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The following treatise is a translation, revised and 
enlarged, of my * Th^se pour le Doctorat,* which, 
under the title * De TAlimentation V^g^tale chez 
r Homme,' I presented in the month of July, 1880, 
at the Faculty de M^decine of Paris on completing 
my medical studies and taking my degree. 

The original thesis was published in Paris in 
the French language, and subsequently translated 
into German and issued with illustrative notes and 
other additions by Dr. A. Aderholdt. Encouraged 
by the success obtained by these two editions, and 
by the favourable notices they elicited from various 
foreign scientific and popular critics, I offer the 
present work to English readers, confident of a 
kindly welcome from the friends of the reform I 
advocate, and hopeful of a serious axvd \w\rfXv^\?^. 

viii PREFACE. 


hearing from those who as yet are strangers to the 
merits of that reform. 

The French and German editions of this treatise 
include an Appendix, containing short notices and 
citations from the works of the chief exponents 
and exemplars of the Pythagorean system of diet. 
In the present volume this Appendix is suppressed 
in favour of a forthcoming * Catena of Authorities 
Denunciatory or Depreciatory of the Practice of 
Flesh-Eating/ by a * Graduate of Cambridge ' ; an 
excellent and ample compendium to which the 
reader is referred. 

That I have dwelt chiefly on the aspects, phy- 
sical and social, of my subject, and touched but 
lightly on those moral and philosophical, is not, 
assuredly, because I regard these last as of lesser 
importance, but because their abstruse and recon- 
dite nature renders them unsuitable to a work 
intended for general reading. 

Finally, if any into whose hands this book may 
fall, should be inclined to think me over-enthu- 
siastic, or to stigmatise my views as * Utopian,' 
I would ask him seriously to consider whether 
* Utopia ' be not indeed within the realisation of all 
who can imagine and love it, and whether, without 


enthusiasm, any great cause was ever yet won for 
our race. Man is the master of the world, and may 
make it what he will. Into his hands it is delivered 
with all its mighty possibilities for good or evil, 
for happiness or misery. Following the monitions 
and devices of the sub-human, he may make of it 
— what indeed for some gentle and tender souls it 
has already become — a very hell ; working with 
God and Nature, he may reconvert it into Paradise. 


II Chapel Street, Park Lane, 
Michaelmas^ 1 88 1. 



The king stood in his hall of offering, 

On either hand the white-robed Brahmans ranged 

Muttered their mantras, feeding still the fire 

"Which roared upon the midmost altar. There 

From scented woods flickered bright tongues of flame, 

Hissing and curling as they licked the gifts 

Of ghee and spices and the Soma juice, 

The joy of Indra. Round about the pile 

A slow, thick, scarlet streamlet smoked and ran, 

Sucked by the sand, but ever rolling down. 

The blood of bleating victims. One such lay, 

A spotted goat, long-horned, its head bound back 

With munja grass ; at its stretched throat the knife. 

Pressed by a priest, who murmured, * This, dread gods 

Of many yajnas, cometh as 'the crown 

From Bimbasdra ; take ye joy to see 

The spirted blood, and pleasure in the scent 

Of rich flesh roasting *mid the fragrant flames ; 

Let the king's sins be laid upon this goat, 

And let the fire consume them burning it. 

For now I strike.* 

But Buddha softly said, 

* Let him not strike, great king ! ' and therewith loosed 

The victim's bonds, none staying him, so great 

His presence was. Then, craving leave, he spake 

Of life, which all can take but none can give. 

Life, which all creatures love and strive to keep. 

Wonderful, dear, and pleasant unto each. 

Even to the meanest ; yea, a boon Xo «J\ 

xii PROEM, 

Where pity is, for pity makes the world 

Soft to the weak and noble for the strong. 

Unto the dumb lips of the flock he lent 

Sad, pleading words, showing how man, who prays 

For mercy to the gods, is merciless, 

Being as god to those ; albeit all life 

Is linked and kin, and what we slay have given 

Meek tribute of their milk and wool, and set 

Fast trust upon the hands which murder them. 

Also he spake of what the holy books 

Do surely teach, how that at death some sink 

To bird and beast, and these rise up to man 

In wanderings of the spark which grows purged flame. 

So were the sacrifice new sin, if so 

The fated passage of a soul be stayed. 

Nor, spake he, shall one wash his spirit clean 

By blood ; nor gladden gods, being good, with blood ; 

Nor bribe them, being evil ; nay, nor lay 

Upon the brow of innocent bound beasts 

One hair's weight of that answer all must give 

For all things done amiss or wrongfully. 

Alone, each for himself, reckoning with that 

The fixed arithmic of the universe, 

WTiich meteth good for good and ill for ill. 

Measure for measure, unto deeds, words, thoughts ; 

Watchful, aware, implacable, unmoved ; 

Making all futures fruits of all the pasts. 

Thus spake he, breathing words so piteous 

With such high lordliness of ruth and right, 

The priests drew back their garments o'er the hands 

Crimsoned with slaughter, and the king came near, 

Standing with clasped palms reverencing Buddh ; 

While still our Lord went on, teaching how fair 

This earth were if all living things be linked 

In firiendliness and common use of foods, 

Bloodless and pure ; the golden grain, bright fruits. 

Sweet herbs which grow for all, the waters wan. 

Sufficient drinks and meats. Which when these heard, 

The might of gentleness so conquered them, 

The priests themselves scattered their altar-flames 

PROEM, riii 

And flung away the steel of sacrifice ; 
And through the land next day passed a decree 
Proclaimed by criers, and in this wise graved 
On rock and column : * Thus the king's ixnll is : 
There hath been slaughter for the sacrifice 
And slaying for the meaty but henceforth none 
Shall spill the blood of life nor taste of fleshy 
Seeing that knowledge growsy and life is one, 
And mercy cometh to the merciful,^ 
So ran the edict, and from those days forth 
Sweet peace hath spread between all living kind, 
Man and the beasts which serve him, and the birds. 
On all those banks of Gunga where our Lord 
Taught with his saintly pity and soft speech.* 

1 The Light of Asia \ being the Life and Teaching of Gautama, 
Founder of Buddhism. By Edwin Arnold. 





By what habits and mode of life has humanity in the past 
attained its highest development, and what is the method 
which modern science and philosophy indicate to us as 
that best adapted to perfect our kind ? 

In order to resolve this vast and important inquiry, it 
will be necessary, in the first place, to refer to natural 
history, and seek in the study of the comparative anatomy 
of men and other animals for information regarding the 
primitive habits of mankind, and the mode of living 
which is indicated by their exterior conformation and by 
the structure of their organs. In short, we must inquire 
whether the human race is naturally carnivorous, her- 
bivorous, omnivorous, or frugivorous. 

Without accepting definitively the theories of 
Lamarck, Darwin, and Haeckel, I think we may adopt, 
without fear of any serious objection, the classification of 
Linnaeus, which is generally admitted by scientists. This 
classification distinguishes, under the name of Primates, 
the highest order in the class of mammiferous animals, 
and at its head is placed tjie human family and that of the 
anthropoid apes. This last contains two species, one of 



which, from an anatomical and physiological point of 
view, resembles man very closely ; I mean the apes of 
the Old World, among which we find the orang-outan 
(wild man), the gorilla, and the chimpanzee. The 
orang belongs to the tribe of the Simiadse, the gorilla 
and the chimpanzee to the Troglodytes. 

We ifvill examine as rapidly and shortly as possible the 
characters which attach these creatures to man, and those 
which separate them, as well as man, from certain other 
orders or genera. Next we shall inquire what mode of 
alimentation is proper to the animals most resembling the 
human family, and thus we shall be enabled to judge 
what ought to be, consistently with natural laws, the 
habits and diet of the latter. We will begin our task by 
an examination of the superior part of the skeleton, the 
cranium, and the organs it contains. 

The most superficial observation enables us to recog- 
nise on the one hand the resemblance which exists 
between the general conformation of the skull of man 
and that of the ape, and on the other hand the differences 
which establish a line of separation more or less marked 
between the human cranium and that belonging to other 
mammalia of no matter what order or species. Passing 
by these familiar and superficial features of morphology, 
we will devote ourselves to the study of those which 
present a more scientific and less common interest. 

The noblest and most important apparatus of the 
animal economy is without doubt the nervous system, 
which, dominating the functions of all the organs, pre- 
sides over the harmony of their operations, regulates the 
work of all other systems and tissues, repairs their lesions, 
maintains their integrity, and is, as it were, preserver and 
law-giver of the bodily kingdom. The animal in which 
this system, and above all, the dominant part of this 


system, that is to say the brain, appears to resemble the 
human type most closely, will therefore possess, ^ priori^ 
the right to be considered the most man-like among the 
lower races. Moreover, it is to the perfection, more or 
less accentuated, of the nervous system, and in particular 
to that of its ganglionic centres — that is, to the more or 
less perfect aggregation and complete composition of the 
parts which constitute this system — that are due princi- 
pally, we might almost say exclusively, the degree of 
elevation of any given being in the animal scale, and the 
characters which separate it more or less distinctly from 
the vegetable kingdom. Now it is in man that we find 
the supreme degree of this aggregation and ganglionic 
development, and the animal which most closely imitates 
him in this respect is the orang-outan. The height of 
the brain in the orang is greater than in the chimpanzee, 
the frontal lobe is more developed, the occipital smaller, 
the temporal more horizontal and less flattened — charac- 
teristics which well agree witli the exterior aspect of the 
simians. Besides, the brain convolutions, which are 
very rudimentary in the rodents and edentates, less 
simple in the camassiers, and still less so in the rumi- 
nants and solipedes, attain their greatest development in 
the apes, and particularly in the orang. The disposition 
of the cerebral mass in the carnivorous mammals, which 
has been well studied by Leuret, shows only six convolu- 
tions, varying in regularity and simplicity according to the 
species, but remaining in all cases parallel to each other 
and antero-posterior in direction. These convolutions 
have been described by Professor Sappey under the name 
of constant or primitive convolutions. It is not until we 
reach the elephant, the lemur, and particularly the ape- 
group, that we find certain new convolutions, or * folds 
of perfectionment,' remarkable by their volume and by 

B 2 



their perpendicular direction to the primitive convolu- 
tions. * Add,' says M. Sappey, * to the antero-posterior 
convolutions of the camivora and other inferior mammals, 
two or three convolutions cutting them perpendicularly 
in the middle, and the disposition proper to the highest 
mammals, particularly man and the ape, will be 

, Now in the brain of the orang we not only find the 
antero-posterior convolutions lengthened, curved, and 
anastomosed after the human t)rpe, but it is also in the 
encephalon of the same animal that those additional con- 
volutions or * folds of perfectionment ' noticed by Professor 
Sappey appear the most distinctly, and offer consequently 
the completest analogy with the disposition of the cerebral 
organ in man. We are thus authorised to conclude, with 
Professor Mivart,^ that the difference between the brain of 
the orang and that of the human subject is one not of 
kind, but of degree. The writings of the late Professor 
Broca, whose careful studies in anthropology give special 
weight to his statements, confirm this opinion, and assert 
that the brain of the archencephalous animals — homin- 
idse of Owen — differs so little from that of the superior 
gyrencephglse that the only distinctive characters observ- 
able in the latter are altogether secondary in importance. 
* But,' says the professor, * these characters are not real 
in their nature, and even if they were, even if the cerebral 
hemispheres of the apes contained neither the ancyroid 
cavity nor the small hippocaippus of man, even if we 
should find their cerebrum not entirely covering the 
cerebellum, these differences would be but slight, almost 
accessory, and less important than those which we meet 
with among animals belonging to the same order, so that 

1 Man and Apes, p. 149. 


they must be held altogether insufficient for the establish- • 
ment of two sub-classes.* 

Having thus briefly traced the points of resemblance 
between the human and the simian brain, and their 
common divergence from the type presented by other 
and lower races, we pass to the examination of the buccal 
cavity, which ought to furnish us with valuable indica- 
tions respecting the mode of life of the subject under 

In the anthropoid animals the mouth is disposed 
according to the human type. The lateral sacks, known 
as cheek-pouches, are absent in this species ; the two 
excretory canals of the sub-maxillary glands (Wharton's 
ducts) open singly on the sides of the fraenum of the 
tongue j the tongue itself resembles that of man ; in the 
orang the circumvallate papillae present the V-shaped 
disposition of the human type, their arrangement slightly 
differing in the chimpanzee and assuming the form of a T. 
The dental morphology and formula of the apes of the 
old world (catarrhines) are identical with those of man ; 
their cuspids are, however, longer, especially in the males, 
and the wisdom teeth appear at an earlier age than in the 
human subject. The apes of the New World (platyr- 
rhines) differ from man by the absence of one molar in 
each half-jaw, the place of this tooth being occupied by 
an extra bicuspid. The surface of the molar teeth in the 
human subject is characterised by the presence of an 
irregular ramified depression dividing it into four or five 
distinct tubercules. The same formation is met with in 
the orang, the chimpanzee, and the gorilla, as also is the 
superficial disposition of the enamel, which substance, in 
the herbivorous races, is quite otherwise distributed. 
Among the latter, pachydermata, ruminants (which have 
po incisors in the upper jaw), and rodents, the molar 



teeth axe composed of alternate layers of dentine, 
enamel, and cement, which penetrate into the interior 
of the tooth, so that a transverse section of it, instead 
of presenting an homogeneous substance surrounded 
by a simple enamel stratum, as in man and the quad- 
rumana, exhibits several undulating composite folds, 
the dentine of which, being much less durable than 
the enamel, wears down rapidly, and the tooth thus 
acquires a rough unequal surface fitted to triturate the 
woody substances which form part of the alimentation of 
these animals. On the other hand, the camassiers 
possess organs of mastication, which, according to Kiiss, 
are hardly properly called teeth, but rather spike-like 
instruments destined to tear in fragments the meat on 
which they feed. Their incisives, six instead of four in 
number in each jaw, are small, pointed, and uneven ; the 
surface of the molar teeth exhibits the appearance of a 
saw, and there usually exists but one on each side, the 
last bicuspid or camassial tooth being especially charac- 
teristic. This tooth, well developed in the tiger kind, is 
composed of three sharp strong uneven prominences, 
placed one behind the other and connected by jutting 
ridges, the anterior prominence being doubled by an 
accessory spine. Nothing of this sort is observable in 
man or in the races which stand nearest to him. By the 
side of the exclusively predatory mammals we place the 
omnivorous types, such as the Alpine bear, the North 
American bear {jirsus arctos\ the wild boar, and the hog 
(sus scrofa, sus tibetanusy and sus ibericus). In the bear 
the surface of the molars is flattened, but the incisives 
number six as in the true carnivora, although they are 
blunter and less accentuated than the corresponding 
teeth of the latter. The cuspids are very long and 
curved, and between them and the bicuspids a remark- 


able interval generally exists. This character of dentition 
resembles the carnivorous rather than the herbivorous 
type, and, except that the enamel is superficially placed 
upon the cheek teeth, has nothing in common with the 
human and frugivorous morphology. The incisive teeth 
of the wild boar and the hog are elongated, and project 
forward in the direction of the axe of the maxillary bone ; 
the cuspids, particularly those of the superior jaw, assume 
a special character, and develop themselves in the shape 
of tusks; in the lower jaw these teeth projecting outwards 
cross the direction of the upper pair. The same interval 
between the cuspids and the premolars, which we noted 
in the bear, exists also in the boar and pig species. 

Let us now pass to an examination of the zygomatic 
arch and temporal region in the various orders of the 
mammalia. This region is important to our subject, 
because its disposition and aspect serve to indicate the 
kind of food proper to the animal. It is to be remarked 
that in man and in the apes the zygomatic arch is com- 
paratively frail, slightly curved so as to present an upper 
concave surface, and that the temporal and masseter 
muscles are but little developed ; while in the ruminants, 
although the temporal muscle does not attain any impor- 
tant dimensions, the masseter on the contrary manifests 
considerable development, and, passing beyond the zygo- 
matic arch, attaches itself to nearly the whole of the 
lateral surface of the superior maxillary. Moreover, the 
inferior jaw of these latter animals possesses a lateral 
movement, which is quite characteristic, and to produce 
it the condyles are flattened and enabled to slide sideways 
in their cavity of reception. Another type of condyle is 
that of the rodents, which exhibits an increased diameter 
in the antero-posterior sense, and has a glenoid cavity 
similarly hollowed, ^ 


But it is pre-eminently among the carnivorous quad- 
rupeds that we meet with the most striking variation 
from the human type in respect to the characters of the 
temporal arch. The zygomatic arch in the flesh-eating 
animals is extremely large, and is increased in strength 
by its decided curve, the direction of which is the reverse 
of that which we have noted in the frugivora ; for the 
concavity is inferior in position and the upper surface is 
strongly convex, the curve increasing with the ferocity of 
the species. The dimensions, as well as the peculiar 
form, of this bone, and its outward projection from the 
skull, give strength precisely in the direction most 
required, and augment enormously the tearing power. 
Besides, the masseter and temporal muscles are strongly 
developed, the thickness of the latter entirely filling the 
large space between the zygomatic process and the 
temporal bone ; while in height it attains the upper limit 
of the skull. On the other hand the internal and 
external pterygoidian muscles are very small, because 
these quadrupeds possess no lateral mobility of the jaw. 
This movement indeed is rendered impossible by the 
disposition of the glenoid cavity, the great depth of 
which prevents any change of position other than per- 
pendicular opening and shutting. The omnivora differ 
but very slightly from the carnassiers in these respects ; 
and it is only among the apes and above all the simians 
and troglodytes that we find a disposition and aspect of 
this articulation and muscular region perfectly analogous 
to those observable in man. 

The classification which we have thus seen indicated 
in regard to the brain, the buccal cavity, the teeth and 
the temporo-maxillary articulation, will be confirmed by 
a study of the digestive canal. 

The human stomach is simple, consisting, that is, 


of a single receptacle, as is that of all the primates. 
Professor Broca kindly allowed me to see in his an- 
thropological laboratory, some drawings and anatomical 
preparations which demonstrated in a most striking 
manner the identity of configuration which exists between 
the digestive apparatus of man and that gf the superior 
apes. Indeed it is at first sight barely possible to 
distinguish between the two, though a close comparison 
will show the human stomach to be smaller than that of 
the ape. As for the intestine, the anthropoids do not 
differ fi-om man in this respect ; their csecum, deprived of 
mesentery, is fixed in the right iliac fossa by the peri- 
toneum, the vermiform appendix exists in all animals of 
the tribe, and the length of the entire tract accords with 
the hiunan type. The liver of the orang (and gibbon) is 
as simple as that of man ; in the chimpanzee this organ 
seems less developed, for its ' lobule of Spigel ' is smaller 
and the fissure of the inferior vena cava is reduced to a 
mere depression. We may note that with regard to the 
liver, as in some other respects, the anthropoids differ 
considerably fi-om the last three families of the primates, 
and do not differ in any sensible degree firom maa The 
gall-bladder is always present in all the primates ; among 
other mammals it is absent in the cetacea, sloths, 
rhinoceri, elephants, camels, horses, and tapirs. The 
peritoneum and the omenta of the orang are almost 
identical in arrangement with the same membranes in 
man, and we must remember that the peritoneal folds 
have considerable importance, for their connexions and 
complicated dispositions are the consequence of certain 
alterations of position undergone by the abdominal 
viscera during embryonic evolution. In one small 
detail the chimpanzee differs fi-om man in this respect ; 
the omentum of the former is attached to the upper part 


of the ascending colon for a very limited distance. In 
this animal, as in the gorilla and the orang, the ascending 
colon, and the superior part of the caecum are fixed by 
the peritoneum to the side of the vertebral column in the 
same manner as in the human subject* 

The stomach of the carnivorous quadrupeds differs 
from the same organ in man in regard not only to its 
relative dimensions, but to its form. Instead of being 
subdivided, as in the fnigivorous races, into cardiac and 
pyloric portions, the carnivorous stomach is formed like a 
simple bag, elongated slightly in a transversal sense, and 
is throughout of the same capacity. The length of the 
digestive canal, compared with that of the whole body, 
varies in the carnivorous races from three to six for one, 
while in the apes and in man the proportion is from 
seven to ten for one. The liver of the carnivora presents, 
in respect of general conformation, a much more compli- 
cated division than the human organ, being composed of 
six distinct lobes or parts. There is usually no caecum ; 
in those instances in which it exists it is always rudi- 

On the other hand, the stomach of the herb-eaters, es- 
pecially that of the ruminants, possesses a very complicated 
form, and even when a comparatively simple organ exists, 
as in the horse, the caecum and colon present an ad- 
vanced development which seems calculated to compen- 
sate for the want of complexity presented by the stomach. 
We find in the ruminants four distinct receptacles — the 
rumen or paunch, the reticulum, the psalterium or many- 
plies, and the abomasum or rennet; and the length of 
the digestive canal, compared with that of the whole body, 
varies from twelve to twenty-seven for one. Not to omit 

* Broca, 'L'ordre des Primates,' Bulletins de la Sociiti SAnthro- 
fologie, vol. iv. 


the omnivoro?us quadrupeds, we will take the hog as a 
fair specimen of the class. In this animal we find the 
cardiac fundus dilated into a pouch, unlike the human 
type, while two parallel folds conduct froni the oesophagus 
to the pylorus. 

The celebrated experiments of Dr. Beaumont upon 
Alexis Saint Martin have demonstrated that the peristal- 
tic movements of the human stomach take place in the 
sense of a complete revolution ; in other words, that por- 
tion of the alimentary mass which at any given moment 
occupies the greater curvature, moves to the right towards 
the pylorus, while that portion of the mass which occupies 
the lesser curvature moves to the left towards the cardia. 
There is then a continuous peristaltic movement on the 
side of the greater curvature, and an anti-peristaltic move- 
ment on the side of the lesser curvature. 

Now it appears to be established that it is thus the 
digestive movements of the stomach are produced in her- 
bivorous animals, and without doubt it is thus also that 
they take place in mammals of the order to which man 
himself belongs ; but in the camivora there exists only a 
simple action to-and-fro from left to right and from right 
to left ^ It does not appear that any opportunity has 
arisen of observing these movements in omnivorous 
animals, but analogy leads to the belief that no dif- 
ference in this respect would be found between the latter 
and the true camassiers. 

