We all have both liberty and licence to draw our food supplies first hand, direct from the endless variety the vegetable kingdom offers, or we can let the pig eat the food first hand then we eat the pit second hand, and store up in our own bodies the impurities such food contains.

WHEN we come to sift the why and wherefore of our endeavours in this world, we are likely to discover that we are all out with the same object in view, viz., to obtain enjoyment and happiness; in other words, to get the best of this world and the next. There is no need to restrict the meaning of “this world and the next” to place or time. Neither do I wish to put any religious interpretation on the words. “Seeking happiness to-day and to- morrow” will suit my purpose equally as well.

The difference between us is not in what we are seeking, but in our method of attainment. In this we are all the more or less short-sighted. Some, in fact, are so anxious to crowd all the pleasures of life into to-day, that they are at the same time making happiness for to-morrow almost impossible. We cannot throw stones at each other in this respect, for we all live in glass house. We seem to have been born that way, and we all, more or less, wish to turn liberty into licence.

Only recently I heard of a boy asking his mother why all the things she said he must not do were nice things, while the things he was told he should do were nasty things. This blindness in young or old, combined with a determined spirit to obtain immediate happiness and the best of this life, does not always prove successful. Happiness is not at fault, although life may be considered a failure without it.

The way we act with a view to getting it is the important matter. It may, however, be said what has all this to do with Vegetarianism? It has everything to do with it. Whatever the individual reason for having adopted vegetarianism may be, we believed it would promote better health of mind and body and so greater happiness. After years of practice we have become convinced that it is not a question of “Vegetarianism v. the Best”, but “Vegetarianism and The Best.”.

To get the best out of life, the one thing more than perhaps anything else we have to learn is to become not only master of our circumstances, but what is more important, master of ourselves. We, however, shall never become master of ourselves until we have first become master of our own appetites. This, in the words of Tolstoi, is “The First Step.” Having accomplished this all else is easy.

Let us see how this works out in the attainment of happiness. I was given a very good illustration of this some years ago. A friend and I called on a man, a stranger to me, and in conversation the remark was passed, “Your lawn looks very nice.” The reply was, “Yes, it always does about this time of the year, after the Masons Annual Dinner.” In explanation I was informed that he never got drunk but once a year, and that was at this annual event.

Intoxicating drinks were then as plentiful as “Adams Ale”, and to the diners no more costly. He always made the most of it, and next morning he always had a splitting headache. He then exercised on the lawn with the mower and roller until all was well, and a perfect lawn was the outcome. “Which proves what a good thing getting drunk once a year is.” As the callers – my friend and myself-were both teetotallers and enthusiastic gardeners, we informed him that we could manage our lawns quite successfully without first getting drunk to accomplish it.

To sum up the matter as between him and another diner, a friend of the writer, who neither drank nor wished for anything stronger than water, and was always content to miss the fish and meat courses. The nights enjoyment and happiness of one was certainly as great as that of the other, and more so, doubtless, as my friend happened to hold high office. His fit condition and prompt appearance at the Office next morning told its own tale. Can there be any question as to who was securing the best of “this world and the next.”?.

Again, we are all tempted to eat too much. The more courses there are placed before us, the greater the temptation. Flesh meat is the most stimulating of solids, and alcohol the most stimulating of liquids. Stimulants always ask for stimulants, and so with the meat eater the temptation to eat too much is increased. This tells its tale, not only on the next day, but for all days.

We all have both liberty and licence to draw our food supplies first hand, direct from the endless variety the vegetable kingdom offers, or we can let the pig eat the food first hand then we eat the pit second hand, and store up in our own bodies the impurities such food contains. Those of us who have lived for many years on fruits, nuts and other of the endless products the vegetable kingdom offers, growing more and more into perfect fitness with greater enjoyment in eating and living, have learnt that this is the safe way of securing the best of this life and the next, for both mind and body.

James Henry Cook
Henry W.J. Cook was born in Edinburgh in 1870, the eldest son of Dr Edmund Alleyne Cook.

Henry followed in his father's footsteps, obtaining his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Durham in 1891. At the age of 27 he arrived in Melbourne in April 1894 aboard the Port Albert. He was registered as a medical practitioner in Victoria on 4 May 1894.

It appears that Dr Cook already believed in homœopathy, possibly because of his father's influence, as in 1895 Dr Cook took the position of Resident Surgeon of the Melbourne Homœopathic Hospital . (This position was previously held by Dr James Cook, unrelated, who resigned in March 1895). He was listed in the 1896 & 1897 editions of the Melbourne Post Office Directory as being Resident Medical Officer at the Melbourne Homœopathic Hospital, but not in the 1898 edition.

In 1901 he moved to Sale in Eastern Victoria, where he ran a practice in York Street. By 1909 his practice was at Wyndham Street, Shepparton.

By 1919 he had moved to 2 Studley Park Road, Kew, where he died on 7 May, 1923.