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we fear the bounds of courteous controversy were transgressed. We regret this the more as the "Herefordshire Vegetarian" had so manifestly the advantage over the Editor and his friends in the real question at issue, and such an opportunity of doing good service to the cause of Dietetic Reform does not often occur. The whole correspondence would form a bulky pamphlet, and we have only room for a few brief extracts:
LETTER I.-W. G. W.
That Milton was a Vegetarian is new to you, and so will be much more that a "Herefordshire Vegetarian " may introduce to you. If you had read much of Milton, he would have taught yon, if you bow to his authority, that you cannot write anything worthy of a nation's approval without being a Vegetarian.
"The lyrist may indulge in wine, and a free life; but he who would write an epic for the nations, must eat beans and drink water." -John Milton.
Perhaps it may be new to you that Shakspere was on our side:
Sir Andrew: I am a great eater of beef, and I believe it does harm to my wit.
Sir Toby: No question.
Sir Andrew: An I thought that, I'd forswear it.
Shakspere, Twelfth Night.
And Lord Bacon too: "It seems," says he, "that a spare and almost Pythagorean diet is the most favourable to long life."
Is it new to you that Sir Isaac Newton turned Vegetarian, that he might be enabled to write his immortal work on light and optics. So I might go on and quote from Pythagoras to Franklin, and give you "proofs," till even your broad sheets would not hold them.
My allusion to Daniel and John the Baptist as Vegetarians, you confess is new to you. Read the first chapter of Daniel and the Gospels. But you venture on a boldfaced assertion, without an atom of evidence, that Peter was not a Vegetarian. You cannot give me a shadow of proof for the rash assertion. Calmet says the Apostles were strict Vegetarians. So likewise say some two or more of the fathers. Their authority may be worth very little, but, at any rate, they are a million to one, as compared to your random ipse dixit.
But you appear to base your idea on the vision. I certainly hesitate to believe any thoughtful reader of the New Testament can build such an idea upon such a foundation. We have the word of God that Peter himself did not. Acts x. 28-"God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." See Albert Barnes on "showed me "He had showed him by the vision that no man was to be regarded as excluded from the opportunity of salvation or be despised, &c."
"Here unclean beasts plainly denote the Gentiles."— Olshawsen on the Gospels, &c., vol. iv. p. 492. "This vision is so far from leading him to the conclusion that the distinction of clean and unclean animals is purely subjective, that, on the contrary, it presupposes its objective reality. He understands what was spoken to him on the occasion of the vision as intimating that an actual change had taken place in the relations subsisting between the Jews and the Gentiles, and between both and the Almighty."-Baumgarten's Apostolic History, vol. i. pp. 276.
“The unclean beasts did signify the people of the world." R. Menahim, quoted by Whetman and Lowman, Acts x. 15-" Go confidently with them; without dreading intercourse with the Gentiles as unclean, for thou hast been taught by a voice from heaven that thou must not dare to consider those unclean whom God himself has pronounced clean, and whom he now sends to thee."-Neander, History, Planting, and Training Christian Church by the Apostles, vol. i. p. 85.
"The vision by which he was taught that the ancient ritual distinctions between clean and unclean has been abolished, and thereby prepared to attend on the summons of Cornelius, to whom he preached the Gospel."-Kitto's Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature, article "Peter." I trust these " proofs are sufficient in number, and in authority to satisfy you. It is humiliating to think that any person decently read in the New Testament should want any at all. Common sense applied to the word, should satisfy any one that the teaching there is that the ceremonial uncleanness of the heathen was abolished. And not that Peter was commanded to slay and eat wild beasts, reptiles, and creeping things. The idea is as absurd as it is disgusting.
"The Herefordshire Vegetarian" is quite wrong in his inferences from the construction of the human mouth, You admit, with every other man who knows anything of the question that Baron Cuvier has arranged these animals, as vegetable feeders, and as carnivori. How did he do it? Why simply by the articulation of the jaw; and as secondary evidence the teeth, and the teeth likewise would assist in dividing the frugivorous from the grass or tree feeders. If I am wrong so is he and all his followers. "Man has both flesh teeth and grinding teeth." This is curiously expressed for the editor of a newspaper. "Flesh teeth" and bone teeth I suppose. The antithesis of grinding is
tearing in relation to teeth. You, sir, should have said, "Man has tearing teeth and grinding teeth." But when you had said it correctly you would have made a scientific blunder, told what was not true. Man has no tearing teeth except in a very rudimentary form. You, sir, have a rudimentary nipple, and you are just as well qualified by nature for a wet nurse as you are to practise dietetics, with a wolf, a dog, or a lion. The cuspid teeth of carnivorous animals are three times the length of the bicuspids, and have a cutting edge behind. While in man the cuspid or eye teeth project out no further than the bicuspid or molars, and the cuspids have no back cutting edge. The "flesh teeth" of man are unknown to nature and science. They exist in popular phraseology, but nowhere else.
