Page images

belongs to the vegetable kingdom. In extremely cold countries men subsist chiefly on animal diet, because that is the only kind which will supply them with a sufficient quantity of heat. In warm countries human sustenance is mainly derived from vegetable food, for then the consumption of animal heat is comparatively small.

We thus see that Vegetarianism cannot be adopted in high latitudes. Are we not therefore justified in concluding that in some climates, such perhaps as that of England, men require animal as well as vegetable diet, to keep them in a state of health? Of course, what is food to one man, even in this country, is poison to another. Some men will no doubt enjoy better health by refraining from meat than by partaking of it; let such be Vegetarians. But if, on the contrary, I find a beef-steak does me good-and if I relish it (which I generally do)-where is the authority that forbids it? I know of none, either in chemistry or physiology.

But we cannot arrive at any satisfactory conclusion on this point by comparing individual cases. It is only by comparing results, as exhibited in large masses of people, that a fair deduction can be drawn. The Vegetarians are too few in this country to be taken into account; we will therefore compare the English as a nation with the French, who live in similar climates. It is very well known that the English are a beef-eating people, while the French eat comparatively little flesh-meat. "A few years ago," says an eminent writer, "the French contractors and manufacturers who were obliged to engage English navvies and workmen, because French workmen had not the requisite strength, resolved to try the effect of a more liberal diet, and by giving the Frenchman as ample a ration of meat as that eaten by the Englishman, the difference was soon reduced to a mere nothing." Before this alteration of diet, one Englishman could do as much work as two and a half Frenchmen. Thus, in the production of physical strength, an animal diet in these climes has evidently the advantage.

Compare the mental status of Englishmen with that of any other people, especially with a people whose diet approaches nearer to the Vegetarian standard, and you have their superiority again strikingly manifested. I do not speak of book-learning, which, after all, is not a certain test of mental superiority. The English are the best educated people in the world, in the practical, and therefore the only true sense. Their motto has always been "Excelsior," and while other nations have been stationary they have been making progress. Every political blessing they aim at they get, and what they get they stick to. They have a finer appreciation of liberty in its noblest form than any other people. Their love of order is pre-eminent; and their exemplary forbearance under extreme suffering, so strikingly exhibited at present by thousands of half-starved Lancashire men, was never equalled by any Vegetarian people in the world. Their perseverance-their energy-their enlightened toleration-their high sense of honour-their love of justice-their enlarged views of the principles of political economy -all, when taken together, mark them out as the best educated people in the world. The Icelanders, a people whose diet is almost exclusively animal, are also remarkable for their intelligence.

Let us turn to a few Vegetarian nations. Egypt, Hindostan, Persia, Mexico, Peru, were all Vegetarian nations-they had a civilisation thousands of years before beef-eating England was known. What has become of it? Surely Vegetarianism could preserve it. Nothing of the sort. The civilisation of these countries has long since passed away, and is now replaced by anarchy and barbarism. And this state of things has been brought about mainly by this very Vegetarianism, which is to effect such mighty reforms in this country! It is well known that the population of any country increases in proportion to the cheapness of the national food, all other circumstances being equal. Highly carbonised food, or animal food, is, as a rule, always dearer than vegetable food, because it requires more labour to obtain it. In the countries above-mentioned, vegetable food was extremely cheap, because of the great fertility of the soil, and the very little labour required to procure it. As a consequence, population multiplied most rapidly, and that too among a people not accustomed to much exertion. The inevitable result was despotism; for under these circumstances the wealth of the nation gets into a few hands, the great bulk of the people are steeped in poverty without sufficient stamina-the stamina which English beef gives to defend their rights-hence ensues despotism. Whatever may be the cause, such is the fact-a poor people and a despotic government are invariably associated. Ireland a few years ago afforded a near illustration.

Some one may think that free trade is censurable on the same grounds. Not a bit of it. The true object of free trade is not to cheapen food but to emancipate labour from the despotism of monopoly, and thus promote a more equitable distribution of wealth. Here I must stop for the present.-Yours &c., W. S.

Sir,-Your correspondent "Enquirer" would find his questions concerning the dietetic teaching and authority of the Scriptures answered in the same paper that contained his query, and as his inquiries extended no further, and embraced no new ground, I was unable to find in his letter sufficient warrant for intrusion upon your space. I am, however, thankful that

so temperate and able an advocate as "W.S." has been found to take the defensive on behalf of carnivorism, and that you have so liberally opened your columns for the discussion of this important question. I must premise that I write away from my books, and so at a disadvantage, but that I enter into the debate challenged by your correspondent with the utmost cheerfulness.

