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Mental and Moral Excellence, and How to Attain it:
Rev. JOSHUA PRIESTLEY. Fourth Edition.
Memorials of John Hessel. By the London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co.
THIS is an excellent little volume, admirably fitted to stimulate the young to self-culture and to guide the student to the consecration of his mental powers to the highest services of humanity and religion. We cordially commend the work, which is written and edited in the spirit of the verse quoted at the close of the seventh chapter.
"He is a noble man who seeks,
Mid the world's love, toil, and strife,
Lives made Sublime by Faith and Works. By the Rev. ROBERT STEEL, Cheltenham. London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. 1861.
THOSE who have read any of Mr. Steel's former productions need no incitement from ns to induce them to peruse his "Lives made Sublime." This little volume is a casket of rich biographical treasures, fitted up and laid out with admirable skill and loving devotion. Mr. Steel evidently appreciates the varied excellences of mental and moral character he so sympathetically pourtrays. The book, though small, contains an admirable epitome and sketch of the lives of Dudley A. Tyng, the Child of Prayer; Ensign Marcus Cheek, the Young Confessor; James M. Hog, the Christian Gentleman; Jonas Sugden, the Christian Manufacturer; William Allen, the Christian Chemist; Hugh Miller, the Christian Geologist; Sir Henry Havelock, the Christian Soldier; James Montgomery, the Christian Poet; and six other noble and good men, whose lives have been made sublime by faith and good works. Working Men and their Difficulties. By Mrs. MARY BAYLEY. London: Nisbit and Co. Too much cannot be said of this book. Its object is excellent and most important, whilst its spirit and ability are admirable. The amiable authoress, in her modest and sensible preface, says,
"This book is intended for the higher class of working men; for artizans and operatives earning from twenty shillings a-week and upwards. Example always descends; and if we can persuade this class to live peaceably with their employers, there is little doubt but that the ordinary day labourer will be equally well disposed. The class of skilled workmen is numerically large and socially influential. Its relations with the class above it are by no means satisfactory: political economy and legislation have as yet failed to heal the longstanding difficulties between the two. It remains to be seen whether a practical application of the principles of Christianity to all matters arising between the employers and the em ployed will be more successful."
Every earnest social reformer should read Mrs. Bayley's noble essay on " Working Men and their Difficulties."
The Aberdeen Sanitary Reformer and Family Guide to Health. Edited by the Rev. ALEXANDER MUNRO. Aberdeen: G. Cornwall and Sons.
WE have much pleasure in recommending the above periodical. No. 6 contains "Nursery Hygiene, Part 3;" "Personal Beauty, Part 2 ;" and the "Health of Domestic Servants, Part 2." The articles are severally written in a simple and attractive style, and are calculated to be of considerable use in the household. Mr. Munro has our best wishes in the congenial labour he is engaged in. The observations in the present number on the question of diet, though of a general nature, are conceived in an enlightened spirit and command our cordial sympathy.
NEW APPLICATIONS OF VEGETABLE SUBSTANCES.-The Society of Arts repeat their advertisement of Sir Walter C. Trevelyan's prize of £100 for the best essay on sea-weeds, that is, "on applications of the marine algae, and their products, as food or medicine for man and domestic animals - or for dyeing and other manufacturing purposes." The question is asked: Would the castor-oil plant, Palmi Christi, grow in Australia? because, if it would, the colonists might find it profitable for cultivation. Experiments made in Algeria show that its leaves are good food for silk-worms; that the oil can be deprived of its medicinal quality, and used in lighting and for medicinal purposes, and the fibres can be worked as hemp. Now that steam communication along the rivers for hundreds of miles into the interior of Australia is established, and that produce may be sent to market, it is desirable that all suitable resources should be made available. Another chemical product which we hear of from Paris is inocarpine, derived from the chestnut of Tahiti-Mocarpus edulis. The sap of that tree exudes and forms a ruby-red gum on the bark; and this gum, properly treated, yields nine colours, from carmine, through green and blue, to black-further resources for dyers. A recommendation has been published in favour of raising plantations of this chestnut in Tahiti and the Society Islands: at present, in consequence of the leaves being used as fodder, the growth is diminishing.- Chambers's Journal, No. 285.
