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CIVILISATION OF THE IRISH.-As to the civilisation of the Irish, Giraldus Cambrensis says, with epigrammatic bitterness, that they lived on beasts, and were as the beasts they lived on. (Gens ex bestüs solum et bestialiter vivens.) This severe sentence contains its own explanation. If the Irish were still in the pastoral state, as the words of Giraldus imply, they could scarce fail to be brutish.—From Irish History and Irish Character. By Professor Goldwin Smith.
OVERDRIVEN ANIMALS-M. Claude Bernard has published a note on the effects of a short or a quick death on the eatableness of fish, which we recommend to the notice of those city officers who, as the police reports show, are every week seizing condemned meat in the city markets. The observations apply to animals in general as well as to fish, as M. Bernard finds in all the musular tissues a substance analogous to vegetable starch. This substance, which is accompanied by certain azotized matters, disappears when the process of death is slow either by disease or by slaughtering Prolong the agony of the animal, and you destroy this glycogenous matter, the product of good nutrition, and spoil the meat. The same effect is produced by overdriving; the flesh of an overdriven ox parts more readily with its juices when soaked in water than that of an unfatigued animal. As regards fish, M. Bernard states that cod which die in water are worse than those that die in air.Athenæum, November 29, 1862.
A PICTURE OF AUSTRIAN LIFE.-Two of the most barbarous customs to be found anywhere are to be met with here (Marienbad), that of having butcher's slaughter-houses in hotels, and the cruel treatment of chickens; but wherever cruelty to such defenceless animals exists, it is always the mark of a mean and cowardly nature. Animal life is held very low here, and the inhumanity of the people to animals is shocking. A society for the prevention of cruelty to animals is greatly needed here. The Emperor's laws are very stringent and severe upon offences committed against the comfort of human bipeds: it is a pity they could not be extended in some measure to those defenceless animals that look up to man as their god, but who too often proves himself to be a merciless devil when there is no chance of retaliation. As might be expected this is a barbarous country, and far behind the rest of Europe in all the comforts and refinements of civilized life; the peasantry rude, stupid, selfish, cruel to animals, indifferent to the miseries of their fellow-men, and kept in a state of the grossest ignorance and superstition by the priests. But the one is a sequence of the other.-Letter from Bohemia.
IMPURE WATER.—"Scanty water" is a serious evil, as I showed you in my last lecture ; one which leads in most of our great cities, and especially among the working classes, to no small practical inconvenience. Its results are, however, complicated; we find a scanty water supply in connection with so many bad habits, both moral and physical, that we cannot be sure of any particular consequence in detail; we must be content to infer, and we do infer with a probability almost amounting to certainty, the connection of scanty water and deficient personal and domestic cleanliness with many kinds of disease. It is not, perhaps, very easy to show forth in a lecture, by special instances, the proofs of scanty water being connected with disease as its cause; and I did not attempt this in my last lecture. will be very easy to show that impure water-which is the subject of the present lecture, and very frequently associated with a deficiency in the water supply-is a cause of disease. I do not say that impure water is more dangerous to the health of the community than scanty water; but the forms of disease that attend upon impure water are much more directly proveable, more capable of being traced to their source, than those connected with mere deficiency in quantity. It is more directly dangerous, apparently, to drink unclean water than to have clean water for drinking, but not enough of it for washing and purifying. This is the real state of the question. It is quite possible, indeed, that if we knew the whole consequences of a scanty water supply; if we could trace the evils therewith connected directly to their source, we should find that the consequences of a scarcity of water are always very serious, as regards the health of the community. We can form some idea from the descriptions of oriental travellers-we can gather, in some degree, from the images and allusions of the Bible-how much distress and suffering are apt to arise in connection with the want of free access to the living springs of water in the rainless deserts of the East; how, without water, all life languishes, how vegetation is dried up, and how the possession of a well of water becomes the very symbol of value in landed property, insomuch that we And, in the primitive ages, that the man who digs a well acquires thereby a permanent right to the water-supply, and to the pasture which it enables him to procure for his flocks and herds. It is difficult, indeed, for us to realize, in this country of ours, which literally overflows everywhere with running streams, the evils of scanty water in their most aggravated form; the intense appreciation of the value of this element in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." But in regard to impure water, we know, unhappily, too much, even in this country. For we must confess to our shame, that, in the midst of our abundanceperhaps even in some cases, by reason of our abundance-we have been so little careful as to leave large populations in contact only with impure sources of supply; so that they are constantly more or less exposed to those dangers which spring on a large scale from contaminated and poisoned water.-Professor Gardiner on Public Health.
