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investigation, I am disposed to believe the aliment of flesh and fermented liquors to be heterogeneous to the nature of man in every climate, I have observed a. mong nations, whose aliment is vegetables and water, that disease and medicine are equally unknown, while those, whose aliment is flesh and fermented liquor, are constantly afflicted with disease, and medicine more dangerous than disease itself; and not only those guilty of excess, but others who lead lives of temperance. These observations shew the great importance of congeniality of aliment, in the discovery and continuance of which depends the inestima. ble blessing of health, or basis of well-being or happiness. As my own discoveries in this important subject may be of some use to mankind, I shall re. late the state of my own health and aliment. At a very early period I left my native climate, before ex. cess, debauchery, or diet had done the least injury to my body. I found many of my countrymen in the region of India, suffering under a variety of distem. pers; for tho' they had changed their country, they would by no means change their aliment; and to this ignorant obstinacy I attributed the cause of their dis. orders. To prove this by my own experience, I followed the diet of the natives, and found no change in my health affected by the greatest contrariety of climate, to which I exposed myself more than any of my countrymen dared to do. This led me to consider the nature of aliment on the human body. abstractedly. Anatomy, which discovers the nature and connection of the solids, or material organization of the human body, can give no knowledge of the fluids, or matterin circulation ; for these recede from, and are changed or destroyed by all chirurgical operations. These can only be discovered in our bod. ies, not their cause or nature, but their effect, either latent or manifested in the change or disorder of the fonctions of life, or the excrement of the body. The ducts or vessels which convey the circulation of the fluids are certainly affected by the quality of the lat. ter, as the banks of a river are broken down or preserved by the regularity of the current. As I pos. sess from care and nature, a perfect constitution, my body may serve as an example which may generalize the effect of aliment on most other bodies. I observ. ed in travelling, if my body was wet and must con. tinue any time in that state, I abstained from all nou. rishment till it was dry, and always escaped the u. sual disorders of cold, rheumatism and fever. When I was in the frigid Zone, I lived on a nutritious aliment, and eat much butter, with beans, peas, and other pulse. In the torrid Zone, I diminished the nutritious quality of my food, and eat but little but. ter, and even then found it necessary to eat spices to absorb the humours, whose redundancy are caused by heat, and are noxious in hot climates. In cold climates nature seems to demand that redundancy, as necessary to strength and health.”—Stewart's Travels.
Sir Richard Phillips, the editor of the Monthly Magazine and author of various publications, is said, by Mr. Ritson, to be 6 a lusty, healthy, active, and well-looking man, who in 1802 had desisted from animal food for upwards of 20 years."
Many more instances might easily be produced, where regularity of life, tranquillity of mind, and simplicity of diet, have furnished long scenes of happiness, and blessed the late evening of life with unim. paired vigour both of body and mind. But such instances of longevity are very rarely to be found in courts and cities. Courts have ever been the sepola chres of temperance and virtue, and great cities the graves of the human species. In the middle stations of life, where men have lived rationally in the hum. ble cottage, whose inhabitants are necessitated to abstemiousness in hermitages and monasteries, where the anchoret mortifies his desires, and imposes abstinence on bimselffrom religious considerations in those sequestered scenes and walks of human life we are to search for those who reach the ultimate boundaries of this life's short pilgrimage. That man who has reached the greatest extent of mortal existence may be considered as the perfection of his race. It is in the power of every one to adopt a plan, accidents ex. cepted, which will secure a long and healthy life. It is next to an impossibility, that he who lives tem. perately, and selects a plain and wholesome diet, should fall sick or die prematurely. Distempers cannot be produced without causes, and if no cause exist, there can be no sudden or fatal consequence. Good air appears more immediately necessary to well-being than good water and good food; for a person may live several days without the latter, but not many minutes in cases of the deprivation of or improper state of the former. It has been ascertain. ed that the vivifying principle contained in the atmos. phere is a pure dephlogisticated fluid ; the air we breathe is therefore more or less healthy in propor. tion to the quantity it contains of this animating prina ciple. This quality exhales copiously from the green leaves of every kind of vegetable, eveu from the most poisonous; the frequent instances of longevity of country people may hence be fairly deduced. air of cities and large towns, on the contrary, is dai.
phlogiston. Longevity is frequently hereditary. Healthy long.lived parents generally transmit the same blessings to their children, who perhaps fallin. to irregularities in meat, drink and exercise, and short. en their natural term of life. Whence is it, if not from these causes and vonatural modes of life, that one half of the children born in cities do not survive their teath year? Such extraordinary mortality is never found among savage nations or wild animals. Man has defeated the purposes of nature, which des. tined him to rise with the sun, to spend a large por. tion of his time in the open air, to inure his body to robust exercises, to be exposed to the inclemency of the seasons, and to live on plain and simple food.
OBJECTIONS TO A VEGETABLE DIET
ANSWERED. Gassendus insists that man is not carnivorous, on account of the formation of our teeth ; most of them being Incisores or Molitories : not proper to tear, flesh, such as carnivorous animals are supplied with, but proper for cutting herbs, roots, &c. " It is an unquestionable fact, that all animals which have but one stomach and short intestines, like men, dogs, wolves, lions, &c, are carnivorous, The carniv. orous tribes can by no means subsist without flesh.” -Buffon's Nat. Hist. vol. 4. p. 193. This assertion is confuted in the most pointed manner; not only by the practice of Hindostan, where many mila lions of meu subsist entirely on vegetables, but even by the example of the peasantry of most countries in Europe, who taste flesh so seldom, that it cannot be supposed to contribute in the least to their welfare.
Dr. Wallis argues, that all quadrupeds feeding on
herbs or plants, have a long colon, with a coecum at the upper end of it, which conveys the food by a long passage from the stomach ; but in carnivorous animals such cæcum is wanting, and instead there is a more short and slender gut, assisting a quicker passage through the intestines. In man the cæcum is very visible; a strong presumption that Nature, al. ways consistent, did not intend him a carnivorous animal.
The reflecting reader will not expect a formal ref. utation of common-place objections which mean nothing; as “There would be more unhappiness and slaughter among animals, did we not keep them under proper regulations and government.”—“ Where would they find pasture, did we not manure and enclose the land for them ?"_" What would become of their young did we not ourse, assist, and protect them ?"-" How many would perish did we not se. cure them within proper bounds.”_66 How would they fight and murder each other, did we not prevent or interpose in their quarrels ?”
It has been said, Is it not better to aid the designs of providence, by making the animals he has sent us happy, by sheltering and feeding them; and then, while in the vigour of health, deprive them suddenly of life, rather than let them linger in old age and feebleness? We think this a conscientious mode of acting. The tender consciences of these people remind me of Montmorency, who was constable of France in the time of Francis I. “He never failed to say his paternosters, every morning. In the field, it was his way, if any disorders or irregularities came within his view, while reciting or muttering these pa. ters, to cry, " Take me up such a man; tie that other to a tree; pass him through the pikes instantly, or