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istences,' about which his own kindly feelings are so acutely sensitive.
Physical objections against animal food have also been lately started by an able writer and acute reasoner; but their validity and force seem to be, in limine, interfered with by the very strueture of the human frame. The human organs, as well of mastication as of digestion and assimilation, point out man to be omnivorous in his destiny.
• Man,' says Thackrah, (and we here propose to make rather a long extract,) is a native of the world. Inhabiting every clime from the Equator to the 77th degree of latitude, he must subsist on the varying products of these regions; and his digestive organs have a corresponding faculty of accommodation. Need I refer to the diversities of human diet ; the rice of the Hindoos, the dates of the African, the figs of the Greek islander, the currants of the Zephalonian,-the ani. mal diet of the shepherds of the Caraccas, the putrid fish which supports the inhabitants on the banks of the Orange river, the raw flesh and warm blood which feed the Samoiedes and Russians? The accounts of Travellers abound with illustrations of the faculty so remarkable in the human stomach, of accommodation to climate and supply. And are there, (continues our Author in a note appended to his page) · corresponding modifications of structure? We learn that the teeth of the Tartar and African present a remarkable contrast; those of the former, pointed and almost serrated,- the latter, with the grinders largely developed. Man,' (he continues,) in peculiar situations, may be sustained by substances which seem almost destitute of nourishment. The Caravans, when pressed by hunger, live on Gum Seneka; a tribe in Africa, almost entirely on an unctuous kind of clay; the Ottomaks of North America, at one period of the year, on balls of earth. It is apparent from these and similar relations, compared with familiar remarks on the diet of Europeans, that habits, —situation, geographical, political, moral,-civilization in general, the state of mental excitement in particular,- determine man to a variety, and often a contrast of aliment; a contrast, rarely, if ever found prevalent in any species of brutes. Natural history, then, exhibits man as an omnivorous animal, subsisting, in one region, on vegetables,-in another, on flesh,-in a third, on a mixture of flesh and vegetables. But it is also apparent, that in a low grade of civilization, and inhabiting the cold and temperate regions, he prefers flesh to vegetables; or at least, where the opportunity is afforded, takes a larger portion of the former.
From Natural History, we turn to Comparative Anatomy. The hand of the dissector affords information more precise and accordant than the narratives of Travellers. In animals which eat vegetables, we find a large digestive apparatus, or a complicated arrangement; in those which subsist on flesh, a comparatively simple canal. The reason is obvious. The use of digestion is the formation of an animal Auid; and substances already animal, need little elaboration; while vegetables, in proportion to their distance from the animal kingdom, require
a complicated apparatus, a period of digestion comparatively long, and a large .extent of absorbent surface. In omnivorous creatures, the digestive structure is in the medium between those of the car. nivorous and the herbivorous, or a compound of the two.
* The digestive apparatus of the man and the monkey, are alike in figure and arrangement. But when the teeth, the stomach, and the intestines of either of these animals are compared with the predatory polecat, or the ox, and the rabbit, we see a remarkable difference"; and infer the man and the monkey to hold an intermediate place between the wild beast and the eater of herbs.
• From his structure, we deem man to be an omnivorous animal. His teeth associate him with the Simiæ; his stomach with the lion; his large intestines, sacculated, with the ourang-outang and rat of New Holland. We therefore inser, that his digestive apparatus is ordained for various and opposite kinds of food : and that his diet should be accommodated to climate, situation, and habits.'
• In hot countries,' says Dr. Paris, (when discussing the question of the kinds of food appropriate to varying circumstances of clime, calling, &c. &c.) or during the heats of summer, we are instinctively led to prefer vegetable food; and we accordingly find that the inhabitants of tropical climates select a diet of this description : the Bramins in India, and the people of the Canary Isles, Brazil
, &c., live almost entirely on herbage, grains, and roots, while those of the north use little besides animal food. On account of the superior nutritive power of animal matter, it is equally evident, that the degree of bodily exertion or exercise sustained by an individual, should not be overlooked in an attempt to adjust the proportion in which animal and vegetable food should be mixed. Persons of sedentary habits are oppressed, and ultimately become diseased, from the excess of nutriment which a full diet of animal food will occasion. Such a condition, by some process not understood, is best corrected by asescent vegetables. Young children and growing youths generally thrive upon a generous diet of animal food. Adults and old per. sons comparatively require but a small portion of aliment, unless the nutritive movement be accelerated by violent exercise and hard labour.'