With regard to the comparative analysis of the dif- 
ferent digestive juices of the economy, it is advisable to 
make a few comments, i. The opportunities which pre- 
sent themselves for the study of their composition in the 
physiological, that is, in the healthy state, in the human 
subject, are exceedingly rare ; and the same may be said 

i B^clard and Schnltz. 


in the case of other animals ; for the preliminary opera- 
tions necessary for the creation of fistula, etc., complicate 
so greatly the conditions under which these juices are ob- 
tained, that it is hardly possible to regard as conclusive 
the results which their analysis affords. It is highly pro 
bable that in the greater number of such cases, the secre- 
tions are altered some time before the operator can suc- 
ceed in isolating the constituent elements. 

2. The secretions of the economy vary with the nature 
of the alimentation, and it seems probable that were it 
possible to compare the digestive juices of a person 
habitually kreophagist with those of another habitually 
vegetarian, a chemical difference would be distinctly 
noticeable. It is in fact well known that the functions 
and secretions of the organism accommodate themselves 
with more or less ease and rapidity to the habits of life 
and food of the individual Thus, in the carnivorous 
animal, the quantity of saliva produced during a repast is 
proportionately much less than in the herb-feeder, and 
the kreophagist man secretes relatively but little. But 
the same man, it appears, after becoming vegetarian, 
experiences a notable increase in the secretion of his 
salivary glands, which thus adapt their function to the 
necessities of his new regimen ; and although it is un- 
fortunate that we cannot refer to any comparative analysis 
in such cases, one would logically be brought to suppose 
that the chemical properties of the digestive juices would, 
as readily as the mechanical process, adapt themselves 
to new conditions of subsistence. 

But notwithstanding these restrictive remarks, it 
appears, according to Bernard, Lent, and others, that 
the human saliva, even in the ordinary kreophagist 
conditions, bears a stronger resemblance to that of the 

bivorpus than to that of the camiyorous animals, for 



like the former it possesses the power of saccharification, 
which has not been discovered in the corresponding 
secretion of any of the camivora, the action assigned to 
the saliva in these latter bearing exclusive relation to the 
mechanics of mastication and deglutition. It has also 
been demonstrated by the studies of Frerichs and Gorup- 
Besanez ^ that the human bile presents the same com- 
position as that of the herbivora. 

In terminating this portion of our work, we may just 
glance at the difference which exists with regard to the 
disposition and extent of the sudoriparous glands between 
the camassiers on the one hand and the anthropoids 
and herbivora on the other, the alimentation of these 
last giving rise naturally to the formation of an excess 
of heat, and demanding therefore a more extensive 
apparatus for its elimination. Man in this respect also 
resembles the fruit and herb eaters. 

If we have consecrated to this sketch of comparative 
anatomy and physiology a paragraph which may seem 
a little wearisome in detail, it is because it appears 
necessary to combat certain erroneous impressions affect- 
ing the structure of man which obtain credence, not only 
in the vulgar world, but even among otherwise instructed 
persons. How many times, for instance, have we not 
heard people speak with all the authority of conviction 
about the * canine teeth ' and * simple stomach ' of man, 
as certain evidence of his natural adaptation for a flesh 
diet ! At least we have demonstrated one fact ; that if 
such arguments are valid, they apply with even greater 
force to the anthropoid apes — whose ' canine ' teeth are 
much longer and more powerful than those of man — and 
the scientists must make haste therefore to announce a 

^ Etudes sur des Suppllcih. 


rectification of their present division of the Animal King- 
dom in order to class with the camivora and their proxi- 
mate species, all those animals which now make up the 
order of Primates. And yet, with the solitary exception 
of man, there is not one of these last which does not in a 
natural condition absolutely refuse to feed on flesh !^ 
M. Pouchet observes^ that all the details of the di- 
gestive apparatus in man, as well as his dentition, 
constitute *so many proofs of his frugivorous ori- 
gin' — an opinion shared by Professor Owen, who re- 
marks that the anthropoids and all the quadrumana de- 
rive their alimentation from fruits, grains, and other suc- 
culent and nutritive vegetable substances, and that the 
strict analogy which exists between the structure of these 
animals and that of man clearly demonstrates his frugi- 
vorous nature. This is also the view taken by Cuvier,^ 
I-innjeus, Professor Lawrence,* Charles Bell,* Gassendi, 
Flourens, and a great number of other eminent writers. 
The last named scientist gives expression to his views 
after the following manner : — 

*Man is neither carnivorous nor herbivorous. He 
has neither the teeth of the cud-chewers, nor their four 
stomachs, nor their intestines. If we consider these 
organs in man, we must conclude him to be by nature 
and origin frugivorous, as is the ape.' 

It may possibly be objected that since, according to 
natural structure and propensities, man is a fruit and seed 
eater, he ought not to partake of those leguminous plants 
and roots which belong rather to the dietary of the herb- 
eaters, whose organisation we have shown to differ in so 

1 Broca, Mivart, Owen, etc. 

^ Plurality de la race humaine, p. 39. 

3 Eigne animal. ^ Lectures on Physiology. 

5 Diseases of the Teeth. 


many details from that of man. It may be urged that 
trouble is wasted in proving to what order man belongs 
by nature, since with him, alone of all animals. Art has 
superseded Nature, and has enabled him by means of fire, 
condiments, and disguise, to eat and digest without dis- 
gust, and even with relish, the food of the tiger, the wolf, 
and the hyena. 

Such objections are not without an air of reason ; and 
I shall meet them first by the frank statement that the 
most excellent and proper aliments of which our race can 
make use consist of tree-fruits and seeds, ^ and not of the 
plants themselves, whether foliage or roots. But through 
a combination of natural and artificial causes, this best 
mode of subsistence has become impossible to the ma- 
jority of persons in certain parts of the globe, and it seems 
therefore wise and consistent that they should increase the 
variety and range of their food by recourse to cookery. 
Fire can, however, be only used legitimately by man for 
the preparation of those vegetables, herbaceous plants, 
roots, and hard fruits, which he cannot properly masticate 
when raw, and for the digestion of which, in that condi- 
tion, the anatomy and physiology of his system are not 
adapted. The true frugivora, of which he is a member, 
do not refuse to eat produce of this kind when thus pre- 
pared, even in countries where fruits are procurable ; and 
it is well known that in the Jardin des Plantes (Paris) and 
other menageries, the daily rations of the monkeys are 
composed of bread, cooked potatoes, salad, and apples — a 
dietary derived, therefore, from cereals, tubers, herbs, and 
fruit. Such substances as these are not distasteful to fru- 
givorous feeders ; on the contrary, their odours and their 
aspect are alike inviting to the palate, and even in their 
unprepared state they are agreeable to sight, smell, and 

1 And these uncooked. jfl 


idea. But for man, the choice between Nature and Art, 
between the garden and the slaughter-house, involves far 
larger issues and far deeper-reaching considerations than 
can be held to touch the mere anthropoid. The culture, 
harvesting, and preparation of all vegetable produce are 
alike in harmony with the interests of morality, of indi- 
vidual and of public health, of social and private economy, 
and of that love of beauty, virtue, and consistent philoso- 
phy which dominates the nature of all gentle and civilised 
humanity. Each one of these interests, on the contrary, 
is wounded, and that violently, as I am about to show, by 
the abuse of the art of cookery in the hands of the man 
who degrades himself by its means to the level of the 
beast of prey. 

Thus we have shown that mankind are naturally frugi- 
vorous ; and we know that they can also become both 
omnivorous and carnivorous. Let us proceed to inquire 
therefore whether, from any point of view, such transfor- 
mations of their nature are attended with advantage to 
the race or individual. 

Now the idea that attributes to man an organisation 
which he does not possess is not more common than is 
another belief equally false ; I mean the opinion that 
flesh-food contains the elements of physical force, and 
that to be strong, robust, and endowed with muscular 
energy, it is necessary to partake largely of animal food. 
This belief, Hke the former, finds partisans not only 
among the general public, but in the world of medical 
teachers and practitioners, who, for the most part, have 
adopted the opinions and faith of the vulgar upon the 
strength, not of scientific examination, but of accepted 
custom. Nevertheless, we daily see in our fields and our 
streets ample evidence that the strongest, the usefuUest, 
and the most capable workers among the animals are 



precisely those which never taste flesh-meat. Their force 
and their endurance are invincible, and surpass beyond 
comparison that of their beef-fed masters. All the labour 
of the world is performed by the herbivora — horses, oxen, 
mules, elephants, camels \ by these our fields are 
ploughed, our cities built, our battles fought, our journeys 
accomplished, and to these is man largely indebted for 
the existence of civilisation, commerce, and national 
wealth. No carnivorous animal can boast the enormous 
power of the herb-fed rhinoceros, who breaks with scarce 
an effort trunks of trees, and grinds whole branches to 
powder like so many wisps of hay ; no camassier ex- 
hibits the endurance and stay of the horse, who toils 
with hardly any rest from morning to night under the 
weight of immense burdens, and whose strength has 
passed into a proverb. Du Chaillu reports that he saw 
a gorilla, nourished with simple fruits and nuts, break in 
his hands, with no apparent effort, the gun accidentally 
dropped by one of his pursuers ; and an eminent naturalist, 
Dr. Duncan, F.R.S., assures us that this animal in his 
native wilds is more than a match for the African lion. 

The buffalo, the bison, the hippopotamus, the bull, 
the zebra, the stag, are types of physical power and vast 
bulk, or of splendid development of limb, built up, not 
mediately from the flesh and blood of fellow organisms, 
but from the original sources of strength itself — the wild 
plants and fruit and herb of the field. 

The camivora indeed possess one salient and terrible 
quality, ferocity, allied to thirst for blood ; but power, 
endurance,* courage, and intelligent capacity for toil, 
belong to those animals who alone, since the world had 
a history, have been associated with the fortunes, the 
conquests, and the achievements of men. 

And here we will take occasiotv lo cto^^x^^ ^^"^^ 



nations who have left to us the most superb monuments, 
the most glorious records, the profoundest and the purest 
thought, were not kreophagist nations. The opening 
chapters of the Hebrew book of Genesis, the origin of 
which is Egyptian, plainly declare what tradition this 
great people — mother of all the arts and sciences in the 
world — held with regard to the nature of man, and 
of his food in the perfect state. And we are informed 
by investigators of antiquarian records that the habits 
and primitive religion of ancient Egypt, and of Ethiopia 
— perhaps the oldest of all human colonies — ^absolutely 
forbade the use of animal meats. ^ 

What would our athletes of to-day say to the regimen 
of the Grecian wrestlers and pugilists of antiquity, whose 
degenerated shadows they are? In the gymnasia or 
palestrae, academies of the athletic profession, where 
persons destined to the acquirement of the art were 
trained from early youth, the masters subjected their 
neophytes to those methods which they judged the most 
efficacious for the production and augmentation of 
physical strength and power of resistance to fatigue. 
And one of the means employed for accomplishing this 
object was the enforcement of a very severe and frugal 
dietary, composed only of figs, nuts, cheese, and maize 
bread, without wine.^ In the palmy days of Greece and 
Rome, before intemperance and licentious living had 
robbed those kingdoms of their glory and greatness, their 
sons, who were not only soldiers but heroes, subsisted 
on simple vegetable food, rye meal, fruits, and milk 
The chief food of the Roman gladiator was barley cakes 
and oil ; and this diet, Hippocrates says, is eminently 
fitted to give muscular strength and endurance. The 

1 See Samuel Sharpe's History of Egypt, 
* R^llin's Ancient History ^ vol i. 


daily rations of the Roman soldier were one pound of 
barley, three ounces of oil, and a pint of thin wine. It 
was no regimen of flesh that inspired the magnificent 
courage of the Spartan patriots who defended the defiles 
of Thermopylae, or that filled with indomitable valour 
and enthusiasm the conquerors of Salamis and Marathon. 
And even in these days it must not be forgotten that the 
kreophagist nations constitute little more than a quarter 
of the human race, and it is precisely among this fourth 
part of mankind that the greatest amount of misery, 
crime, and disease is found. 

The Hindoos are divided into several castes or dis- 
tinct orders, a division which dates from the remotest 
antiquity. Of these orders the highest, which is that of 
the Brahmins, attributes its origin to the head of the 
Creator, while the lowest is figured as issuing from his 
feet. The three superior castes, Brahmins, Kshattriyas, 
and Vaisyas, are by their religious precepts forbidden the 
use of animal meats ; for the practice of kreophagy is, 
in the Hindoo mind, associated with ideas of pollution 
and degradation, and a pure vegetable diet is regarded 
as the first essential of sanctity. And we must remember 
that this venerable and important race possesses a cultus, 
a literature, and a religious system which many authors 
deem to be of higher antiquity than those even of Egypt ; 
and that consequently the national laws of Hindostan re- 
flect the true image of the world's early instincts, and of 
the primitive manners of the first civilised communities, 
before the advent of that vital and moral decline which, 
in later ages, luxury imported into the habits of our great 
commercial centres. 

The larger part of the population of China and Japan 
consists of Buddhists, whose traditions are analogous 
to those of the Brahmins. Buddha Sak^^xs^KVis^es.^ ^^ 



Christ of their faith, absolutely condemned the use of 
flesh-food among the elect ; and the pious Buddhist not 
only avoids killing animals, but believes he performs a 
meritorious act in succouring them or in showing them 
kindness. The murder of a cow is punished by scourging, 
and imprisonment during two months ; a repetition of 
the offence entails banishment Conceive the horror 
which would be felt by a Brahmin or Buddhist educated 
in such sentiments and accustomed to such modes of 
thought as these, were he to be brought face to face with 
the spectacles which every moment confront us in our 
Christian streets and markets ; imagine his astonishment 
at the phenomenon presented by a religion whose prin- 
cipal holy days are celebrated by the massacre of untold 
multitudes of beasts and birds of t^^xy kind, and by 
bloody repasts in which the most fervent devotees and 
the priests themselves take eager part ! 

The following brief rhutnt of facts collected from 
many various sources will enable the reader to see at a 
glance how wide a range of climate and of race the 
vegetarian question embraces, and how high under this 
regimen has been and is the standard of human health 
and physical strength. 

Egypt. — Edwin de Leon, in a work entitled 'The 
Khedive's Egypt,' 1877, writing of the Egyptian fellah or 
peasant proprietor, says : * His living expenses are mira- 
culously small Bread and vegetables are his food, Nile 
water his drink.' ' In Egypt,' says another writer, * the 
diet of the peasantry and labouring people is much the 
same as in China. They use fish as a kind of relish 
or condiment, but their nourishment is derived from 
vegetable substances. Their food chiefly consists of 
coarse bread made of wheat, millet, or maize, together 
with cucumbers, melons,] gourds, onions, leeks, beans, 

tTATlONAL tlABlT^. 21 


chickpease, lupins, lentils, dates, etc. Most of these 
vegetables they eat in a raw state.' ^ 

* It is indeed surprising to observe how simple and 
poor is the diet of the Egyptian peasantry, and yet how 
robust and healthy most of them are, and how severe is 
the labour they undergo. The boatmen of the Nile are 
mostly strong, muscular men, rowing, poling, and towing 
continually; but very cheerful, and often the most so 
when most occupied, for then they amuse themselves by 
singing.' ^ 

* The Egyptian cultivators of the soil, who live on 
coarse wheaten bread, Indian bread, lentils, and other 
productions of the vegetable kingdom, are among the 
finest people I have ever seen.' ^ 

India. — * From the earliest period the most general 
food in India has been rice, which is still the most com- 
mon food of nearly all the hottest countries in Asia. It 
is not, however, so much used in the south of Hindostan 
as formerly, and has been replaced by another grain 
called rdgi.' ^ 

* The principal food of the people of Hindostan is 
wheat, and in the Deckan, jowdr and bdjra ; rice, as a 
general article of subsistence, is confined to Bengal and 
part of Behdr, with the low country along the sea all 
round the coast of the peninsula. In most parts of India 
it is a luxury. In the southern part of the tableland of 
the Deckan, the body of the people live on a small and 
poor grain called rdgL . . . Pulse, roots, and fruits are 
also largely eaten.' * 

In Sir John Sinclair's time (1818), before modern 
facilities had obviated the necessity of employing pedes- 

1 Smith's Fruits and Farinacea, * Lane's Egypt, 

3 Catherwood. * Buckle's History 0/ Civiiisation^ 

5 Elphinstone's History of India* 


±± TkE perPect wa y In Diet, 

_ - _ - ■ ■ - ___■_■_ - - I ■ ■TT ■'r- r 


trian messengers, the Fattamar Hindoos, occupied in 
carrying letters and despatches by land, performed 
journeys almost incredible in the time allotted. Thus 
from Calcutta to Bombay twenty-five days were allowed 
(about sixty-two miles a day), from Madras to Bombay, 
eighteen days ; from Surat to Bombay, three days and a 
half. * These men,' says Sir John, *are generally tall, 
being from five feet ten inches to six feet high. They 
subsist on a little boiled rice.' 

Mexico. — * The usual food of the labouring classes, 
throughout such states as I visited, is the thin cake of 
crushed maize, which I have described under the name 
of tortilla ; and it is remarkable that, notwithstanding the 
great abundance of cattle in many places, the traveller 
can rarely obtain meat in the little huts which he finds 
on his road. Chilis are eaten abundantly with the tor- 
tillas, being stewed in a kind of sauce, into which the 
cakes are dipped.' ^ 

' The Indians of new Spain generally attain to a 
pretty advanced age. . . . They are accustomed to uni- 
form nourishment of an almost entirely vegetable nature, 
that of their maize and cereal gramina.' ' 

Chili. — ' It is usual for the copper-miners of Central 
Chili to carry loads of ore of two hundred pounds 
weight up eighty perpendicular yards twelve times a day. 
When they reach the mouth of the pit they are in a state 
of apparent fearful exhaustion, yet, after briefly resting, 
they descend again. Their diet is entirely vegetable : 
breakfast of figs and small loaves of bread ; dinner, 
boiled beans ; supper, roasted wheat' * 

Rio Saiada. — *The Spaniards of Rio Salada in 

1 Lyon's Residence in Mexico^ 1828. 

' Taylor's Selections from Humholdfs Works on Mexico, 1824. 

^ Sir Francis Head; also Dr. Lyon PlayfeSi and Daxmii. 


South America — ^who come down from the interior and 
are employed in transporting goods overland — live wholly 
on vegetable food. They are very robust and strong, 
and bear prodigious burdens on their backs, such as 
require three or four men to place upon them, in knap- 
sacks made of green hides, travelling with a speed which 
few men can equal without any encumbrance.' ^ 

Brazil, Rio Janeiro, Laguayra. — * The Brazil 
slaves are a very strong and robust class of men, and of 
temperate habits. Their food consists of rice, fruits, 
and bread of coarse flour and the farrenia root. They 
endure great hardships, and carry enormous burdens on 
their heads a distance of a mile without resting. It is a 
common thing to .see them in droves or companies, 
moving on at a brisk trot, stimulated by the sound of a 
bell in the hands of the leader, each man bearing upon 
his head a bag of coffee weighing a hundred and eighty 
pounds, apparently as if it were a light burden. . . . 
They are seldom known to have a fever or any other 
sickness. . . . The Congo slaves of Rio Janeiro subsist 
on vegetable food, and are among the finest-looking men 
in the world. They are six feet high, every way well 
proportioned, and remarkably athletic. . . . The labourers 
of Lagua)n:a eat no flesh, and are an uncommonly healthy 
and hardy race. A single man will take a barrel of beef 
or pork on his shoulders and walk with it from the 
landing to the custom-house, which is situated on the 
top of a hill, the ascent of which is too steep for car- 
riages. Their soldiers likewise subsist on vegetable food, 
and are remarkably fine-looking men.' ' 

Similar facts are related of the Peruvians, Tobaso 
Indians, Kroomen, natives of the New Hebrides, Sand- 

> Smith's Fruits and Farinactat 1850. 
' Graham's Lectures. 


wich Islands, coast clans of the Wamrima, Afighans, 
Japanese, etc. etc.* 

Cyprus. — * It was extraordinary to see the result of a 
life-long diet of beans and barley bread in the persons 
of the monks of Trooditissa, who very seldom indulge 
in flesh. The actual head of the monastery is a hand- 
some man of seventy, perfectly erect in figure, as though 
fresh from military drill, and as strong as most men at 
fifty. The younger priests were all good-looking, active, 
healthy men, who thought nothing of a morning's walk 
over the fatiguing rocky paths to Troodos and back — 
twelve miles — to be refreshed on their return by an after- 
noon's work in their gardens.' ^ 

* Under the mouldering walls in the recesses of sacred 
courts, the Moslem cultivates his onion, sugar cane, and 

fig. These dwellers in the plain are good for 

more than growing pomegranates and smoking in the 
shade. Brave, sober, faithful, they have the virtues of a 
camp. Free of the sword and saddle from their cradles, 
they are easily turned into good cavalry. No English 
officer, I am told by experts, would desire a better com- 
pany before him when he moved into line." 

* The people in Cyprus fast more than a third of the 
year rigorously, only eating bread and vegetables, no 
milk or oil even. ... A house is considered extravagant 
where cooking is done more than once in about eight 
days. Meat and fish are looked upon as rare luxuries. 
The people look healthy and well, and seem to find 
enough subsistence in the fruit and herbs that this island 
produces so plentifully.' * 

' Sir John Sinclair, Graham, Pope, Cook, Burton, and Buckingham. 

* Sir Samuel Baker's Cyprus in 1879. 

5 Hepworth Dixon on the Island of Cyprus. 

* Standard^ Article on Cyprus. 


