In their growth, vegetables secrete no poisons; whereas in all animals, the very processes of life consist in the breaking down of tissue, and the formation of products of waste and oxidation. Thus when we eat flesh, we ingest, along with muscle and nerve cells, those waste and poisonous substances known as urea, uric acid, creatinine, etc. These poisons taken into the body must be eliminated, together with the normal amount of uric acid formed within the human body; and thus extra work is thrown upon the kidneys and the eliminative organs. This keeps the human machinery at high tension ; and the process kept up, inevitably results in raising the blood pressure, often producing Bright’s disease.
Because of the presence of these waste and poisonous sub-stances, flesh foods stimulate and excite the nerves. The effort on the part of nature to rid the system of poisons is commonly mistaken for real energy; but in reality, the action upon the body is the same as when tea, coffee, and alcohol are taken. For this reason, a patient with gout or inflammatory rheumatism is ordered by the physician to discontinue at once the eating of any kind of meat. The system, being already laden with poisons, cannot tolerate the burden of additional quantities of uric acid ingested with meat.
All the nourishment that is found in the world today was made by the plants. This is evident when we consider that the greater quantity of vegetable food ingested, by the animal is burned as fuel, leaving within the flesh of animal or fowl, only a remnant of the energy and food elements originally obtained from plants. This remnant amounts to about 25%, with 75% waste ; whereas in our cereal grains, we receive 75% of nourishing properties, with only 25% waste. This so-called waste in whole meal cereals is not waste at all as compared with that found in meat; for the 12% of water in wheat is of the purest, and the rough part, when ground with the wheat entire, furnishes a necessary bulk, and is rich in mineral and vitamine.
As a further illustration, we compare the following analyses of fresh perch and sweet apple. It will be seen that the fish under consideration contains about 90.9% of water and refuse, with 9.1% of nourishing properties, as against 88.3% of water and refuse in ripe apple, with 11.7% of nutriment. This comparison shows, moreover, that we receive a greater total of food units in a pound of fruit than in the pound of fish.
Some may dispute the above reasoning, on account of the reputed value of fish protein. However, it is well known that for persons using a variety of vegetable and cereal foods, together with a moderate proportion of dairy products, this high percentage of protein in fish and meats not only is useless, but actually over-burdens the system with a dead weight of surplus material. On the other hand (from the standpoint of purity), the advantage is altogether on the side of the fruit, as in fruit we receive of the purest distilled water, charged with most cleansing acids, while the water found in the animal’s body is filled with refuse material, which must be expelled from the system at a great expense to the excretory organs.
A further study of the analysis of food, shows that in nutritive value, each pound of corn is equal to about two and one half pounds of beef. Consequently, it would seem the very height of wisdom to get the nutriment direct, by eating the corn or other cereal in good bread or other delicacy, rather than feed it to the animal and then eat it in the form of steer or hog.
Though we allow that animal products all contain a share of the nutritive constituents necessary for our existence, because the animal has taken sustenance from the vegetable kingdom, nevertheless, when we eat flesh, we are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand. The life that was in the vegetable passes into the eater; and though we may receive it in part by eating the flesh of the animal, how much better to get it direct by eating the food originally provided for our use!
The gift of taste came from God, just as much as sight or hearing; and we should derive enjoyment from the healthy exercise and proper use of these special senses. Through habitual indulgence in stimulants, condiments, and highly seasoned foods, the taste becomes perverted, and as a result, can detect but few flavors in food, principally salt, sweet, bitter, and sour. By par-taking of simple, natural foods, carefully prepared, and served in an appetizing manner, we may so develop the sense of taste as to find genuine satisfaction in the flavors from the food we are eating, as a lover of music does in hearing a star musical performance, or as an artist does in seeing some masterpiece in an art gallery.
The process by which meat is made tender (ripe) is nothing but partial decomposition. Insidious poisons are thus developed, and are added to those present during life. This is not true of foods from the vegetable kingdom. These contain within them-selves the very essence of life, manifest in the tiny organ of reproduction, and if hidden in the earth, will soon give proof of life within, thus assuring us of the purity and freedom from putrefaction and poisons of the food that is to build bone and sinew.