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those voracious and bruteish appetites that require animal food; nor those cruel and hard hearts, or those diabolical passions, which could eafeyly fuffer them to tear and destroy their fellow-creatures ; at least, not in the first and early ageës."*
“ To see the convulsions, agonys, and tortures of a poor fellow-creature,” exclaims this fensible, just, humane and feeling physician, “ whom they cannot restore nor recompense, dyeing to gratify luxury, and scratch callous and rank organs, must require a rocky heart, and a great degree of cruelty and ferocity. I cannot find,” he ads,
any great difference, on the foot of natural reason and equity onely, between feeding on human flesh, and feeding on brute animal felh, except custom and example. I believe fome rational creatures would suffer less in being fairly butcher'd than a strong ox, or red deer; and, in natural morality and justice, the degrees of pain here make the essential difference.”+
* Essay on bealth, p. 92. He must refer to a state of na. ture, as no beast of prey is so wantonly and malignantly cruel as man in society, whether Christian or Mahometan; and yet he has neither the teeth nor fangs of a tiger, nor the beak or claws of a vulture.
† Essay on regimen, p. 70. Our immortal Shakspeare was of the same opinion :
“And the poor beetle that we tread upon
“ Among other dreadful and disgusting imageës, which custom has render'd familiar, are those which arise from eating animal food; he who has ever turn'd with abhorrence from the skeleton of a beast, which has been pick'd whole by birds or vermin, muft confess that habit onely could have enable’d him to endure the fight of the mangle’d bones and flesh of a dead carcase, which every day cover his table: and he who reflects on the number of lives that have been facrificed to sustain his own, should. enquire by what the account has been balance'd, and whether his life is become proportionablely of more value by the exercise of virtue and piety, by the superior hapyness which he has communicateëd to reasonable beings, and by the glory which his intellect has ascribe'd to god."*
“ The Indian philosophers called Brachmans," according to old doctor Moffet, great while after the flood, taste of any sensible creature : and though Nimrod, the great hunter, flew many beasts, yet flesh was even then untasteëd of the Babylonians, and many hundred years after, say’th Herodotus : and veryly til god would have it so, who dare'd to touch with his lips the remnant of a dead carcase? or to set the prey of a wolf, or the meat of a falcon, upon his table? Who, i say, durst feed upon those members which lately did fee, go, bleat, low, feel, and move? Nay, tel me, can civil and human eyes yet abide the slaughter of an innocent beast, the cuting of his throat, the mauling him on the head, the flaying off his skin, the quartering and dismembering of his joints, the sprinkleing of his blood, the riping up of his veins, the endureing of il favours, the hearing of heavy fighs, fobs, and
os did never, a
* Note, by doctor Hawkesworth, in his edition of Swifts works. (Gullivers travels, p. 94.)
groans, the passionate struggleing and panting for life, which only hard-hearted butchers can endure to see? Is not the earth sufficient to give us meat, but that we must also rend
the bowels of beasts, birds, and fishes ? Yes, truely, there is enough in the earth to give us meat; yea, veryly,and choice of meats, needing either none, or no great preparation, which we may take without fear, and cut down without trembleing, which also we may mingle a hundred ways to delight our taste, and feed on safely to fill our bellys." *
The very fight of animal food is unnatural and disgusting ; even the most luxurious viands, place'd before the most elegant assemblage, abounding with youth and beauty, remind the
* Healths improvement, 1746, p. 100. The authour dyed in 1604.
philosopher, or reflective individual, of a carrion carcase by the road fide devour'd by vultures, or ravens; or of a human body at a feast of can. nibals. " At Zwartkops river,” says Sparrman, “ where we were now arrive'd, and intended to pass the night, we found two farmers had got in before us, who were come thither in order to get salt and hunt. Indeed, they had allready shot feveral heads of game, which they had hung up in large slips and shreds on the bushes, waggons and fenccës, in order to dry it in the lun :. From this flesh there was diffuse'd round about the spot, not only a crude and rank smel, but, likewife, a putrid stench, from such parts of it as had arrive'd at the state of pụtrefaction; and the farmers wives and childeren, together with the Hottentots who had accompany'd them, were employ'd, some in feasting upon it, others in sleeping, and others again in careing away a great number of birds of prey, which hover'd round about them, and over their heads, in order to steal away
the flesh. This horrid fpectacle, of so many carnivorous human creatures, awaken'd in me a lively rememberan e of the cannibals in New Zealand, and had very nearly takeën away our appetites for a meat supper, so that werefolved to bear with our hunger that night as wel as we could."* This, filthy as it was, could not be more so than the festive entertainments of our nobility and great epicures, where, if you admire tastey eating, you have the high-flavour'd hogo of Itinking venison, and the exquisite stench of roten and maggoty cheese; the elegant and accomplish'd guests washing, at the close, of their favoury repast, their dirty maws, in pure water, which, render'd sufficiently foul and filthy, they spurt back into blue or purple clouded receptacles, in order to conceal their nastynefs : which outdoes, in delicacy, the yahoos of the Houyhnhms.
“ See matter dext, with various life endue d, Press to one centre stil the general good. See dyeing vegetables life sustain, See life dissolveing vegetate again: All forms that perish other forms fupply (By turns we catch the vital breath and dye) ; Like bubbles on the sea of matter born, They rise, they break, and to that sea return. Nothing is foreign : parts relate to whole; One all-extending, all-preserveing soul Connects each being, greatest with the leaft; Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast; All ferye'd, all serveing! nothing stands alone, The chain holds on, and where it ends unknown.
* Voyage to tbe cape of Good-bope, ii, 12.