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3. I am fure,” says old Tryon, “ that a man may make a better meal with half a penny-worth of wheat-flower made into pap, and half a pennyworth of bread to eat with it, and a little falt, and be as strong, brisk, and able to perform any labour, as he that makes the best meal he can with either flesh or fish. So great is the igno- , rance, folly, blindness, false opinion, and custom of those that call themselves the learned !”*
“ The greatest part of mankind,” according to fir Hans Sloane, “ have their chief sustenance from grains; as wheat, rice, barley, oats, maize, buck-wheat, zea, or spelta, rye; some from the feeds of a wild grass callid gramen mannae in Poland, or from wild oats, or folle avoine, growing in the lakes of Canada, on which the Indians feed; or from the feeds of the several forts of millet and pannicum. Some in Barbary feed on palm-oil, others from that drawn from wallnuts or sesamum, which last is much use'd in Ægypt and the East-Indies ; and in Engleland
* Miscellanea, p. 149. He effewhere fays, from some other writeër, “ That a piece of bread and cheese, and a cup of good ale after it, nourisheth more than flesh, and affords a firmer substance, and makes one stronger, than he that cats bread and flesh and drinks the same liquor.” (Way to bealth, P.31.)
the poorer fort have strong nourishment from milk-meats (on which feed the longest liveërs), butter and cheese. Many feed on pulse, &c. Not to speak of acorns and beech-mast, the food of our fore-fathers, dates, the food of many people in Barbary and Arabia, figs, pistachios. The Sevennois in France feed on chestnuts, the brath or fruit of which he had heard is very nourishing.”*
“ It may, indeed,” says doctor Adam Smith, « be doubted whether butchers-meat is any where a necessary of life. Grain and other vegetables, with the help of milk, cheese, and butter, or oil, where butter is not to be had, it is known from experience, can, without any butchers-meat, afford the moft plentyful, the most wholesome, the most nourishing, and the most invigorateing diet."*
It is, in fact, perfectly ridiculous and absurd to pretend that animal food is absolutely necessary for the support of fo comparatively diminutive and fecble a being as man, while the largeëst, strongest, and most powerful, which require sustenance in proportion to their bulk and vigour, the horse, the bul, the camel, the rhinoceros, the elephant, the hippopotamus, are supported entirely by vegetable substanceës.”
* Natural bistory of Jamaica, I, xxi, xxii. He enumerates allmost every species of vegetable that has been, or may be used for food; it has been call'd a curious bil of farc.
7 Inquiry into the wealth of nations, III, 341.
“ There is no necessity,” says Tryon, “ for mankind to oppress, hurry and kil the beasts, and eat their flesh and blood, as many ignorantly affirm; crying out, What shal we do with them? They wil over-run us, and eat us up, if we do not kil them. *
But I answer, That there is no fort of cattle but is otherwise of use, beside to be eaten; and horseës are not eaten, and yet what nation complains of having too many of them?
“ The eating of flesh,” he ads, “ and kiling of creatures for that purpose, was never begun, nor is now continue'd for want or necessity, or for the maintenance of health, but chiefly because the high, lofty, fpirit of wrath and sensuality had goten the dominion in man, over the meek love, and innocent harmless nature, and being
* It is the standing argument of the Aesh-eaters, and, proba. hlely, likewise, of the Cannibals or Antbropopbagi, at this day. The former, however, choose to forget that they breed the animal for the purpose of kiling it; and would have to wait a long tiine before the berrings and other fish which they catch at sea, would over-run ihem on the land.
fo rampant, could not be satisfy'd except it had a proportionable food; and, of all others, flesh has the greatest affinity.....and, if all men would refrain eating of flesh, there would be no caule for them to complain for want of food; for the Allmighty has; in all particulars, been gracious and bountyful unto all creatures, but more efpecially unto mankind, for whom he has fpred a plentyful table; furnishing the whole earth with a great multitude or variety of herbs, fruits, grains, and feeds, fit for food, which do afford a nourishment of a most excellent substance, and far beyond flesh.”*
“ Under an improve'd system of education children wil be brought up to a vegetable regimen, as being the most natural to man...... As vegetable diet has a necessary connection with many virtues, and excludes no one, it must be of importance to accustom young people to it, seeing its influence is so considerable and so hapy on beauty of person, and tranquility of soul. This regimen prolongs infancy, and, of consequence, the duration of human life. I have seen an instance of it in an Engleish youth of fifteen, who had not the appearance of being fo
* Way to bealtb, p. 267.
much as twelve. He was a most interesting figure, possess’d of health the most vigorous, and of a dispoSition the most gentle: he perform'd the longest journeys on foot, and never loft temper whatever befel him. His father, whose name was Pigot, told me that he had brought him up entirely under the Pythagorean regimen; the good effects he had learn’d by his own experience.”*
In Engleland, notwithstanding the produce of the soil has been, of late, considerablely increafe’d, by the inclosure of wastes, and the adoption, in many placeës, of a more successful husbandry, yet we do not observe a corresponding addition to the number of inhabitants; the reason of which appears to me to be the more general consumption of animal food amongst us. Many ranks of people, whose ordinary diet was, in the laft century, prepare'd allmoft entirely
* St. Pierre, Studys of nature, III, 577. This gentleman was Robert Pigot, esquire, formerly of Chetwynd, in Shropshire, who refideëd at Geneva; whither, according to the Biograpbical anecdotes of the founders of the French republic, London, 1797, p. 154, the amiable and eccentrick marquis de Valadi made an excursion in 1787, and there chance'd to meet with this Engleish Pythagorean, whose dietetick system he immediately adopted, and, for many years after, never talleed animal food.