children, or blood relations and social companions, or one's own nation, or even the entire human race, but is so comprehensive as to include all life, human and sub-human; such love as this marks the highest point in moral evolution that human intelligence can conceive of or aspire to.
Eastern religions have been more explicit than Christianity about the sin of killing animals for food.
In the Laws of Manu, it is written: 'The man who forsakes not the law, and eats not flesh-meat like a bloodthirsty demon, shall attain goodness in this world, and shall not be afflicted with maladies.'
'Unslaughter is the supreme virtue, supreme asceticism, golden truth, from which springs up the germ of religion.' The Mahabharata.
'Non-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-receiving, are called Yama.' Patanjalis' Yoga Aphorisms.
'A Yogi must not think of injuring anyone, through thought, word or deed, and this applies not only to man, but to all animals. Mercy shall not be for men alone, but shall go beyond, and embrace the whole world.' Commentary of Vivekananda.
'Surely hell, fire, and repentance are in store for those who for their pleasure and gratification cause the dumb animals to suffer pain.' The Zend Avesta.
Gautama, the Buddha, was most emphatic in discountenancing the killing of animals for food, or for any other unnecessary purpose, and Zoroaster and Confucius are said to have taught the same doctrine.
[Footnote 2: See Sartor Resartus, Book I., chap. xi.: Book III., chap. vii. Also an article by Prof. W. P. Montague, Ph.D.: 'The Evidence of Design in the Elements and Structure of the Cosmos,' in the Hibbert Journal, Jan., 1904.]
THE AESTHETIC POINT OF VIEW
St. Paul tells us to think on whatsoever things are pure and lovely (Phil. iv., 8). The implication is that we should love and worship beauty. We should seek to surround ourselves by beautiful objects and avoid that which is degrading and ugly.
Let us make some comparisons. Look at a collection of luscious fruits filling the air with perfume, and pleasing the eye with a harmony of colour, and then look at the gruesome array of skinned carcasses displayed in a butcher's shop; which is the more beautiful? Look at the work of the husbandman, tilling the soil, pruning the trees, gathering in the rich harvest of golden fruit, and then look at the work of the cowboy, branding, castrating, terrifying, butchering helpless animals; which is the more beautiful? Surely no one would say a corpse was a beautiful object. Picture it (after the axe has battered the skull, or the knife has found the heart, and the victim has at last ceased its dying groans and struggles), with its ghastly staring eyes, its blood-stained head or throat where the sharp steel pierced into the quivering flesh; picture it when the body is opened emitting a sickening odour and the reeking entrails fall in a heap on the gore-splashed floor; picture this sight and ask whether it is not the epitome of ugliness, and in direct opposition to the most elementary sense of beauty.
Moreover, what effect has the work of a slayer of animals upon his personal character and refinement? Can anyone imagine a sensitive-minded, finely-wrought aesthetic nature doing anything else than revolt against the cold-blooded murdering of terrorised animals? It is significant that in some of the States of America butchers are not allowed to sit on a jury during a murder trial. Physiognomically the slaughterman carries his trade-mark legibly enough. The butcher does not usually exhibit those facial traits which distinguish a person who is naturally sympathetic and of an aesthetic temperament; on the contrary, the butcher's face and manner generally bear evidence of a life spent amid scenes of gory horror and violence; of a task which involves torture and death.
A plate of cereal served with fruit-juice pleases the eye and imagination, but a plate smeared with blood and laden with dead flesh becomes disgusting and repulsive the moment we consider it in that light. Cooking may disguise the appearance but cannot alter the reality of the decaying corpse; and to cook blood and give it another name (gravy) may be an artifice to please the palate, but it is blood, (blood that once coursed through the body of a highly sensitive and nervous being), just the same. Surely a person whose olfactory nerves have not been blunted prefers the delicate aroma of ripe fruit to the sickly smell of mortifying flesh,—or fried eggs and bacon!
Notice how young children, whose taste is more or less unperverted, relish ripe fruits and nuts and clean tasting things in general. Man, before he has become thoroughly accustomed to an unnatural diet, before his taste has been perverted and he has acquired by habit a liking for unwholesome and unnatural food, has a healthy appetite for Nature's sun-cooked seeds and berries of all kinds. Now true refinement can only exist where the senses are uncorrupted by addiction to deleterious habits, and the nervous system by which the senses act will remain healthy only so long as it is built up by pure and natural foods; hence it is only while man is nourished by those foods desired by his unperverted appetite that he may be said to possess true refinement. Power of intellect has nothing whatever to do necessarily with the aesthetic instinct. A man may possess vast learning and yet be a boor. Refinement is not learnt as a boy learns algebra. Refinement comes from living a refined life, as good deeds come from a good man. The nearer we live according to Nature's plan, and in harmony with Her, the healthier we become physically and mentally. We do not look for refinement in the obese, red-faced, phlegmatic, gluttonous sensualists who often pass as gentlemen because they possess money or rank, but in those who live simply, satisfying the simple requirements of the body, and finding happiness in a life of well-directed toil.