But you are hungry for "proof," and you shall have it.
Baron Cuvier, whose knowledge of comparative anatomy surely will compare with yours, says, "Fruits, roots, and the succulent parts of vegetables, appear to be the natural food of man; his hands afford him a facility in gathering them; and his short and comparatively weak jaws, his short canine teeth not passing beyond the common line of the others, and the tuberculous teeth, would not permit him either to feed on herbage or devour flesh unless those aliments were previously prepared by the culinary processes.'
Professor Lawrence says "The teeth of man have not the slightest resemblance to those of carnivorous animals, except that their enamel is confined to the external surface." "He possesses, indeed, teeth called 'canine,' but they do not exceed the level of the others, and are obviously unsuited to the purposes which the level corresponding teeth execute in carnivorous animals." "Thus we find that, whether we consider the teeth and jaws, or the immediate instruments of digestion, the human structure closely resembles that of the Simiæ; all of which, in their natural state, are completely herbivorous." And so say Linnæus, Daubenton, Gassendi, Roget, Ray, and Palmer.
Your last line is one of those questionable assumptions that merit your castigation in others, but from you are to be received as proofs of Holy Writ-"All the highest productions of art are works of Greeks, Romans, or others of the flesh-eating nations." I always thought that Greece and Rome, until their corrupt days, were something like Vegetarian nations; and even in their degenerate days, they were not fed on stalled oxen and house lamb of modern Britons.
Cowper, too, it seems thought with me
A Roman meal
Such as the mistress of the world once found
And even in the degenerate days of the Cæsars, I have read that Cæsar Augustus was a lover of brown bread, green cheese, and green figs; that Tiberius put his soldiers occasionally on a regimen of barley; of Diocletian dining at Salona on cabbages he had reared there; and of Julian, apostate and philosopher, dining on a turnip-a Vegetarian of rather an advanced class. But, best of all, we have their Columella, and other agricultural works, and can you, as a classical scholar, point out to me a single line that teaches anything of fattening cattle for the slaughterhouse. All the stall-feeding you meet with there is birds in cages! in aviaries! The dovecote, too, seems important. But for the line on cattle feeding, I leave you to hunt up.
As to Greece, I did intend to say something of Spartan fare and Spartan broth, of old Homer's testimony to Vegetarianism, &c., &c.; but I do not see why I should toil to reply to vague untruths, or exchange sovereigns for farthings. But I must notice your remark "that it cannot be said of the horse or cow" that they can digest animal and vegetable food. Why, Mr. Editor, you have been slumbering indeed! Did you never meet in your classic readings with him who fed his horses on flesh; aye, and human flesh? Did you never read in a sober book of cows being fed on fish on the Coromandel coasts of India and elsewhere? Deny it, as you rashly have done before, and I will soon have "proofs" against you.
LETTER II.-W. G. W.