In a remark introductory to his main objections it is urged by "W. S." that Vegetarians in their cookery rely largely upon milk and butter, which articles, he says, cannot be obtained unless the calves are killed. Now the fact is that Vegetarians are by no means so dependent upon these as is supposed. There are some who strongly urge their disuse, and in my own practice I have at intervals wholly abstained from them, and am quite prepared to do so continuously when consistency shall render it desirable. But as a Vegetarian population will require far less land for its support than a carnivorous one, I believe that were the system which I defend generally adopted, we should be able to produce very considerable quantities of milk and butter without slaughtering any animal. This is the more readily conceivable, when we remember that the oxen might, as in former days, be employed in agricultural labour-a use of them which, on economical grounds, quite apart from the Vegetarian question, has its advocates.

Passing from this minor matter of detail, I come to "W. S.'s" first objection, which is, if I apprehend rightly, that Vegetarian food is not sufficiently carbonised to furnish the heat requisite in such a climate as ours. In proof of this it is mentioned that the inhabitants of extremely cold countries live chiefly upon flesh and fat. This is true as regards those living in the arctic regions, where, owing to the inclement seasons, little other food is producible. But your correspondent will hardly make the Esquimaux representative in this matter. Their degraded condition, the apparent impossibility of maintaining a decent civilisation in such northern latitudes, are circumstances which seem to indicate that they are in conditions which are abnormal, and contrary to true human orderly development. If, however, "W. S." thinks that, in England, more carbonaceous matter is needed than is afforded by vegetables and grains, he is greatly mistaken. I do not find myselfor any of my Vegetarian friends to suffer from deficiency of animal heat, and even in the cold north of Russia, a semiVegetarian diet is the rule with the peasantry, concerning which a recent writer in All the Year Round gives the following testimony as the result of personal observation :-"These peasants who resist the cold so successfully eat little meat but much corn. Near the coast they eat a good deal of fish, but of oil and grease but little." The truth is that we English people fall into two great errors in this matter of cold weather. In-doors we over-clothe and overheat ourselves; and we also insanely cast out of our bread the very material which contains most heat. If a man cannot, by means of a flesh brush, sharp walking, and brown bread, keep himself warm, I greatly pity him. Meanwhile it is true that farinaceous food is not so rapidly combustible as is fat. Perhaps some of your readers will try Vegetarianism as a means of keeping cool this hot weather."

The second objection is that carnivorism is the best producer of physical strength. In evidence we have the experience of certain French contractors who experimented on their men. given. I object to the French nation being regarded as Vegetarians in any true sense of that word as used by myself. I do not consider mere abstinence to be the whole requisite; a man must choose his food intelligently, and cook and eat it rationally, attending also to other hygienic laws to answer the conditions I asked for in my lecture. Iwould re er "W.S." to the Scotch Highlanders, who till recently took quite as little flesh as do the French, and who are as strong at least as their English fellow subjects. And Irishmen, famed for their abstinence, will also co trast most favourably. But Brindley, the great canal engineer, has given evidence on this point so clearly that I cannot do better than quote him. He says that in the various works in which he was engaged, where the men being paid by the piece each exerted himself to earn as much as possible: "Men from the north of Lancashire and York-hire, who adhered to their customary diet of oat cake and hasty pudding, with water for their drink, sustained more labour and made greater wages than those who lived on bread, cheese, bacon, and beer." There is also th s further question, which system sustains healthful life most equally and for the longest period? I am prepared to grant that the use of flesh which posse-ses stimulating properties may create a greater amount of energy than would be pro uced by vegetable food; but as a stimulus is always attended with reaction, I fear I am justified in surmising that premature debility and old age must result from such a dietetic course. Experience and statistics show Vegetarianisin here to have a great

superiority. Lastly, "W. S," contends that Vegetarianism does not promote so high a mental status as the contrary system. He must be aware that there are facts of a most stubborn nature against him here. The profoundest thinkers of all times, from Pythagoras to Newton; the singers of sweet songs, like Shelley; the doers of good deeds, like Howard; the beholders of divine visions, like Swedenborg; and the saintly souls of ancient Monasticism and of Brahimism, form a glorious galaxy of names which shed a redundant glory upon our cau-e. Aye, and we have had stern workers too; men who have faced the wrongs of the world, and in trenchant phrase, have exposed the cant of priests, or, in deadly fight, have borne a manly