FRUIT CULTIVATORS.-I was amused to notice how much the exhibitors thought of their fruit; with many, this is the first year their trees have borne, and this care was particularly the case with those who have lived in cities, and who only a few years ago turned their attention to fruit growing. Hour after hour they stood by their tables, their eyes running from plate to plate, and often they re-arranged them so that each pear and bunch of grapes should show the best that it could. Human affection is scarcely less devoted. I was reminded of a young wife with her first baby. Some may call this a species of insanity. Very well, I own to being a little insane on strawberries. But people do not understand it. They do not have before them the years of persevering industry, as the fruit-grower does, and they have no long hopes realised. They know not how he has watched his trees through all seasons, till they have become "familiar trees;" how he has thought of them when falling asleep, or on a journey, and or how he has walked among them with his wife on Sunday afternoons. Of all the descendants of Adam, none have so nearly succeeded in getting back into Paradise as the fruit-grower.-New York Tribune.
ROGER CRABB.-This remarkable man was born in Buckinghamshire, and originally bred up to the business of a hatter. His assiduity in his calling, and his peculiar manners, contributed to increase his trade so rapidly, that before he was twenty-six he purchased an estate, and was one of the richest tradesmen in all Chesham, where he then kept a shop. In this manner he lived some years, and with the utmost diligence applied himself to read and understand the Scriptures, and both day and night was seen praying behind his counter or in any other place in which he happened to be. He appeared to have much of the enthusiast in his disposition, and his life of seclusion served to increase his gloom. He now formed the resolution of becoming the leader of a sect, and wishing the salvation of his countrymen, whom he imagined to be all far advanced in the road to perdition. Filled with this resolution he sold his shop, goods, and estate, and distributed the money among the poor, in order literally to fulfil the Scripture. He was of a very philanthropic disposition, for in his writings he observed that man was born not the tyrant but the friend of animated life; and that not a sparrow should fall without the Divine permission. He alleged that we had no right to be either fed or clothed from the spoils of other creatures, and that the very gnat we tread upon feels as strong a pang in the agonies of death as a man. As he was never married, he reserved scarcely anything to himself; retiring to Ichenham, near Uxbridge, where, with his own hands, he built himself a hut, and paid fifty shillings a year for a rood of ground. In this manner he lived with a severity of thought beyond the conception of modern luxury. Every animal he saw in distress he flew to relieve. He frequently gave a halfpenny to release a poor bird from its captivity. But what mostly deserves attention was his diet; he refused every kind of flesh with horror. His food was gathered from the spontaneous produce of the neighbouring fields, and the first spring afforded him drink. His dress was as mortifying as the rest of his manners; a sackcloth frock, and a coarse pair of breeches, open at the knees, being all his covering.-Wilson's Eccentric Mirror.
SNAIL EATING.-The Romans not only ate snails, they reared them and fattened them up with as much care as we do our poultry. Pliny, indeed, has immortalised the individual— one Fulvius Hirpinus-who invented the "cochlearia," or styes in which the dainty fare was fattened for the table. There were several compartments in the sty, and each compartment had its occupants from some particular district; so that your cultivated epicure, with his nice discrimination of flavours, could select his snails pretty much as the modern man of fashion can select his wine. The great perfection to which snails were brought under this system of fattening led to a hot competition as to who should have the biggest; and, in the end, as Pliny tells us, on the authority of Varro, they were brought to such a size, that some of the shells would hold ten quarts! The usual method of cooking the overgrown monsters appears to be that of frying them, or else grilling them on a silver gridiron. In France, and some of the countries of southern Europe, H. pomatia has been eaten from the time of the Romans to the present day. Only a few years ago the habitue of the inns of Vienna could as easily obtain his dish of snails as a joint of mutton or beef; and in Switzerland they are still regularly fattened for sale, and during the season of Lent become an important article of trade. In former times, indeed, the snail-always of course understanding the H. pomatia is the individual meant-was admitted to our own tables; and Robert May, the Soyer of his time, has left us several receipts for cooking them, amongst the curiosities of his fifty years' experience. Ben Jonson, again, in his "Every Man in his Humour," mentions the dish as a delicacy:
---"Neither have I
Dress'd snails or mushrooms curiously before him."