I I • _ _ _ - - 

Arabia. — 'Few people surpass the Arabs for lon- 
gevity, agility, and power of endurance. Yet they subsist 
on dates and milk, and for months the Bedouin Arabs 
consume nothing else. The Soumanlies, who inhabit 
the country in the neighbourhood of Cape Guardafui and 
Berberah, when on the war path, in which they pass half 
their lives, live entirely on milk.' ^ 

Bolivia. — * The troopers of this country are fed on 
maize com, cocoa, and water. Their strength is surpris- 
ing and well known. They will perform marches of 
eighteen, twenty, and twenty-five leagues a day, en- 
cumbered with their baggage and without distress.' ^ 

Canary Islands. — *Mr. L. Jewett, of Portland, 
Maine, says that one of his schooners came into Port- 
land laden with barilla from the Canary Islands ; and 
that he stood by while the cargo was being discharged, 
and saw four stout American labourers attempt, in vain, 
to lift one of the masses of barilla which the captain and 
mate both solemnly affirmed was brought from the store- 
house to the vessel by a single man — a native labourer 
where they freighted; and he subsisted entirely on 
coarse vegetable food and fmit.'^ 

Italy. — * The peasants here are a splendid hardy set, 
living almost entirely upon cakes and porridge of chest- 
nut flour, a little wheat bread, and, at this season, on 
bread made of the gran turco (Indian corn). The 
country wine is not very plentifiil in these parts, and 
during the last two years the poverty has been too great 
to admit any drink but water for many families.'* 

Ceylon. — * The ordinary diet of the people consists of 
rice seasoned with salt, the chief condiment of the East, 

1 Lieutenant C. R. Low in the Food Journal, 1873. 

* Panama Star and Herald, ' Smith's Fruits and Farinacea, 

* Private letter from Lucca. 


and a few vegetables, flavoured ^dth lemon juice and 
pepper, from which they will make at any time a hearty 
meal. ... It is considered anything but a reproach to 
be sparing in diet.' * 

Japan. — *The Japanese not only abstain from 
animal food, but even from milk and its productions. 
One of the laws which they most religiously observe is, 
not to kill, nor to eat anything that is killed. Their 
chief food consists of rice, pulse, fruits, roots, and herbs, 
but mostly rice, which they have in great plenty and per- 
fection ; and dress in so many different ways, and give 
to it such variety of tastes, flavour, and colour, that a 
stranger would hardly know what he was eating.' * 

* Hot rice cakes are the standard food of the Japanese, 
and are kept ready at all the inns, to be presented to the 
traveller the moment he arrives, with tea, and occasionally 
sacki or rice-beer. The Japanese are represented as 
robust, well made, and active, remarkably healthy, long- 
lived and intelligent' * Some writers, as in the following 
extract, observe that the Japanese eat fish. This dis- 
crepancy is probably owing to difference of religion, of 
caste, or perhaps of locality. 

'Fish and rice are the staple articles of Japanese 
diet. The soil is fertile, and apparently vegetables grow 
well here. Sweet potatoes, ordinary potatoes, turnips, 
carrots, squashes or pumpkins, egg-plants, and peas are 
grown, but do not enter largely into the people's diet 
Beans are an important article, and from these is manu- 
factured iofee — literally bean-cheese, an article largely 
used by the poorer classes. Radishes are also grown, 
and some varieties arc very large and not unlike 

' Pridham's Ceylon, 1849. 

* Mod, Univer. Hist, also SmiUi's Fruits and Farinacea, 

» Smith. 


beets. . . . The young bamboo is also eaten, and a 
variety of mushrooms is used in making sauces and 
relishes. . . . Cakes and unleavened bread of various 
kinds are made from rice flour. ... Of fruits, oranges, 
peaches, pears, apricots, plums, persimmons, raspberries, 
mulberries, and currants are indigenous here . . . apples 
and strawberries have been introduced. . . . The moisture 
keeps the vegetation constantly green and beautiful' * 

Sierra Leone. — * The natives, who live in a climate 
said to be the worst on earth, are very temperate ; they 
subsist entirely on small quantities of boiled rice, with 
occasional supplies of fruit, and drink only water ; in 
consequence they are strong and healthy, and live as 
long as men in the most propitious climates.'^ 

Greece. — *The Greek boatmen are seen in great 
numbers about the harbours, seeking employment. They 
are exceedingly abstemious ; their food always consists of 
a small quantity of black bread, made of unbolted rye 
or wheat-meal, generally rye ; and a bunch of grapes or 
raisins, or some figs. They are, nevertheless, astonish- 
ingly athletic and powerful ; and the most nimble, active, 
graceful, cheerful, and even merry people in the world. 
At all hours they are singing ; blithesome, jovial, and 
full of hilarity. The labourers in the ship-yards live in 
the same abstemious and simple manner, and are equally 
vigorous and active. They breakfast and dine on a 
small quantity of their coarse bread, and figs, grapes, or 
raisins. Their supper, if they take any, is still lighter, 
though they more frequently take no supper, and eat 
nothing from dinner to breakfast'^ 

Malta, — * The Maltese peasant at his best is a model 

1 New York World, 1877. * Monthly Magazine^ 1815. 

' Judge Woodruff of Connecticut. 


of thrift. Whether he rents a few acres and hires a few 
hands to assist him in cultivating it, or whether he is 
himself a hireling, his condition is about the same. He 
and his family are astir before daybreak, and have not 
only attended mass, but have also got through two or 
three hours of hard work in the cool of the morning, 
before they think about breaking their fast Then 
another spell of work; and then an afternoon siesta, 
followed by another turn in the fields and another frugal 
meal. The system of farming is old-fashioned and 
oriental, everything being done by handwork, but the 
soil generally yields each year three crops. The people 
manage to be strong and hardy on their scanty fare of 
black bread and coarse macaroni, eked out by such 
garden stuff as they cannot profitably dispose of in the 
market, and only washed down on Sundays and saints' 
days by a draught of the common Sicilian wine, for 
which they pay twopence a pint The children who are 
too young to do rougher work pick the weeds, and these 
are saved for the goat that supplies them with milk' ^ 

Turkey. — * I observed, on a late journey to Con- 
stantinople, that the boatmen or rowers of the caiques, 
who are perhaps the best rowers in the world, drink 
nothing but water ; and they drink that profusely during 
the hot months of the summer. The boatmen and 
water-carriers of Constantinople are decidedly, in my 
opinion, the finest men in Europe, as regards their phy- 
sical development, and they are all water-drinkers ; they 
may take a littie sherbet at times. Their diet is chiefly 
bread ; now and then a cucumber, with cherries, figs, 
dates, mulberries, or other fruits which are abundant 
there ; now and then a little fish.'^ 

1 One and All^ also Dietetic Reformer ^ i88o. 

* Sir WiJliam Fairbaim's Report on Sanitary Conditions. 


* From the day of his irruption into Europe the Turk 
has always proved himself to be endowed with singularly 
strong vitality and energy. As a member of a warlike 
race, he is without equal in Europe in health and hardi- 
ness. He can live and fight when soldiers of any other 
nationality would starve. His excellent physique, his 
simple habits, his abstinence from intoxicating liquors, 
and his normal vegetarian diet, enable him to support 
the greatest hardships, and to exist on the scantiest and 
simplest food.' ^ 

' Low stature is the exception in the Ottoman army. 
These men of herculean form are endowed with fabulous 
sobriety ; they drink no intoxicating drinks, and seldom 
touch meat.' ^ 

'Some of the men among the Turkish excavators were 
remarkably adroit in throwing up the sand, which they 
would cast up even as high as twelve feet Their food 
was of the simplest kind ; coarse bread and a little 
salt fish or olives, black raisins and some firuit occa- 
sionally, accompanied by copious draughts of the best 
water they could obtain, constituted their breakfast and 
dinner. To their supper, as being the most sumptuous 
meal, some delicacy, such as thistle-broth, boiled thistle- 
stalks, snail-soup, dandelion, and other wild vegetables, 
were often added. With this fingal diet their strength 
was unusually great, as the fatigues which they endured, 
in spite of the unhealthy climate, and the great weights 
which they carried in their arms or on their backs, suffi- 
ciently proved. The Turkish porters in Smyrna often 
carry from four hundred to six hundred pounds weight 
on their backs, and a merchant one day pointed out to 
me one of his men who, he assured me, had carried an 

> standard, 1877. » DaiVi News, i&in. 


enormous bale of merchandise weighing eight himdred 
pounds up an incline into an upper warehouse/ ^ 

' In Smyrna, where there are no carts or wheel-car- 
riages, the carrying business falls upon the shoulders of the 
porters, who are seen in great numbers about the wharves 
and docks and in the streets near the water-side, where 
they are employed in lading and unlading vessels. They 
are stout, robust men, of great muscular strength, and 
carry at one load, upon a pad fitted to their backs, firom 
four hundred to eight hundred pounds. Mr. Langdon, 
an American merchant residing there, pointed me to one 
of them in his service, and told me that a short time 
before, he carried at one load, from the warehouse to the 
wharf, about twenty-five rods, a box of sugar weighing 
four hundred pounds, and two sacks of coffee weighing 
each two hundred pounds, and that, after walking a few 
rods with a quick step, he stopped and requested that 
another sack of coffee might be added to his load ; but 
Mr. Langdon, apprehending danger from so great an 
exertion, refused his request.'^ 

China. — *The perfection of the art of cooking is 
nowhere more observable than in the monasteries of the 
Buddhists. They have but the simplest elements of 
food to deal with. No meat, no fish, no poultry are 
allowed at their tables. No eggs, no lard, no butter, no 
milk must be introduced into their confectionery. Vege- 
tables alone are permitted, and yet by means of these 
a dinner of surprising variety is served, and if the guest 
judged only by appearances he would suppose that the 
worthy abbot had forgotten the rigid rules of his mo- 
nastic establishment, and was about to break his vow by 
partaking of most heretical viands.' ^ 

1 Discoveries at Ephesus, by F. T. Wood, F.S.A., 1877. 

* Judge WoodruflF. 

^ /"ic/urfs o/ihe Chinese, by the Rev. R. H. Co\i\>o\d» lll.^u 


Palestine. — *The Damascene artisan's or handi- 
craftsman's diet consists of fniit, vegetables, rice, oil, and 
bread. . . . The diet of both Christian and Moslem is 
strictly vegetarian, . . . their food is of the most primi- 
tive kind, . . . barley or pea bread, with fruit and 
vegetables.' * 

' The Fellahin, or modem Canaanites, live on sunple 
food ; they rarely touch meat, but live on unleavened 
bread dipped in oil, — reminding one of the poor widow of 
Sarepta, — or rice, olives, dibs (grape treacle), scum (clari- 
fied butter), with gourds, melons, marrows, and cucum- 
bers, or, in times of scarcity, the kobberzah or mallow, 
cooked in some milk or oil. To this frugal diet is due 
probably the whiteness of their teeth, the strength of their 
constitutions, and the rapidity with which their wounds 
heal' 2 

Algiers. — *It was a good beginning to have a 
stately, barefooted Arab to shoulder our baggage from 
the port, and wonderful to see the load he carried un- 
assisted. As he winds his way through the narrow and 
steep slippery streets it is well to see how nobly our 
Arab bears his load, how beautifully balanced is his lithe 
figure, and with what grace and ease he walks along. 
It is generally admitted, we believe, that " a vegetable 
diet will not produce heroes," and there is certainly a 
prejudice in England about the value of beef for navvies 
and others who put muscular power into their work. It 
is an interesting fact to note, and one which we think 
speaks volumes for the climate of Algeria, that this 
gentleman lives almost entirely on fruit, rice, and Indian 
com.' ' 

1 Official Report of Acting Consul. 

« Tentwork in Palestine, by C. R. Conder, R.E., 1878. 

5 Artists and Arads, by Henry Blackbume, 1868. 



African Coast. — * The causeway at Suakin, on the 
African coast, is the great highway to the interior, and 
at this season it is daily threaded by long strings of 
stately camels, with stalwart Hadendoa drivers. You 
cannot wish to see stouter or better-made men than these 
fellows, whose glossy skins and well-filled forms show 
that their diet of dura or sorghum and milk agrees well 
with them. These two elements compose the food of 
the whole country side. Milk is in plenty ; and of a 
forenoon in the outskirts of the town one is always meet- 
ing a donkey laden with skins of it The dura^ which 
is brought down from the more fertile inland, is not 
ground in the mill, but by rubbing-stones.' ^ 

Poland. — *Our Polish Upper-Silesians are a very 
frugal people. A mason who goes to work in the town, 
distant five to eight English miles or more, must rise 
in the morning by three o'clock if he will be punctual. 
His diet for the whole day is the bread which he takes 
from home in his pocket ... So with the field labourer. 
As a soldier he is very enduring, and the Polish regi- 
ments can always make long marches. The main articles 
of diet of our Polish peasantry are bread and potatoes.' * 

Russia. — *Eggs, black bread, milk, and tea — these 
formed my ordinary articles of food during all my wan- 
derings in Northern Russia. Occasionally potatoes 
could be had, and afforded the possibility of varying the 
bill of fare. The favourite materials employed in the 
native cookery are sour cabbage, cucumbers, and kvass — 
a kind of very small beer made from black bread.' ' 

* The people of Russia generally subsist on coarse 
black rye-bread and garlics. ... I have often hired men 

^ By the. Red Sea, Professor Robertson Smith. 

* E. Wellshaenser. 

' Dr. Mackenzie Wallace's Russia, 


to labour for me in Russia, which they would do from 
sixteen to eighteen hours for eight cents, a day. . . . 
They would come on board in the morning with a piece 
of their black bread weighing about a pound, and a 
bunch of garlics as big as one's fist This was all their 
nourishment for the day of sixteen or eighteen hoiu-s' 
labour. They were astonishingly powerful and active, 
and endured severe and protracted labour far beyond 
any of my men. Some of these men were eighty and 
even ninety years old, and yet these old men woidd do 
more work than any of the middle-aged men belonging 
to my ship. In handling and stowing away iron, and in 
stowing away hemp with the jack-screw, they exhibited 
most astonishing power. They were full of agility, viva- 
city, and even hilarity, singing as they laboured.' * 

* The Russian peasant is satisfied with the plainest 
food. . . . The diet consists of pickled cucumbers, cab- 
bages, mushrooms, with a piece of black bread. . . . 
Unless in the largest towns, butcher's meat would appear 
to be very little used. Even in such places as Toula 
and Zaraisk a butcher's shop is never seen. . . . Vege- 
tables and milk compose a great part of the diet in the 
districts we have now reached.' ^ 

* Here were about 600 irregulars (Russian cavalry), 
besides militia and regulars, all, especially the irregulars, 
fine-looking men. The extraordinary thing was that the 
resources of the country did not seem in any way over- 
tasked to support them ; there was no scarcity of any- 
thing. As an officer who had served in the French army 
observed, there was not enough in the place in the way 
of meat to satisfy two companies of English soldiers, 
yet here were 3,000 to 4,000 men, many of them of the 

1 Capt. C. S. Rowland, of New Bedford, Mass. 
» Bremner's Excursions in (he Interior of £^ttssta« 



upper classes. With a little millet boiled into a pudding 
or '^ pasta/' some goat's milk, cheese, and onions, and a 
goblet of " vin du pays," even the chiefs are quite con- 
tented, while their retainers* make good cheer over cake 
of Indian com flour, some curds, a piece of dried fish, 
or a strip of tough beef among h^lf-a-dozen. The Rus- 
sian soldier is happy with his lump of black bread and 
glass of whisky or tumbler of weak tea, with, in the 
evening, perhaps, a basin of weak soup, something like 
the " black broth" of the Spartans.'* 

Norway. — * The general food of the Norwegians is 
rye-bread, milk, and cheese. As a particular luxury, 
peasants eat sharke^ which are thin slices of salt himg- 
meat, dried in the wind, but this indulgence in animal 
food is very rare indeed. A common treat on high days 
and holy days consists of a thick hasty-pudding or por- 
ridge of oatmeal or ryemeal, seasoned by two or three 
pickled herrings or salted mackerel. All the travellers 
I have consulted agree in representing the people as 
thriving on this fare, and in no part of the world are there 
more instances of extreme longevity than in Norway.' 

'Notwithstanding the poor fare of the inhabitants, 
they are remarkably robust and healthy. Though in 
many parts of Norway animal food is quite unknown, 
they are generally tall and good-looking, with a manly 
openness of manner and countenance, which increased 
the farther north I proceeded. From this hardy way of 
living, and being daily accustomed to climb the moun- 
tains, they may be said to be in a constant state of train- 
ing, and their activity is so great that they keep up with 
ease by the side of your carriage at full speed for the 
distance of ten or twelve miles.'^ 

* War Correfspondent of the Daily News, 1878. 

* Dr. Capell Brooke and Mr. Twining. 


Spain. — *With respect to the Moorish porters in 
Spain, I have witnessed the exceedingly large loads they 
are in the habit of carrying, and have been struck with 
astonishment at their muscular powers. Others of the 
labouring class, particularly those who are in the habit 
of working on board of ships, and called " stevedores," 
are also very powerful men. I have seen two of these 
men stow off a full cargo of wine in casks, after it was 
hoisted on board and lowered into the hold, with ease. 
They brought their food on board with them ; it con- 
sisted of coarse, brown wheat bread and grapes/ ^ 

* Those who have penetrated into Spain have probably 
witnessed to what a distance a Spanish attendant will 
accompany on foot a traveller's mule or carriage, doing 
forty or fifty miles a day on his fare of only raw onions 
and bread.' ^ 

France. — ' The way of living in a French peasant's 
house is this : In the morning the men eat soup, that soup 
which Cobden praised as the source of French prosperity. 
It is cheap enough to make. For twelve people two 
handfuls of dry beans or peas, a few potatoes, a few ounces 
of fried bacon to give it a taste, a good deal of hot water. 
The twelve basins are then filled with thin slices of brown 
bread, and the soup is poured on it Boiled rice, with 
a little milk, is sometimes taken instead of soup. If 
the soup is insufficient, the peasant finishes his meal 
with a piece of dry bread. . . . The meal at noon is 
composed invariably of potatoes, followed by a second 
dish, which is either a pancake made with a great deal of 
flour and water and few eggs, or a salad, or clotted milk. 
No wine or meat is allowed except during the great 
labours of haymaking and harvest. At these times a 

1 Capt. C. F. Chase. 

* Smith's Fruits and Farinacea. 


little wine is given round with the water drunk at dinner, 
and a little piece of salted pork.' ' 

It is stated in a work published by Bertillon in 1874 
that the vine gatherers of the department of Nifevre, of 
Burgundy, etc, only eat meat once a year, the agricul- 
tural labourers of the Maine department eat it twice a 
year, the weavers of Sarthe on fHe days only, and the 
Auvergnese about six times a year. The Breton labourers 
never eat it, and even rich people in this province take 
it only on fHe days. 

Switzerland. — * The fare of the Swiss workmen is 
very frugal. They rarely taste flesh, their food being 
principally bread, cheese, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit ; 
though in the towns the consumption of meat is some- 
what greater. The middle classes fare pretty much as the 
working classes, all consuming large quantities of milk, 
and drinking coffee mixed with chicory and milk twice a 
day.' > 

A report upon the alimentation of agricultural la- 
bourers in Europe, taken by the order of the English 
Government, and cited in the * Anthropological Review ' 
for 1872, gives the following table of dietaries in use 
among the working populations of various coimtries : — 

Belgium. — Coffee, brown bread, vegetables, salted 
bacon. A great number live on potatoes, bread, and 
chicory plant. 

PoMERANiA. — Meat (flesh) three times a week. 

Prussia (Rhenish.) — Milk, soup, dry peas, potatoes, 
meat on f§te days. 

Saxony. — Bread, butter, cheese, soup, vegetables, 
coffee, meat on fHe days. 

Bavaria. — Soup made of flour and butter, milk, 
cabbage, potatoes. 

-' HamQriOTi& Round my House, 1^75. ■* Leisure Hour, 1873. 


Italy. — Macaroni, bread, fruit, vegetables, wine. 

Low Countries. — Black bread, butter, vegetables, 
fish, coffee. 

Russia. — ^Rye-bread, cabbage, mushroom soup, buck- 
wheat baked with milk, oiL 

Spain. — Bread, vegetables, chick peas ; meat is a 

Sweden. — Potatoes, rye, oats, barley, abundance of 
milk, salted herrings, beer ; never any meat. 

Switzerland. — Cheese, milk, coffee, vegetables, 
soups, wine, rarely any meat They work about thirteen 
hours a day. 

Scotland. — Oatmeal bread, potatoes, milk, butter, 
coffee, tea, bacon, rarely other meat 

Ireland. — Oatmeal, potatoes, milk, a little lard. A 
little whisky is also taken. 

England. — Beef, pork, bacon, potatoes, vegetables, 
cheese, tea, beer, cider. * 

We see, then, by these examples, that even in our 
own quarter of the globe, the peasantry and the agricul- 
turists are almost wholly vegetarians in practice, if not by 
profession and principle. In fact, it is only in England 
that we find animal food forming part of the regular ali- 

' Add to the above, that many religious communities in all climates 
systematically abstain from flesh-meats. For instance, S. Benedict's 
rule prohibits the flesh of quadrupeds to all except the feeble and sick. 
The rule of S. Francis of Paula is severely vegetarian, forbidding even 
eggs and milk. The Trappist monks, the religious of S. Dominic's 
order (friar preachers), and of S. Basil's order, are all v^etarian-; and 
among the orders of women, the rule of life of -the Poor Clares is 
similar. Apart from religion, there exist also numerous bodies profess^ 
ing Pythagoreanism. To instance one or two of these only, the 
Vegetarian Society of England, established in 1846, numbers over 3,000 
members ; the Food Reform Society of London has a large following, 
and there are several vegetarian restaurants in the metropolis. Vegetarian 
societies exist also in Paris, Switzerland, Genwaco.>j, KxascvRaw, ^\r.,> es.» 


mentation of the lower classes. It must not, however, be 
thought that, even in England, the common use of a 
mixed diet is equally prevalent in all counties. Mr. 
}»rindley, canal engineer in this country, informs us that 
* in the various works in which he has been engaged — 
where the workmen, being paid by the piece, exerted 
themselves to earn as much as possible — men from the 
north of Lancashire and Yorkshire, who adhered to their 
customary diet of oat-cake and hasty-pudding, with water 
for their drink, sustained more labour and made larger 
wages than those who lived on bacon, cheese, and beer — 
the general diet of labourers in the south.' ' We are, how- 
ever, aware that the superiority of the English navvies 
over their French comrades is frequently cited as evi- 
dence of the sustaining value of the beef and beer diet of 
the former, a more meagre fare being, it is said, in use 
among the Frenchmen. But, supposing the statement to 
be in all respects correct, it does not appear to involve 
any anomaly in natural law, for its explanation lies in the 
fact that the Saxon workmen belong to a sturdier, a 
hardier, and a more staying race than the Celts whose 
most remarkable exploits are generally accomplished 
under the influence of passing emotion or enthusiasm. 
The Frenchman excels, not in physical power or muscular 
development, but in agility and klan ; he is concentrated 
in performance but quickly exhausted ; the Englishman, 
on the contrary, is dogged, tenacious, and enduring. It 
is much more likely that the English navvy owes his su- 
perior working power to the hereditary gifts of his race 
than to an accidental use of certain comestibles to which, 
by the bye, his forefathers were strangers. But it is not 
contended that stimulating substances, such as alcohol 
and flesh, may not temporarily give rise to a display of ex- 

^ Smith's FrvkiU and Farinacta, 


cessive energy, and that under their influence a man may 
not perform feats which would be well-nigh impossible to 
him in an imexcited condition — as a person pursued by a 
bull will leap a five-barred gate which, in cooler moments, 
he would be forced to climb. And if any man affirm that 
beef and beer enable him to accomplish labour other- 
wise beyond his strength, the fact may be attributed, not 
to increase of muscular force, or development of stamina, 
but to quickened nervous action, or stimulation. 