part against the brute might of oppression. This your correspondent cannot be unaware of; however, he attempts to raise another issue, asking why Vegetarianism did not preserve the civilisation of Egypt, Mexico, or Peru, &c? I never have made any such claim for Vegetarianism as is here supposed. It will neither make a man nor a nation wise, prudent, or pious. But I do maintain, and am prepared with reasons in defence of my assertion, that provided an individual or a people desire wisdom, seek after prudence, and love goodness, the adoption of a mild and humane diet will in all respects greatly assist in this. Egypt might consume less flesh than other nations have done, it was cursed by many foul sins, physical and moral, which are sufficient to account for its fall, and though Vegetarian in habit, it was not Vegetarian in principle. When to our noble Anglo-Saxon virtues there shall be added such physiological and psychological piety as is implied in Vegetarianism, I believe the tide of our national life will rise higher than it has yet risen; and that while we shall seek to dwell in peace with all men, we shall be found as able as ever to try, with any who may seek it, the fell issues of war. Yours &c., WM. SHARMAN.

Swindon, Wilts.

[We are compelled, by want of space, to reserve two other letters until our next number.]

HEYWOOD, LANCASHIRE.-Rev. W. Sharman's Lecture on Vegetarianism: On Monday evening, April 28th, an interesting and instructive lecture on Dietetic Reform was delivered in the Temperance Meeting Room, Coach Turning, Heywood, by the Rev. W. Sharman, of Birmingham, to an intelligent and attentive audience. The room was entirely filled. No charge was made for admission, nor collection at its close, the reverend gentleman giving the lecture without any remuneration, except the pleasure of endeavouring to do good. On the platform with the lecturer, were also the Revs. Messrs. Clark and Street, and the chair was taken by the Rev. R. Storry, of Heywood, who, in opening the meeting, said he did not appear before the audience as a Vegetarian. However, as all intelligent persons should have reasons for what they did, he (the Chairman) had some reasons for consenting to preside on that occasion. His reasons, then, were, that he had made the acquaintance of some gentlemen who professed and carried out the principles of Vegetarianism, ani he found them, as a rule, a superior class of persons so far as regards intelligence, moderation in sentiments, and other estimable qualities. He also thought that whether the Vegetarian system was true in its largest extent or not, it would accomplish a great use, as it was hardly possible for a thinking man to study the laws which govern his frame, without being improved and benefitted to a considerable degree. After some further remarks on the last point, the worthy Chairman instanced the fact that not very long ago, he was present at a large tea party, at which some 400 people sat down to tea; at this gathering, besides the varieties of bread usually provided on such occasions, there was provided liberally, beef, mutton, ham, &c. A friend of his saw the bills showing the quantity and cost of the eatables for tea, and it appeared from them that the average amount of the animal food was three quarters of a pound per head. Now, he liked to see working men enjoy themselves after their labour, and would be one of the first to encourage and provide enjoyment and comfort for them, but he did not think that three quarters of a pound of flesh meat was necessary to tea; he thought the working man would be neither better in health nor in mind by this intemperate use. Therefore, if Vegetarianism accomplished nothing more than tending to restrain the people from the intemperate use of animal food, it would do a considerable amount of good. After a few more remarks, he introduced the Rev. W. Sharman, who commenced his lecture by giving some of the reasons why Vegetarians abstained from the eating of flesh meats. Food, he explained, in order to conduce to the proper sustenance and health of man, must possess three characteristics. It must be nourishing, unstimulative, and desirable or natural. He then discussed these three characteristics in detail, with considerable ability, and in a manner that displayed a thorough acquaintance with his subject. He showed that vegetable food could, in a much greater degree than animal food, furnish the requisite elements for forming the bone and flesh of, and supplying the requisite heat to, the body. He also instanced different peoples and tribes who subsisted solely on vegetable diet, and who were noted above flesh-eating people for strength, health, and hardihood, and declared his conviction that a man who lived on well-chosen vegetable food alone, would do more than one living to a great extent on animal food. As regards the stimulative nature of food, the lecturer drew an analogy between teetotalism and Vegetarianism, and contended that a man no more needed stimulative food than he required st.mulative drinks. He said that persons living on animal food were frequently feverish and restless, and quoted high medical authority to prove that stimulants in food were injurious. He also argued that the mental powers of man would benefit to a great extent through the use of unstimulative vegetable diet. Then, as to the desirability of the two diets in question, the reverend lecturer contended that there was no comparison between the desirable nature of flesh meat and vegetable food, and he indulged in a tanciful sketch, showing how grateful to the senses of man were the growth and gathering of vegteable food as compared with the sight of cattle in crowded railway cars, or over-driven on the road,