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The taste of young children is often cited by vegetarians to demonstrate the liking of an unsophisticated palate, but the primitive instinct is not wholly atrophied in man. Before man became a tool-using animal, he must have depended for direction upon what is commonly termed instinct in the selection of a diet most suitable to his nature. No one can doubt, judging by the way undomesticated animals seek their food with unerring certainty as to its suitability, but that instinct is a trustworthy guide. Granting that man could, in a state of absolute savagery, and before he had discovered the use of fire or of tools, depend upon instinct alone, and in so doing live healthily, cannot what yet remains of instinct be of some value among civilized beings? Is not man, even now, in spite of his abused and corrupted senses, when he sees luscious fruits hanging within his reach, tempted to pluck them, and does he not eat them with relish? But when he sees the grazing ox, or the wallowing hog, do similar gustatory desires affect him? Or when he sees these animals lying dead, or when skinned and cut up in small pieces, does this same natural instinct stimulate him to steal and eat this food as it stimulates a boy to steal apples and nuts from an orchard and eat them surreptitiously beneath the hedge or behind the haystack?
Very different is it with true carnivora. The gorge of a cat, for instance, will rise at the smell of a mouse, or a piece of raw flesh, but not at the aroma of fruit. If a man could take delight in pouncing upon a bird, tear its still living body apart with his teeth, sucking the warm blood, one might infer that Nature had provided him with carnivorous instinct, but the very thought of doing such a thing makes him shudder. On the other hand, a bunch of luscious grapes makes his 'mouth water,' and even in the absence of hunger he will eat fruit to gratify taste. A table spread with fruits and nuts and decorated with flowers is artistic; the same table laden with decaying flesh and blood, and maybe entrails, is not only inartistic—it is disgusting.
Those who believe in an all-wise Creator can hardly suppose He would have so made our body as to make it necessary daily to perform acts of violence that are an outrage to our sympathies, repulsive to our finer feelings, and brutalising and degrading in every detail. To possess fine feelings without the means to satisfy them is as bad as to possess hunger without a stomach. If it be necessary and a part of the Divine Wisdom that we should degrade ourselves to the level of beasts of prey, then the humanitarian sentiment and the aesthetic instinct are wrong and should be displaced by callousness, and the endeavour to cultivate a feeling of enjoyment in that which to all the organs of sense in a person of intelligence and religious feeling is ugly and repulsive. But no normally-minded person can think that this is so. It would be contrary to all the ethical and aesthetic teachings of every religion, and antagonistic to the feelings of all who have evolved to the possession of a conscience and the power to distinguish the beautiful from the base.
When one accustomed to an omnivorous diet adopts a vegetarian regime, a steadily growing refinement in taste and smell is experienced. Delicate and subtle flavours, hitherto unnoticed, especially if the habit of thorough mastication be practised, soon convince the neophyte that a vegetarian is by no means denied the pleasure of gustatory enjoyment. Further, not only are these senses better attuned and refined, but the mind also undergoes a similar exaltation. Thoreau, the transcendentalist, wrote: 'I believe that every man who has ever been earnest to preserve his higher or poetic faculties in the best condition, has been particularly inclined to abstain from animal food, and from much food of any kind.'
There is no doubt that the yield of land when utilized for pasturage is less than what it will produce in the hands of the agriculturist. In a thickly populated country, such as England, dependent under present conditions on foreign countries for a large proportion of her food supply, it is foolish, considering only the political aspects, to employ the land for raising unnecessary flesh-food, and so be compelled to apply to foreign markets for the first necessaries of life, when there is, without doubt, sufficient agricultural land in England to support the entire population on a vegetable regimen. As just said, a much larger population can be supported on a given acreage cultivated with vegetable produce than would be possible were the same land used for grazing cattle. Lieut. Powell quotes Prof. Francis Newman of University College, London, as declaring that—
100 acres devoted to sheep-raising will support 42 men: proportion 1.
100 acres devoted to dairy-farming will support 53 men: proportion 1-1/4.
100 acres devoted to wheat will support 250 men: proportion 6.
100 acres devoted to potato will support 683 men: proportion 16.
To produce the same quantity of food yielded by an acre of land cultivated by the husbandman, three or four acres, or more, would be required as grazing land to raise cattle for flesh meat.