Formerly, indeed, the diet of the country labouring 
classes was almost wholly innocent of flesh-meats and 
strong drinks, and it must be borne in mind that it is to 
this sober and temperate ancestry that the working powers 
of the present generation are owing. The use of flesh as 
daily food dates from hardly more than a quarter of a 
century among the peasantry of most rural districts, and 
already they are beginning to degenerate. The children 
will have neither the health nor the constitution of their 
fathers, nor their immunity from suffering. In Mr. 
Smiles's * Life of George Moore,' we read that in old times 
even the well-to-do country classes were strangers to the 
taste of flesh, and that ' stalwart sons and comely maidens 
were brought up on porridge, oatcakes, bannocks, 
potato-pot and milk.' 

A native of Maine (France) informs me that in his 
grandfather's time the peasants of that department en- 
joyed far longer life and more robust health than the 
present generation who have exchanged the simple sus- 
tenance of former years for a dietary consisting largely 
of stimulating drinks and animal food. Examples of 
this kind are not far to seek and might be indefinitely 
multiplied, whether with regard to races, communities, or 

If from national generalities 'wep^c^^X.o >2w^ Q«tii\^^^.* 


tlon of individual experience of the Pythagorean system, 
we are met by such an enormous mass of evidence as 
would require volumes to chronicle it Let a few in- 
stances, chosen from thousands, suffice \ the limits of this 
little treatise preclude more numerous citations. 

' The celebrated Lord Heathfield, who defended the 
fortress of Gibraltar with consummate skill and persever- 
ing fortitude, was well known for his hardy habits of 
military discipline. He neither ate animal food nor 
drank wine \ his constant diet being bread and vegetables, 
and his drink, water.' 

*My health,' says Mr. Jackson, a distinguished surgeon 
in the British army, *has been tried in all ways and 
climates ; and by the aid of temperance and hard work, 
I have worn out two campaigns and probably could wear 
out another. I eat no animal food, drink no wine, malt 
liquors, nor spirits of any kind. I wear no flannel, and 
regard neither wind nor rain, heat nor cold.' 

' Professor Lawrence knew a lady who, having adopted 
a vegetarian mode of life, was remarkable for her activity 
and strength. She made nothing of walking ten miles, 
and could with ease walk twenty. She had two children, 
and nursed them for about twelve months each, during 
which time she took only vegetables and fruit, with distilled 
water as drink. Both children were fine and healthy.' 

' Another lady (the wife of one of the founders of the 
Vegetarian Society in England) abstained from flesh and 
all intoxicants for thirty years, and during that time, gave 
birth to fifteen children, fourteen of whom she nursed 
herself, and yet remained young and active.'^ 

The celebrated reformer of the eighteenth century, 
John Wesley, wrote to the Bishop of London in 1747, 
that, following the advice of Dr. Cheyne, he had given up 

1 Smith. 

CHkMIStR K 41 

the use of flesh-meat and wine, and that from that time, 
* thanks to God,' he had been delivered from all physical 

In the month of October, 1878, a Jewish rabbi named 
Hirsch Guttman, died at Gross-Strehlitz at the advanced 
age of 108 years. He had been a vegetarian for half 
a century. Rabbi Guttman was presented to the Em- 
peror of Germany, who, after a long conversation with the 
old man, respectfully received his blessing.^ 

Since, then, we find that the exterior structure of man- 
kind, their internal organism, their natural instincts and 
the habits of the greatest ancient races, as well as the 
modem experience of so many nations and communities 
in every part of the globe, all plead in favour of an 
alimentation derived immediately from the fruits and 
seeds of the earth as the most nutritious and proper to 
humanity, it would indeed be anomalous if the results 
of chemical analysis were to show themselves less favour- 
able to the same conclusion. Let us see, then, what 
chemistry has to say on the subject. 

All the various alimentary substances divide them- 
selves naturally into two groups, organic and inorganic, 
the organic group being subdivided into substances con- 
taining nitrogen, and those which do not contain it. 
These last again divide themselves into fatty bodies, 
composed of carbon and hydrogen, combined with a 
very small proportion only of oxygen ; and into carbo- 
hydrates, which are also constituted by carbon united to 
hydrogen and oxygen, but in which the two latter 
elements always exist in the same proportion as they do 
in water (H^^ O^). Such are the polymeric bodies, 
gum, cellulose, dextrine, starch, etc. Glucose, which 

^ Dietetic Refornur, 


forms the solid and crystallisable part of honey, and 
which exists in the greater number of dried fruits, on the 
surface of which it forms efflorescences, is represented 
by the formula, C^ H^o O^ + H^ O— that is to say, it is 
the ultimate product of the transformation of cellulose, 
and, more particularly, of starch. One molecule of 
dextrine, in absorbing two molecules of water, gives two 
molecules of glucose. Levulose, which is found in a 
great number of fruits, and galactose, are isomeric with 
glucose ; the formula of saccharose or cane-sugar and of 
its isomeric body, lactose, or sugar of milk, is represented 
by two molecules of glucose, less one of water. 

There exist, however, some few substances which do 
not find a place in this classification, such as alcohol, 
pectine, and the vegetable acids. Alcohol occupies an 
intermediate rank between the fatty bodies and the 
carbo-hydrates, while the other substances mentioned 
are still more highly oxydised than the carbo-hydrates. 

Some chemists class together all the non-nitrogenised 
substances, />. fatty bodies and hydrates of carbon, under 
the general name of hydro-carbons ; but although this 
classification may, from certain points of view, have the 
merit of convenience, it is wanting in clearness and pre- 
cision. All the carbo-hydrates are largely present in 
vegetable and fruit produce, but, if we except sugar of 
milk (lactine), and muscle-sugar (inosite), none of the 
group belong to healthy animal tissue. On the contrary, 
the true hydro-carbons^ consisting of a fatty acid in combina- 
tion with a radical, occur equally in animal and in vegetable 
matter. Of these fatty bodies, that known as * stearine * is 
peculiar to animal substances, while both kingdoms are 
rich in 'palmatine' and ' oleine,' the latter, as fluid fat, 
being, however, chiefly present in vegetable products.^ 

1 Pavy. 


It was formerly taught by Liebig that the destiny of 
nitrogenised principles in the animal economy was quite 
distinct from that of the non-nitrogenised principles. 
According to this theory the first contributed to the 
growth and nutrition of the elements of the animal 
economy, and to the prod;iction of muscular and nervous 
force, while the last served only as fabricants of heat, and 
were accordingly named * respiratory ' elements of food. 

It is now known that in making this classification 
Liebig erred, and that neither is the action of nitro- 
genised principles exclusively limited to nutrition, nor 
that of fatty matters to the production of heat In fact 
the latter, although particularly heat producers, take their 
part also in the work of nutrition, and, far fi-om being 
so restricted in their operation as was supposed, it is now 
proved that the fatty bodies constitute the true source of 
physical force, and that they may be fairly styled the 
generators of motor power ; while to the nitrogenised 
principles appears to be reserved the function of giving 
birth to those elements which make part of the composi- 
tion of the animal organism itself. Now, certain recent 
and numerous experiments made, not on the lower 
animals, but on man himself, and having therefore con- 
siderable value, demonstrate that the production of 
force is not due to the oxydation of the nitrogenised 
element of the living tissues of the organism, as was 
formerly believed by those who thought with Liebig, but, 
on the contrary, to the oxydation of hydro-carbonated 
substances. Therefore the production of mechanical 
force, like that of heat, is the result of the oxydation of 
the elements of carbon and hydrogen ; the energy set 
free by chemical action manifesting itself under the form 
of mechanical force. ^ 

1 The following observations occur in. iVve viotVs ol \3\. Y^xsx^'^x^ 


The fatty bodies, properly so called — stearine, palma- 
tine, and oleine — fulfil, then, equally the part of force- 
producers and that which Liebig assigned exclusively to 
them, of producers of caloric. Now, the capacity to 
produce heat depends . on the quantity of carbon and 
hydrogen not already oxydised, which exists in any given 
iSubstance, and this condition is, in a special degree, 
realised in the composition of fatty bodies. It is from 
this point of view that it is necessary to distinguish be- 
tween the hydro-carbons— fatty bodies — and the carbo- 

fessor of Physiology at the hospital of Bellevue, New York {Expert" 
ments and Reflections upon Animal Heat, 1879). He remarks that the 
calorific value of any article of food may be expressed by a definite 
number of unities of caloric. Of these unities a certain proportion is con- 
verted into force, which divides itself into muscular force and respiratory 
and circulatory force. Professor Foster (Text-book of Physiology, 1877) 
has calculated that a fifth or sixth part of the total value of any aliment 
is employed under the form of muscular force, the other four-fifths or 
five-sixths which remain being converted into heat. Now, according to 
Joule, the imity of caloric (i.e. the quantity necessary to raise one 
degree Fahrenheit a pound weight of water) equals the force necessary 
to raise one foot in height 772 pounds ('Mechanical Equivalent of 
Heat,' Philosophical Transactions, 1850). Therefore, muscular force 
results from the transformation of the heat produced in the organism 
after the appropriation of a quantity of caloric sufficient for the main- 
tenance of the constant animal temperature. The oxydation of the 
elements of carbon and hydrogen is a much more important factor of 
calorification than that of nitrogen, for it is certain that the calorific 
value of the oxydation of the first two, and the quantity of heat thus 
produced, are much more considerable than in the case of the oxyda- 
tion of nitrogen. It is probable, according to Dr. Flint (who does not, 
however, altogether accept the conclusions of his authors), that a pro- 
duction of caloric is always going on in the living organism, even in the 
absence of any alimentation. The heat thus produced would be, ac- 
cording to his experiments, the result of the oxydation of the hydrogen 
forming water with the oxygen inspired into the lungs. Of this oxygen, 
eighty-six parts in a hundred combine with carbon to form carbonic 
acid. The value of the caloric thus obtained must be added to the 
calorics obtained by the ingestion of food in order to arrive at a just 
tion of the quantity of heat and dynamic force which the organism 
fits disposal, under such or such condixioivs. 



hydrates — starchy and sugary bodies — because these last 
contain a proportion of oxygen sufficient in itself to 
oxydise all the hydrogen contained in them, leaving the 
carbon only unoxydised ; while in the fatty bodies, not 
only the carbon, but the larger part of the hydrogen also, 
remain unoxydised. 

As regards the utilisation of the carbo-hydrates, it is 
under the ultimate form of sugar that they all finally 
enter the economy. It may be said that while the saliva 
and the pancreatic juice play the first part in the con- 
version of starch into sugar, it is the liver that takes the 
initiative in the assimilation of the sugar, and this action 
apparently gives birth to the amyloid, colloid, or non- 
diffusible substance known as glycogen, a substance 
which itself in its turn is converted into hydro-carbonated 
or fatty matter. * 

It is, then, under the final form of fatty matter that 
starchy and sugary substances act as heat producers. 
This transformation is probably attained by a giving off" of 
carbonic acid and oxygen, which process would leave of 
the composition of a carbo-hydrate the chemical formula 
only of a fatty body : — 

C>2H»«»0*-C0220 = C"H»«0. 

It must be borne in mind that, as producers of force, 
sugar, and its anterior forms, such as dextrine, gum, and 
starch, possess only the value of the quantity of oxydisable 
and non-oxydised substance which they contain. 

Coming to the consideration of nitrogenised prin- 
ciples, we find that they exist equally in animal and 
vegetable articles of food, and that, whichever may be 
their origin in nature, they are absolutely identical 
Vegetable albumen is obtained most abundantly from 
the cereals, and in smaller quantities from nuts and 

1 Pavy. 


leguminous plants ; vegetable fibrine is obtained 
washing the flour of the cereals, in which it forms part 
the substance known as crude gluten, and is separab 
from the pure gluten by treatment with boiling alcoho 
It exists also in grape juice, and in the majority of legu 
minous plants. Vegetable caseine is found in great 
cjuantity in all kinds of beans, peas, and other seeds, and 
is often spoken of as legumine. It is present also with 
albumen in almonds and other oily grains. 

There remain yet two organic nitrogenised substances, 
the source of which is exclusively animal, and which 
form a separate group, readily distinguishable from that 
just described, by the fact that they do not give proteine 
by the action of heat and an alkali, as do the albumi- 
nous, fibrinous, and caseinous substances. These prin- 
ciples, gelatine and chondrine, are derived from bone 
and fibrous animal tissues, cartilage, ligamentous and 
tendonous material, and by them is constituted the jelly 
of flesh-meat soups. ^ Their nutritive value has been 
greatly disputed, and was the subject of a special inquiry 
instituted by the Academy of Sciences of Paris, forty 
years ago. The conclusions arrived at by the commis- 
sion appointed to examine the question, tended to de- 
monstrate that the food-value of gelatinous compounds, 
if not absolutely «//, was at least extremely doubtful 
Bischoff and Voit, however, more lately (1874) have 
given an opinion that these substances may cover proteid 
waste, and to some slight extent form a substitute, by 
admixture, for other plastic matter. 

The special action of the proteinous nitrogenised 
principles is, as we have already seen, to furnish elements, 
first for the development, and, secondly, for the renewal, 

^ Fruit and vegetable jelly is formed by pectine and pectic acid, and 
is therefore of a totally different nature from that yielded by bone 
'stock, ' 



of the tissues of the animal organism. These proteinous 
principles serve also in the production of the secretions 
of the economy; and as the amount of the secretions 
bears proportional relation to the vital activity, it is easy 
to understand how necessary to the integrity of the 
animal functions is the ingestion of such principles. 

To complete our sketch of the nature and destiny of 
the elements which enter into alimentary compounds, it 
remains to say a few words on their inorganic con- 
stituents. These, under the form of mineral salts and 
watery are indispensable to the nutrition of living beings. 
Of these substances the principal are the combinations 
of lime, magnesia, potash, soda, iron, the chlorides, and 
phosphoric, carbonic, and sulphuric acid, lime and the 
phosphates being, perhaps, the most essential. The 
part taken in the animal organism by water and saline 
matters appears to consist chiefly in contributing to esta- 
blish the conditions necessary to the production of the 
chemical action, by the aid of which proteid and other 
substances are assimilated, and in forming the liquid 
part of the bodily humours. (The serum or water of the 
blood, a slightly albuminous liquid, amounts in the 
human body to about three litres in quantity.) Salts do 
not appear to be themselves capable of acting as force 
producers, but they form an essential part in the compo- 
sition of all the humours and secretions, and exist in 
combination with the organic principles in every animal 
tissue. The various salts necessary to complete alimen- 
tation are present alike in vegetables and in flesh. In 
the vegetable kingdom the largest proportion of phos- 
phates, chlorides, and potash is met with in the cereals ; 
and it is worthy of remark that these salts, as well as the 
nitrogenised elements, are present principally in the 
tegument or exterior part of the grain, and, consequently, 
ordinary white bread contains bul a eotw^ax^^xs^ 'SKcali^. 


proportion of them. In order to obtain the full value ol 
flour, it should be eaten unbolted— 'ihsi. is to say, the meal 
should be used entire, and not deprived, by dressing, ol 
its tegumentaiy parts. 

Water furnishes us with chloride of sodium, carbonate 
of hme, and silex ; iron is largely present in peas, haricots, 
and lentils j the herbs and leguminous vegetables are rich 
in phosphates of lime. 

By means of the following table, the composition ol 
the various alimentary substances most in use, of both 
vegetable and animal origin, and their comparative nutri- 
tive values, may be readily perceived and understood. 
The analyses given are those of Fresenius, Letheby, 
Pavy, Church, Wolff, Knop, and Payen : — 
In 100 Parts. 






Lean beef . 


3 '6 



Fal beef . 




Lean mutton 





Fat mutton . 




Veal . 





Fal pork . 





Dried ham , 

73 '3 



Tripe . 





White fish . 




Red fish (MJmon) 















White of egg 



Yolk of egg . 





Cow's milk (Lactine 5-2) 


3 '9 



Cream ( „ 2'S) 




66 -o 

Butter .... 







Roquefort „ 

26 'ji 






27 '54 






35-92 ,. 

44 -oS 




Cheddar „ 



\ ^•' 

y "iS-o 



In 100 Parts. 








Beans . 




3 -65 


White haricots 






Dried peas . 


















Black truffles 

16 'O 





Mushrooms . 















• • • 






• • • 









Garden beet . 



• • • 






• • • 

(?) -8 


Sweet potato 






Water-cress . 



• • • 

(?) -7 


Arrow-root . 


• • • 

• • • 

• • • 


Dry southern wheat 





• • • 

Dry common wheat 





• • • 







Barley-meal . 

74 3 











Dry maize . 





• • • 

Dry rice 





• • • 

Buckwheat . 








20 -o 









• • • 

Dried figs . 






Dates . 












Walnuts (peeled) . 













(peeled) , 






Cocoa-nut . 



35 9 



Fresh chestnuts 

(peeled) . 






Locust bean . 






Cocoa-nibs . \ 
Chocolate . } 








Fresh fruits of the drupaceous, baccate, andpomaceous 
classes — plums, peaches, olives, cherries, grapes, currants, 
cranberries, gooseberries, oranges, citrons, apples, pears, 
etc., etc. — contain a very large proportion of carbo-hy- 
drates, vegetable acids, salts, and water. 

We have it, then, clearly demonstrated by the fore- 
going analysis, that not only do vegetable substances con- 
tain all the elements necessary to nutrition and to the 
production of force and heat, but that they contain pro- 
portionately even more of these elements than are found 
in animal substances. For instance, peas, beans, lentils, 
and haricots contain from 23 to 30 per cent, of proteid 
matter, 55 to 58 of starch, and about 3 of saline matter, 
while animal food contains from 8 to 19 of proteid matter, 
and no carbo-hydrates at all. Fatty matter, is, however, 
present to a larger extetit in flesh meats than in ordinary 
vegetable and grain produce, but the use of seed and nut 
oils abundantly compensates for this deficiency. We 
have it shown also, that not only are the nutritive and 
dynamic values of vegetable foods, taken in their totality, 
greater than those of animal foods, taken in their totality, 
but that the former contain, besides, a whole class of 
principles which do not exist in the composition of the 
latter. These are the carbo-hydrates, the relative place 
of which in human alimentation we shall presently see. 
And if to vegetable produce proper, are added certain 
other aliments, which, though of animal origin, may, with- 
out inconsistency, be introduced into a Pythagorean regi- 
men — such as milk, eggs, cream, butter, and cheese — we 
have at our disposition the entire range of the very sub- 
stances which, of all aliments known to nian, are richest 
in nitrogen and hydro-carbons. I say ' without inconsis- 
tency,' because (i), all animals of the order to which man 
himself belongs, are nourished during their infancy by 


milk, the derivatives of which cannot therefore be re- 
garded as improper to their or his nutrition ; (2), because 
all these substances, especially cheese and curds, habit- 
ually formed part of the diet of the ancient phytivorous 
peoples ; (3), because morality is in nowise outraged by 
their use ; (4), because, as we shall see further on, their use 
is not excluded by economical considerations. 

As regards the proportional quantity of each principle 
which should enter into the daily alimentation of man, 
it varies according to sex, circumstances, and personal 
habit. On the average, in a state of repose or with 
moderate exercise, the proportion should be — 

Nitrogenous matter . . . 4*215 
Hydro-carbons .... i*397 
Carbo-hydrates .... 18*690 
Salts 0714 

During active exercise and prolonged work, as with 
manual labourers, soldiers engaged in war, etc., the pro- 
portion should be — 


Nitrogenous matter 

. 5-41 




. 17-92 

Salts .... 

. 0-68 

Let it be noticed that these dietaries, which are quoted 
from Dr. Playfair, contain a large proportion of carbo- 
hydrates — substances which, as we have seen, do not 
exist in the food of carnivorous animals, for no animal tis- 
sues in the healthy state contain them \ the few traces of 
inosite in muscular fibre not being worth mention. They 
are found principally in fresh fruits. The carbo-hydrates 
are absolutely necessary to proper human alimentation \ 
they take the place which wouVd o\)[verms»^\i^ <:^^c^i:s^^&^ 



by fatty matter, and their use prevents fatigue of the 
digestive organs. Moreover, fruit acids possess certain 
proper qualities which appear to exercise on the economy 
a special influence — purifying, cooling, refreshing, correc- 
tive, regulatory — such as no other substances are able to 

But, if it is indisputably demonstrable that the ali- 
mentation afforded by a vegetable diet is more efficacious, 
more varied, richer in nutritive and ' dynamic principles 
and more fitted to the requirements of man than flesh- 
meats, the superiority of which, from all these points of 
view, has been so long maintained, it is also possible to 
adduce evidence of facts tending to prove that the use of 
animal viands produces an effect analogous to that of 
alcohol j that they stimulate and excite the nervous sys- 
tem ; that they rapidly waste its elements, as also those of 
all the organism ; and that they thus indirectly diminish 
vital resistance and the term of natural life. And though 
it might be deemed exaggeration to say that the use of 
flesh-meats induces premature death, it is certainly true 
that it hastens the arrival of old age, and the manifesta- 
tion of diseases and diatheses, as much by its directly 
baneful effects on the system, as by the habits it engen- 
ders, such as alcoholism, unchastity, and excesses of all 
kinds. Referring to the immediate effects on the nervous i 
system of the ingestion of flesh-meats, Dr. Pavy says : — 
* Animal food exerts a greater stimulating effect upon 
the system than vegetable fare. Accounts are related of 
the stimulant properties of animal food having sufficed, in 
those accustomed only to a vegetable diet, to produce a 
state resembling intoxication. Dr. Dundas Thompson * 
quotes a narrative of the effects of a repast of meat on some 

^ Experimental Researches on the Food of Animals. 


native Indians, whose customary fare, as is usual amongst 
the tribe, had consisted only of vegetable food. They 
dined most luxuriously, stuffing themselves as if they were 
never to eat again. After an hour or two, to his great 
surprise and amusement, the expression of their counte- 
nances, their jabbering and gesticulations, showed clearly 
that the feast had produced the same effect as any intoxi- 
cating spirit or drug. The second treat was attended wi 
the same result.' 