1. I must not let you forget that this correspondence commenced with your endorsing the absurdities of the "Family Herald." You have very prudently now flung them away. As to what you have supplied in their place I shall presently show; but I must remind you that the first absurdity and untruth of the "Family Herald" you endorsed, was the universality of your flesh eating from the eater of human flesh to the eater of snails. No doubt it was intended to teach a still higher absurdity-the universality of English beef eating. Now, what does man live upon? The answer will be various enough. "The Gancho, who, in the wide pampas of Buenos Ayres, managing his half wild horse with incredible dexterity, throws the lasso or bolas to catch the ostrich, the guanaco, or the wild bull, consumes daily from ten to twelve pounds of meat, and regards it as a high feast-day when, in any hacienda, he gains a variety in the shape of a morsel of pumpkin-the word bread does not exist in his vocabulary. The Irishman, on the other hand, regales himself in careless mirth on his 'potatoes and point' after a day of painful labour-be who cannot help making a joke
even of the name he gives to his scanty meal; meat is a strange idea to him, and he is happy, indeed, if, four times a year he can add a herring to season the mealy tubers. The hunter of the Prairies lays low the buffalo with sure bullet, and its juicy, fat-streaked hump, roasted between two hot stones, is to him the greatest of delicacies. Meanwhile, the industrious Chinese carries to market his carefully fattened rats, delicately arranged upon white sticks, certain to find a good customer among the epicures of Pekin; and in his hot, smoky hut, fast buried beneath the snow and ice, the Greenlander consumes his fat, which he has just carved, rejoicing over the costly prize, from a stranded whale. Here the black slave sucks the sugar cane and eats his banana; there, the African merchant fills his wallet with sweet dates his sole sustenance in the long desert journey; and there, the Siamese crams himself with a quantity of rice, from which a European would shrink appalled. And wheresoever, over the whole inhabited earth, we approach and demand hospitality, in almost every little spot, a different kind of food is set before us, and the daily bread offered in another form." It would be easy to extend the examples so picturesquely painted by Schleiden, the great botanist; but his selection is quite sufficient to show the vast variety of human diet. 2. But it becomes us, as thoughtful men, to get above this confusion of diet, and show there are principles to guide us to a rational decision upon the question. First, then, I have shown, in my previous letter, from the Bible, we were made to be Vegetarians; and, likewise, showed that our organisation manifested the conclusive truthfulness of the Bible teaching.
3. It is now my intention to show that flesh eating is impossible universally in relation to its production and the numbers of mankind. Even in this country it is impossible "the hewers of wood and the drawers of water," the labourers who cultivate our soil, can feed upon flesh. You, sir, and such as flourish beneath your prejudice, place yourselves in a dilemma when you advocate the necessity of a flesh diet, you libel the arrangements of a just Providence, you are cruel to our agricultural labourers, and you teach a doctrine that is confuted by the necessities of all peoples. How is it possible that an agricultural labourer, earning 9s. a week, can pay rent, clothe a family, and feed them upon flesh? Under my eye, at the present moment, there is a peasant family of ten human beings; they are all healthy and strong, and they are kept at less than 15d. per head per week! Tell me, sir, how is it possible to keep them alive upon your system? And these cases are numerous in every parish in this county. Now, sir, if flesh is indispensable for the strength and health of man, how is it that our social state is so criminal as to debar the producers of all our food, animal and vegetable, from partaking of any? You, sir, take upon yourself a fearful responsibility in teaching the necessity of flesh as food. You must show up every farmer who does not give wages that will enable a labourer to feed upon flesh as a monster of cruelty, worse than an Egyptian taskmaster, expecting a man to have strength for daily labour, and keeping back from him the flesh that is necessary to sustain it. But whether we turn to practical life, or to the teaching of physiologists, we find there is no such necessity. Our labourers are compelled to do without it. And even Dr. Carpenter, in the "Medico Chirurgical Review," says, "As regards the endurance of physical labour, there is ample proof of the capacity of what is commonly called the vegetable regimen to afford the requisite sustenance." And Dr. Samuel Brown says, "We are ready to admit that Vegetarian writers-especially the author of "Fruits and Farinacea"-have triumphantly proved that physical, horse-like strength is not only compatible with, but also favoured by, a well-chosen diet from the vegetable kingdom; and, likewise, that such a table is conducive to length of days." And to show that our labourers have been driven to a wisdom you yet have never learned, I commend to your close attention the following table:
Now, sir, you have here the clear teaching of chemistry and social economy to the wastefulness of the flesh eating system. A labourer requiring to reproduce the elements of 100 lbs. of his own body, can do it on wheat meal for £3. 1s. 1d., but if he does it with butchers' meat he must spend £11. 12s. 6d. And it is shown that in purchasing a pound of flesh you get 12oz. of water and only 4oz. of nutriment; besides the loss from bone. While a pound of oatmeal contains only 14oz. of water and 141oz. of nutriment.
4. Take another view. We are commanded to multiply and replenish the earth; in the multitude of people is a nation's strength. Now, sir, you must admit that the system that
keeps more people per acre must be the true one, the most beneficial one, and the one provided by Him who commanded the multiplication of our species. Now then, an acre of wheat will keep three persons a year; of potatoes 10; but of beef it requires 12 acres to keep one man, and of mutton 9 acres. Take another fact. We have 47 millions of acres of land in cultivation. Our horses require some 9 millions; so we have 38 millions of acres to feed the people. Now, to feed our population only on soldiers' rations, and assume we are 30 millions, it would take 63 million acres to produce the beef, and about 11 millions the wheat; therefore we must either import the food of half our population-a practical impossibility or transport half our people, or reduce the food of our masses very far below our soldiers' rations.