Another point to note is that agriculture affords employment to a very much larger number of men than cattle-raising; that is to say, a much larger number of men are required to raise a given amount of vegetable food than is required to raise the same amount of flesh food, and so, were the present common omnivorous customs to give place to vegetarianism, a very much more numerous peasantry would be required on the land. This would be physically, economically, morally, better for the nation. It is obvious that national health would be improved with a considerably larger proportion of hardy country yeomen. The percentage of poor and unemployed people in large cities would be reduced, their labor being required on the soil, where, being in more natural, salutary, harmonious surroundings the moral element would have better opportunity for development than when confined in the unhealthy, ugly, squalid surroundings of a city slum.
It is not generally known that there is often a decided loss of valuable food-material in feeding animals for food, one authority stating that it takes nearly 4 lbs. of barley, which is a good wholesome food, to make 1 lb. of pork, a food that can hardly be considered safe to eat when we learn that tuberculosis was detected in 6,393 pigs in Berlin abattoirs in one year.
As to the comparative cost of a vegetarian and omnivorous diet, it is instructive to learn that it is proverbial in the Western States of America that a Chinaman can live and support his family in health and comfort on an allowance which to a meat-eating white man would be starvation. It is not to be denied that a vegetarian desirous of living to eat, and having no reason or desire to be economical, could spend money as extravagantly as a devotee of the flesh-pots having a similar disposition. But it is significant that the poor of most European countries are not vegetarians from choice but from necessity. Had they the means doubtless they would purchase meat, not because of any instinctive liking for it, but because of that almost universal trait of human character that causes men to desire to imitate their superiors, without, in most cases, any due consideration as to whether the supposed superiors are worthy of the genuflection they get. Were King George or Kaiser Wilhelm to become vegetarians and advocate the non-flesh diet, such an occurrence would do far more towards advancing the popularity of this diet than a thousand lectures from "mere" men of science. Carlyle was not far wrong when he called men "clothes worshippers." The uneducated and poor imitate the educated and rich, not because they possess that attitude of mind which owes its existence to a very deep and subtle emotion and which is expressed in worship and veneration for power, whether it be power of body, power of rank, power of mind, or power of wealth. The poor among Western nations are vegetarians because they cannot afford to buy meat, and this is plain enough proof as to which dietary is the cheaper.
Perhaps a few straightforward facts on this point may prove interesting. An ordinary man, weighing 140 lbs. to 170 lbs., under ordinary conditions, at moderately active work, as an engineer, carpenter, etc., could live in comfort and maintain good health on a dietary providing daily 1 lb. bread (600 to 700 grs. protein); 8 ozs. potatoes (70 grs. protein); 3 ozs. rice, or barley, or macaroni, or maize meal, etc. (100 grs. protein); 4 ozs. dates, or figs, or prunes, or bananas, etc., and 2 ozs. shelled nuts (130 grs. protein); the cost of which need not exceed 10c. to 15c. per day; or in the case of one leading a more sedentary life, such as clerical work, these would be slightly reduced and the cost reduced to 8c. to 12c. per day. For one shilling per day, luxuries, such as nut butter, sweet-stuffs, and a variety of fruits and vegetables could be added. It is hardly necessary to point out that the housewife would be 'hard put to' to make ends meet 'living well' on the ordinary diet at 25c. per head per day. The writer, weighing 140 lbs., who lives a moderately active life, enjoys good health, and whose tastes are simple, finds the cost of a cereal diet comes to 50c. to 75c. per week.
The political economist and reformer finds on investigation, that the adoption of vegetarianism would be a solution of many of the complex and baffling questions connected with the material prosperity of the nation. Here is a remedy for unemployment, drink, slums, disease, and many forms of vice; a remedy that is within the reach of everyone, and that costs only the relinquishing of a foolish prejudice and the adoption of a natural mode of living plus the effort to overcome a vicious habit and the denial of pleasure derived from the gratification of corrupted appetite. Nature will soon create a dislike for that which once was a pleasure, and in compensation will confer a wholesome and beneficent enjoyment in the partaking of pure and salutary foods. Whether or no the meat-eating nations will awake to these facts in time to save themselves from ruin and extinction remains to be seen. Meat-eating has grown side by side with disease in England during the past seventy years, but there are now, fortunately, some signs of abatement. The doctors, owing perhaps to some prescience in the air, some psychical foreboding, are recommending that less meat be eaten. But whatever the future has in store, there is nothing more certain than this—that in the adoption of the vegetable regimen is to be found, if not a complete panacea, at least a partial remedy, for the political and social ills that our nation at the present time is afflicted with, and that those of us who would be true patriots are in duty bound to practise and preach vegetarianism wheresoever and whensoever we can.
THE EXCLUSION OF DAIRY PRODUCE
It is unfortunate that many flesh-abstainers who agree with the general trend of the foregoing arguments do not realise that these same arguments also apply to abstinence from those animal foods known as dairy produce. In considering this further aspect it is necessary for reasons already given, to place hygienic considerations first.
Is it reasonable to suppose that Nature ever intended the milk of the cow or the egg of the fowl for the use of man as food? Can anyone deny that Nature intended the cow's milk for the nourishment of her calf and the hen's egg for the propagation of her species? It is begging the question to say that the cow furnishes more milk than her calf requires, or that it does not injure the hen to steal her eggs. Besides, it is not true.
Regarding the dietetic value of milk and eggs, which is the question of first importance, are we correct in drawing the inference that as Nature did not intend these foods for man, therefore they are not suitable for him? As far as the chemical constituents of these foods are concerned, it is true they contain compounds essential to the nourishment of the human body, and if this is going to be set up as an argument in favor of their consumption, let it be remembered that flesh food also contains compounds essential to nourishment. But the point is this: not what valuable nutritive compounds does any food-substance contain, but what value, taking into consideration its total effects, has the food in question as a wholesome article of diet?
It seems to be quite generally acknowledged by the medical profession that raw milk is a dangerous food on account of the fact that it is liable from various causes, sometimes inevitable, to contain impurities. Dr. Kellogg writes: Typhoid fever, cholera infantum, tuberculosis and tubercular consumption—three of the most deadly diseases known; it is very probable also, that diphtheria, scarlet fever and several other maladies are communicated through the medium of milk.... It is safe to say that very few people indeed are fully acquainted with the dangers to life and health which lurk in the milk supply.... The teeming millions of China, a country which contains nearly one-third of the entire population of the globe, are practically ignorant of this article of food. The high-class Hindoo regards milk as a loathsome and impure article of food, speaking of it with the greatest contempt as "cow-juice," doubtless because of his observations of the deleterious effect of the use of milk in its raw state.
The germs of tuberculosis seem to be the most dangerous in milk, for they thrive and retain their vitality for many weeks, even in butter and cheese. An eminent German authority, Hirschberger, is said to have found 10 per cent of the cows in the vicinity of large cities to be affected by tuberculosis. Many other authorities might be quoted supporting the contention that a large percentage of cows are afflicted by this deadly disease. Other germs, quite as dangerous, find their way into milk in numerous ways. Excreta, clinging to the hairs of the udder, are frequently rubbed off into the pail by the action of the hand whilst milking. Under the most careful sanitary precautions it is impossible to obtain milk free from manure, from the ordinary germs of putrefaction to the most deadly microbes known to science. There is little doubt but that milk is one of the uncleanest and impurest of all foods.
Milk is constipating, and as constipation is one of the commonest complaints, a preventive may be found in abstinence from this food. As regards eggs, there is perhaps not so much to be said, although eggs so quickly undergo a change akin to putrefaction that unless eaten fresh they are unfit for food; moreover, (according to Dr. Haig) they contain a considerable amount of xanthins, and cannot, therefore, be considered a desirable food.
Dairy foods, we emphatically affirm, are not necessary to health. In the section dealing with 'Physical Considerations' sufficient was said to prove the eminent value of an exclusive vegetable diet, and the reader is referred to that and the subsequent essay on Nutrition and Diet for proof that man can and should live without animal food of any kind. Such nutritive properties as are possessed by milk and eggs are abundantly found in the vegetable kingdom. The table of comparative values given, exhibits this quite plainly. That man can live a thoroughly healthy life upon vegetable foods alone there is ample evidence to prove, and there is good cause to believe that milk and eggs not only are quite unnecessary, but are foods unsuited to the human organism, and may be, and often are, the cause of disease. Of course, it is recognized that with scrupulous care this danger can be minimized to a great extent, but still it is always there, and as there is no reason why we should consume such foods, it is not foolish to continue to do so?
But this is not all. It is quite as impossible to consume dairy produce without slaughter as it is to eat flesh without slaughter. There are probably as many bulls born as cows. One bull for breeding purposes suffices for many cows and lives for many years, so what is to be done with the bull calves if our humanitarian scruples debar us from providing a vocation for the butcher? The country would soon be overrun with vast herds of wild animals and the whole populace would have to take to arms for self-preservation. So it comes to the same thing. If we did not breed these animals for their flesh, or milk, or eggs, or labour, we should have no use for them, and so should breed them no longer, and they would quickly become extinct. The wild goat and sheep and the feathered life might survive indefinitely in mountainous districts, but large animals that are not domesticated, or bred for slaughter, soon disappear before the approach of civilisation. The Irish elk is extinct, and the buffalo of North America has been wiped out during quite recent years. If leather became more expensive (much of it is derived from horse hide) manufacturers of leather substitutes would have a better market than they have at present.
'However much thou art read in theory, if thou hast no practice thou art ignorant,' says the Persian poet Sa'di. 'Conviction, were it never so excellent, is worthless until it converts itself into Conduct. Nay, properly, Conviction is not possible till then,' says Herr Teufelsdrockh. It is never too late to be virtuous. It is right that we should look before we leap, but it is gross misconduct to neglect duty to conform to the consuetudes of the hour. We must endeavour in practical life to carry out to the best of our ability our philosophical and ethical convictions, for any lapse in such endeavour is what constitutes immorality. We must live consistently with theory so long as our chief purpose in life is advanced by so doing, but we must be inconsistent when by antinomianism we better forward this purpose. To illustrate: All morally-minded people desire to serve as a force working for the happiness of the race. We are convinced that the slaughter of animals for food is needless, and that it entails much physical and mental suffering among men and animals and is therefore immoral. Knowing this we should exert our best efforts to counteract the wrong, firstly, by regulating our own conduct so as not to take either an active or passive part in this needless massacre of sub-human life, and secondly, by making those facts widely known which show the necessity for food reform.
Now to go to the ultimate extreme as regards our own conduct we should make no use of such things as leather, bone, catgut, etc. We should not even so much as attend a concert where the players use catgut strings, for however far distantly related cause and effect may be, the fact remains that the more the demand, no matter how small, the more the supply. We should not even be guilty of accosting a friend from over the way lest in consequence he take more steps than otherwise he would do, thus wearing out more shoe-leather. He who would practise such absurd sansculottism as this would have to resort to the severest seclusion, and plainly enough we cannot approve of such fanaticism. By turning antinomian when necessary and staying amongst our fellows, making known our views according to our ability and opportunity, we shall be doing more towards establishing the proper relation between man and sub-man than by turning cenobite and refusing all intercourse and association with our fellows. Let us do small wrong that we may accomplish great good. Let us practise our creed so far as to abstain from the eating of animal food, and from the use of furs, feathers, seal and fox skins, and similar ornaments, to obtain which necessitates the violation of our fundamental principles. With regard to leather, this material is, under present conditions, a 'by-product.' The hides of animals slaughtered for their flesh are made into leather, and it is not censurable in a vegetarian to use this article in the absence of a suitable substitute when he knows that by so doing he is not asking an animal's life, nor a fellow-being to degrade his character by taking it. There is a substitute for leather now on the market, and it is hoped that it may soon be in demand, for even a leather-tanner's work is not exactly an ideal occupation.
Looking at the question of conviction and consistency in this way, there are conceivable circumstances when the staunchest vegetarian may even turn kreophagist. As to how far it is permissible to depart from the strictest adherence to the principles of vegetarianism that have been laid down, the individual must trust his own conscience to determine; but we can confidently affirm that the eating of animal flesh is unnecessary and immoral and retards development in the direction which the finest minds of the race hold to be good; and that the only time when it would not be wrong to feed upon such food would be when, owing to misfortunes such as shipwreck, war, famine, etc., starvation can only be kept at bay by the sacrifice of animal life. In such a case, man, considering his own life the more valuable, must resort to the unnatural practice of flesh-eating.
The reformer may have, indeed must have, to pay a price, and sometimes a big one, for the privilege, the greatest of all privileges, of educating his fellows to a realisation of their errors, to a realisation of a better and nobler view of life than they have hitherto known. Seldom do men who carve out a way for themselves, casting aside the conventional prejudices of their day, and daring to proclaim, and live up to, the truth they see, meet with the esteem and respect due to them; but this should not, and, if they are sincere and courageous, does not, deter them from announcing their message and caring for the personal discomfort it causes. It is such as these that the world has to thank for its progress.
It often happens that the reformer reaps not the benefit of the reform he introduces. Men are slow to perceive and strangely slow to act, yet he who has genuine affection for his fellows, and whose desire for the betterment of humanity is no mere sentimental pseudo-religiosity, bears bravely the disappointment he is sure to experience, and with undaunted heart urges the cause that, as he sees it, stands for the enlightenment and happiness of man. The vegetarian in the West (Europe, America, etc.) is often ridiculed and spoken of by appellations neither complimentary nor kind, but this should deter no honorable man or woman from entering the ranks of the vegetarian movement as soon as he or she perceives the moral obligation to do so. It may be hard, perhaps impossible, to convert others to the same views, but the vegetarian is not hindered from living his own life according to the dictates of his conscience. 'He who conquers others is strong, but the man who conquers himself is mighty,' wrote Laotze in the Tao Teh Ch'ing, or 'The Simple Way.'
When we call to mind some heroic character—a Socrates, a Regulus, a Savonarola—the petty sacrifices our duties entail seem trivial indeed. We do well to remember that it is only by obedience to the highest dictates of our own hearts and minds that we may obtain true happiness. It is only by living in harmony with all living creatures that nobility and purity of life are attainable. As we obey the immediate vision, so do we become able to see yet richer visions: but the strength of the vision is ours only as we obey its high demands.
NUTRITION AND DIET
THE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION
The importance of some general knowledge of the principles of nutrition and the nutritive values of foods is not generally realised. Ignorance on such a matter is not usually looked upon as a disgrace, but, on the contrary, it would be commonly thought far more reprehensible to lack the ability to conjugate the verb 'to be' than to lack a knowledge of the chemical properties of the food we eat, and the suitability of it to our organism. Yet the latter bears direct and intimate relation to man's physical, mental, and moral well-being, while the former is but a 'sapless, heartless thistle for pedantic chaffinches,' as Jean Paul would say.
The human body is the most complicated machine conceivable, and as it is absurd to suppose that any tyro can take charge of so comparatively simple a piece of mechanism as a locomotive, how much more absurd is it to suppose the human body can be kept in fit condition, and worked satisfactorily, without at least some, if only slight, knowledge of the nature of its constitution, and an understanding of the means to satisfy its requirements? Only by study and observation comes the knowledge of how best to supply the required material which, by its oxidation in the body, repairs waste, gives warmth and produces energy.
Considering, then, that the majority of people are entirely ignorant both of the chemical constitution of the body, and the physiological relationship between the body and food, it is not surprising to observe that in respect to this question of caring for the body, making it grow and work and think, many come to grief, having breakdowns which are called by various big-sounding names. Indeed, to the student of dietetics, the surprise is that the body is so well able to withstand the abuse it receives.
It has already been explained in the previous essay how essential it is if we live in an artificial environment and depart from primitive habits, thereby losing natural instincts such as guide the wild animals, that we should study diet. No more need be said on this point. It may not be necessary that we should have some general knowledge of fundamental principles, and learn how to apply them with reasonable precision.
The chemical constitution of the human body is made up of a large variety of elements and compounds. From fifteen to twenty elements are found in it, chief among which are oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and sulphur. The most important compounds are protein, hydrocarbons, carbohydrates, organic mineral matter, and water. The food which nourishes the body is composed of the same elements and compounds.
Food serves two purposes,—it builds and repairs the body tissues, and it generates vital heat and energy, burning food as fuel. Protein and mineral matter serve the first purpose, and hydrocarbons (fats) and carbohydrates (sugars and starches) the second, although, if too much protein be assimilated it will be burnt as fuel, (but it is bad fuel as will be mentioned later), and if too much fat is consumed it will be stored away in the body as reserve supply. Most food contains some protein, fat, carbohydrates, mineral matter, and water, but the proportion varies very considerably in different foods.
Water is the most abundant compound in the body, forming on an average, over sixty per cent. of the body by weight. It cannot be burnt, but is a component part of all the tissues and is therefore an exceedingly, important food. Mineral matter forms approximately five or six per cent. of the body by weight. Phosphate of lime (calcium phosphate), builds bone; and many compounds of potassium, sodium, magnesium and iron are present in the body and are necessary nutrients. Under the term protein are included the principal nitrogenous compounds which make bone, muscle and other material. It forms about 15 per cent. of the body by weight, and, as mentioned above, is burnt as fuel for generating heat and energy. Carbohydrates form but a small proportion of the body-tissue, less than one per cent. Starches, sugars, and the fibre of plants, or cellulose, are included under this term. They serve the same purpose as fat.
All dietitians are agreed that protein is the essential combined in food. Deprivation of it quickly produces a starved physical condition. The actual quantity required cannot be determined with perfect accuracy, although estimates can be made approximately correct. The importance of the other nutrient compounds is but secondary. But the system must have all the nutrient compounds in correct proportions if it is to be maintained in perfect health. These proportions differ slightly according to the individual's physical constitution, temperament and occupation.
Food replenishes waste caused by the continual wear and tear incidental to daily life: the wear and tear of the muscles in all physical exertion, of the brain in thinking, of the internal organs in the digestion of food, in all the intricate processes of metabolism, in the excretion of waste matter, and the secretion of vital fluids, etc. The ideal diet is one which replenishes waste with the smallest amount of suitable material, so that the system is kept in its normal condition of health at a minimum of expense of energy. The value, therefore, of some general knowledge of the chemical constituents of food is obvious. The diet must be properly balanced, that is, the food eaten must provide the nutrients the body requires, and not contain an excess of one element or a deficiency of another. It is impossible to substitute protein for fat, or vice versa, and get the same physiological result, although the human organism is wonderfully tolerant of abuse, and remarkably ingenious in its ability to adapt itself to abnormal conditions.
It has been argued that it is essentially necessary for a well-balanced dietary that the variety of food be large, or if the variety is to be for any reason restricted, it must be chosen with great discretion. Dietetic authorities are not agreed as to whether the variety should be large or small, but there is a concensus of opinion that, be it large or small, it should be selected with a view to supplying the proper nutrients in proper proportions. The arguments, so far as the writer understands them, for and against a large variety of foods, are as follows:—
If the variety be large there is a temptation to over-feed. Appetite does not need to be goaded by tasty dishes; it does not need to be goaded at all. We should eat when hungry and until replenished; but to eat when not hungry in order to gratify a merely sensual appetite, to have dishes so spiced and concocted as to stimulate a jaded appetite by novelty of taste, is harmful to an extent but seldom realised. Hence the advisability, at least in the case of persons who have not attained self-mastery over sensual desire, of having little variety, for then, when the system is replenished, over-feeding is less likely to occur.
In this connection it should be remembered that in some parts of the world the poor, although possessing great strength and excellent health, live upon, and apparently relish, a dietary limited mostly to black bread and garlics, while among ourselves an ordinary person eats as many as fifty different foods in one day.
On the other hand, a too monotonous dietary, especially where people are accustomed to a large variety of mixed foods, fails to give the gustatory pleasure necessary for a healthy secretion of the digestive juices, and so may quite possibly result in indigestion. It is a matter of common observation that we are better able to digest food which we enjoy than that which we dislike, and as we live not upon what we eat, but upon what we digest, the importance of enjoying the food eaten is obvious.
Also as few people know anything about the nutritive value of foods, they stand a better chance, if they eat a large variety, of procuring the required quantity of different nutrients than when restricted to a very limited dietary, because, if the dietary be very limited they might by accident choose as their mainstay some food that was badly balanced in the different nutrients, perhaps wholly lacking in protein. It is lamentable that there is such ignorance on such an all-important subject. However, we have to consider things as they are and not as they ought to be.
Perhaps the best way is to have different food at different meals, without indulging in many varieties at one meal. Thus taste can be satisfied, while the temptation to eat merely for the sake of eating is less likely to arise.
It might be mentioned, in passing, that in the opinion of the best modern authorities the average person eats far more than he needs, and that this excess inevitably results in pathological conditions. Voit's estimate of what food the average person requires daily was based upon observation of what people do eat, not upon what they should eat. Obviously such an estimate is valueless. As well argue that an ounce of tobacco daily is what an ordinary person should smoke because it is the amount which the average smoker consumes.
A vegetarian needs only to consider the amount of protein necessary, and obtained from the food eaten. The other nutrients will be supplied in proportions correct enough to satisfy the body requirements under normal conditions of health. The only thing to take note of is that more fat and carbohydrates are needed in cold weather than hot, the body requiring more fuel for warmth. But even this is not essential: the essential thing is to have the required amount of protein. In passing, it is interesting to observe the following: the fact that in a mixed fruitarian diet the proportion of the nutrient compounds is such as to satisfy natural requirements is another proof of the suitability of the vegetable regimen to the human organism. It is a provision of Nature that those foods man's digestive organs are constructed to assimilate with facility, and man's organs of taste, smell, and perception best prefer, are those foods containing chemical compounds in proportions best suited to nourish his body.
One of the many reasons why flesh-eating is deleterious is that flesh is an ill-balanced food, containing, as it does, considerable protein and fat, but no carbohydrates or neutralising salts whatever. As the body requires three to four times more carbohydrates than protein, and protein cannot be properly assimilated without organic minerals, it is seen that with the customary 'bread, meat and boiled potatoes' diet, this proportion is not obtained. Prof. Chittenden holds the opinion that the majority of people partake greatly in excess of food rich in protein.