Dr. Druitt, also,* describing the properties of a liquid 
essence of beef prepared according to his instructions, 
speaks of it as exerting a rapid and remarkable stimulat- 
ing power over the brain, and introduces it to notice as an 
auxiliary to, and partial substitute for, brandy, in all cases 
of exhaustion or weakness, attended with cerebral depres- 
sion or despondency. Correspondingly stimulating pro- 
perties have been claimed as the effect of other similar 
compounds. I myself once knew a young lady of ner- 
vous temperament, who but very seldom ventured to par- 
take of more than a single plate of animal viands at the 
same meal, for fear of becoming surexcited. One day, 
being very hungry, she transgressed her rule and ate two 
mutton chops, and, as I happened to be seated beside her, 
I witnessed the result of this excess, which soon avenged 
itself in the shape of a fit of actual intoxication. It is 
certain that the conduct even of beasts may be modified 
by the character of their food. In the ' Lancet '^ Liebig 
maintains that the ingestion of flesh produces in the car- 
nivorous races the ferocious and quarrelsome disposition 
which distinguishes them from the herb-eaters. A bear, 
kept at the Anatomical Museum of Giessen, showed a 
quiet gentle nature so long as he was fed exclusively on 

* Transactions of the Obstetrical Society t 1861, 
» Vol. i. 1869. 


bread, but a few days' feeding on meat made him vicious 
and even quite dangerous. It is well known that swine 
grow irascible by having flesh-food given them, and under 
such conditions will attack men \ and that dogs kept for 
the purpose of protecting houses and other premises are 
often fed upon flesh expressly to render them ferocious 
and combative, and dangerous therefore to burglars. 
Blood-hounds, fox-hounds, and indeed all animals used 
for pursuit or attack are similarly fed, while the domestic 
skye-terrier or pug, if he is to be gentle and * sweet ' both 
physically and morally, must be nourished on a biscuit 
and bread-and-milk diet. Examples of this kind are of 
the commonest experience ; rather than multiply them it 
is preferable to occupy ourselves with their explanation. 

Dulong asserts that the quantity of oxygen * lost ' dur- 
ing respiration — that is, the quantity not replaced by car- 
bonic acid — constitutes in the herbivora about a tenth part 
of the volume of the quantity utilised and replaced by 
carbonic acid \ and in the carnivora he has found that 
the quantity of oxygen thus * lost ' varies from a fifth to 
half the whole quantity. And Drs. Fife and Spalding 
have demonstrated by experiment that in the same indi- 
vidual, a mixed diet necessitates a greater consumption of 
oxygen than a vegetable diet, the respiratory movements 
being more frequent in the former than in the latter case. 
These facts prove, Dr. Craigie thinks,^ that flesh-food gives 
rise to more violent and laborious pulmonary action than 
alimentation by vegetable diet. 

Again, in his ' Animal Chemistry,' Liebig calls atten- 
tion to the restlessness and incessant movements of car- 
nivorous animals, lions, tigers, hyenas, etc., in the me- 
nageries, and observes that men who are habitually 
kreophagist manifest similar irritability and want of re- 

^ Elements of the Practice of Physic^ vol. ii. 


pose. This condition of high pressure in the vital pro- 
cesses ought, doubtless, to be referred to the particular 
manner in which the absorption of the elements of flesh- 
food takes place, these elements, as we have seen, com- 
prising no carbo-hydrates. In fact, the work of digestion 
and assimilation appears to be much more rapid in the 
case of animal alimentation, and consequently, as has 
been already said, a proportional vital exhaustion and 
break-up of organic tissue ensues. Now, the digestion of 
flesh takes place principally in the stomach, while that of 
the principles dominating in vegetable products occurs to 
a great extent in the intestine. Therefore, digestion and 
assimilation are more complex and less rapid processes in 
the latter case, and the function of absorption is, so to 
speak, more extended and generalised than it is when 
dealing with animal food, which taxes the stomach almost 
exclusively. It is chiefly to this rapid and precocious ab- 
sorption of the nitrogenised principles predominant in 
flesh, as well as to the lack of the moderating and regula- 
tory effect of the carbo-hydrates, that I am disposed to 
attribute that exciting influence of animal alimentation 
which has been already mentioned ; an excitation, which, 
like that produced by the ingestion of alcohol, passes 
quickly away and impels to a renewal of the sensation so 
soon as the stomach is emptied of its contents. Let us 
be careful to distinguish between this condition of func- 
tional excitement and true invigoration. How many per- 
sons deceive themselves in this respect, and think they are 
strengthened and reinforced when they are only stimu- 
lated ! Who has not witnessed, particularly during the 
convalescence following typhoid fever, the phenomenon 
known 2&febris carnis, an ephemeral fever which shows 
itself after the first flesh-meat meal administered to a 
patient recovering from serious illness, and whlck k s.Q\fii<^- 


times the occasion of a relapse ! This phenomenon is, 
probably, due at least in great part to the rapid ab- 
sorption of the proteinous principles of animal food, 
though this may not be the exclusive cause of the distur- 
bance ; but in the present state of our chemical knowledge 
it is not possible to affirm that these principles them- 
selves — globuline, myosine, syntonine, etc. — may be taken 
to contain some subtle evanescent element capable of ex- 
plaining more completely the stimulating and intoxicat- 
ing eflfects to which attention has been called. However 
this may be, it is certainly to the absence of this sensa- 
tion of stimulation habitual to flesh-eaters, that must be 
attributed the * sinking,' the languor, the weakness even, 
which in the majority of cases is experienced by them 
during the first few days following a change to vegetable 
diet. Symptoms, precisely similar, are witnessed in per- 
sons addicted to alcoholism, when deprived of their 
spirituous drinks ; and in both cases, the sensations de- 
scribed disappear more or less rapidly, according to cir- 
cumstances and individuals, under persistent treatment 
But many persons, misled by this passing feebleness, and 
mistaking its nature, fancy that they are losing strength, 
and after three or four days' abstinence fi:om flesh, return 
to their former habits. In order to avoid this factitious 
weakness, it is strongly urged on kreophagists, as well as 
on alcohol-drinkers who desire to change their mode of 
life, to wean themselves from it gradually and by progres- 
sive steps, until little by little they arrive at the adoption 
of an absolutely reformed regimen. 

Allusion has already been made to the deplorable 
indirect effects of flesh-eating. Of these alcoholism is 
one of the commonest. An American reformer, who for 
more than forty years has occupied himself in lecturing on 
the subject of dipsomania, and who, since the commence- 


ment of his career, has carefully noted the causes of this 
disease in an immense number of persons of all classes in 
the many various countries and climates he has visited, 
avers without reserve, that the use of flesh-foods, by the 
excitation which it exercises on the nervous system, pre- 
pares the way for habits of intemperance in drink, and 
that, other things being equal, the more flesh is consumed 
the greater is the temptation to make use of strong pun- 
gent drinks, and the more serious is the danger of con- 
firmed alcoholism. Many experienced physicians have 
made, similar observations, and wisely act on them in their 
treatment of dipsomaniacs.^ 

Dr. Austin Flint, of Harvard Medical College, is of 
opinion that the use of flesh-meat ought always to be for- 
bidden in all cases of acute or chronic gastritis, because 
the stimulating properties of flesh are invariably ill-sup- 
ported by a diseased and enfeebled stomach. Now we 
know that chronic gastritis always, sooner or later, ac- 
companies alcoholism, and that one of its symptoms is 
excessive thirst, which in aggravated cases becomes well- 
nigh continuous. There is in this state of things a regu- 
lar circle of cause and effect. Animal viands keep up 
the gastritis by over-stimulation and taxation of the 
affected organ ; the gastritis excites thirst ; thirst perpet- 
uates drunkenness. And, since we know that the domi- 
nant principles of flesh are precisely those the digestion of 
which is effected in the stomach, it will easily be under- 
stood how injurious to a diseased or ailing organ, already 
degenerated or enfeebled, must be the prolonged and 
exclusive labour imposed upon it by a highly nitrogenised 

Dr. Jackson, senior physician of an asylum for in- 

1 Vegetarianism the Radical Cure for Intemperance, H, B, Fowler. 
New York. \ 


ebriates at Dansville (United States), observes that he 
always found it impossible to benefit his patients per- 
manently so long as they were permitted animal food, 
the use of which he regards as an absolute barrier to a 
radical cure. It is evident, he thinks, that flesh contains 
some extra-alimentary principles, which excite the nervous 
system to such a degree that it ends by exhausting and 
degenerating it so as to deprive it of all vital power. 
This condition of exhaustion, he adds, gives rise to a 
paroxysm of craving for abnormal stimulus, and the de- 
sire for alcohol is thus renewed and sustained. Every 
patient who places himself under Dr. Jackson's care is 
therefore required to conform to the rules of the asylum, 
and to abstain entirely from animal viands of all kinds, 
as well as from tea, coffee, and tobacco. Under these 
conditions, says Dr. Jackson, a man cannot help be- 
coming sober and regenerate, it being impossible for him 
to live six months exclusively on unbolted meal bread, 
vegetables, and ripe fruit, such as apples, pears, apricots, 
peaches, etc., without entirely ridding himself of the fever 
of alcoholism. Such a regimen completely renovates 
the system and destroys the appetite for strong drinks ; 
evidence of which facts, contmues Dr. Jackson, may be 
witnessed at any time in the establishment of which he 
has charge, the treatment there pursued excluding en- 
tirely the use of drugs, and relying solely on the regu- 
lation of diet and the use of baths. 

Next, in regard to other allied excesses, it is cer- 
tainly not difficult to understand that the stimulation 
and irritation produced in the nervous centres by the 
constant ingestion of highly nitrogenised and exciting 
meats, influences the genital functions in a powerful de- 
gree, and sets up a condition of pressing insatiability. 
Not to dwell on the details of this part of our subject, 


let it suffice to observe, in passing, that the deepest, truest, 
and most general causes of prostitution in all great 
cities must be looked for in the luxurious and intem- 
perate habits of eating and drinking prevalent among 
the rich and well-to-do. The chief element of this luxury 
is the use of flesh and alcohol, which mistaken notions 
of hygiene and therapeutics tend to press more and more 
upon all classes of men and women. Abolish kreophagy 
and its companion vice, alcoholism, and more, a thousand- 
fold, will be done to abolish prostitution than can be 
achieved by any other means soever as long as these two 
evil influences flourish. The young man of the present 
day, accustomed from childhood to frequent and copious 
meals of flesh, and from early youth to the use of all 
manner of fermented beverages and liqueurs, carries 
about with him and fosters an increasingly disordered 
appetite, which not infrequently assumes the character of 
true disease, destroying all capacity for the duties and 
the higher pleasures of intellectual and refined life. 

And now, as belonging to the same class of evils 
indirectly due to flesh-eating, we shall speak of the very 
serious inconvenience and impediments to civilisation 
caused by the existence of Slaughter-Houses. These 
establishments, even when submitted to regular surveil- 
lance, are apt to become sources of sickness and epidemic 
complaints, particularly when they are placed in the 
neighbourhood of large towns and during the hot sea- 
son. In the * Times' of July 11, 1874, a correspondent 
— Mr. Samuel A. Bamett — thus describes the dangers 
and horrors of these disgusting institutions : — 

* It is impossible for any but those who live and work 
near here to understand all the suff'ering which the 
Whitechapel and Aldgate slaughter-houses entail. To 
reach these houses the cattle have to b^ dm^iv ^.\a\s.%^ 


Street crowded with trams, omnibuses, and general traffic. 
The drivers are almost of necessity cruel, as they hasten 
the brutes through such a thoroughfare ; the animals, 
excited by shouts and blows, frequently make frantic 
rushes, and endanger the lives of the foot-passengers. 
From these slaughter-houses, too, the blood flows across 
the pavement, and there arises a close smell which seems 
to thicken the air and make breathing a pain. . . . We 
know that life here is not vigorous ; the air has no re- 
freshing power ; and we are well able to understand why 
so many resort to drink. Dr. Liddle, our medical officer, 
has spoken and written strongly on the harm done to the 
health of our neighbourhood by means of these houses. 
The medical officers of the Health Association have, I 
think, agreed unanimously on the injurious effect of the 
trade. Those who crowd our courts, the passers through 
our streets, the little children who see the cruelty, the 
cattle who suffer, all want a voice to tell their needs. 
It is out of my power to do more than ask your help. 
By your means the House of Lords may learn the mean- 
ing of an Act which establishes slaughter-houses in the 
City. I trust we may not have a law directly injurious 
to health passed by a Government whose motto is sanitas 

Mr. Brooke Lambert, late Vicar of St. Mark's, White- 
chapel, followed up the preceding letter with these cor- 
roborative statements : — 

* If any one wishes to know whether the nuisance be 
real, let him turn out of the Whitechapel Road at the 
entrance to the London and North- Western goods sta- 
tion, and pass down the streets leading thence to Man- 
sell Street He will then know what the smell of blood 
is. And yet he will probably often boldly encounter the 
sm^]] of blood in preference to the worse sights he will 


risk in Whitechapel Road. The carts laden with fresh 
skins, the pails full of blood and brains, are sights to 
which a long experience does not harden one.' 

Another correspondent, with a dash of keener insight 
than the others seem to possess, writes : — 

* I am quite convinced that all these disgusting sights 
and sounds, from which no care can secure our poor 
children, are inseparable from the thing itself,* 

With this last expression of opinion all logically- 
minded persons must concur. In whatever locality the 
slaughter-house may be erected, there the noxious odours, 
the revolting cruelty, the degrading sights, the unwhole- 
some atmosphere, the pathetic cries, the perpetual blood- 
shed, and all the attendant accumulation of sickening 
horrors will inevitably abound. Nor have men of culture 
and education any right to raise an outcry against the 
conduct of a trade while daily sustaining themselves on 
its produce. Picture the writer of any one of the fore- 
going protests, after having despatched his letter to the 
* Times ' office, sitting down complacently to enjoy his 
slice of sirloin or of saddle of mutton ! 

And here we come face to face with a momentous 
question, supremely interesting from the point of view of 
human rights. 

Is it morally lawful for cultivated and refined per- 
sons to impose upon a whole class of the population a 
disgusting, brutalising, and unwholesome occupation, 
which is scientifically and experimentally demonstrable 
to be not merely entirely needless, but absolutely inimical 
to the best interests of the human race ? 

Butchers are the Pariahs of the western world ; the 
very name itself of their trade has become a synonym for 
barbarity, and is used as a term of reproach in speaking 
of persons notorious for brutality, coarsen^ss^ ot lo\^  


cultivation of fruit-trees that prevails. The towns of 
Salut-land might be called, as ancient Norwich once 
was called, the towns or cities of orchards. Throughout 
all the country the land is under cultivation of the most 
perfect kind for cereal produce and fruit and vegetables. 
... A man, woman, or child who for wanton pleasure 
should hunt down or torture one of the inferior creatures 
would be cast out of society, while the idea of having 
dumb animals killed and hung up in open shops to 
bleed and be quartered and cooked for human beings 
to live on, would be treated with disgust.' 

And a * Parish Parson,' in a letter which appeared in 
a serial publication for February 1881, siuns up the 
butcher and slaughter-house question very fairly and con- 
cisely in these words : — 

* The moral considerations press us on two sides with 
irresistible force. The aggregate of animal suffering in 
the cause of the table is simply appalling, and there is 
nothing for it but to shut our eyes and ears. The life 
of an ox from the pasture to the butcher's shop will npt 
bear telling. One night on a cattle-steamer would be 
enough for most of us. The table . . . brutalises and 
degrades a multitude of men whom society employs and 
shuns. ... To the craftsman, the tiller, the market- 
dealer any intelligence and virtue is possible. One 
might live in a worse place than Covent Garden, and 
the booksellers do not seem out of place there, nor chil- 
dren in the way of much moral hurt. But the " meat 
market 1 " And so all our ideas of life and its dignity 
and significance suffer, and our relations to the animals 
keep, and must keep, a depressed level. Of course, if 
all this is inevitable, it »is. If all this suffering and de- 
praving are essential to health and happiness, they must 
go on. But of this creed believers dwindle and sceptics 


multiply. The "good dinner" seems likely to be at last 
the "scientific frontier" of the question, and when it 
comes to that it will be the beginning of the end/ 

And now let us quit this subject, so briefly glanced at, 
of the indirect evils of kreophagy, to examine some of 
those direct deplorable effects of the custom, which pre- 
sent themselves under the form of various diseases and 
cachectic bodily conditions. 

These, in the first place, are due to a bad condition 
of the flesh-tissue consumed. Now flesh may be ren- 
dered bad, and dangerous to the eater, (i) by the exist- 
ence in it of parasitic disease ; (2) by other diseases having 
during life affected the animal from which it is taken ; 
(3) ^y poisons ingested by the animal during life ; (4) by 
decomposition of the flesh after death. 

Flesh infested by parasites infects the eater of it 
almost invariably. The cysticercus celluiosce of the pig 
constitutes perhaps the commonest example of this kind 
of infection. It appears to be very widespread among 
Irish swine, for, according to Professor Gamgee,* from 
three to five per cent, of these animals are found to be 
infected with this particular malady. The cysticercus 
of the bullock and calf is smaller than that of the pig, 
and more difficult to discern. Flesh thus affected can- 
not be rendered safe food by any process of salting or 
smoking; and even the temperature of boiling water, 
although it kills the parasite, is only effective when every 
particle of the tissue throughout its entire thickness has 
been submitted to an equal heat. In the digestive 
organs of the man who has the misfortune to eat meat 
thus infected, the cysticerci develop into the large tape- 
like intestinal worms known as taenia. The cysticercus 

1 Fifth Report of the Medical Officer to t\v& Pt\N'^ Cwsm;^» 


of the pig produces the tcenia solium ; that of the ox and 
the calf the tcenia medio-canellata. 

Yet another form of parasitic disease, known as 
trichina spiralis^ exists in butcher's meat, and is more 
common in pork than in the flesh of other animals. 
This terrible malady was in 1863 the cause of a disas- 
trous event in Helstadt, Prussia. A hundred and three 
persons, having at one meal partaken of a dish of sausages 
made of infected pork, were attacked with trichinosis, 
and more than twenty of the sufferers died within a 
month. Trichinosis is not uncommon in countries where 
pork is largely eaten, especially where it is eaten salted 
or smoked. To destroy trichinae a temperature of at 
least 212° (Fah.) is needed, and this heat, of course, must 
penetrate every atom of the flesh-fibre. The manifesta- 
tions of the disease are at first similar to those of t)^hoid 
fever ; subsequently atrocious pains make themselves 
felt in every muscle of the body ; the patient lies moaning 
constantly and unable to extend the limbs on account of 
the agony caused by the least movement ; and death 
occurs in the midst of symptoms resembling those of 
cholera, or of pneumonia or some other inflammatory 
disorder. No case is known of a radical cure, for, even 
if the unfortunate sufferer escape death, the parasites 
encyst themselves, and thus remain indefinitely ijnprisoned 
in calcareous envelopes in the muscular tissue. 

Besides parasitical diseases, cattle may be affected 
by acute malignant diseases, such as rinderpest, pleuro- 
pneumonia, anthrax, and simpler inflammatory disorders. 
Professor Gamgee's statistics in the report already cited 
show that a fifth of the total quantity of flesh-meat con- 
sumed is derived from animals killed in a state of 
disease, malignant or chronic. 

It has been affirmed that little danger attends the 


ingestion of the flesh of such diseased beasts, but a re- 
markable case adduced by Mr. Simon in the report to the 
Privy Council proves this assertion to be ill-founded. A 
heifer on a farm in Aberdeenshire, being somewhat out 
of health, was slaughtered by a ploughman and a black- 
smith. Part of the animal's flesh was cooked next day 
for the dinner of the family, consisting of eleven persons. 
Nine of these partook of the meat, and were all soon 
seized with such alarming symptoms of poisoning that a 
medical man was at once called in. Two of the patients 
died. A few days later both the ploughman and the 
blacksmith were admitted to the Aberdeen Royal In- 
firmary, suffiering from phlegmonous erysipelas of the 
arm. The offal of the slaughtered heifer had been cast 
on a dung-heap, to which two swine had access. They 
ate freely of it, and both were seized with sickness and 

A similar case occurred in January 1878, and was 
the subject of a coroner's inquiry in West Kent On 
the 31st of that month a bullock belonging to a farmer 
at Addington was observed lying down, apparently ill, in 
its stall. The animal's throat was cut immediately, and 
a butcher named Bell, assisted by another man, dressed 
the carcase. Some days afterwards Bell complained of 
pain in his right arm, which was considerably swollen, 
and Dr. Booth, of Beckenham, pronounced the symp- 
toms to be those of blood poisoning. Bell gradually 
became worse, and died on February 12. It appeared 
that at the time of dressing the carcase Bell had two 
slight scratches, one on the hand, the other on the arm. 
It was supposed that the bullock had been suffering from 
cattle disease, and that the abrasions of his skin had 
allowed some of the animal's vitiated blood to enter his 
system. The bailiff" whp cut the bullock's throaty and in 



doing so got some of its blood sprinkled over him, was 
attacked about the same time as Bell with similar symp- 
toms, but in his case medical treatment proved success- 
ful. The man who had assisted Bell in flaying the car- 
case was also affected with pain and indisposition. About 
a week afterwards, a pig which had been in the farm- 
yard was found dead, and it is thought it may have been 
killed by eating the offal or blood of the dead bullock. Mr. 
Hill, the owner of the animal, and his bailiff denied that pre- 
viously to the bullock's death there had been any indi- 
cation whatever of disease among the cattle on the farm.^ 

Sir Robert Christison, M.D., asserts positively that the 
flesh and secretions (milk included) of animals affected 
with carbuncular disease analogous to anthrax, are so 
poisonous that those alike who handle and who partake 
of them are apt to suffer severely, the disease taking the 
form either of inflammation of the digestive canal, or of 
an eruption of one or more large carbuncles. Dr. Living- 
stone also, in his * Missionary Travels and Researches in 
South Africa,' speaks of malignant carbuncle — anthrax — 
occurring as a result of eating the flesh of diseased 

In the spring of 1841, four members of a family, after 
having partaken of a sheep affected with an ordinary 
cattle disorder, were attacked with symptoms of severe 
irritant poisoning, and one of them died in less than three 
hours. A labourer at Horsham and two of his children 
died in June 1844 from eating flesh similarly vitiated. 
During the month of April 1879, a Zurich tribunal was 
occupied for three days with a case in which a butcher 
and an innkeeper were charged with the sale of veal from 
calves suffering with typhus. The meat was consumed by 
the members of a choral society, six of whom died, while 

1 Daily Telegraph. 


six hundred and forty-three suffered more or less 

Dr. A. Carpenter, speaking before the Sanitary Con- 
gress already mentioned, said that he had heard an agent 
of the police, Inspector of the Metropolitan Meat Market, 
assert upon oath, that eigl^ty per cent, of the flesh meat 
sent to the London market is affected with tubercular 
disease ; and he added that to exclude such meat from 
the trade would leave the public without a meat supply ! 

Again, ruminants, and still more often rabbits and 
hares, may during life consume some vegetable or other 
substance of a poisonous nature, and their flesh may thus 
be rendered dangerous as food for man. It is worthy of 
remark that certain animals may themselves eat with im- 
punity herbs or fruits, and yet after death set up symptoms 
of poisoning of a violent character in the human consumer 
of their flesh. In the * Edinburgh Medical and Surgical 
Journal* (July 1844) it is observed, that *in America 
there are certain regions extending for many miles in 
length and breadth, on the herbage of which, if an ani- 
mal feeds, its milk and flesh acquire poisonous properties, 
yet itself enjoying tolerable health.' The flesh of rodents 
fed upon belladonna, or rhododendron chrysanthemum, 
which these animals eat without injury to themselves, is 
undoubtedly dangerous to the life of the consumer. 

We come next to the disastrous effects produced by 
the ingestion of flesh-meat in a tainted or partly decom- 
posed condition ; effects which are frequently observed 
and therefore well-known. Their symptomatology is that 
of gastro-enteritis (inflammation of the stomach and in- 
testine), often accompanied by fever and sometimes very 
severe. * Death not infrequently terminates these cases. 
In the brief space of d^ fortnight, occurring in the month 

I Cbristison, 



of October 1879, the quantity of putrefied butcher's meat 
seized by the police in the London Central Meat Market 
amounted to seven and a half tons, besides three tons of 
hams, bacon, and tongues also declared * unfit for human 
food.' * If this be the state of affairs in one particuUr 
market, the quantity of putrid flesh which finds its way 
into the hands of consumers in places where no such 
strict supervision is maintained, must,' says the * Edin- 
burgh Evening News,' * be something enormous.' Statis- 
tics on this subject are common in all the daily papers, 
and it is not worth while to crowd these pages by repro- 
ducing them. 

Animal-meat may thus directly engender many pain- 
ful, loathsome, and fatal disorders. Nor is it less demon- 
strable that it is also in a less direct manner, the origin of 
a vast number of maladies and pathological diatheses. 
Scrofula itself, that fecund source of suffering, deformity, 
and death, not improbably owes its origin to kreophagite 
habits. It is curious that the root of the word scrofula is 
scrofa—di sow. To say that a person is scrofulous is then 
to say that he has the swings evil. We know how com- 
mon is the use of pork among all classes of our popula- 
tion, and especially among the poor. Bacon, sausages, 
and lard are components of almost every meal of the 
lower and middle classes, both in town and coimtry.^ 

Of all the ultimate manifestations of the strumous or 
scrofulous diathesis — of which almost everybody in our 
part of the world bears traces in some form — tubercidar 
phthisis is at once the commonest and the deadliest. Dr. 
Buchan observes that this malady, so prevalent in Eng- 
land, appears to be due to the excessive use of animal 

1 The Jews, according to Dr. Richardson, appear to enjoy remark- 
ably fine and regular health ; the duration of life among them exceeds 
by a fourth or fifth that of every E-utopean h^lUoil. 


food, and advises that * when there is a tendency to con- 
sumption in the young, it should be counteracted by 
strictly adhering to a diet of the farinacea and ripe fruits. 
Animal food and fermented liquors ought to be rigidly 
prohibited.' This opinion coincides exactly with that of 
Dr. Lamb, who expresses his own views in almost identical 
terms. Drs. Bannister (United States) and Pemberton 
are also partisans of the treatment of scrofula, and all 
strumous manifestations, by a diet of milk, farinacea, and 
strict exclusion of all flesh-foods. The following case is 
recorded by Dr. Knight, of Truro : — 

*Two years ago I was applied to by Mrs. A 

affected with scrofulous ulceration of the left breast. The 
ulcer was then the size of a half-dollar, and discharging a 
considerable quantity of imperfect pus. The axillary 
glands were much enlarged, and, doubting the practic- 
ability of operating with the knife in such cases, I told her 
the danger of her complaint, and ordered her to subsist 
upon bread and milk and fruit, to drink water, and keep the 
body of as uniform a temperature as possible. I ordered 
the sore to be kept clean by ablutions of tepid water. In 
less than three months the ulcer was healed, and her 
general health much improved. The axillary glands are 
still enlarged, though less so than formerly ; she still lives 
simply and enjoys good health, but tells me that if she 
takes flesh-meat, it produces " twinging " in the old sore.' 
In the * Lancet' for May 14, 1842, is recorded the fol- 
lowing case of complete cure of severe strumous ulcera- 
tion in a child three years of age, by Mr. Rowbotham of 
Stockport : — ' The little son of Mr. Fielding of that town 
had been ill eighteen months. He was covered from 
head to foot with ulcers ; his eyes, nose, ears, mouth, 
and, in fact, his whole head and face, were involved in 
one complete mass of fetid running sores and ulcers \ and 


the lower part of his body was in a similar condition, so> 
that the thighs seemed almost separating from the body^ 
For more than twelve months the boy had been quite 
blind ; and had never been able to sit down, eVen on a 
pillow, but stood, and leaned with his elbow on his nurse, 
except at times when he was able to kneel on a pillow ; 
he had scarcely been able to lie in bed for the same 
period. Eight of the most eminent medical men had 
declared the case hopeless, and some thought that it was 
not even capable of amelioration. " From certain views 
which I held on the origin of disease," says Mr. Row- 
botham, " I was induced to recommend a diet consist- 
ing almost entirely of ripe fruits, and honey, sugar, or 
treacle. The child commenced this diet on September 
13, 1 841 ; he had stewed fruits, mixed with sugar or 
honey, at all his meals, and was allowed frequently to eat 
grapes, cherries, plums, apples, pears, and such other fruits 
as could be obtained. On the i6th, the sores on his 
back were beginning to heal ; on the 23rd he was sen- 
sibly improved ; on the 30th one half of his face was clear ; 
the lower parts of his body were much better, and he 
could sit in a chair and lie comfortably in bed. He con- 
tinued daily to improve, till at last his eyes opened, but 
they were at first very weak, and he could scarcely see 
anything; his sight however, gradually improved. On 
January i, 1842, not a single ulcer remained on his body; 
the skin became remarkably clear and fair ; and the fea- 
tures — which, for twelve months, had been in such a state 
that it was impossible to do more than guess at the posi- 
tion of the nose and eyes — were restored to their wonted 
appearance." ' ^ 

1 Dr. Abernethy, the celebrated Scotch surgeon of the last centiny, 

gSLWc it as his opinion that all * animal substances become changed in 

the economy into a putrid, abomma\Ae, ai^d acTv^L ^WxavaJwa.' "VN\«thfir 


Dr. Pavy ^ thinks that a regimen rich in carbo- 
hydrates would be the most suitable in cases of tuber- 
cular diathesis, and observes that the want of these 
substances is probably a main cause of the development 
of tubercle. Now, we know that the carbo-hydrates are 
contained solely in the products of the vegetable kingdom, 
and particularly in fruits. With regard to the action of 
hydro-carbons (fatty bodies) in scrofula, Dr. Pavy inclines 
to look on them as absolutely indispensable. Since 
experience shows the beneficial eflfects of these sub- 
stances, systematically .employed, in scrofulous and 
tubercular diathesis, it is only reasonable to infer, says 
Dr. Pavy, that a measure which proves efficacious in 
removing an unhealthy condition would also tend to 
prevent its development. Notwithstanding the plain 
inference of such wise observation, we see daily in our 
hospitals, and often in private practice, tuberculous 
patients undergoing a disgusting and unwholesome 
* treatment' by r^w meat^ on the pretext that this sub- 
stance is more easily and rapidly assimilated than any 
other kind of food. It is true that this is the case ; but 
what is the reason and what the effect of this rapid 
assimilation ? 

The reason is that the dissolution of flesh takes place 
wholly in the stomach, and consequently its digestion is 
soon accomplished ; the effect is the production of that 

this view be scientifically correct or not, it is incontestable that excre- 
ments resulting from the ordinary mixed diet have a highly offensive 
fcetor which, in the case of a purely vegetable alimentation, becomes a 
hardly perceptible odour. It may be added that the strength of this 
effluvium increases with the amount of animal food ingested. The 
same remark, other things being equal, applies to the breath. How 
often have I immediately diagnosed a great eater of flesh by no other 
sign than the odour of the exhalation of his lungs ! 
1 Treatise on Food, 




condition * of general excitation peculiar to diffusible 
stimulants, to which attention has already been called in 
these pages — an excitation whose ultimate result can 
only be to precipitate the manifestation of the hectic 
fever which is the chief characteristic of tuberculous 
cachexia, and which the physician ought, on the con- 
trary, to combat as determinedly and as long as possible.* 
Besides, in such cases, as Dr. Pavy well remarks, a 
highly nitrogenised alimentation, once assimilated and 
passed into the organism, becomes even more injurious 
from another point of view. It gives rise, in fact, as we 
shall presently see, to the formation of products which 
require for their elimination a very considerable amount 
of labour on the part of the kidneys — labour which ought, 
in cases of inflammatory disease, to be avoided. The 
carbo-hydrates and the fatty substances, on the contrary, 
impose no work on these organs ; the products of their 
utilisation, consisting of water and carbonic acid, leave 
the organism by other channels. The now well-known 
experiments of Lehmann on himself, and of Messrs. 
Lawes and Gilbert upon cattle, show that the proportion 
of urea in the urine is in direct ratio to the quantity of 
nitrogenised food consumed. 

While subsisting on an exclusively animal diet, 
Lehmann eliminated in twenty-four hours 53*2 grammes 
(820 grains) of urea ; on an exclusively vegetable diet, 
2 2 '5 grammes (347 grains) of urea were eliminated; on 
a mixed diet, 32*5 grammes (501 grains); and, finally, 
upon a diet composed solely of non-nitrogenous sub- 

1 Dr. Austin Flint {Experiments and Reflections upon Animal Heat) 

thinks that if the excessive heat of fever be partly due to excessive oxy- 

dation of hydrogen, the exhaustion and loss of substance thus caused 

might be moderated by the ingestion of hydrogen under the form of 

fatty, starchy, and sugary matters. 


Stances — hydro-carbons and starchy matter — only 15-4 
grammes (237 grains) of urea were eliminated in tiiie 
twenty-four hours. These figures are calculated upon 
an average of twelve observations in each case. Leh- 
mann affirms that five-sixths of the nitrogen contained in 
ingested aliments pass into the urine under the form of 
urea. For instance, having absorbed 30*16 grammes of 
nitrogen a day, 25 grammes of it were excreted in urea 
during the twenty-four hours. According to these data 
it follows that ingested nitrogenous matter must undergo 
in the economy certain metamorphoses of which urea 
represents the ultimate result. That these metamor- 
phoses take place with great rapidity is demonstrated not 
only by Lehmann's experience, but by analogous experi- 
ments conducted by Dr. Parkes upon two soldiers. 
Lehmann asserts further, that animal food raises the pro- 
portion of fibrine contained in the blood, and we know 
that during inflammatory processes this element exists in 
it to a large extent, especially in acute rheumatism and 
pneumonia, ten parts of fibrine per thousand having been 
found in the blood in cases of the former, and six or 
nine per thousand in cases of the latter malady — the 
normal proportion being three per thousand parts. And 
whenever, in the course of a disorder of another nature, 
an inflammatory process is set up in any organ, the same 
phenomenon is observable.* 

It may perhaps be objected that as the residue of a 
hydro-carbonaceous and carbo-hydraceous alimentation 
(the ultimate action of the last being identically the same 
as that of the fatty substances) is eliminated chiefly by 
the skin, such a dietary might, by increasing the patho- 
logical sweats, prove injurious in phthisical cases. Let 
it be observed in reply that these sweatings are really due 

* Andral and Gavarrel, 


to the ingestion, not of hydro-carbons, but of nitrogenised 
matter, for these last, by the rapidity with which their 
assimilation is accomplished, and by the stimulating 
action they set up, kindle and accelerate feverish action, 
and that the febrile access ceases as soon as the sweats 
appear, for by their agency Nature relieves herself of the 
toxic element It is then by the skin that the fever is 
eliminated, and a sweat not provoked by feverish process 
cannot be dangerous to the consumptive patient, but 
might rather, for rationale and mode of action, though 
in a far milder degree, be compared to the Turkish 
bath, to the beneficial effect of which in cases of tuber- 
cular diathesis frequent testimony has been borne. 

These facts explain also why the ordinary mixed 
food is less suitable than a i4iilk and vegetable diet to the 
treatment of chronic nephritis. 

In the case of a mixed alimentation the greater por- 
tion of the solid matter contained in the urine is com- 
posed of the nitrogenised products of the flesh-substances 
ingested. Now, when any particular organ of the body 
is ailing, it appears reasonable to diminish as much as 
possible the amount of work imposed on it, and, adopt- 
ing this view, we may hope, by the use of a vegetable 
regimen, avoiding of course all such strongly protein- 
aceous food as beans, lentils, etc., to succeed in formu- 
lating a wise dietary treatment of Bright's disease. 
Semola, a physician of Naples, proscribes in this malady 
all nitrogenous aliments, and advises an exclusively fecu- 
lent regimen.* Besides, and from another point of view, 
bearing in mind the relation between certain alimentary 
compounds and the production of urea, we ought also in 
Bright's disease to guard against the ingestion of nitro- 
genous and quickly assimilable substances, which, by 

^ Dr. Rendu's Etudes des Nephrites CAroniques, i88o. 


giving rise to copious and rapid formation of urea, may 
hasten the manifestation of uraemia. 

There is yet another diathesis, the most appropriate 
and complete treatment of which consists in the prohi- 
bition of all flesh-meats. I speak of gouty diathesis. 
One of the effects of animal alimentation is to provoke 
a condition of acidity of the urine, while the use of vege- 
table diet renders it alkaline. The ordinary reaction 
of human urine is acid, and it is customary to call this 
the normal reaction, because it is that which is met with 
almost exclusively among populations nourished on a 
mixed diet. But the reaction becomes neutral or alka- 
line when the use of animal food is abandoned, and with 
the acidity disappear also the concretions, which, in 
accumulating, constitute lithiasis.^ The quality of the 
ingesta has then an enormous influence on the produc- 
tion of gravel ; and we know that uric acid, the presence 
of which in excess constitutes the essential character of 
uric lithiasis and of gout, results from the imperfect 
combustion of nitrogenous matters, for these, being in- 
completely oxydised, form uric acid instead of the urea 
which would be normally produced We must then 
expect to find in persons addicted to the ingestion of 
large quantities of animal food, an excess of uric acid, 
and consequently a tendency to gout, calculi, and ne- 
phretic colic. In order, therefore, to escape the develop- 
ment of these disorders, so often hereditary, as well as to 
treat them when already manifested, a vegetable diet is 
distinctly indicated.^ 

1 Claude Bernard's experiments on himself. 

' Dr. Prout goes still further ; he likens the lithiac diathesis to that 
of scrofula, and alleges that both are the expression of the presence in 
excess, or of the lack of power to assimilate, the nitrogenous element. 
According to him, gouty concretions are but a modification of phthisic 

G 2 


Dr. Craigie, in his * Elements of the Practice of 
Physic,' says : — * A diet consisting of bread and milk or 
rice and milk, or the flour of farinaceous seeds and 
milk, is quite adequate to prevent the formation of the 
gouty diathesis, and to extinguish that diathesis, if al- 
ready formed. Such diet is also adequate to prevent the 
disease from appearing in its irregular form, and aflfecting 
the brain and its membranes, or the heart and lungs. 
If further arguments were required in proof of the posi- 
tion that milk and grain diet (not in large quantity), or 
diet of boiled vegetables and milk, while both necessary 
and adequate to the cure of gout, is perfectly safe, and 
much less injurious than diet of animal food, they may 
be found in the facts observed in the physiological rela- 
tion between the stomach on the one hand and the lungs 
on the other.' 

Dr. CuUen entertains the same opinion ; and Dr. 
Cheyne informs us that the Prince of Condd was cured 
of obstinate gout by the adoption of a regimen excluding 
all forms of fish, flesh, and wine. 

According to Dr. Cullen, not only gout, but rheuma- 
tism^ should properly be treated by tlie same method, 
for he adds that the cure of this latter malady requires 
in the first place an antiphlogistic regimen, and particu- 
larly total abstinence fi-om animal food — a statement 
which seems reasonable enough when viewed in con- 
nection with the facts noted by Lehmann in regard to 
the increase in the quantity of fibrine in the blood under 
an animal regimen, for we have seen that this element 
tends to augment enormously in rheumatism. 

Diabetes mellitus is a disease in the treatment of 
which it has become classic to prescribe an almost exclu- 
sively flesh-meat diet, as being the only one which con- 
tains no carbo-hydrates. But it must be remembered 

Treatment of disease. ^^ 

that, whatever regimen may be adopted, the urine of the 
diabetic patient will continue to contain sugar — a fact 
which in itself suffices to prove that the presence of 
sugar in the urine is but a symptom of a disease having 
its cause in a morbid condition which probably existed 
a long time before its manifestation. In what then did 
this morbid condition consist ? Here is a problem which 
has never yet been satisfactorily solved. The origin of 
diabetes has been thought to be associated with a 
degenerescence, or an organic or functional alteration of 
the pneumogastric nerves ; and it appears from observa- 
tions made on diabetic patients that the first manifesta- 
tion of the disease is preceded by gastric phenomena 
indicating a pathological condition of the stomach, and 
default or alteration of its digestive secretion. Now, as 
we have seen, dyspepsia and gastritis constitute an 
indication for the suspension of a stimulative and highly 
nitrogenous diet ; and it is probable that the adoption of 
treatment directed on this principle in the early stage of 
the morbid condition, would suffice, particularly in cases 
not hereditary in origin, to prevent serious results, al- 
though it could not be hoped by such means to cure the 
disease in an advanced state. But when already sugar 
exists in large quantities in the urine, can a cure be ex- 
pected by means of the exclusive use of flesh-food? 
No ; whatever may be the course adopted, the patient 
will die of his complaint sooner or later. Diabetes, once 
passed into the cachectic stage, resembles all other 
cachectic conditions, and it is only in the initial stages 
of organic disease that science can really efficaciously 
interfere. To prevent the manifestation of the diathesis, 
or to arrest it before it becomes cachexia, these are the 
real functions of medicine. It is powerless to arrest a pro- 
cess of death already half accomigiV\s\v^^, ^>aX^'^ v:aS^^^ 


upon too late to treat the preliminary symptoms ; if our 
aid be sought when already the ingestion of farinaceous 
food and fruits would be injurious and even directly dan- 
gerous, ought we, from a purely medical point of view, 
to advise the use of lean flesh-meat, after the old classic 
example ? No again, for only recently ' a more excellent 
way ' has been provided by the researches and experience 
of Dr. Donkin, and by others who have followed his theory 
and practice. The diabetic patient dies of inanition \ 
he must therefore be nourished by some form of food 
which is able to resist the morbid action of the liver. 
This desideratum appears to have been found by Dr. 
Donkin, and it consists of skimmed milL He reports 
several cases of recovery obtained by means of its ex- 
clusive use, in a few of which the disease had already 
made no inconsiderable progress. Dr. Donkin demon- 
strates that fatty albuminous matters are always incapable 
of being assimilated in advanced diabetes, but that lac- 
tose and the caseine of milk deprived of its creamy part 
are not subject ta pathological alteration. Repeated ex- 
perience, he says, has convinced him by conclusive proof 
that the sugar, having, under a regimen of skimmed 
milk totally disappeared from the urine, will show itself 
afresh immediately after the ingestion of either flesh-meat 
or cream. The nutritive principles of skimmed milk are 
lactose and caseine. Caseine, itself a nitrogenised sub- 
stance, is much less apt to be converted into sugar than 
any other aliment of the same nature. Lactose never 
lends itself to the action of diabetes. Those who, with 
Dr. Davy, think that lactose must be injurious to diabetic 
patients, because it constitutes a form of sugar, are not 
aware of its real characteristics. The chemical proper- 
ties and physiological relations of lactose differ entirely 
from diabetic sugar, and from every other form of glu- 


cose. It does not undergo alcoholic fermentation; but 
its lactic fermentation takes place in the stomach in the 
presence of caseine. The amelioration of the health, the 
restoration of the forces, and the fact that the sugar dis- 
appears from the urine under Dr. Donkin's regimen, 
suffice to prove that the constituent elements of skimmed 
milk are well assimilated by diabetic patients. The 
painful symptoms and the weakness begin to pass away 
almost directly after the institution of the treatment ; and 
in ordinary cases the sugar disappears from the urine 
after about two weeks' observance of Dr. Donkin's regi- 
men ; and in more refractory cases, after about six weeks*. ^ 
Abstinence from flesh-food has also been found an 
extremely successful measure in dealing with the terrible 
complaint called epilepsy. Many theories have from time 
to time been suggested in explanation of the source and 
rationale of epileptic seizures, and of these the most se- 
ductive appears to be the recently formulated hypothesis 
of Dr. Hughlings-Jackson, who regards the attack as 
the result of nervous irritability suddenly exploded, so to 
speak, by an agency acting either from within or without the 
system, and, as by an instantaneous electric discharge, 
occasioning the cry, the fell, and accompanying charac- 
teristic phenomena of the disease. The fact that no 
lesion of other than accidental nature is found in the 
brains of epileptic patients, even when they have suc- 
cumbed in the midst of an attack, seems evidence that 
the disease is of a functional and not of an organic 
nature ; and experience has amply demonstrated that 
the nervous disturbance is liable to occur as the result of 
any exciting or stimulating action in the system. Re- 
gard for actual facts, as well as inductive reasoning, leads 

' "^ Onthe Relation between Diabetes and Food, and its application to 
the Treatment o/the Disease^ by Arthur ScoXX "DotCaixv, \^.\i.^ "^IV 


to the conviction that epilepsy, and its kindred disorders 
usually classed under the wide-reaching term * hysteria,' 
ought to be treated by an absolute privation of all stimu- 
lating foods and drinks, and a persistent dietary of the 
farinacea, milk, fruits, and the more easily digestible 
vegetables, avoiding those of the ' stringy ' or fibrous 

Dr. North (U.S.) relates the case of a brother phy- 
sician, who, being subject to severe attacks of epilepsy, 
adopted a regimen excluding all fish, flesh, ani fowl for 
two years and a half, and during that time remained free 
fi:om any attack. Dr. Hayward (U.S.) gives, in his 
lectures, the case of a young man who, suffering habitu- 
ally from severe epilepsy, was persuaded to try a vegetable 
diet, and was very shortly relieved of his malady. Some 
time afterwards he ate freely of flesh-meat at a convivial 
dinner, and was immediately thrown into a violent attack. 
A strict adherence to a mild diet again brought immunity 
fi:om seizures. 