5. It requires something less than half an acre of land to keep me a year, while it requires some twelve and a half acres to keep you. Now, sir, what are you, God-ward or man-ward, that you should consume in luxury the food of twenty-four people? That is, you, sir, practically say that twenty-four people shall starve that you may be a "riotous eater of flesh;" and yet you, and such as you, are avowedly members of a religion that teaches self-sacrifice, and in politics advocate "the good of the many," and yet in practice eat up the food of twentyfour of your fellow-creatures, and you, and such as you, impose starvation on numbers of your own race. If you, sir, would be a philanthropist like Howard, you must, like Howard, be a Vegetarian; if you, sir, would be a teacher of religion like Wesley, like Wesley you must be a Vegetarian; if you, sir, would be a philosopher like Newton or Swedenborg, like Newton or Swedenborg you must be a Vegetarian; if you, sir, would be a poet like Milton, or Chatterton, or Shelley, like them you must be a Vegetarian; nay, even if you are consistent to your own political creed; if even as an editor you would write anything worthy of a nation's approval, you must be a Vegetarian.
6. And now let me turn to the ten bushels of chaff in your last paper, and let me see if ten grains of wheat are there. Your first paragraph asserts that poets are generally as inconsistent as yourself, teach one theory and practise another. Your second is that
Shakspere, in proclaiming a practical fact, needs not to have believed it. Your third teaches the absurdity that a passage figurative in meaning is in part to be understood literally. I have only to allude to these three, they are beneath refutation. But driven as you are from Peter and the vision, you must still seek a defence for English gorging of flesh in Luke xxiv. 42, 43, "And they gave him (Jesus) a piece of a broiled fish and of an honeycomb, and he took and did eat before them." Bloomfield says, in his notes to the Greek Testament upon this verse, àñòμedioσíov Kηpiov, a frequent food with the ancients, especially those who affected abstemiousness of diet. And this is all he says upon this verse; and this pointed reference to abstemiousness you-you quote as a defence for the riotous eating of flesh! For shame. But you will say, "I point to ixovos." Well, that word may mean a steam-engine or a horse, for it signifies, "to rush impetuously." And opapiov, translated elsewhere fish, may as well be translated butter, for it signifies "whatever is eaten with bread;" and so you meet a Vegetarian with visions and doubtful translations. Your fourth is a bit of word-chopping, and the muddle lies with you. You blunderingly used queer phraseology; I put it in ship-shape, and replied not to the printed nonsense of "flesh teeth and grinding teeth," but to what I assumed you meant "tearing and grinding teeth." And I used the word "rudimentary" correctly, and instanced it by the nipple in man. So there can be no mistake on my part. And it is untrue to say that I compared "the tearing teeth of man and of the carnivori." I denied man having teeth to tear. It is you who would pull down the divinity of man and find something of the dog and the wolf in him that nature never put there. This fourth paragraph I take to be alien to fairness and truth.
Your fifth paragraph is remarkable for the misuse of words. The only diet ever commanded for man was Vegetarian. And if Genesis ix. 3 and 4, is assumed as giving man permission to eat flesh, it involves man's degradation and his incapacity to live as God wished him, even in his diet. It is another case of the hardness of your hearts, requiring accommodation like that of divorce. What a platform for a modern Christian to mount, the accommodation provided for an uneducated, half-civilized, rebellious Jew. Tell it not in Gath, &c. But, after all, does Genesis ix. 3 and 4, give man permission to eat flesh? I wot not. "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." This last verse you omitted. Now the "but " is a disjunctive conjunction, implying a distinction. And whatever is meant in the gift, it is to be restricted by what follows the "but." But flesh with blood shall ye not eat. Now it may be said "every moving thing that liveth" must mean animals. If it does, it means clean and unclean without distinction. And yet you teach the distinction of clean and unclean was removed not till near three thousand years after, by the vision to Peter. Perhaps this dilemma you are in may be got over in the very easy way you bridge over improbabilities and impossibilities, and passed off as a trifle to such a word architect as you. Your sixth assures me Abraham was a flesh-eater; yes, and something else. If his authority goes for something with your beefsteaks, it may as well for a Hagar and its results. Your quotations as to the Apostle
Paul are simple blunders. "Eat that which is set before you, not asking questions for conscience sake," had no relation to either flesh food or vegetable food, as such, but simply to the food that had been offered to idols. I quoted before Paul's use of animals-for milk. And he, Paul, expressiy tells us that, as Christians, we must not lust after evil things (the flesh meats) as the Israelites did.