while Lister, in his "Historia Animalium Angliæ," refers to the snail as, in his day, an ordinary article of food." But, for some reason or other, the much-prized delicacy of former days has now lost its repute amongst us, and excepting in the case of the Newcastle glassblowers, who are said to hold an annual feast, in which the common garden snail furnishes the central dish-is entirely banished, it seems, from our tables, without the remotest prospect of its ever again appearing thereon.-Links in the Chain.
CARROT ENTREMENT.-Cut a pound and a half of carrots into very thin stripes, parboil and drain them; put them into a stewpan in boiling water, with a pound of sugar. When the water is reduced by one half, flavour with lemon; when it is reduced to three spoonsful, squeeze in the juice of two lemons; and afterwards shape it into moulds according to
SOUP MAIGRE.-Peel and slice six large onions, six potatoes, six carrots, and four turnips; fry them in half a pound of butter, and pour on them four quarts of boiling water; toast a crust of bread as brown and hard as possible, but do not burn it; put it with some celery, sweet herbs, white pepper, and salt to the above: stew it all gently for four hours, then strain it through a tammy; slice carrot, celery, and a little turnip, and stew them tender in the soup. Add, if approved, a spoonsful of catsup.
ORANGE CUSTARD.-One Seville orange, half an ounce of loaf sugar, one pint of cream, and four eggs. Squeeze the juice from a Seville orange, take half of the peel and boil very tender, beat it in a marble mortar until fine; put to it two spoonsful of rose water, the juice of the orange, the sugar, and the yellows of the eggs. Beat all together for ten minutes, then have ready the cream boiling hot, which put to them by degrees: beat them until cold, then put them into custard cups, in a dish of hot water. Let them stand until they are set; then take them out, and stick preserved orange peel on the top. This forms a fine flavoured dish, and may be served up hot or cold.
WE regret to have to record the loss of an old and valued co-worker in the Vegetarian cause, by the lamented decease, on the 18th ultimo, of Mr. James Couper, of Glasgow, in the sixty-second year of his age. Although of a frame never robust, Mr. Couper, by the adoption of Vegetarian habits many years ago, experienced a great improvement in his general health, but he seems never to have recovered from the effects of an accident which he met with in the summer of last year, and which appeared to have given a serious shock to his constitution. Although identified with most of the progressive movements of the day. Mr. Couper took a special interest in the question of Dietetic reform, and did much in his own locality to diffuse the knowledge of our principles, his faith in which continued to the last, although sorely tried by the importunities of well-meaning friends. Of rare moral courage in acting out his own convictions, his character was yet most amiable, and he departs with the love and respect of a large circle of friends. Mr. Couper has left a widow and one adopted child, with whom we deeply sympathise in their bereavement.
To Readers and Correspondents.
Dietetic ReformER.—Any of our readers having spare copies of No. 1 of the" Dietetic Reformer,” will oblige by sending them to the Secretary of the Vegetarian Society, 12, King-street, Salford, Manchester. They are wanted to complete sets for binding. Current numbers will be given in exchange, or stamps sent in payment, as may be desired.
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FOOD: ITS NATURE AND ADAPTABILITY TO THE HUMAN ORGANISM.
AN ARGUMENT FOR A VEGETARIAN DIET.
As I stated at the conclusion of my former paper, my object in this will be to shew, that a vegetable diet is better calculated to support the strength and maintain the health of the body than a diet composed wholly or even partly of flesh.
When I speak about a vegetable diet, I do not mean that silly conglomeration of eatables which some of our opponents are in the habit of dreaming about. Either through ignorance or prejudice, or misrepresentation, some of these are continually talking about cabbage, turnips, carrots, broccoli, &c., &c., as if these were all the vegetables found in the world. Such foolish trash deserves hardly a mention. I will not therefore notice it further.
The great objection to a vegetable diet arises from the universally prevailing idea, that these substances do not contain nutriment sufficient to support bodily strength. People get this idea not from any investigation or knowledge of the subject, but solely from the prejudices of society; so far, however, is this from being the case, that I hope to be able to prove that if properly selected, a vegetable diet will not only afford sufficient strength to the body, but will do it much better than a diet of flesh.
The question as to the amount of nutritive material which the food ought to contain, to give it the requisite richness, is one about which there is great variety of opinion, and quite as much diversity in practice.
Some nations—as the Hindoos and others-subsist upon the poorest kind of vegetable aliment, namely, rice; yet, travellers tell us, there are many among them to be found who exhibit physical structures, and display powers of strength and endurance scarcely surpassed by any other people.
The Irish, in our own day, to a considerable extent, subsist upon potatoes, and yet, considering their poverty, wretchedness, and the down-trodden circumstances in which they have been placed, they exhibit no mean specimens of physical strength and development.
The South Sea Islanders, whose diet consists principally of cocoa nuts and the produce of the bread fruit tree, when discovered, ranked about the best developed specimens of humanity to be found; at the same time they shewed a freedom from disease unsurpassed by any other people. These nations live upon the worst kind of vegetable food, and yet, comparing them with the Australians, the inhabitants of the Andaman islands, the Greenlanders, &c., who are somewhat similarly circumstanced, yet indulge freely in flesh, we shall find them immeasurably superior. If, then, upon some of the poorest types of vegetable food such physical
results follow, what might be the case were a proper diet of the superior class of vegetables adopted.
I might with advantage prolong the discussion under this head, but as my argument is to be scientific rather than historic, these remarks shall suffice. What has been said will, however, serve to shew that there is in the human organism the capacity for adapting itself to a wide range in the composition and quality of the food upon which it subsists.
Although there is such a great range of adaptability in the human organism, there must, nevertheless, be a certain standard in the composition and quality of the food that is most suitable to the wants of the body; this standard is attained when the food contains nutriment just sufficient to support the waste of the system, and respiratory material enough to supply the necessary combustion. The question is, where is this standard? In the determination of this there are so many things to be taken into consideration, that it is impossible to give an opinion of any value upon the subject; the amount of toil, the temperature of the atmosphere, the state of the weather, the quantity of clothing worn, all necessitate a variation in the supply of the nutritive and respiratory elements of our food. Take for example two persons in different occupations. One may be a stonemason, an outdoor labourer, or a blacksmith; the other perhaps is a tailor, a clerk, or occupied at some other equally sedentary calling; what a difference there must be in the waste of tissue; in the first cases, probably, three times as great as in the latter. And what does this teach? It shews that there ought to be a like variation in the elements of the food: the stonemason, blacksmith, &c., are wasting three times the tissue that the tailor does, and need therefore three times the amount of plastic element to supply the same, consequently, their food should be proportionably richer than in the latter case.
Again, in cold weather there is a far larger amount of caloric abstracted from the body than in warm. If in winter the thermometer stands at 30°, and in summer at 70°, how vast must be the difference in the amount of heat which is necessary to keep the body to the proper temperature. This difference has mainly to be equalized by the increased combustion of food in cold weather, and consequently there must be an increased supply of the respiratory element to furnish this extra demand. There are other circumstances which operate in varying these conditions; for instance, the quantity and quality of the clothing, the dampness or dryness of the atmosphere, &c., all exercise an influence, and thus, by all these various influences being brought to bear, there may be such a difference as to necessitate, in extreme cases, perhaps two or three times as much plastic food as in other cases, and vice versa. And yet what little attention is paid to this. If twenty persons sit down together at table, one may be a dress-maker, or a clerk, or a tailor, or an engraver, or a literary man; another mayhap is a weaver, or a shopman, or an overlooker; amongst the rest there is perhaps a mechanic, a blacksmith, a miner, an out-door labourer, or persons pursuing some equally laborious occupation, and yet they all sit down at the same table, eat of the same food, though the needs of their systems are as variable as possible. No wonder that the results are so injurious. To use the words of the celebrated Andrew Combe:
"The natural result of this mode of proceeding is, that the stomach becomes oppressed by the excess of exertion-healthy appetite gives place to morbid cravings-sickness, headache, and bilious attacks become frequent-the bowels are habitually disordered, the feet cold and circulation irregular, and a state of bodily weakness and mental irritability is induced, which constitutes a heavy penalty for the previous indulgence."*
* Physiology of Digestion, p. 90.