Intelligence, Reports, &c.
[THE following correspondence has appeared in the Manchester papers. The first letter obtained admission into the Guardian, the Courier, and the Salford Weekly News. The letter signed “J. M. G." also appeared in the Guardian, but the Vegetarian side of the question was not allowed to appear.
The Courier, a Conservative and Church paper, admitted the whole of the correspondence on both sides—an instance of liberality and courtesy for which we are deeply obliged.]
BLEEDING CALVES TO DEATH.
SIR,-As the veal season is again approaching, I venture to offer a plea of mercy for the calf.
Twenty years practical experience convinces me that the present plan of killing calves, whilst extremely barbarous, is entirely unnecessary; but that our customers refuse to purchase veal unless whitened by this process, although it renders the meat less wholesome and digestible. In London, Derby, and other places, the practice is not generally adopted, but calves are killed in the natural way. Shall Manchester remain behind? Surely not.
Having waited for years to see if the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the corporate authorities, or other influential public bodies, would take up the matter, but, alas! only to be disappointed, I am at length constrained to appeal to the public to discourage this cruel practice, so opposed to the boasted refinement and enlightenment of the nineteenth century.
Allow me to conclude with the following graphic description from a work of Sir James Eyre, M.D.:
"The veal in Paris and on the continent being the only kind of meat which in general is superior to that of this country, I was induced to make the inquiry of a London butcher (selecting a young one if the atrocity of bleeding calves to death gradually is still practised in this metropolis?' He said,' Yes, by many butchers, but not by all.' The custom is more prevalent in the country. On being asked how the torture was inflicted (which that admirable act of Mr. Humanity Martin has not reached), he said, We bleed them every day for about four days, taking a little out of them the first day, and more every day afterwards, when on the last of all they are made to faint, and then some hours after this killed.' And we, who know of this plan of whitening veal, eat it so whitened, and call ourselves Christians!"
Apologising for the length of my communication, I am, &c.,
SIR, The letter of "A Butcher" in your last week's paper leads me to inquire if the public are aware that the firm and plump appearance of veal is produced by blowing the air from the lungs of the butcher (who may be intemperate or diseased) into the pores of the meat? Now that the handling of the dough by the baker is regarded as uncleanly and unwholesome, and machines are invented to do this work, we may naturally expect that the more offensive practice to which I have alluded will not much longer be tolerated by the eaters of veal, especially when there is so much risk of the communication of disease. Your correspondent's letter does honour to his feelings. He is evidently ill at ease, and would gladly escape from the cruel operations which the demands of society impose upon him. But I ask a further question. Is not all slaughter of animals for food, even though carried out in the "natural way" (?) entirely unnecessary? I think it is. And, if so, are not those who kill, and those who eat flesh-meat alike guilty of needless cruelty? To me it seems that the only consistent course is to give up the use of flesh-meat altogether. Chemistry has demonstrated that a diet of fruits, farinacea, and leguminous plants and seeds is, weight for weight, richer in flesh forming and heat-forming materials than butchers' meat. Experience, in some cases extending over more than a half a century, has shown that those who work with the head, in political, scientific, or literary pursuits, and those who follow laborious handicraft occupations, are able to maintain greater and more continued mental and muscular activity, and with fewer interruptions to health, in entire abstinence from butchers' meat, than they could whilst in its use. They also state that the gratification of the palate has been rather increased than diminished by the change. It is withal more economical, a matter of some importance in these times, when money is not too plentiful.
If, therefore, we can avoid this needless cruelty, the danger of injury to health from partaking of diseased meat (so constantly sold in the markets of our cities and larger towns), by the adoption of a purer and more natural diet; if health and vigour are increased, and gustatory enjoyment in no degree lessened, does it not become a duty to inquire into the question of dietetics and abandon our present practice, if it be found contrary to the teachings of reason, science, experience, and benevolence ?—I am, &c.,
Manchester, April 4th.
SIR,-In answer to the letter on the subject of "Bleeding Calves to Death," signed "Vegetarian," which appeared in your impression of last Saturday, as to whether, the only consistent course is to give up flesh-meat altogether," I would ask that gentleman for what purpose he supposes God sent animals upon the earth?