Dr. Cheyne also records a remarkable cure of epilepsy 
in the case of Dr. Taylor, who was for a long time dread- 
fully afflicted with this complaint. He consulted all the 
most eminent of his medical confreres in and about 
London, but obtained no relief. At last it occurred to 
him to discontinue the use of all animal meats, and in 
the course of a year or two he was, by this regimen, 
completely cured of the disorder. 

Only last year the following interesting, observations 
on cases of the same complaint were published by Dr. 
George Lade : — 

'Miss A , aged twenty-three, had suffered for 

nearly two years from slight epileptic attacks, accom- 
panied by some uterine and hysterical symptoms, when 
she was brought to me for advice. The epileptic 


seizures occurred about once a week, sometimes oftener, 
mostly in the early part of the day. I prescribed such 
remedies as appeared to me to be indicated, and changed 
them from time to time as occasion, or as disappointment 
at their inaction, demanded ; but eighteen months' per- 
sistent pursuance of the treatment failed to effect any 
notable impression upon the features of the case. I 
then decided to abandon all medicines, and to try what 
a complete change of diet would do. I advised the 
patient to discontinue the use of fish and animal food, 
and to live entirely upon fruits and vegetables, with a 
moderate allowance of butter, eggs, and milk. For 
breakfast I suggested fruit, oatmeal porridge, bread and 
milk; for dinner, vegetables, fruit, brown bread, and 
farinaceous puddings ; for supper a similar fare to that 
of breakfast ; no beverage but water or milk-and-water. 
A very decided improvement was manifested in a few 
weeks, and went on steadily until the patient was con- 
sidered cured The dietetic treatment was adopted 
in October 1876, and at this date, November lo, 1877, 
I am assured that the patient has continued free from all 
epileptic symptoms for nearly five months. . . . Whether 
she continues to enjoy immunity from her late trouble, 
and still fiirther improve in her general health, remains 
to be seen ; but, be the result what it may, she declares 
she is fully resolved to adhere to the plain and unstimu- 
lating dietary, which she finds both agreeable and satis- 

* I lately placed a young man, suffering in a similar 
way, upon a vegetable diet, and six weeks afterwards I 
was informed that the attacks were less frequent.' 

Before quitting this part of our subject a few words 
should be said with regard to the disastrous influence 
exercised directly and indireclly \s^ \5w^ \is»^ ^S. '«s^cs?KiJs. 


food on all forms of disease of the liver. Nothing is 
commoner to witness than attacks of catarrhal icterus, 
or active liver congestion, in great meat-eaters ; and we 
know that catarrh of the biliary passages brings about 
hepatic colics by directly causing decomposition of the 
cholate of soda contained in the bile, and thereby pre- 
cipitating the cholesterine, which forms the greater part 
of the pathologic concretions known as gall-stones. The 
more or less grave affections of the liver, from which so 
many Europeans suffer in India, China, etc, are due 
quite as much to the stimulating and over-nitrogenised 
character of their diet, as to the influence of climate. 

It is necessary to allude only to the treatment of scurvy. 

Strabo is the first author who mentions this disease, 
which appears to have broken out for the first time in his 
knowledge during the Roman decadence — a fact in itself 
significative. The classic treatment in all cases of scor- 
butic manifestations, whether sporadic or epidemic, con- 
sists, as everybody knows, in the administration of firesh 
fruits and vegetables. 

It would be a never-ending task to cite all the in- 
stances at my command of various cases of cure or of 
amelioration of disease and morbid diatheses of all kinds 
by the use of a vegetable and milk regimen. Perhaps, in 
concluding this portion of my work it may be well to in- 
form my readers that I present in my own person a suffi- 
ciently striking example of the beneficial effects of the 
Pythagorean system of diet, to which, indeed, I doubt not 
that I owe my life, my health, and the vital force I con- 
tinue to enjoy. While occupied in a laborious six years* 
study of my profession at the £cole de Mtdedne of Paris, I 
overcame many obstacles and trials, physical and moral, 
rendered specially hard by the artificial disabilities of my 
sex, and. by a variety of personal circumstances. Indeed, 


the difficulties in my case were such as would, I believe, 
have proved insurmountable to most persons even of 
robust health and physique. I, moreover, am not only bur- 
dened with an hereditary tendency to phthisis, but have 
been actually treated for a somewhat severe manifestation 
of the disease, and am, besides, of an extremely sensi- 
tive and nervous temperament. That under all these 
adverse conditions I have been enabled to attain satis- 
factorily the end of my student's course, I owe probably in 
great part to the simple, pure, and unexciting diet which for 
a period of ten years I have uninterruptedly maintained. 

In the 'Univers lUustr^' of March 26, 1876, Dr. 
Decaisne, writing on the subject of Lenten abstinence, 
affirms that many maladies are attributable to the abuse 
of flesh-food, and to the deplorable habits of diet to 
which parents usually accustom their children. Quoting 
Pdre Debreyne, physician to La Grande-Trappe, he states 
that the regimen of the Trappist monks, erroneously be- 
lieved to be detrimental to health and longevity, is, on 
the contrary, most beneficial in its effects. During a 
period of twenty-seven years, he has not, in this com- 
munity, met with a single case of apoplexy, aneurism, 
dropsy, gout, gravel, or cancer. Cholera has never en- 
tered any house of the Order, even when the disease was 
making great ravages in the immediate vicinity of the 
monastery. It is notorious that no epidemic ever crosses 
the Trappist threshold. ... * Is not this calm and peace- 
ful life,' continues Dr. Decaisne, * a most striking con- 
demnation of our sensuality, of our intemperance, our 
disorders, and our passions, which destroy in us so often 
the very principles of life ? ' 

And the hygienist Fonssagrives, of Montpellier, writes 
as follows, on the same subject : — 

* Are not our peasants of Corr^zc and Bretagne, Py- 


thagoreans, of necessity, though not of conviction ? And 
is their health less robust than that of their town compa- 
triots, who, close by, gorge themselves with flesh-meat? 
... * I have studied the effects of this Pythagorean 
method of life upon the Trappists, and found them to 
enjoy good health and uncommon length of life.'* 

With regard to epidemic infection, innumerable sta- 
tistics exist to prove the immunity from such visitations 
enjoyed by habitual abstainers from flesh and its almost 
invariable accompaniment, fermented drink. Among 
many similar examples, we find the case of Dr. Rush, 
cited in the * Medical and Surgical Journal' of Edin- 
burgh. This gentleman, during a frightful epidemic of 
yellow fever in Philadelphia, preserved his health and 
energy unimpaired by confining himself to diet consisting 
of vegetables, grain, and milk, excluding animal flesh in 
every shape. 

Nothing is more remarkable, from this point of view, 
than the experience of the famous hygienist Sylvester 
Graham, who, during the New York visitation of cholera 
in the year 1832, persuaded a considerable number of the 
citizens — in direct opposition to general medical advice — 
to abstain rigorously from all flesh-meats and alcoholic 
drinks, and to restrict themselves entirely to a vegetable 
diet. * It is,' says Mr. Graham, * an important fact that 
of all who followed the prescribed regimen, not one fell a 
victim to the disease, and very few had the slightest 
symptoms of an attack.' 

Drs. Pollard, Rees, and Tappan, who also, during the 
same epidemic, prescribed a similar dietary for their 
clients, had the satisfaction to see all of them, without 
exception, preserve excellent health in the midst of the 
universal suffering and death which surrounded them.* 

^ Z?/c^. * SmVlYia FruiU and Farinac . 

Wheat « 


Oats . 

Peas . 

Beans . 

Indian com (maize) 

Rice . 




Yams . 


Beets . 




















If we suppose a third of the whole extent of land at 
our disposal consecrated to the production of the cereals, 
and of such leguminous plants as peas, beans, etc. ; a 
third to that of potatoes, beets, turnips (tubers and roots), 
and the remaining third to the culture of fruits, forests, and 

1 These are Middleton's statements. In England the estimate of 
Mr. Greg — ^less than one half the above — ^is probably more correct. 

* Good land, especially under spade husbandry, will produce a great 
deal more. 



pasturage for the rearing of oxen, cows, sheep, etc., whose 
labour, milk, and wool would be utilised, we should, under 
such conditions, be able to support, on the same area, a 
population many times greater than the present. 

There is a branch of farming which, in this country, 
does not receive half the attention it deserves. I refer to 
the cultivation of orchards and fruit-gardens. If the land 
in England were cultivated more like a garden, our popu- 
lation would be fully and profitably employed, and we 
should want but little emigration and foreign supplies. 
Many clay soils which are not remunerative under a com 
crop, would be useful to their owners, and valuable to 
the country, if planted with apple, pear, or plum trees. 
And, with regard to the cost of building pits and forcing- 
houses for the rearing of less hardy fruits — a proceeding 
which the exigencies of our climate would necessitate — 
the original outlay requisite on such structures and stock- 
ing would not exceed, if indeed it would equal, the siuns 
of money risked annually upon the purchase and breeding 
of cattle, constantly subject to all manner of epidemics 
and diseases. Moreover, it may not be generally known, 
that, on the plea of assisting food supply. Parliament has 
been pleased to help private individuals at the public ex; 
pense. In 1861 inspectors were appointed to aid in the 
promotion and extension of the Scotch salmon fisheries, 
and this aid, originally enacted for three years, has been 
aimually renewed to the fishery owners by successive 
Governments. Why should not Parliament be equally 
kind to fruit-growers and market-gardeners on the groimd 
of concern for the national food supply ? * In the face of 
the present agricultural depression,' says the * Nottingham 
Evening Post,' * farmers might very advantageously direct 
their attention to planting waste pieces of land with fruit 
trees. Though the return for money expenditure in that 


way is not immediate, it is sure, if the work is properly 
done. There is no doubt that were more public attention 
directed to this question, a great impetus would be given 
to the cultivation of fruit ; not only would there be more 
trees planted, but the extra yield would be more than 
proportionately increased, owing to improved methods of 
cultivation. The home food supply would be consider- 
ably greater, and the increase would be of that kind of 
food which has an especially beneficial effect on the 
human frame. The true wealth of our country would be 
augmented, and the condition of those engaged in the 
most wholesome and primary of English home industries 
would be improved. Local flower and horticultural shows 
do much towards the encouragement of horticulture and 
fruit culture, but they have a very different effect from that 
which would follow the appointment of a public inspector. 
He who competes at a show aims at yrodMCingJine fruit 
and vegetables, and it is for these that he has prizes 
offered him. No direct encouragement is thus offered to 
the occupier of waste plots of ground and hedge-rows to 
plant them with fruit trees. There would be a far better 
chance of such a desirable end being brought about if 
Government were to take the matter in hand. This is 
not a political matter, but an economical one. It is one 
which must in time receive more public attention ; and, 
in the meantime, those who believe with us will do well 
to exert themselves individually to promote the fruit- 
growing capacities of the country.' 

With regard to the utilisation of land lying waste and 
idle in and about towns or hamlets, it has been suggested 
that the * labour test ' might be applied in this direction 
with useful results, and that paupers, in return for the re- 
lief afforded them out of the public rates, might be em- 
ployed advantageously in many districts as dtairLets^tUks:^^ 



and agriculturists ; a measure which would not only lead 
to increase in the value of the wastes so utilised, but would 
conduce also in no small degree to sanitary improvement, 
by draining off stagnant pools, appropriating to purposes 
of manure innumerable rubbish heaps, rendering the 
general atmosphere purer, and ridding the country of 
some of its worst nuisances. 

We have seen, thus briefly, in what manner the eco- 
nomical question affects the country and the nation. Let 
us now inquire how it affects the Individual. 

According to Dr. Lyon Playfair, F.R.S., C.B., who for 
several years directed a series of official investigations on 
the subject of military rations in England, France, Prussia, 
and Austria, an adult man in good health requires daily 
four ounces of proteinaceous substances, and at least ten 
and a half ounces daily of dynamic substances (hydro- 
carbons and carbo-hydrates). In order to obtain this 
proportion of proteinaceous matter it would be necessary 
to consume weekly- 

Price (about) 

147 ounces 

of butcher's meat . 

. 6 I 

or 93 ,, 


• 3 

orZA^ „ 

ordinary white bread . 

. 2 8 


oatmeal . 

. I 4 

or\2*] „ 

dried peas 

. I 2 

In order to obtain the necessaiy proportion of dyna- 
mic or caloric-forming substance, it would be necessary to 
consume weekly — 

416 ounces of butcher's meat 
or 224 ,, cheese 
or 298 ,, ordinary bread 
or 616 ,, potatoes . 
or 221 ,, dried peas 
^r j8j .. oatmeal 


Price (about) 
J. d, 

. 17 4 

. 7 o 

. 2 3 

. 2 9 

. I 10 

. \ 



It will be seen, according to these tables, that the same 
elements of nutrition are furnished by bread, cheese, oat- 
meal, and peas at a price invariably less than half that of 
butcher's meat, and that, if the cheese be excepted, the 
difference of cost is much more remarkable. 

Dr. Edward Smith, F.R.S., who, in 1864, under the 
direction of the Government, conducted certain inquiries 
into the kind and quantity of food in use among the 
poor classes, showed that at the same price — taking a 
penny as imit— a man may have — 



Oatmeal . 










Grains of Carbon 

Grains of 

























We have then in favour of a vegetable dietary a 
quadruple economy. 

In a paper read before the Manchester Statistical 
Society, by Mr. W. Hoyle, the waste caused by the pre- 
vailing dietetic habits of the population was thus epito- 
mised : — 

* There is not only much loss and waste by defective 
agriculture and by waste of sewage, but also by an inju- 
dicious use of food. ... It is proved that a shilling's 
worth of flour or oatmeal, as well as fruit and other vege- 
table goods, will give as muclaiio>\TO\vicv'e^\.^^^^'^K^^ 


lings* worth of flesh ; . . . and if we assume that, on 
the average, the six million families of the United King- 
dom reduced their consumption of animal food by only 
one pound a week, it would give a saving of ten or 
twelve million pounds sterling per annum.* 

Elsewhere the same statistician observes that it is 
possible to buy in vegetable food five times the quantity 
of nutritive matter obtainable for the same price in 
animal food, and that the sum necessary to support yearly 
a single person living on the ordinary mixed fare would 
suffice to sustain at least three or four vegetarians. 

The average results of all these calculations, which it 
would be easy but useless to multiply by further references, 
and the examination of the comparative value of animal 
and vegetable products, whether wholesale or retail, may 
be thus resumed : — 

I. A given area of ground, consecrated to the culture 
of corn, vegetables, and fruit, and to pasturage sufficient 
to meet the needs of a non-flesh-eating people, would yield 
provision capable of sustaining a population about six 
times greater than the same area as at present dis- 

a. A vegetable dietary, to which even cheese, butter, 
and milk are added, costs per head three or four times 
less tlian a mixed dietary of flesh and vegetables. 

Hence the economy of iandy the economy of expense^ 
and consequently both national and private wealth and 
prosperity would be enormously increased by a return 
to the dietetic habits indicated as natural to man by his 
physical structure and by his moral instincts. And in- 
deed we feel it impossible to insist too strongly on the 
value and importance of these economical considerations 
when we reflect on the misery and suffering which 
exist everywhere, especially in great cities. The extent 


and grossness of the ignorance of the poor on the sub- 
ject of the physiological relation and chemical value 
of foods cannot be gauged ; it is equalled only by their 
general obstinacy and unwillingness to be instructed on 
the subject. Yet there lies before them a Way to Para- 
dise, simple enough and straight enough for all to take — 
a way by following which the poor might all attain health, 
happiness, ease, and the comfort of rearing children 
without dread of famine, vice, or slavery. 

If it be asked, * What then is to become of all the 
animals? Shall we not be overrun by them?' the 
answer to such questions is not far to seek. Cease to 
breed beasts for purposes of food. Nature will know how 
to right herself and recover the equilibrium which man 
has violated. The breeding of cattle and game is far in 
excess of nature. These creatures are multiplied inten- 
tionally by human intervention, by selection, by importa- 
tion, and by all imaginable contrivances. It must, how- 
ever, be borne in mind that, with the increase of cul- 
ture and tillage which is advocated by the reformed 
system, a large number of oxen would be required to 
aid in agricultural labour — ^their ancient and legitimate 
service. As for rabbits, hares, and feathered game, 
everyone knows that these animals are maintained in 
excessive numbers for purposes of ' sport.' * That, for 
the time being, artificial habits have disturbed the just 
balance of nature is proved by the fact that those crea- 
tures which are not used for food by man do not increase 
to any appreciable, still less to any injurious, extent. 
Do we risk being devoured or overrun by badgers, 
beavers, squirrels, hedgehogs, donkeys, horses? Or of 

I Not long ago rabbits were reported to have become so scarce in 
Denmark that an agent of that country was commissioned to import 
$0,000 of these animals from France to recruit the Danish warrens. 


being pecked out of house and home by robins, star- 
lings, or goldfinches ? Have we not even great difficulty 
in obtaining horses and other beasts of burden at reason- 
able prices, although these creatures are never killed for 
food, save by a few eccentrics in Paris? Nature indeed, 
unless man wilfully disarrange her laws, so regulates the 
mutual relation of things as to prevent the undue multi- 
plication of any one kind of animal 

Again, it is in the last degree improbable that the 
conversion of the world from its present habits to a purer 
system will be other than very gradual. Therefore those 
creatures which are now artificially increased will have 
ample time to decrease gradually in number as the de- 
mand for their flesh gradually lessens. Most of these 
animals, too, let us recollect, are not indigenous to our 
climate, but have been at a remote period imported 
from distant parts of the globe ; the ox probably from 
Oriental countries, the sheep from Africa. Among our 
captive descendants of the wild kine there have been 
so many changes wrought by the hand of man as strangely 
to modify nature. Those enfeebled, indolent, sad-faced 
animals which we see in our fields and streets are a de- 
generate race, shaped by art and propagated merely to 
pamper vicious appetites. Stand awhile in any pasture 
and observe the sheep. He is a mere mass of flesh, 
supported on four small straight legs, ill-fitted for carry- 
ing such a burden. His movements are awkward and 
slothful, he is easily fatigued, and frequently sinks under 
the weight of his own corpulence. And in proportion to 
the degree of the transformation to which human device 
has subjected him and his ancestry, the creature becomes 
more helpless, inert, and stupid. Oxen and sheep which 
batten upon very fertile lands become fat and feeble to 
an extraordinary degree, those tla2L\.\3tck Vorcv^^ci^ai^ \\sa 


dullest and heaviest, while those whose fleeces are longest 
and finest are most subject to disease. 

In short, whatever changes have been wrought in 
these doomed and unfortunate brutes by man, are en- 
tirely calculated to bring them under the same curse of 
disease and degradation as that which man has brought 
upon himself. For the truth is, as has been said by the 
poet Shelley, himself one of the apostles of our doctrine — 

* Man, and the other animals whom he has depraved 
by his dominion, are alone diseased. Wild creatures are 
exempt fi'om malady, and die either by accident or from 
mature old age. But the domestic hog, sheep, cow, and 
dog are subject to an incredible variety of distempers, 
and, like the corruptors of their nature, have physicians 
who thrive upon their miseries. The supereminence of 
man is the supereminence of pain.' 

But, while on questions of economy, distribution, and 
commerce, it is proper to say a word on some other 
points which occur in connection with the traffic in and 
consumption of flesh, the chief of which concern the in- 
terests of the leather and fur trades, the use of animal 
manure, and the practices of * sport ' and trapping. 

With regard to the first two considerations, we may 
safely rely on the time-proven axiom of commerce, that 
demand creates supply. If, for instance, any large section 
of the public should insist on having vegetable leather, 
the article before long would be plentiful in the market, 
and improvements in its manufacture would continuously 
be announced. That already, even in the absence of 
any great demand, it is in the market, is evident fi-om the 
following, taken from the 'Leather Merchants' Almanac ' 

' Under the title of " Improvements in the Manufac- 
ture ot Vegetable Leather" a paXexvX. \v^^ \^c^\^\i^^?jw 


obtained in this country for an invention which promises 
to utihse certain waste and cheap products. Fucusof 
several species, and laminaria are well known sea-weeds, 
as plentiful on the sea coast as grass in the fields, and 
waste textile materials of vegetable origin are in sufficient 
abundance to find profitable employment in the manu- 
factiu^e of this leather. Sheets of carded wadding are 
manufactured from cotton waste or from cotton itself 
according to the quality required, of uniform thickness, 
length, and widths These sheets are then placed on 
polished zinc or other metal plates, and coated with a 
concentrated decoction oi fucus crispm or pearl moss, or 
other fucus or mucilaginous lichen, or with any similar 
substance. The metal plates require to be kept hot in 
order to allow the decoction to penetrate thoroughly into 
the filaments of the cotton. The sheet is then dried 
quickly, thus giving to the surface applied to the metal plate 
a glazed or polished appearance, resembling the gloss of 
ordinary leather, and, thus prepared, it is passed between 
two heated cylinders or rollers perfectly polished, having 
a space between them according to the thickness re- 
quired. Great pressure is needed to press all the fila- 
ments of cotton thoroughly together, and to render the 
thickness imiform. It is then coated with boiled linseed 
oil, and dried in the open air, or by artificial heat. When 
dry, a coat of thin v^etable wax is applied, and the 
sheet is softened by passing through heated fluted rollers; 
it is then passed through other polished rollers according 
to the quality required, either plain, morocco, embossed, 
glazed, or otherwise, and is next bronzed, varnished, and 
finished like ordinary leather. It is waterproof and easily 

A similar leather has been introduced still more 
recently into French commerce. 


As for the furs, they are worn rather as a luxury and 
ornament than as a necessity, and may easily be dis- 
pensed with, even by the most delicate, and in our 
northern climate, as I myself know by personal experi- 
ence. Let the following short sketch of some of the 
horrors of the fur trade suffice to give a faint idea of the 
price we pay in blood and sulBfering for the furs which 
decorate our women, and what cost to human nature, 
which no gold can compensate, is involved by obedience 
to the careless whims of fashion. 

' Man desires hides, horns, feathers, ivory ; and con- 
siders himself fully justified in satisfying these desires, 
however extreme or whimsical, by the destruction of life. 
The savage, in need of clothing and unable to manufac- 
ture woollen garments, may indeed plead the necessity 
of wrapping himself in furs ; but can civilised man, who 
is well acquainted with the art of producing artificial 
coverings, equal if not superior to furs, advance the same 
plea ? He must urge in justification of his killing and 
torturing in order to obtain furs and feathers, not his 
necessities, but his luxuries, whims, and caprices. It 
may be useful to glance at the sealskin trade as an 
instance in point. Unfortunately for the seal and for 
humanity, a method has been discovered of converting 
the greyish hue of its fur into a rich lustrous brown. 
Forthwith sealskins have become the rage, and find a 
ready sale at high prices. To obtain them extensive 
hunting expeditions are organised and conducted with 
an amount of cruelty which is perhaps without parallel 
in all the dealings of man towards the lower animals. 
Seals are most readily captured at the time when they 
have young cubs not yet capable of following their 
mothers through the water. At this time they may be 
found upon the shores of certain Arctic regions in great 


numbers, and here accordingly they are attacked. The 
mother seals are stunned with blows from clubs and then 
flayed, often before dead, it being considered that the fur 
is thus obtained in a more lustrous condition. The little 
seals are left to perish of cold and hunger. The frightful 
atrocity of this system will be more fully understood if 
we remember that the seal stands high in the scale of 
animal life, and possesses a large well-developed brain 
and a delicate nervous system. All this cruelty is there- 
fore perpetrated for the sake of " fashion," and to it all 
wearers of sealskin jackets make themselves accessory. 
It is true that some voices have been raised against this 
system, and that some attempts have been made to' 
mitigate its horrors by legislative enactments, but there 
is every reason to fear that as long as the demand for 
sealskin continues, the supply will be obtained sub- 
stantially in the manner we have sketched.' * 

The ' Daily Telegraph,' in an article on the same 
subject, says : — 

* The time chosen for the hunting is unfortunately the 
very period that of all others ought to be kept close. 
Except for a very short part of the year the seal lives to 
all intents and purposes on the open sea. But the female, 
when about to bring forth, seeks the shelter of the shore, 
where she suckles and watches her cubs until they are 
old enough to shift for themselves. At this time, wher- 
ever there are seals along the coast, herds of them will 
be found from a quarter to half a mile inland. The 
proportions are very much those of a drove of deer. The 
main body will consist of females, each with one or two 
helpless little ones, while the males keep about the out- 
skirts of the flock. ... As soon as a herd of this kind 
is spied, the boats are manned, and the whole vessel's 

^ American Journal^ ^^Tl* 


crew, armed with bludgeons and axes, starts upon a 
" cutting-out expedition," at the horrors of which hu- 
manity may well shudder. The only way to effectually 
kill a seal with completeness and despatch is by a heavy 
blow with a bludgeon, or a deep cut with an axe, so as 
either to crush or sever the nasal bones ; and when the 
boats' crews have got ashore, an indiscriminate slaughter 
is commenced, the whole herd being often butchered 
before a single one can reach the water's edge. . . . The 
adult quarry is skinned with all possible haste, and as 
often as not with the life still in it The cubs, who lie 
moaning and whinnying by the side of their dams, are 
knocked on the head if big enough to give their fur any 
value, and if too small to be worth the skinning are left 
without even the mercy of a coup de grdce. Old seal- 
hunters tell us — ^and we can well believe it — that it takes 
a man some time to get used to such cruel butchery, and 
that the half-human wailing of the little seals, as they 
climb and roll about the mangled carcase of their mother, 
is a sound that, until he is hardened to the work, will make 
a man's sleep uneasy at night' 

Yet one more quotation on this subject, the ethics of 
which are so homely, and so important to women, who 
should be, above all things, merciful. 

*If there be a specially unpleasant sight,' says the 
* Birmingham Town Crier,' * it is to see a group of dirty 
rascals prowling along the hedge-rows, intent on the mas- 
sacre of small birds. The birds are the heralds of a better 
time, but their low-bred and dirty assassins seem to be 
the heralds of some dismal future, in which joy shall be 
dead, admiration impossible, and gratitude unknown. 
Vastly different are the dainty ladies who trip up and 
down our streets and turn their gloom into gaiety. These 
are nicely dressed, have smiling faces, wear fair colours. 


and are pleasant to see. . . . And yet there is one litde 
bond of iinion between the fellow lurking behind the 
hedge-row. and the dainty lady who has just stepped out 
of some handsome caniage. The man has just wrung the 
neck of a wounded thrush, and stuffed it into his pocket 
to join the last shot blackbird ; and the woman has abiid's 
bright wing snick on one side of her pretty hat ; and on the 
other side a tiny humming bird, all gold, and bronze, and 
green, and scarlet, nods at each movement of its wearer. 
Yes, and we are authoritatively told that these adornments 
of our women are torn from the birds while yet alive, that 
the plumage may have its fuU brilliancy. 

* Now women ought to know that they have literally 
no excuse for indulging in these barbarities. They have 
worn almost ever)- object that can possibly be fastened to 
human dress. As a rule, whatever women wear seems to 
become them, and they have no excuse for seeking out 
strange devices, least of aU for encouraging bird slaughter, 
out of the mere idleness of vanity, and for the sake of 
fashion. There is not one man on the face of this earth, 
who is not a knave or a fool, who will admire any woman 
the more because she has some slaughtered bird's plu- 
mage in her bonnet. We know that those things are 
mere ornament They do not protect, they do not com- 
fort ; their sole office is to adorn, and they are literally to 
be ranked amongst the most brutal adornments that the 
depravity of bad taste has ever hung about human crea- 
tures. No woman who wears these things can know the 
beauty of living birds ; can ever have watched them in 
the long spring days, or have listened to them as daylight 
lingers, and the air is heavy with fragrance, and glad with 
music. The dainty goldfinch, clad in a livery which seems 
as if it had been designed to unite grace with gaiety, and 
to show how great glory can dwell with the smallest of 


this earth, asks but a few thistle seeds to live on. His 
ways are charming, his colours are delightful, his music is 
heavenly, and he is fast disappearing that women's hats 
may be stuck over with wings torn from his living body. 
So we might go through the catalogue, for no bird is 
sacred from the harpies who in the secret dens of fashion 
dress out their dolls and paint their idols, — idols as of old 
that crave for life, and are as of old to be satisfied only 
with living sacrifices. 

' A little thought only is wanted ; a little reflection, and 
the hand of the bird-assassin would be stayed, and his 
hideous trade ended. Or is the example of our "highest " 
too strong for us who are in lowly places ? Has the taint 
of Hurlingham spread over the whole nation ? Is it too 
late for the conscience of an outraged humanity to rise 
against that tyranny of fashion which daily seeks to stain 
its sports more deeply with blood, and to adorn its 
women with the spoils of cruelty and pain ? * 

Next, with regard to the question sometimes asked, 
how the soil is to be manured for crops, if any consider- 
able decrease should take place in the numbers of our 
cattle. Professor Laws, who has made the study of 
manures the work of his life, and who is the recognised 
authority on this question all over the world, has written 
as follows : — 

'In all cases where artificial food is employed, or 
where the consumption of food is not attended with profit, 
it is better to restore the superabundance of green crops 
directly to the soil for the after-growth of com, than to 
pass it through the stomachs of animals. There is no 
magical property in the black mass called dimg which does 
not exist in the food, and the passage of straw or turnips 
through the viscera of an animal, so far from adding to 



the Txjae at dbese s n h tt awc s used as manme, abstracts a 
Izrze pfoponkn of dior laliiable dementSL' 

' It isaT be fcitber poinfeed out,' says a cofrespondent 
of :be * Dietecic Rdbnner/ axnmentmg on the aboveex- 
tizcx. ' that Me. Smith, the sacxxssfbl fsirmer of Woolston, 
has nerter pot a bairowfnl of mamne on his land in his 
life. He ploughs deeply in die aotnmn, and allows the 
air to manure die groand dming the winter, before sow- 
ing in the spring.' 

Still more dosdy ccMmected with the rationale of 
systematic kreophagy are the ediics, traditions, and 
achievements of ' sport' 

In his highest development man is not a banter, but a 
gardener. The spirit of the Garden is incompatible with 
that of the Chase, and the inevitable tendency of moral, 
intellectual, and aesthetic progress is to eradicate in man 
the desire to kill and to torment The destruction of life 
for mere destruction's sake has never been, and cannot be, 
a source of pleasure to any civilised human being ; and, 
where such destruction is necessary, as in the clearing of 
jungle-lands and other districts infested by camivora, 
poisonous reptiles, and vermin, the work of extermination 
should be undertaken rather as a duty than as a pastime, 
precisely as righteous war is undertaken by the hero, 
being neither shunned for selfish motives, nor compro- 
mised with for convenience or comfort's sake, but in- 
trepidly and conscientiously performed in the spirit of 
the redeemer. For the true man is the redeemer, not the 
tyrant of the earth. 

Moved, perhaps, by such sentiments as these, Mon- 
taigne, the celebrated French essapst of the sixteenth 
century, who has aptly been called * the modem Plutarch,' 
expresses himself thus on the subject of the chase, in his 
days as popular as now : — 

' sport: ^ IIS 

* For my part I have never been able to see, without 
displeasure, an innocent and defenceless animal, from 
whom we receive no offence or harm, pursued and 
slaughtered And when a deer, as commonly happens, 
finding herself without breath and strength, without other, 
resource, throws herself down and surrenders, as it were, 
to her pursuers, begging for mercy by her tears, 

Questuque cmentus 
Atque imploranti similis,* 

this has always appeared to me a very sad spectacle/ 

Yet so little way with the mass of people has been 
made by the generous and manly spirit thus expressed, 
during a period of more than two centuries, that week 
after week in the ' sporting season ' our newspapers re- 
cord the wholesale slaughter of hares, pheasants, grouse, 
and other animals in the preserves of some illustrious 
member of the Upper House ; and it is written for our 
learning that his Royal Highness or his ducal grace 
* bagged,' like any poulterer, so many head of game. 
At Hurlingham and elsewhere, where the * nobility ' (save 
the mark !) of the country accustom themselves to do 
butcher's work on an incredible number of tame and de- 
fenceless pigeons, it is forbidden by the laws of sport to 
aim twice at the same bird. If, therefore, the shooter 
should not be sufficiently dexterous to kill his victim at 
first fire, the wretched bird falls wounded on the grass, 
and pants away its life as best it may. And while the 
poor dead and dying doves drop bleeding at their feet, 
creatures with the forms and the faces of women sit by in 
gala attire, laughing, chattering, and smiling their sweetest 
on the slaughterers. 

1 ' With plaintive cries, all covered with blood, and in the attitude 
of a suppliant.* — Virgil's j^tieis^ viii. 

I 2 


Then we have the battues, which are perhaps even 
more horrible and savage in their details than the 
pigeon 'sport,' and these, too, are attended by ladies. 
Long since the voice of this country condemned bear- 
baiting, bull-fighting, and the sport of the cockpit But 
the spirit of these barbarous games still survives at Hur- 
lingham and in the park-preserves of many a noble peer. 

One word in conclusion on the subject of trapping. 
Farmers, owners of rabbit-warrens, gardeners, baiUfis of 
large properties, and others are in the daily habit of 
using for the destruction of ground vermin, gins so in- 
geniously and hideously cruel that one can hardly read 
the description of them without a shudder. These gins 
are constructed with a spring which snaps violently on 
the animal's leg, bruising, cutting, and often breaking it, 
and very often completely separating the softer parts of 
the limb from the bone. All the rabbits I have seen 
taken from these traps had the feet more than half 
severed, and the wounds inflamed by a struggle of many 
hours' duration ; for the creatures are generally caught in 
the gins overnight, and throughout the long interval 
which supervenes until the keeper makes his morning 
rounds, they hang torn, lacerated, and terrified on the 
teeth of the vice, beating and rending their wounds in 
their frantic efforts to escape. ' It is a grim reflection,' 
as the 'Lancet' well observes, 'that all this suffering 
is inflicted with no sufficient object. The only rational 
explanation of the cruelty seems to be that those who set 
traps of this class in their grounds are unaware of the 
extent to which such engines maim and agonise the crea- 
tures caught in them. It would in truth be difficult to 
exaggerate the suffering they entail.' 

As for the bird-traps, the captive taken in these is 
seized generally by the feet and hangs head downwards 


for four or five days, till it dies of starvation or exhaustion 
firom struggling. 

These are matters which might be separately and 
directly dealt with by the Legislature. They are named 
here only because they bear a family relation and likeness 
to that class of barbarisms, wastes, and blunders, of 
which the shambles, the chase, the battue, and the vivi- 
sector's laboratory are characteristic types, and *whose 
spirit is inherently antagonistic to the needs, intuition, 
and progress of civilised humanity. 

It has now been shown — briefly indeed, but I trust 
sufficiently — ^what support for the system advocated in 
these pages is derived fi"om the facts of comparative 
anatomy, physiology, history, chemistry, and political and 
social economy ; what corroboration for its doctrines is 
furnished by the actual experience of modem nations 
and communities, by the testimony of experimental 
medicine, and by the consideration of the moral duties 
we owe to our own kind and to the races below us. In 
regard to this last point, it must be remembered, no 
social or philosophical system is scientific and complete 
which omits fi-om its definition of humanity the moral 
nature, since it is precisely the development of the senti- 
ments — honour, love, justice, generosity — ^which distin- 
guishes the human being from the brute, the civilised 
•man fi'om the savage and the criminal. 

And if, for the vindication of the views advanced 
in these pages it be necessary or helpful to adduce autho- 
rity, they have as advocates such a mighty array of names 
ancient and modern as no other school which the world 
has yet seen can boast To these illustrious names of 
men who have thought as I think, and whose disciple 
no one need be ashamed to be, I make appeal ; to Pytha- 


goras and Gairrama Boddha, to Socrates, Seneca, and 
nmaich, to PorpbyrT, and ApoUonius of Tyana, to 
Oiigen, Chiysostom, and Fnnds Assisi, to Gassendi, 
Gleixesy and SheDey — in shcHt, to all tbe most serious 
and luminous minds of the ancient and modem world. 

For with all these the first essential step towards per- 
fectionment, whether of the individual or of the com- 
munit}', was so to regulate life that its sustenance should 
involve no shock to the moral conscience. 

The doctrine, which is that of the modem school of 
abstainers from flesh, was that of the Magi who initiated 
Daniel ; of the Therapeuts, who drew their origin and 
their knowledge from £g}'ptian adepts ; of the Buddhists, 
an expression of whose beaudfiil teaching is prefixed to 
this essay ; of the Nazarites, who coimted Jesus among 
their number ; of the Essenes, who produced his fiiend 
and companion, John the Baptist ; of the Ebionites and 
Recluses ; of the exponents of the Christian * Gnosis,' 
who kept alive and bequeathed to us through the Neo- 
Platonists that spirit of understanding, that * seeing 
eye' and * hearing ear' possible only in their complete- 
ness to men of pure heart and life. 

In extolling this pure heart, in advocating this clean 
and blameless life, in indicating this perfect way, we 
imitate the illuminati of all ages. May those who are 
as yet unable wholly to endorse their practice and ours, 
pardon at least the love which inspires a project of 
emancipation from the tyranny of disease, luxury, injustice, 
poverty, and melancholy, which, under the present sys- 
tem, have attained such a height as to render existence 
well-nigh insupportable 1 

Thus, in the recoil from a pseudo-civilisation, the 
mind reverts for the principles of a true civilisation to 
times long past ; and this treatise, whose opening pages 


recount a passage in the ministry of Buddha, the Hindu 
redeemer, cannot be more fitly closed than by the appeal 
ascribed by Ovid to Pythagoras, the Samian sage. 

Forbear, O mortals, to taint your bodies with forbidden food ; 

Com have we ; the boughs bend under a load of fruit ; 

Our vines abound in swelling grapes ; our fields with wholesome 

Whereof those of a cruder kind may be softened and mellowed by 

Nor is milk denied us, nor honey smelling of the fragrant thyme ; 
Earth is lavish of her riches, and teems with kindly stores, 
Providing without slaughter or bloodshed for all manner of delights. 
The savage beasts indeed allay their hunger with flesh, 
But the wild horse, the flocks, the kine, subsist on grass : 
They only of a fierce and ravenous nature — 
Bears, wolves, Armenian tigers, and the angry brood of lions — 
These delight in meats reeking with the red tide of life. 
O impious custom, to bury entrails in entrails, to fatten a craving 

body with the flesh of its .fellow. 
Maintaining the life of one creature by the murderous death of 

another ! 
Is it possible indeed that amidst the plenty which earth, the best of 

parents, so bountifully bestows, 
Nothing can delight you but to tear wounded flesh, and to renew 

the barbarous Cyclopean feasts ? 
Cannot the desires of your ravenous and unrighteous appetite be 

Save by the destruction of the life of your fellows ? 
But they of ancient times, justly called the Age of Gold, 
Content with the fruit of their trees and the herbs of earth, 

stained not their lips with blood ; 
Then might the birds in safety traverse the airy expanse and the 

hare rove fearless over field and moor, 
Nor were even the credulous fish beguiled by the deceitful hook ; 
Snares and treachery were unknown, no dread of fraud disturbed 

the mind, all things were full of peace. 
Then arose that impious contriver of innovations, who first envied 

man his innocent repasts, 


And, gofgiog his hisdal appetite with flesh, opened a door for 

What ! have yoa merited to die^ O sheep ! pladd, inoffensive racCt 

bom to bless and serre us^ 
\nio6e foil adders yidd sweet milk, whose fleeces clothe ns with 

soft raiment, 
ComfortiDg us moie bj your lives than by jonr deaths ? 
And yoo, O oxen ! guileless and docile, mild and innocent, made 

to laboor for man. 
He indeed is onmindfol of your services, and all unworthy the gifts 

of Ceres, 
Who, having but now unyoked his gentle labourer from the plough, 

can harden himself to shed his Uood ! 
To smite with an axe that neck worn in his service with toil, which 

so often has renewed his else unfruitful fields. 
Bringing him so many a rich and welcome harvest ! 
Nor is it enough that men commit such crimes as these, 
They ascribe to the Gods their own wickedness, and pretend that 

even the Divine Powers delight in innocent blood : 
A victim without spot and of surpassing beauty — (as if to be perfect 

were to deserve death) — 
Such an one, adorned with garlands and with gold, they lead to the 

votive altar ; 
He hears the prayer of the priest, not knowing what it means. 
And sees the com he helped to produce, laid between the horns on 

his forehead, 
Then, stmck by the sacrificial knife, he dyes with his lifeblood 

the blade 
Whose gleam perchance he beheld in the transparent fountain at 

his feet. 
Straightway the priest tears the entrails from his panting bosom. 
Seeking to leara from these the mind of the high Gods ! 
Whence have men this lust for unlawful food ? 
How, O mortal race, can you endure to eat of it ? 
Refrain, I beseech you I g^ve heed to my precepts ! 
And, when you would feast on the limbs of the dismembered ox. 
Know and reflect that it is the tiller of your fields you would de- 
stroy 1 


How unholy a custom, how easy a way to human murder he makes 

for himself 
Who cuts the innocent throat of the calf, and hears unmoved its 

mournful plaints ! 
And slaughters the little kid, whose cry is like the cry of a child, 
Or devours the birds of the air which his own hands have fed ! 
Ah, how little is wanting to fill the cup of his wickedness ! 
What unrighteous deed is he not ready to commit ! 
Suffer the ox to plough, and impute his death to age and Nature's 

Let the sheep continue to yield us sheltering wool, and the goats 

the produce of their loaded udders, 
Banish from among you nets and snares and painful artifices. 
Conspire no longer against the birds, nor scare the meek deer, nor 

hide with fraud the crooked hook ; 
Make war on noxious creatures, and kill them only. 
Bat let your mouths be empty of blood, and satisfied with pure and 

natural repasts ! * 

* Afetam,t lib. xv. 






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