« FöregåendeFortsätt »
and corn.* This is true of all the ape or monkey genus, except man. f
That animal food is eaten, masticateëd, and digested by, and serves for the nourishment of the human species, proves nothing at all, Horseës, sheep, and oxen, are'universally allow'd to be herbivorous animals; and yet there are inftanceës of their gradually, quiting their usual aliment, and learning to live upon flesh. I A young wood-pigeon, even, a species of bird, which is universally known to feed upon any thing rather than flesh, has, by dint of hunger, been brought to relish flesh so as to refuse every other kind of sustenance, even grain, of which it is naturally so fond.*
* Goldsmith, iv. 201, 214. † Sparrmans Voyage, ii. 227; and fee before, in chap. 1.
$ The Gauls fed their oxen and horseës with fish; and so did the Paeonians, mention'd by Herodotus. Diomedes, king of Thrace, kild by Hercules, fed his mares with the flesh of miserable strangers, cut in pieceës for the purpose, which made them fo fierce and unmanageable that they were oblige'd to be kept in stalls of brass, and tye'd up in iron chains (Diodorus, B. 4, C. 1.) African horseës frequently eat their own dung; and numbers have been destroy'd in consequence of takeing into their stomach vast quantitys of Ainty sand (Barrows Travels, p. 103). Doctor Tysons Pygmie would eat any thing it saw men eating; though its natural food must have been fruits and the like. In the manor of Northland in Norway, the people mix cods heads and fith-bones among the provender, which the cows eat with a good relish; nay, the Norwegian cows wil greedyly eat flesh, and gnaw the bones with their teeth, like dogs and other carnivorous animals. The peasants sometimes regale them with pickled herrings. (Smolletts Present state of all nations, i, 78.) In fome parts of Arabia, alllo, cattle are fed with fish. (Oving
tons Voyage to Surat, p. 425.) « That nourishment," says Goldsmith, " which is prepareed by the hand of man, chosen not to the appetites of domestick animals, but to suit his own convenience, produces a number of distinctions, that are not to be found among the savage animals. These, at first, were but accidental, but, in time, became hereditary; and a new race of artificial monsters are propagated, rather to answer the pur. pose of human pleasure, than their own convenience. In short, their very appetites may be changed, and those that feed only upon grass, may be rendered carnivorous. I have seen a sheep,” he ads, “ that would eat flesh, anda' horse that was fond of oysters.” (History of the eartb, ii, 327.) In the Oracle for January 6, 1790, is an account of a horse devouring a sheep. The latter animal, when constrain’d by hunger, wil certainly eat flesh, or any thing it can get.
“ A gentleman living about Ballaneah, in the countie of Cavan [in Ireland), took great pains to save his sheep [in a great fall of snow, 1635], yet missed eleven of them. Some dayes after, being come forth to course, his man saw from a farre off, upon a hill, in a bollow place of a rock, fomething alive and stirring... and comming near they found it was the loft sheep; the which had sheer eaten away all the wool fróm one anothers back...and, which is more wonderfull, one of them being dead, the rest did eat her filesh, leaving nothing but the bare bones.” Boates Natural biftory, p. 174.) See allso Hearnes Journey into the northern ocean, p. 244.) Dogs, on the contrary,
“ You ask of me,” says Plutarch, writeing to one of his friends, “ for what reason it was that Pythagoras abstain'd from eating flesh : i for my part do much admire in what humour, with what soul, or reason, the first man
--toucb'd jaughter witb bis mouth,
And reacb'd to 's lips the files of a dead animate : and having set people courseës of ghastly corpfeës and ghosts, could give those parts the names of meat and victuals, that but a little before low'd, cry'd, move'd and faw; how his fight could endure the blood of flaughter'd, flay'd and mangle'd bodys; how his smel could bear their scent, and how the very nastyness hapen'd not to offend the taste, while it chew'd the fores of others, and participateëd of the saps and juiceës of deadly wounds ... That it is not natural to mankind to feed on flesh, we first of all demonstrate from the very shape and figure of the body : for a human body no way resembles those that are born for rapine : it hath no hawk-bil; no sharp talon ; no roughness of teeth ; no such strength of stomach, or heat of digestion, as can be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and flekhy fare: but even from this, that is, the smoothness of the tongue, and the slowness of the stomach to digest, nature seems to disclaim all pretence to fleshy victuals : but, if you wil contend that you yourself was born to an inclination to such food as you have now a mind to eat; do you, then, yourself, kil what you would eat : but do it your own self, without the help of a cleaver, mallet or ax; as wolves, bears, and lions do, who kil and eat at once. Rend an ox with thy teeth ; worry a hog with thy mouth; tear a lamb in pieceës; and fall on and eat it alive as they do : but, if thou had'st rather stay until what thou eatest is become dead, and art loth to force a soul out of its body, why, then, do'st thou, against nature, eat an animate thing ? Nay, there is no one that is wiling to eat even a lifeless and a dead thing as it is, but they boil it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and medicines, that the palate, being thereby deceive’d, may admit of such in. couth fare."
supposed to be naturally a carnivorous animal, may be supported entirely by vegetable food. (See Sparrmans Voyage, ii, 230.)
* Spallanzani, Dissertation iv. Such changeës, he observes, wil not excite the smallest degree of surprize in those who know that, of the various kinds of food, used by man and animals, the gelatinous part supplys the nutriment, and that this exifts alike in vegetables and animals.
“ One proof, that the taste of meat is not natu. ral to the human palate is the indifference which childeren have for that kind of food and the preference they give to vegetable aliments, such as milk-meats, pastry, fruit, &c. It is of the utmost consequence not to vitiate this primitive tastein childeren to make them carnivorous. Were even their health not concern'd, it would be expedient, on account of their disposition and character; for it is sufficiently clear from experience, that those people who are greateaters of meat, are, in general, more ferocious and cruel than other men. This observation holds good of all times and all placeës : the Engleish barbarity is wel known, whereas the Gaures (who abstain from flesh] are, on the contrary, the meekest creatures in the world. All favageës are cruel; and, as their manners do not tend to cruelty, it is plain it must arise from their aliments."*
“ I have sometimes,” says doctor Cheyne, “indulge'd a conjecture, that animal food, in the original frame of our nature,' was’ not intended for human creatures. They seem to me neither to have these strong and fit organs for digesting it (at least, such as birds and beasts of prey have that' live on flesh); nor, naturally to have
* Rousseau, Emilius, i, 286.