Australasian Signs of the Times



November 13, 1905

Practical Advice on Diet


It is a mistake to suppose that muscular strength depends on the use of animal food. The needs of the system can be better supplied, and more vigorous health can be enjoyed, without its use. The grains, with fruits, nuts, and vegetables, contain all the nutritive properties necessary to make good blood. These elements are not so well or so fully supplied by a flesh diet. Had the use of flesh been essential to health and strength, animal food would have been included in the diet appointed man in the beginning. BEcho November 13, 1905, par. 1

Yet it might not be best to discard flesh food under all circumstances. In certain cases of illness and exhaustion-as when persons are dying of tuberculosis, or when incurable tumors are wasting the life forces-it may be thought best to use flesh food in small quantities. But great care should be taken to secure the flesh of healthy animals. The danger of contracting disease by eating flesh is increasing. It is a very serious question whether there is safety in using animal food at all. It would be better to discard it under all circumstances than to use that which is diseased. BEcho November 13, 1905, par. 2

When the use of flesh food is discontinued, there is often a sense of weakness, a lack of vigour. Many urge this as evidence that flesh food is essential; but it is because foods of this class are stimulating, because they fever the blood and excite the nerves, that they are so missed. Some will find it as difficult to leave off flesh eating as it is for the drunkard to give up his dram; but they will be the better for the change. BEcho November 13, 1905, par. 3

When flesh food is discarded, its place should be supplied with a variety of grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits, that will be both nourishing and appetizing. This is especially necessary in the case of those who are weak, or who are taxed with continuous labour. In some countries, where poverty abounds, flesh is the cheapest food. Under these circumstances the change will be made with greater difficulty; but it can be effected. We should, however, consider the situation of the people, and the power of life-long habit, and should be careful not to urge even right ideas unduly. None should be urged to make the change abruptly. The place of meat should be supplied with wholesome foods that are inexpensive. In this matter very much depends on the cook. With care and skill, dishes may be prepared that will be both nutritious and appetizing, and will, to a great degree, take the place of flesh food. But if the cooking is done by one whose main dependence is meat, she can encourage its use to an almost unlimited extent. BEcho November 13, 1905, par. 4

Educate the conscience, enlist the will, supply good, wholesome food, and the change will be readily made, and the demand for flesh will soon cease. BEcho November 13, 1905, par. 5