or in the slaughter-house and butcher's shop. He said, further, that if God had intended man to eat animal food, he would have given him pleasure in killing it, for he had given to other animals which subsist on flesh meats such pleasure, and had also given to them instinct to direct them in killing their prey, so as to cause the least pain. He had given to the lion's breath the power of producing insensibility, and the tiger instinctively struck its prey in the most vital part of its body. The lecturer claimed for Vegetarianism a religious dignity, when enforcing the doctrine that it was an abuse of our power over the brute creation to sacrifice them for food. The lecturer invited any one who wished for information or explanation to put their questions to him at the close of the lecture. -A person in the meeting, therefore, rose and asked if our teeth were not constructed and intended for the mastication of animal food, and if the eating of flesh was not sanctioned in the Scriptures. The lecturer said that the teeth of man were considered to be most like those of the monkey species, which subsisted on fruit and grain. People often thought that there was only flesh and vegetables to live upon, forgetting that there was a middle course, which included all the fruits and grain of the earth;, and he thought, therefore, that the question of the teeth was in favour of the Vegetarian doctrine. In reference to the latter point of the question, he thought the Bible in such cases was frequently used in opposition, which was the wrong way. The Bible to us was a history, as well as a guide, and in that history were related examples and commands of the times gone by, which were necessary to fill up the historical part, but which were not necessarily commands to us in this age. Daniel's eating pulse was no reason why we should do the same; and it did not follow that because Jeremiali was commanded to make a cake of cow-dung, and eat it, that we should appropriate the commandment to ourselves. He did not blame persons for having such notions of the nature and office of the Scriptures, but the teachers who inculcated them.-Another question put to the lecturer was: "How would you prepare a first-rate dinner without flesh-meat?" The answer was that they might begin with vegetable soups; then all the usual vegetables, and for gravy, Vegetarians prepared a substisute, composed of butter, ketchup, seasoning, &c., which could scarcely be discovered to be made sans butcher's meat; for the next course might be set various kinds of savoury pies, omelettes, &c., with fruit pies, plum puddings, and cheese, and fruit as usual for dessert. Another person wished to know how a potato pie was produced on Vegetarian principles; and was informed that it consisted of potatoes, chopped onions, tapioca, and seasoning, with the gravy as before described. The lecturer explained that cookery books were published by Vegetarians, at both low and high prices, which gave every information on these points.-The Rev. Mr. Clark, having had considerable experience in Vegetarianism, added his testimony to the success of its principles, and proposed a vote of thanks to the lecturer and chairman. - The Rev. Mr. Street seconded the motion. - The motion being put to the meeting was carried with great applause, and a vote of thanks being passed to the Temperance Committee, for the use of the room, the proceedings terminated.— Heywood Advertiser.

SALFORD.-Diseased Meat: John Burman, butcher, Broad-street, Pendleton, appeared in answer to a summons charging him with having in his possession a quantity of diseased meat, unfit for human food.-Inspector Lee stated that on Thursday the 27th ult. he visited the defendant's shop. Defendant was not in at the time. He found, under a cloth, a breast of veal; and in the slaughter-house a neck, side, and hind-quarter of veal-in all weighing 94lbs. which were unfit for human food. He had the pieces removed to the Town Hall, where two experienced butchers examined the meat, and both agreed that it was quite unfit for food. Mr. Hayworth, one of the butchers who examined it, stated that in his opinion it was quite unfit for food. It was diseased, and had the grapes. He believed that it was dead sometime before it was cut up.-The defendant said that if the bench would adjourn the case for a week, he believed he could call as a witness the person from whom he bought the calf on the Tuesday previous, at the Salford Cattle Market.-Mr. Trafford: It is not with the person who sells the calf, but the butcher who offers it for sale, with whom we have to deal. Do you mean to say that the veal was fit for food when it was found by the inspector?-Defendant: On Tuesday night, when we gave it its food, it appeared as well as could be. When the young man went into the slaughter-house the next morning it was weak, but not dead. He told the young man to kill and hang it up, and they could see if it would be fit for anything. He did so, and the only thing that appeared the matter with it was that the flesh was rather red, owing to its not having been bled, as was the custom.Mr. Hayworth said that the calf was thin, and had apparently wasted away under the disease. Inspector Lee said that the flesh was rubbed over with mutton fat.-The Defendant: It is a frequent occurrence to put mutton fat on the veal when it is thin. They also put pig's kell on, when that of the calf itself is not a good colour, or very thin. - Mr. Hayworth said that he had heard of it being done, but had never found it necessary or desirable to do so himself.-Mr. Trafford: So when a beast of this kind is intended for sale, you em ploy mutton fat and pig's kell to make it fit to sell?-Defendant: That is what is done, although I never did it in my life before.-Mr. Trafford: You don't seem to be short of learning though. I have sat on this bench for seventeen years, and never knew a thing of this kind, that one animal was made up for sale by two or three others.-Defendant: I have

