AFTER what has already been written under the above heading, can any ready still doubt that in this question a great principle is involved ? You may not longer doubt when told that vegetarians consider it to be far more important to abstain from flesh than it is to abstain from strong drink, for the former practically includes the latter as the greater includes the lesser. Let us bring up our youth and maidens as vegetarians, and we shall have no drunkards. Persuade the moderate drinkers to become vegetarians and they will soon, from choice, abstain from strong drink also; for this lands yet to produce such a strange creature as a drunken vegetarian or a vegetarian who is a slave to either narcotic or stimulants.
In proof of this it may be mentioned that the writer offered, in the public press in Birmingham more than forty years ago, a ten pound note to anyone who within a month could produce a drunken vegetarian. Needless to say, the ten pound note was not claimed.
Everyday experience demonstrate that in proportion as we abstain from stimulation solids and liquids, we shall care more for the most simple foods, of which fruit is the perfection; likewise in proportion to the quantity of alcoholic drink we consume, so we shall be satisfied with nothing but, beef, or its equivalent. “But why,” it will be asked, “is this case ?” The answer is simple. Let us remember that from childhood, of the two, the stimulation food-not the drink-is that which is first partaken of. This, whether in young or old, inflames the coats of the stomach, and hereby irritates the nervous system, the body then craves for stimulants to satisfy and soothe it.
Many good people-including the British women-have more or less wasted precious time in trying to discover a cure for drunkenness; but the Asylum for Inebriates, Dansville, in the United States, amongst others, clearly demonstrates, in the words of Dr. Jackson, the Senior Physician, that there is but one cure, viz. ” vegetarian diet, and always succeeds within six months, all the drink crave being eradicated by a simple return to mans natural food”. No end of testimony could be produced in support of this contention. I will quote two opinions only, and they shall be of men whose opinions are entitled to the respect of all teetotallers.
Dean Farrar once stated that he believed the habit of flesh eating is one of the principal cause of the drink crave. Sir Henry Thompson, F.R.C.S., said he had been compelled by fact to accept the conclusion that more physical evil accrues to man from erroneous habits of eating than from alcoholic drinks, and he suspects this to be the case also with moral evils.
It it were not for making this critical unduly long, no end of parallels might be given between two reforms, in fact the difficulty is to find a phase of the drink question which has not a parallel from a vegetarian standpoint; let us glance at a few others.
It is a truism that in proportion to the quantity of drink sold, so are the people degraded. But surely, you will say, there is no parallel to this ? Yes, there is. Where slaughter and bloodshed is more prevalent, there the people become the most brutalized and degraded. East London will illustrate this. There slaughter- houses were, and doubtless still are, numbered by hundreds, and little children are sent with jugs to be filled with warm blood, an so from babyhood are accustomed to scenes of violence and cruelty; accordingly crime and brutality are rampant.
The late M,r. W. T. Stead saw a great deal of the world, but a town in America more than all other arrested his attention. He stopped and thought, and hen he wrote If Christ came to Chicago ? But why, it may be asked is this so much blacker than other cities ? The answer is because it is a huge shambles, for the supply of tinned meat-more or less-for every Christian congregation in Birmingham and thousands of other cities throughout the world.
Again, this business, like the drink traffic, brutalizes, in some measure, everyone engaged in it, from the cruel drovers to the heartless slaughter-men, and from the slaughter-men to the butchers. The law admits this whether we choose to do so or not, inasmuch it will not allows a butcher to act on a jury in a murder trial, his familiarity with violence and bloodshed having, in the eyes of the law, made him an unfit person to do so. Each species of animals which a nation is in the habit of killing for food, individuals also treat with correspondingly less consideration and regard for their rights than they do other species.
Horses, for example; the most humane part of the community will let them lives as long as possible, and many tradesman, farmers and other prefer to turn them out in the fields to end their days rather than taken their lives. Even the day dead body of dog or stag bring forth the exclamation, “Poor thing !” but the same kind ladies will go into a butcher;s shop and, although surrounded by the lifeless carcasses of cattle that were butt yesterday adding picturesqueness to the valley, and of lambs that were then skipping about so joyfully in the meadows, yet no a feeling of sympathy escapes their hearts.
We recognize what selfish acts the slaves of the liquor traffic are capable of to obtain the drink, and will they not act in as selfish a manner to obtain the flesh ? The confirmed drunkard rises in the morning, the only food in thee house may be bread, and 6. only in cash. How is it spent ? This is sufficient to buy oatmeal and milk to make a good substantial breakfast for all. But this will not suit the drunkard, who sends out and buys a rasher. He eats the bacon, and the poor children and mother soak the almost worthless white breed in the fat, and then we wonder how it is that rising generation of workers are not capable of competing with the practically vegetarian foreigner, who we sneeringly say “can live on what an Englishman would starve on”.
