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The Ethics of Diet - A Catena
by Howard Williams M.A., 1883

Philip Stubbes (published in 1583)
(text from the Appendix to the 1st edition, 1883)

The author of the Anatomy of Abuses, a writer of the same period, denouncing the unnatural and luxurious living of his time, compares the two diets with equal force and truth :-

"I cannot persuade myself otherwise, but that our niceness and cautiounsness in diet hath altered our nature, distempered our bodies, and made us subject to hundreds of diseases and discrasies (indigestions) more than ever our forefathers were subject unto, and consequently shorter life than they. . . . Who are sicklier than they who fare deliciously every day? Who is corrupter? Who belcheth more? Who looketh worse? Who is weaker and feebler then they? Who hath more filthy phlegm and putrefaction (replete with gross humours) then they? And, to be brief, who dieth sooner then they?

"Do we not see the poor man who eateth brown bread (wherof some is made of rye, barley, peason, beans, oats, and such other gross grains) and drinketh small drink, yea, sometimes water, and feedeth upon milk, butter, and cheese - I say do we not see such a one healthfuller, stronger, and longer-living, than the other that fares daintily every day? And how could it be other wise? "

- Stubbes's Anatomy of Abuses, 1583. Quoted by Ritson (Abstinence from Flesh: A Moral Duty)

 

Howard Williams, The Ethics of Diet - index