known it to be done in Pendleton, and one butcher there recommended me to use pig's kell when the calf's own was not fit to use.-Mr. Trafford: I have not the slightest doubt that you knew the veal was unfit for food. -Defendant: Indeed, I did not. Mr. Lee there knows something of my character.-Inspector Lee: I have never had any reason to complain of him before. Mr. Trafford: Do you think he could have had the meat in his possession without knowing it was bad?-Inspector Lee: Decidedly not, sir. - Mr. Trafford (to defendant): According to your on showing you must have known it; but, as this is the first time we have had reason to suspect you, I shall only fine you £5 and costs, or in default commit you to prison for six weeks, which is only half the usual penalty. I saw the meat myself, and I don't think it was possible to have seen anything more disgusting. No man who knew anything at all of the subject could have said that it was otherwise than totally unfit for human food.-Salford Weekly News, April 5, 1862.

SCURVY AND OTHER SKIN DISEASES.-Scurvy and other forms of skin diseases, originating in the use of swine's flesh and the eating of salted meats, is rarely seen in Asiatic Turkey; for the Turk inherits his dislike of the swine from his connection with the Jews, amongst whom there was a law prohibiting the eating of swine's flesh. "The swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean to you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase."- Deut. xiv. 8. The account of the four lepers named in 2 Kings, vii., ought to be read by all who see these pages, to understand the awful plight into which this disease brings its victims; and shows the wisdom of some of the Jewish laws as to washings, also as to the kind of food suitable for a nation ignorant of the laws of physiology, but known to, because created by, their divine Lawgiver. Eastern men are exempted from many diseases, because of their regular employment of the Turkish bath. It also softens their skins, and thereby qualifies the valves to open more easily and let off perspiration, and close more rapidly if invaded by cold. But were the people of the East to indulge in animal food to a large extent, especially were they to eat swine's flesh, they would induce a class of fearful diseases of the skin, which even their mode of employing the bath would fail to reach.-Tales about Turkey. By T. L. Marsden, F.R.C.S.L.

GUILTY LICENCE.-The brutalising power of fleshly sins, of whatever sort, always blunts the conscience. A man who has given himself up to these becomes coarse. If the sins be such as men can see, he becomes visibly coarse and earthly. If the sins be of the far wickeder and yet more secret sort, he often retains much outward refinement-refinement and even softness of manner, but coarseness and earthliness of soul; with little sense of disgust at impurity, with a low and animal idea of the highest of all affections. There is little room in such a soul for the loftiness of true generosity. Narrower and narrower through life become his aims and wishes, and still more his sympathies; poorer and meaner and coarser his best feelings; till the very highest that you ever see coming from him is a kind of earthly good nature.-Dr. Temple's (of Rugby) Sermons.

To Readers and Correspondents.

W. F.- We regret that your article must be postponed until our next number.

E. C.-Received too late for insertion.

Communications for the DIETETIC REFORMER should reach us not later than the 10th of the month preceding that on which they are expected to appear. We are often obliged to hold over valuable contributions from their not being sent sufficiently early.

VEGETARIAN SOCIETY.-The Forms of Declaration required for membership can be obtained on application to the Secretary, 12, King-street, Salford, Manchester.

All Communications for the DIETETIC REFORMER should be addressed to the Secretary, the Rev. JAMES CLARK, 12, King street, Salford, Manchester. All articles or notices of meetings, &c., intended for insertion, must be accompanied with the real name and address of the writer, not necessarily for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith.


Advertisements for the DIETETIC REFORMER, received on the following terms:

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »