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mention fowl to be entirely explicit). It is, therefore, evidence of inability to meet and overthrow our arguments, when our opponents raise another issue. It may be true that a strict adherance to a vegetable regimen would be most in accordance with man's physical structure and moral nature; but that is not the question we have raised.
If "R. C. H." had listened to my paper with attention he could hardly have written:— "There can be, I think, no reasonable doubt, whether we regard the construction of his teeth and digestive apparatus, or actual experience, that the Creator formed man omnivo rous," &c.
I gave many eminent names in proof that there is much reasonable doubt on thee points. Indeed, we Vegetarians believe that comparative anatomy repudiates such ideas altogether. I shall trouble you with but one great authority, none greater could, I apprehend, be adduced in proof that we are not visionaries. Baron Cuvier 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 canine teeth, not passing beyond the common line of the others, and the tubercular teeth would not permit him either to feed on herbage, or devour flesh, unless these aliments were previously prepared by the culinary process." I have left some copies of "The Vegetarian Armed at all Points" in the readingroom of the R. D. S., to which I refer "R. C. H." for ample evidence that man is not formed to be naturally a flesh-eating animal.
In the last and the best paragraph of his letter, "R. C. H." himself, unconsciously, I suppose, fully sustains our doctrine. He shows how ruinous flesh eating is to the health of man, and he bears me out fully in my argument against this unnatural regimen, when I stated that it turned almost every respectable house in these kingdoms into an hospital for, perhaps, one half of every year. This would not be the unhappy state of affairs if all were Vegetarians and teetotallers. But men prefer the gratification of their appetite to a healthful condition of existence.-I remain, Sir, respectfully yours,
35, Eccles-street, 23rd Nov., 1863.
We regret to learn that Mr. W. Horsell, who was for some years secretary to the Vege tarian Society, ended his earthly career on the 23rd December, 1863, on board ship, when nearing the port of Lagos, on the West Coast of Africa. The deceased gentleman h ́s been connected with the Society from its formation, and was one of the small band who undertook the work of organisation. On behalf of the cause he edited the "Vegetarian Advocate,” and at another time, "The Truth Tester;" he also contributed largely to the " Vegetarian Messenger" in its early days. He never ceased to agitate the question up to the period of his death as opportunity served, his zeal and energy being very remarkable. Amongst Mr. Horsell's services to the cause, not the least valuable was the publication of a pamphlet, “The i Vegetarian Armed at all Points," containing a summary of the system in all its departments. A cheap" Cookery" was also issued under his superintendence.
By a note from his widow, we learn that when dea.h overtook our late fellow-labourer he was engaged in a philanthropic mission, under the direction of two large-hearted ladies, members of the Society of Friends, but it pleased the Lord to remove him before reaching his destination-Lagos and Abbeskuta. He sailed from this country Sept. 24th, and arrived safely at Cape Coast Castle, where he stayed more than a week, lecturing to more than one thousand persons on the prospect of the cotton trade in Africa. It is supposed his exertions in lecturing and holding discussions, together with the great heat of the climate, brought on fever, from which he rallied sufficiently to be able to lecture again at Accra, &c., but again relapsed and never recovered. His remains lie at Lags, where they were interred under the care of a brother missionary. Mr. Horsell was widely known for his public labours, he was a thorough teetotaller and hydropathist; indeed whatever he espoused, received no halfhearted aid from him; his whole career may be taken to illustrate the injunction-" Whatsoever thou doest, do it with thy might." He was 55 years of age, and had been a Teetotailer 26 years, and a Vegetarian 18 years.
To Readers and Correspondents.
We are obliged to omit several articles for want of space, which shall appear in our next.
A. Ireland & Co., Printers, Pall Mall Court, Manchester.
WE are glad to announce to our friends that the Annual Meeting for the present year will be held in the Schoolroom, in King-street, Salford, on the 12th of the present month. The Executive Committee have decided to hold the meeting a little earlier than usual, with a view to the convenience of many friends who are desirous to be in Manchester at the time selected. They hope that a great number of friends from all parts of the country will avail themselves of the opportunity to meet their brethren in the cause, and so make the occasion one for renewing their interest and strengthening one another for the coming year of labour and example. The arrangements will embrace a Business Meeting and a Soirée; at the former a report will be presented and officers for the ensuing year will be chosen, opportunity will be afforded for suggestions and mutual counsel; at the latter some leading friends will speak upon the general question or relate their experiences. Many of our friends being isolated have no other opportunity of interchanging views with sympathisers, and these in particular we would urge to avail themselves of the opportunity thus presented. Friends from a distance, intending to be present, would do well to communicate with the Secretary, who will be glad to render them any possible service. In conclusion, we may remind our readers of the new rule adopted at the last Annual Meeting, which has been fully carried out on the part of the Executive, in sending a copy of the "DIETETIC REFORMER" to each member; it remains for some of our friends still to attend to their part, by enclosing their subscription of half-a-crown to the Secretary. As it is desirable to make up the accounts as soon as possible, we respectfully request the early attention of our subscribers.
BRITISH ASSOCIATION MEETING.
In our issue for October, 1863, we expressed a hope that the question of Dietetics would receive greater attention and more scientific treatment in the following year. We rejoice to find that not only have statistics of great value been accumulated since that time and read at the present meeting, but the whole subject has been carefully discussed. Though the results are yet small, and a mere beginning only has been made by the medical world, yet so much notice has been attracted by what has been done as to make future progress certain. Some doubts have been cast by the general press upon the value of chemical analysis as applied to foods, but observations are in all cases confirming the value of that mode of testing their value. We are unable in our present issue to summarise results, but we hope to do so in our next. Meantime we recommend our readers to obtain the best report of the proceedings in the Economic Section, presided over by Dr. E. Smith.
THE DIETARIES OF THE LABOURING POOR.
THE Sixth Report of the Medical Officer of the Privy Council, on Public Health, Dr. John Simon, has recently come before the public in the shape of a ponderous "Blue Book," of nearly 800 pages; and has attracted considerable attention.
The special subjects treated are various and of great social importance, including, Vaccination; Food of the Poorer Labouring Classes; Causes of Sea Scurvy in the Mercantile Marine; Hurtful Occupations; Residence in Marsh Districts; Outbreaks of Contagious Diseases, &c.
To the general report of Dr. Simon, which extends over 82 pages, there are appended a large number of valuable papers, in the shape of special reports, by various medical gentlemen under direction of Dr. Simon, giving the data and details on which the more general report is founded. One of the most interesting and not least important of these appended papers, is an elaborate statement by Dr. Edward Smith, F.R.S., "On the Food of the Poor Labouring Classes of England."
It is to this paper of Dr. Ed. Smith that we wish to draw special attention on the present occasion, not that it is a complete inquiry, or that it contains any conclusive deductions. It is, however, a most hopeful and important commencement, under the highest auspices, of an earnest, intelligent, and scientific effort to probe and elucidate a question which is of the utmost moment, but which hitherto has been almost entirely neglected, except by a few zealous Dietetic reformers.
It is well remarked by Dr. Simon (p. 11), "That no sanitary necessity can be more real than the common animal need of proper food,-that no morbific influence can be of worse import to life than mere privation of nourishment,—these are propositions which every one feels to be true, when they are illustrated in individual cases of death by starvation, or in those national extreme sufferings of scarcity which constitute famine. But the propositions are not exclusively true in that utmost range of their application. In degrees far short of what is popularly known as starvation or famine, insufficiency of nourishment may bring very hurtful consequences to health. Local defects or local peculiarities of diet may exercise important influence in determining or colouring particular localisations of disease. And generally it may be said, that in order justly to estimate the sanitary circumstances of a people, scientific regard must be had to the quantity and quality of the people's meat and drink."
The above quotation, and especially the concluding words, which we have italicised, command our full assent and cordial appreciation. We therefore hail this important national document, as the hopeful commencement of an inquiry, which if carried out and conducted in the same impartial and scientific spirit that characterizes its initiation, cannot fail, eventually, to lead to most important social and national results.
Dr. Smith, who is an experienced physician, examined the food of 553 households in England and Wales, of 29 in Scotland, and 52 in Ireland. In 125 English cases the inquiry related to the poorer classes of indoor work-people, such as silkweavers, needlewomen, glove-stitchers, stocking-weavers, and shoemakers, almost all of whom were, of course, resident in towns. In nearly all the remaining 509 cases the inquiry related to farm labourers. England appears to be the worst fed of the four divisions of the United Kingdom; Scotland and Ireland are the best fed; and Ireland in one particular rather worse, in another rather better, fed than Scotland.
The general result, as summed up by Dr. Smith, is as follows: "On the whole there was the most nutriment, the least sum spent upon food, the least variety of food, the greatest economy in the selection of food, the most breadstuffs and milk, the least sugars, fats, meats, cheese, and tea in Ireland. There was the least amount of nutriment, the greatest variety of foods, the most costly selection of food, the least quantity of breadstuffs and milk, the greatest quantity of sugars, fats, and meats in England." The average cost per head of this food will place this result in a still more remarkable light. In England it was 2s. 113d., in Wales it was 3s. 5d., in Scotland 3s. 32d., and in Ireland 18. 9ąd. Comparing, moreover, the amount of nutriment obtained by the same money, it appears that Ireland obtains more than twice as much for the money as England. These conclusions are founded upon a comparison of the elements which each dietary contains of the two chief principles of nutritioncarbon and nitrogen, familiar to all who read and practise the now famous system of Mr. Banting. The different diets have been chemically analysed, the amount of these elements contained in each has been observed, and the nutrition of a diet is estimated in proportion. The superiority of Ireland and Scotland appears to be caused principally by the great use of milk among the agricultural population. In Ireland, moreover, potatoes and breadstuffs are more used than in England; and Scotland, which stands lower than Ireland in breadstuffs, is enabled, partly by means of its "braxy" mutton, to exceed Ireland considerably in meat. In Wales there is a third less milk than in Scotland and Ireland; but there is cheese to make up for the difference. In England it appears that the agricultural population lose a great deal of the two nourishing elements by their extensive use of tea. The use of this stimulant is, indeed, slightly more common in Scotland than in this country; but more than four times as much milk is drunk in Scotland as in England. Dr. Smith laments that the English poor should prefer to spend 3d. upon the infinitesimal amount of nutriment contained in an ounce of tea, when for the same money they might obtain, at least in Devonshire, 12 pints of skimmed milk, An ounce of tea, he says, contains no carbon, and only ten grains of nitrogen, while 12 pints of skimmed milk contain 5,238 grains of carbon, and 523 grains of nitrogen; and he thinks that it is mainly for the mere satisfaction of swallowing a pleasant hot fluid that the tea is preferred.
It must be borne in mind that Dr. Smith's inquiry, as directed by the Privy Council, relates only to the dietaries of the lowest-fed parts of the population; and that the object of the inquiry was not a physiological one to ascertain upon how small an amount of food persons might live, but a social and national one, to demonstrate upon what food large masses of the population do live, and also that the condition of the agricultural labourer should specially be ascertained. Thus we have before us an array of facts, from whence, when collated, hereafter, with other facts to be elicited by further and more complete investigations from a yet wider surface of observation, we may hope to derive some valuable and conclusive results; and which will aid in the scientific settlement of numerous Dietetic questions of the highest moment.
The fundamental conditions or guiding rules of the enquiry, in regard to the selection of the families whose dietaries were examined, were :
1st. That the persons should always, or nearly so, live by their labour.
2nd. That their occupation should be one of a defined character, and of sufficient importance in the community.
3rd. That their earnings should, under all circumstances, be small.
4th. That they should be such as in industry, thrift, intelligence, health, and capability for labour and general employment would fairly represent the
class of which they were the members.
As in his report upon the dietary of the Lancashire operatives, Dr. Smith says:— "I have calculated the nutritive values of foods in the separate dietaries upon the contained CARBON and NITROGEN only." Dr. Smith also ascertained the number of persons above and below ten years of age respectively in each family, and computed the nourishment per head as well as per family; and in the computation two persons under ten years and one person above that age have been regarded as an average adult.
The general character of the results arrived at, in some respects, so contrary to the prejudices, 'habits, and tastes of the well-to-do classes of the community, has startled some of our sagacious editors, and newspaper-article writers. The Times, in a leading article on the report, August 26th, says: "It is impossible not to entertain a suspicion that some subtle influence of these stimulating foods (teas, &c.) is overlooked by this bare chemical analysis, one is certainly inclined to be sceptical; a theory which denies that a cup of tea has much influence beyond that of a warm fluid. Recent researches, and experiments upon the nature of stimulants and narcotics are tending very much to modify the sharp distinction formerly maintained between stimulating and nutritious agents; and it may be doubted, whether the disproportionate use of tea among the classes who are poorly fed, is not itself strong proof, as exhibiting a sort of instinct, that tea has some influence, which is, at all events, in effect, undistinguishable from nutrition."
This is, no doubt, very acute criticism on the part of this writer, who cannot deny the facts, but who wishes to shirk the conclusion towards which they so significantly point. It is always possible to evade the force of any induction of facts, by entertaining "a suspicion that some subtle influence has been overlooked." It is thus that the facts and demonstrations of science and experience, in regard to the effects of alcohol, opium, tobacco, and other fashionable poisons, are sought to be got rid of by the public teachers who pander to the sensual indulgencies they are themselves too much inclined to, and not unfrequently, the most miserable victims of. The Examiner has an article following the trail of the Times. Having quoted a passage from its contemporary, containing the gist of Dr. Ed. Smith's conclusions, the editor of the Examiner remarks:
All this is very curious, but as the Times observes, "it is impossible not to entertain a suspicion that some subtle influence of the stimulating food is overlooked by this bare chemical analysis." Indeed, we altogether distrust the analysis of food, or rather the proportion of nutriment assigned to the component parts. For, after all, the stomach is a party concerned, and has a laboratory peculiar to itself, which will not always conform to the principles of alimentary science. And the idiosyncrasies of stomachs are of great variety, while the rules laid down for them are limited and of great fixity. Here is one example, the tea condemned by Dr. Smith as almost void of nutriment, yet it is a necessary of the Chinese, a third of the human race, and it is a necessary also of a considerable proportion of the population of England. Dr. Smith may contradict us here, and say that it is not a necessary, but a superfluity taking something from the pockets of the poor and rendering nothing to alimentation. But if the price were given for milk, is it certain that the milk would be acceptable to the unaccustomed stomachs, and turned to nourishment? A milk diet must be an early diet, where it is not so it is generally distasteful and unprofitable. There are stomachs which will turn things to account against all scientific principles of diet, and which will make little or nothing of food esteemed nutritious. A short time ago the discovery was made that cabbage is more nutritious than potatoes, and a benevolent Irish landlord persuaded his people to try cabbage, but with dismal want of success, for they fell off visibly in condition, and were soon glad to return to their old diet. Many of our agricultural labourers, however, thrive on cabbage and hard dumplings, and would not do as