We believe that a waste is committed by the yearly destruction of grain that is turned into strong drink. So likewise, from a vegetarian standpoint, a greater waste takes place each year. The ground which is now used to feed cattle and sheep is more than sufficient to produce fruit, vegetables and cereals to feed all our population, and so save the millions sterling per annum we now pay to the foreigner, and be practically independent of him into the bargain.
Showing what can be done on a vegetarian diet, the late Mr. Arnold Hills, who inspired the Pitman Health Food Store Movement more then forty years ago, started a number of depots throughout London, where poor children were supplied with thousands of dinners daily, sufficient for, each, consisting of three courses, at a net cost of one halfpenny per dinner.
Many of the Board School teachers affirmed that thousands of these children went to school without a breakfast, and it is this one meal a day-for which they paid one halfpenny, with no charity thrown in-which kept them from starvation. Verily the way to help the poor is to teach them, by example and precept, how to help themselves. We as teetotallers boast-and rightly so-that the trade of the publican dose not exist for us. We as vegetarians can improve on this, and add the business of the butcher, the chemist an the doctor, and the last is more true than the world dreams of.
A flesh diet not only produces ill-health, as we have already seen, but it produces all kinds of disease and other ill effects also. Let us glance at two which are more or less characteristic of all. First, cancer. The highest authorities now agree that the germ may proceed from either of there sources: first, inherited- which we cannot help; second, received by vaccination-which as far as we are able, we should help; and third, by the eating of cancerous flesh-which we should certainly avoid; but in all cases its growth is fostered by high living and starved by a fruit diet; and among vegetarian tribes it is unknown.
Second, rheumatic gout; teetotallers who have it are certainly to be pitied, for w all know it to be a product of high living; among vegetarian it is seldom or never found. With one other parallel, and that a very important one-I will close.
We believe that Christ, whom we love and severe, left with us a spirit which shall deliver this and all nations from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. We recognize it to bee our duty to send this gospel of peace and goodwill to all mankind, to every nation and to every clime. We wish this England of ours to be the foremost nation in this respect. This the liquor trade is a hindrance in this fulfilment we all admit, and when we recognize the fact that several of the great religions of the world, embracing a far larger number of adherents than Christian religion, accept it as part of their faith that “life is sacred we cannot give it and have therefore no right to taken it”, then we must certainly stop and think.
A noble young fellow, with a counternance it was good to look upon, native of India, some time since in the Temperance Institute, who, although, not a Christian, was from religious convictions an abstainer from meat, as likewise had been all his ancestors are far back as he knew before him, said that we Christian would have no influence among his people whatsoever, so long as we continued to slay Gods creatures and to shed their blood; for whenever a new teacher came among them, they first enquired into his form of diet, and if the new religion had not lifted its adherents in this respect u to their platform of living, then they always refused to have anything to do with it.
We who would be the saviors of the world from the drink cures, should also be the most capable of delivering it from the bondage of the fleshpots unto a cleaner, nobler and purer mode of living, the road to which is sacrifice, and the hill to climb is self- denial, and from those heights may be obtained a clearer vision of the lands that is to be, and a greater faith in the time when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the lion shall eat straw like an ox, and naught shall hurt or destroy in all Gods holy mountain.
TEA is the national drink of England. It is healthy and wholesome, whatever those may say who tell us that tea is a dangerous drug. This Chinese and Japanese have taken tea thousands of years and their race is healthy.
There are two dangers in tea. Tea should not be taken too strong and should not be taken too hot. The natives of Asia take tea, as a rule, superlatively weak and not over hot. Boiling hot drink is disastrous whether it is tea or whether it is plain water or soup. Strong tea which contains and the nerves. Such tea is unfit for human consumption.
VARIETY IN FOOD.
NUMEROUS families eat the identical food day after day. In the morning there is on the table bacon and egg followed by bread and butter with marmalade. At other meals there is beef or mutton with cabbage and potatoes followed by a milk pudding. Countless families, and not only poor families but well-to-do, live on a dreadfully monotonous diet because the housewife, housekeeper or cook lacks imagination.
People who get the same food day after day mechanically eat the uniform food without pleasure as a kind of duty. To them the daily meal is like the daily wash, is a ceremony, not an enjoyment. If we wish our food to give us he maximum of good we should enjoy it. Therefore the thoughtful housewife or cook will give a variety of dishes.