EDITOR OF "HEREFORD TIMES."—NO. I.
1. The quotation from Milton proves nothing except that he, like poets generally, had a romantic fancy about the higher morality of a vegetable diet; which fancy was but a dim reflection of the old ascetic folly, which had drawn away so many good men from their work in society to idleness in the hermitage. Almost every other poet has fallen into the same error, but we do not read that Goldsmith, or Cowper, or Milton himself, was a Vegetarian in practice; which is the point at issue.
2. As to Shakspere, our corr spondent's quotation is the most comical attempt at proof we have seen for some time. Shakspere repre-ents a sot and a fool conversing: the fool expresses himself as in doubt whether he ought not to become a Vegetarian; the sot, conscious that he could not eat a hearty meal because he has ruined his digestive powers by drink, fully agrees with the fool; and their conclusion is given as the opinion of Shakspere! It would be as reasonable to take Lady Macbeth's speech to her husband, urging him to murder Duncan, as the opinion of Shakspeare on the question of slaying one's guest.
3. As to the Apostle Peter: our correspondent spends much labour in proving, what nobody doubts, that the vision was figurative in its meaning. It would have been more to the purpose had he grappled with the short and simple sentence in our last: "the command to kill and eat implies that it is lawful to kill and eat." That Peter himself was not a Vegetarian is evident, since he does not dispute the lawfulness of eating animal food, but merely objects to eating the flesh of unclean animals. When our Lord appeared to the disciples and produced, probably by miracle, a dinner of animal food for himself and for them-see John xxi. 9-12-Peter was present as a guest. A fact like that is worth all the books of the Fathers" put together, and "it is indeed humiliating to think that any person decently read in the N. T. should want any proof at all" in the face of such well-known passages. "And they gave him (Jesus) a piece of broiled fish and of a honeycomb, and he took it and did eat before them"-Luke xxiv. 42, 43. Our correspondent surely does not mean to assert that Jesus did wrong in eating animal food: yet to that his argument amounts. In truth, Vegetarianism is not Christianity, but merely one of man's superstructures, the "hay, wood, and stubble" which every age in its own fashion builds on the Christian foundation, and this like the rest of them fails when the test is applied. Christianity permits abstinence in rare cases and with special safeguards, but absolutely commands temperance. "Use the things of this world as not abusing them," is the Divine precept. Is not animal food one of the things of this world?
4. The chief difference between the tearing teeth of man and of the carnivori, as the writer himself shows, is merely one of length, about which we said nothing because it was not in question.
5. If the grant of vegetables to man as food be "Divine teaching of Vegetarianism," then the grant of animals for food-" every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things"-Gen. ix. 3-is also "Divine teaching" of the use of animal food. The truth is that there is no teaching in the matter: vegetable food only was permitted to man in paradise, and was doubtless the only suitable food to him then, but animal food was permitted to him after the flood, and the permission has never yet been withdrawn by the Divine Lawgiver.
6. Abraham was a flesh-eater-see Genesis xviii.; Isaac "loved savoury meat" of kids' flesh; Jacob, too, speaks of eating the rams of the flock (Gen. xxxi. 39) in such a way as to prove that he ate of his own flock; and th whole sacrificial system, which our correspondent wisely evades, recognises the lawfulness of animal food. That Daniel abstained from it is mentioned as something remarkable, not as the practice of all good men. The Apostle Paul '! was no Vegetarian, for he writes, in regard to animal food, "eat that which is set before you, asking no questions for concience sake"; and again, "if by eating meat I make my brother to offend, I will eat no meat," &c., plainly implying that his practice was to eat meat, but he was willing to give it up in the contingency stated.
8. Certainly we have read of horses being fed on human flesh, and of cows eating fish, just as we have read of monstrous births and of cannibalism, of a woman eating earth from a graveyard, and of the horrible deeds of the ghouls; but we do not accept monstrosities for anything more than exceptions.
9. We admit that the practice of eating animal food "came in with sin," but that does not prove it to be sinful, seeing that we have (as already shown) direct Divine permission to eat that kind of food. The practice of wearing clothes also "came in with sin": would our correspondent have men go naked?
(To be continued.)