From several texts in the Bible proofs may be given to the effect that animals were meant for sacrifice before the flood; as, for instance, Gen. iv., 4. “And Abel, he also brought of the fatlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof: and the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering; and, again, in the 3rd chapter, "Unto Adam and his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them;" and, after the flood, the gift of animal food was granted unto Noah, "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things," Genesis ix., 3; and that God "accepted" burnt offerings may be learnt from Samuel xxiv., in which chapter is given an account of the numbering of the people and David expiating his crime by offering "burnt offerings and peace offerings."
As to its being "more economical to live on fruits, plants, seeds, &c." I can readily see that for a few years it would be; but in the course of time I fancy we should be rather in a fix for vegetables, if all the brute creation were let loose upon the earth to get their living as best they could. As farmers now complain of their crops being damaged by those ravenous little animals, rabbits, what, then, would be the remedy if everything were to be allowed to live? Perhaps Mr. "Vegetarian " will solve this problem.
In mentioning all this it must not be supposed that I uphold any barbarous practice, such as bleeding calves to death and the like, as the uselessness of the system has been shown in the letter published in the Courier on the 30th of March, signed "A Butcher;" but this I do say, that were we to follow up to the letter the notions of the sect of Vegetarians the brute creation would soon starve us and themselves.-I am, yours very truly, ANTI-VEGETARIAN.
SIR,-Permit me a brief reply to "Anti-Vegetarian's" letter of last Saturday. He asks "for what purpose I suppose God sent animals upon the earth?” I may answer this by asking if "Arti-Vegetarian" supposes that all animals were created solely for the service of man, and to supply him with food? On this theory, how does he account for the existence of lions and tigers, and other beasts of prey? These animals kill and eat men, when they have an opportunity; will your correspondent contend that "God sent" men "upon the earth" to supply them with food? I think it is presumptuous in man to claim everything he finds in the universe as intended solely to minister to his convenience or pleasure. Thousands of animals have existed and passed away unknown by man, which the Great Creator no doubt called into being, in the exercise of his benevolence, that they might enjoy their existence, serve purposes of their own, and promote His glory. So again, numberless flowers have bloomed unseen and died away, after "wasting their sweetness on the desert air," on which the eye of man has never rested. Pope has well expressed the absurdity of supposing that all things were made for man, in his "Essay on Man," Epis. i, 7, 131, to which I refer "Anti-Vegetarian," as the quotation would occupy too much of your space.
The assertion that "from several texts in the Bible proofs may be given that animals were meant for sacrifice before the flood," is somewhat rash, since it is generally admitted that the discovery of fire and the offering of sacrifices were unknown until after the deluge. But if it could be shown that the contrary was the case, does your correspondent mean to assert that sacrifice and food are synonymous terms?
It will, I think, be admitted that the grant to Noah was not a direct appointment, like that pointing out man's food in the beginning of his existence, but a permission to extend this to the animal kingdom, during the abnormal condition immediately succeeding the deluge. The inference is that for the 1,600 years preceding this event man had lived according to the original appointment, on vegetable products alone. Besides the unfairness of regarding this grant as an authoritative command, there is the further difficulty that the greatest sticklers for its observance do not act up to it. The most omnivorous of flesh eaters has not ventured to partake of "every moving thing that liveth." They allow them. selves the privilege of selection as to the kind of animals they make into articles of food. Why object to the Vegetarian using the same liberty? But be it as it may, surely the grant to Noah is not to be regarded as binding upon men now, and your correspondent will, I think, hardly venture to give this as the reason why he eats flesh-meat to day.
As to the statement that "God 'accepted' burnt offerings," I do not think this helps "Anti-Vegetarian's" argument much. He does not, I presume, wish me to suppose that every time he sits down to roast beef or mutton, he is presenting a "burnt offering," and engaging in an act of worship! A little further examination of scripture would have shown him that the Divine Being expressly states that He desired "mercy, and not sacrifice."
The fear that "in the course of time we should be rather in a fix for vegetables," is equally groundless. The world will not become vegetarian all at once. As it progresses in that direction the demand for animals will fall off, and fewer will be produced. The question is purely one of supply and demand. At present there seems greater probability that your correspondent and his friends will be in "rather a fix" for butcher's meat, if the consumption goes on increasing in relation to increased population. For many years it has been necessary to go to the continent for a supply, and great numbers of cattle have been constantly imported to meet the deficiency at home. Large tracts of land in Scotland have been depopulated, the inhabitants being driven out, to make room for sheep walks in order to supply the increasing demand for mutton in the South. But the settlement of this difficulty may well be left to a future day, and in the meantime "Anti-Vegetarian" need not feel bound to continue his present dietetic habits under the persuasion that this is necessary to enable mankind to get the vegetables they require. The adoption of vegetarianism would lead to a greater quantity of land being appropriated to raising food for man, instead of cattle; and the result of careful calculation and experiment demonstrates that on a given space of land a much larger population can be supported on a vegetarian diet than on flesh-meat exclusively.
"Anti-Vegetarian" concludes by stating that he does not "uphold any barbarous practice, such as bleeding calves to death and the like." He does not do this intentionally, but I would respectfully submit that he does it indirectly. Any unprejudiced person will admit that there are many "barbarous practices" inseparable from the raising and slaughtering of animals for food, and though society delegates this work to the grazier, the drover, and the butcher, it cannot escape the responsibility of "upholding" what is done in its behalf. The fear that if vegetarianism becomes general "the brute creation will soon starve us and themselves," is reiterated as a closing warning. It need not cause any alarm. have not begun to eat horses and donkeys in England yet (though they do this on the continent), and these animals do not multiply so rapidly as to give us any uneasiness. And so with sheep and oxen, if left to themselves. The wise control of nature's law, that limits the increase of animals, will maintain a due balance between the several kinds without our interference.
I have endeavoured to answer the inquiries and objections as fully as due regard to your space would allow, but it is impossible to do justice to the subject in a single letter. I therefore beg to refer "Anti-Vegetarian" to several works which will supply abundant information, such as:-Graham's "Science of Human Life;" Smith's "Fruits and Farinacea the Proper Food of Man;" "The Vegetarian Messenger," and the "Dietetic Reformer;' this last being the organ of the Vegetarian Society, and issued quarterly. It is admirably suited to give the information your correspondent seeks, and admits articles on both sides of the question. All the works named can be obtained of Mr. Bremner, 11, Market-street, Manchester, or through F. Pitman, Paternoster Row, London. I am, Sir, yours very respectfully,
Manchester, April 18th.
SIR,-The "brief reply" of "Vegetarian" to my letter demands from me also an answer, or I should not have troubled you again; knowing, as I do, the lack of space in your valuable paper.
"It is generally admitted," remarks "Vegetarian," "that the discovery of fire and the offering of sacrifices were unknown until after the deluge." Now the exact contrary to the latter proposition is what is almost universally "admitted." Has "Vegetarian" read the verse I referred to as an instance (Gen. iv., 4), or is he under the impression that that sacrifice was subsequent to the deluge, thereby disbelieving the authority of the verse in question? His own words directly assert one of these two alternatives.-"Your correspondent does not mean to assert that sacrifice and food are synonymous terms." "Vegetarian" in this respect treats me as though I had lost my senses.
"Vegetarian" in the next place starts up at the words mentioned in my letter about the gift of animal food being granted to Noah. I may ask when this "permission" was repealed, and how is it that up to the present day animal food has been used? If it was wrong, why did our Saviour, "who knew no sin," "eat of a broiled fish?" The offering, also, of sacrifices having been disused since the appearance of our Saviour, how can "Vegetarian" venture to suppose that I, calling myself a Christian, think I am "presenting a burnt offering and engaging in an act of worship every time I sit down to roast beef or mutton?" How very unreasonable and absurd!
"Every moving thing." He seems also ignorant of that common use of language, so familiar, especially, to those of antiquity, among whom, "every," in the singular number, very often, if not generally, meant any," "any you please," which indeed is its legitimate equivalent. Anti-Vegetarians do, therefore, on so plain authority, "allow themselves the selection as to the kind of animals they make into articles of food;" on the other hand, no one, I believe, objects to the Vegetarian using the same liberty: he is perfectly unrestricted, whether he chooses to indulge in apples, greens, carrots, or, after the manner of the ancients, nettles. The objection is now on our side, that is, to "Vegetarian" presuming to deprive others of their liberty, and dictate to them as to their diet. The latter part of the letter requires little or no explanation on my part.
If, then, Vegetarians wish to use the same liberty as we do in choosing articles of food, let them do so; and refrain from dictating to those who ask for better proofs in favour of vegetarianism.-I am, sir, yours very truly,
Petworth, Sussex, April 23rd, 1861.
Sir," Anti-Vegetarian" still contends for "sacrifices before the deluge," as though this settled the controversy, and again refers me to Gen. iv., 4. The word "sacrifice" does not, however, occur in this connection; the "fruits of the ground" brought by Cain, and the "firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof" presented by Abel, being alike designated an "offering." If by "sacrifices" your correspondent means merely anything offered as a thanksgiving to God, there is no doubt that such offerings were made before the deluge, but the text in question does not prove that animals were slain and their bodies consumed by fire on the altar, as was afterwards done. Commentators of the best repute, such as Grotius and Le Clere, have thought that the words which we render "the firstlings of his flock," may signify only what was the best and finest; and that this may re'ate only to the wool, which, as is well known, was offered in later times to the gods; and what we translate "the fat thereof," may mean only their milk. And it is certain the LXX. often translate the Hebrew word rendered "fat" by the Greek word gala, which is milk. This at least shows that "Anti-Vegetaria 's" opinion is not universally held. He quotes passages of scripture in defence of flesh-eating which have relation to religious observances, and then complains of my asking if he considers "food" and "sacrifice" synonymous. What else could I suppose? I think his quotations do him small service; but it would not have been respectful to pass them over unnoticed. At the same time I deprecate any appeal to scripture to settle questions which can be decided by science and experience, and beg to say that Vegetarians do not rely upon minute criticisms of this kind for the support of their views. "If it can be shown that a fruit and farinaceous diet is most consistent with the physical, mental, and moral nature of man, and that it is nowhere forbidden in scripture, this is all the sanction the Vegetarian requires."
My reply to the question "when this permission (the grant to Noah) was repealed?" is, that it was restricted, and certain animals, such as the pig and hare, absolutely prohibited, under the Levitical dispensation; and that under the Christian dispensation the eating of "blood" and "things strangled" is again forbidden.
But I am asked, "How is it that up to the present day animal food has been used?" If it could be shown that this was universal, which is far from being the case, it would not demonstrate that it was the natural diet of man. Other habits (such as smoking) might be pointed out as general in almost all portions of the earth, which are nevertheless perfectly artificial, and opposed to the health and happiness of man.
Lastly, "Anti Vegetarian" charges me with "presuming to deprive others of their liberty and dictate to them as to their diet." I am not conscious of having done so, and an examination of what I have written will fail to bear out the accusation. "Anti-Vegetarian" says he is a "Christian." As such he no doubt seeks to extend Christianity. Would he be willing to have his efforts designated by the terms he applies to me? Yet all the people in the world are not Christians, and some might complain of any attempt to disturb them in the comfortable possession of the faith in which they were born. Vegetarians not only claim the liberty to follow their own practice, but think it a duty to bring before the public what they believe to be a better system of diet than that which generally prevails. We wish to do this in no offensive spirit, but in all charity, without presuming to reproach, "deprive of their liberty," or "dictate" to those who do not see well, after examination, to adopt our practice; remembering that:-"Arguments, however strong, and reasons, however clear and logical, are apt to lose their force, when opposed by appetite and pleasure."
The other personal references of the letter under notice do not call for any reply from me.-I am, sir, yours respectfully,
Manchester, May 2nd, 1860.
SIR, I read the humane and excellent letter, signed "A Butcher," in the Guardian of the 3rd April, and have waited in the hope that it might meet with the notice it merits. It truly makes one shudder to know that there are every week hundreds of calves cruelly left, for days together, to bleed to death. Such a practice is unnecessary; and I am surprised