No hard and fast rule can be laid down to different persons require different foods and foods and amounts at different times under different
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regulate the amount, or proper proportions, of food material for a well-balanced dietary, as amounts, and the same person requires different ferent conditions. Professor W. O. Atwater, an American, makes the following statement: 'As the habits and conditions of individuals differ, so, too, their needs for nourishment differ, and their food should be adapted to their particular requirements. It has been estimated that an average man at moderately active labor, like a carpenter, or mason, should have (daily) about 115 grams (1750 grains) or 0.25 pound of available protein, and sufficient fuel ingredients in addition to make the fuel value of the whole diet 3,400 calories; while a man at sedentary employment would be well nourished with 92 grams (1400 grains) or 0.20 pound of available protein, and enough fat and carbohydrates in addition to yield 2,700 calories of energy. The demands are, however, variable, increasing and decreasing with increase and decrease of muscular work, or as other needs of the person change. Each person, too, should learn by experience what kinds of food yield him nourishment with the least discomfort, and should avoid those which do not "agree" with him.'
It has been stated that unless the body is supplied with protein, hunger will be felt, no matter if the stomach be over-loaded with non-nitrogenous food. If a hungry man ate heartily of only such foods as fresh fruit and green vegetables he might soon experience a feeling of fulness, but his hunger would not be appeased. Nature asks for protein, and hunger will continue so long as this want remains unsatisfied. Similarly as food is the first necessity of life, so is protein the first necessity in food. If a person were deprived of protein starvation must inevitably ensue.
Were we (by 'we' is meant the generality of people in this country), to weigh out our food supply, for, say a week, we should soon realise what a large reduction from the usual quantity of food consumed would have to be made, and instead of eating, as is customary, without an appetite, hunger might perhaps once a day make itself felt. There is little doubt but that the health of most people would be vastly improved if food were only eaten when genuine hunger was felt, and the dietary chosen were well balanced, i.e., the proportions of protein, fat, carbohydrates and salts being about 3, 2, 9, 2-3. As aforesaid, the mixed vegetarian dietary is, in general, well-balanced.
While speaking about too much food, it may be pointed out that the function of appetite is to inform us that the body is in need of nutriment. The appetite was intended by Nature for this purpose, yet how few people wait upon appetite! The generality of people eat by time, custom, habit, and sensual desire; not by appetite at all. If we eat when not hungry, and drink when not thirsty, we are doing the body no good but positive harm. The organs of digestion are given work that is unnecessary, thus detracting from the vital force of the body, for there is only a limited amount of potential energy, and if some of this is spent unnecessarily in working the internal organs, it follows that there is less energy for working the muscles or the brain. So that an individual who habitually overfeeds becomes, after a time, easily tired, physically lazy, weak, perhaps if temperamentally predisposed, nervous and hypochondriacal. Moreover, over-eating not only adds to the general wear and tear, thus probably shortening life, but may even result in positive disease, as well as many minor complaints such as constipation, dyspepsia, flatulency, obesity, skin troubles, rheumatism, lethargy, etc.
Just as there is danger in eating too much, so there is much harm done by drinking too much. The evil of stimulating drinks will be spoken of later; at present reference is made only to water and harmless concoctions such as lime-juice, unfermented wines, etc. To drink when thirsty is right and natural; it shows that the blood is concentrated and is in want of fluid. But to drink merely for the pleasure of drinking, or to carry out some insane theory like that of 'washing out' the system is positively dangerous. The human body is not a dirty barrel needing swilling out with a hose-pipe. It is a most delicate piece of mechanism, so delicate that the abuse of any of its parts tends to throw the entire system out of order. It is the function of the blood to remove all the waste products from the tissues and to supply the fresh material to take the place of that which has been removed. Swilling the system out with liquid does not in any way accelerate or aid the process, but, on the contrary, retards and impedes it. It dilutes the blood, thus creating an abnormal condition in the circulatory system, and may raise the pressure of blood and dilate the heart. Also it dilutes the secretions which will therefore 'act slowly and inefficiently, and more or less fermentation and putrefaction will meanwhile be going on in the food masses, resulting in the formation of gases, acids, and decomposition products.'
Eating and drinking too much are largely the outcome of sensuality. To see a man eat sensually is to know how great a sensualist he is. Sensualism is a vice which manifests itself in many forms. Poverty has its blessings. It compels abstinence from rich and expensive foods and provides no means for surfeit. Epicurus was not a glutton. Socrates lived on bread and water, as did Sir Isaac Newton. Mental culture is not fostered by gluttony, but gluttony is indulged in at the expense of mental culture. The majority of the world's greatest men have led comparatively simple lives, and have regarded the body as a temple to be kept pure and holy.
We have now to consider (a) what to eat, (b) when to eat, (c) how to eat. First, then, we will consider the nutritive properties of the common food-stuffs.
[Footnote 3: This is not an exaggeration. 'Genoa Cake,' for instance, contains ten varieties of food: butter, sugar, eggs, flour, milk, sultanas, orange and lemon peel, almonds, and baking powder.]