IN the two last issues of “HEAL THYSELF” I endeavoured to deal with the above subject chiefly from the standpoint of the athlete, the wonderful performances accomplished and records broken by “the few” vegetarians against “the many” that may be described as “the rest”.
In view of the few in number of vegetarian athletes compared with the numerous flesh-eating competitors, it does not require a logician to see that for such facts there must be definite reason. If there are any other reasons that can be adduced, apart from the superiority of a vegetarian diet for such strenuous sport, I should like to hear of them from any reader of “HEAL THYSELF”.
I will mention a few other examples of what has been accomplished on a non-flesh diet. The first shall be on Walking, as no examples were given of such feats in my last article.
“J. P. Fox walked 70 3/4 miles in the Middlesex 12-hours open path-race in 1910, and in 1909 H. Swabey walked 114 3/4 hours. S. Norwood, when 66 years of age, walked 100 miles in 24 hours on a London track. Karl Mann, in 1902, won the International Walking Race from Dresden to Berlin (201 kilometers) in 26 hrs. 58 mins., Amateur Worlds Record being beaten at 50 kilometers (4 hrs. 58 mins.). The first six arrivals in that race were all vegetarians.
CYCLING. Says Mr. C. F. Davey, the present respected Captain of the Vegetarian Cycling and Athletic Club: “One of the greatest triumphs was in 1930-31-32, in which three years in succession the Team Shield in the Best-All-Rounder competition, organized by Cycling, and open to all the clubs in the kingdom, was secured. There is not much fluke about that ! And, but for an unfortunate error in measurements in one of the open races last year, we should have won again for the fourth time.
Accidents to some of our riders spoilt our chances in 1933.” Mr. Davey is not without authority when he speaks of the wonderful accomplishments performed on racing tracks by vegetarian cyclists. Pages could be written of the victories won by himself. In 1912 he was chosen to ride for England in the Olympic Games at Stockholm; in all there were three vegetarians in the English team, one on the Irish and two in the Scotch.
There were also other vegetarians taking part in the Games. In 1923 Mr. Davey secured the “Lands End to London” record (twice), the “London-to-Bath-and-back”, the “24- hour record” and in 1926, at the age of forty, finished his competitive career by securing the “London-to-Portsmouth-and- back” record.
Last month I made a slip in finishing my article by stating that “In the May issue I hoped to deal with the subject of Vegetarianism and Fitness from quite a different angle”. It should, of course, have read “JUNE”.
After having for more than forty years abstained from Fish, Flesh and Fowl, and more and more from the products of the animal kingdom, such as eggs, milk, butter and cheese, I unhesitatingly state that the longer I live the fitter I become, and the more I enjoy perfect health.
The inherited tendencies that caused three doctors to refuse my application for life insurance at the age of twenty have since become less and less year by year, until now in my seventieth year they have practically ceased to be, and I feel like being insulted when asked “How are you?” The question very often has a redeeming feature when the words are added: “You look very well, have you just returned from your holidays?”.
When one spends the larger portion of every twenty-four hours at work– year in, year out — it is very easy to be less fit than one should be. It is very important with all such that they remember their duty to themselves, those near and dear to them and those with whom they come in contact, is to always appear fit, otherwise they will be poor advertisement for the cause they represent. After all, what is there worth striving for greater than perfect health? With this, eating, drinking and all the pleasures of life are greatly enhanced.
Take for example, the question of the “common cold”. There are many vegetarians who have not had a cold for many years. A fit of sneezing overnight, with no sign of a cold in the morning, is the nearest approach they get to a cold, while many meat-eaters not only “catch colds” but are always expecting so to do. Another gets into the hands of the doctor through a motor or some other unfortunate accident.
Note the short time his recovery takes compared with that of the meat eater. Enquire into the history of the children in vegetarian families. It will usually be found that they have suffered from none of the “childrens complaints” that meat-eaters expect their children to have as a matter of course. With the children in many such families in the first category, it is as true to say “they are never ill” as it is to day of the others “they are always ailing”.