Assuming then, that we may, from the capabilities of our organization, be sustained by vegetable or by animal food alone, as well as by a mixture of the two,-or in other words, that our natural food is both animal and vegetable,—we proceed to treat of the kind and quantity of aliment that is best adapted to general demands. And first, as to quantity generally. Here we have the golden rule of Johnson and others, referred to in the commencement of the present article, and which is especially applicable to individuals of feeble digestion ;-viz. that the slightest feeling of uneasy sensation ought to stand with the authority of a sentinel's command, and to be made to say, desist from proceeding further. There is not,' says the writer last
named, there ought not to be any conscious sensibility excited in this organ by the presence of food or drink, in a state
of health; and true is the observation, that to feel that we • have a stomach at all, is no good sign.'
We are fully convinced that this rule of sensation will prove a much safer guide to appropriate quantity and kind of aliment and drink, than those abstract precepts which have lately excited so much public attention, and the adoption of which we have seen in many cases to prove pregnant with considerable mischief. Starvation has, by some individuals of physiological celebrity, been so authoritatively proclaimed as the cardinal point for insuring health, that many disciples of this fasting creed have rigidly acted up to its abstract precepts, till they have been forced into a conviction of its frequent fallacy, by feelings equally uncomfortable and symptoms equally alarming with those which had attended the opposite, and allowedly the more reprehensible, practice of careless repletion.— I pur
sued,' says a friend, in a letter to the writer of these pages, ' the twelve ounces a-day scheme, till you might have studied
astrology through my skin, and exhibited me as a counterpart to the anatomie vivante ; but at the very moment that I • was congratulating myself on perseverance and success, my
eyes felt dim, and blood gushed from my nostrils in as large ' a measure, and to as great an extent, as had happened to me ' while I was eating and drinking in the ordinary way.'-But, on the other hand, this very writer himself cautions against any undue inference that might be made from his statements in favour of the over-feeding system, by declaring that his ultra experiments had taught him the good of moderate forbearance, and that he considers the error of the abstaining system to consist, not in essence, but in excess. To which we may add, that it all along goes upon a defective recognition of the trite but true axiom ;-viz. that what is one man's * meat, is another man's poison.'
On this head, as we deem correct principles of considerable importance, we shall
take occasion to extract the following judicious remarks of Dr. Paris.
,. There is no circumstance connected with diet, which popular, writers have raised into greater importance ; and some medical practitioners have deemed it necessary to direct, that the quantity of food appropriated to each meal should be accurately estimated by the balance. Mr. Abernethy says, that “it would be well if the public would follow the advice of Mr. Addison, given in the Spectator, of reading the writings of L. Cornaro; who, having naturally a weak constitution, which he seemed to have ruined by intemperance, so that he was expected to die at the age of thirty-five, did at that period adopt a strict regimen, allowing himself only twelve ounces of food daily." When I see the habits of Cornaro so incessantly introduced as an example for imitation, and as the standard of dietetic perfection, I am really inclined to ask with Feyjoo--did God create Lewis Cornaro to be a rule for all mankind in what they were to eat and drink? Nothing can be more absurd than to establish a rule of weight and measure upon such occasions. Individuals differ from others so widely in their capacities for food, that to atteinpt the construction of a universal standard is little less absurd than the practice of the philosophical Tailors of Laputa, who wrought by mathematical calculations, and entertained a supreme contempt for those humble and illiterate tashioners, who went to work by measuring the person of their customer; but Gulliver tells us, that the worst clothes he ever wore, were constructed on mathematical principles. How then, it may be asked, shall we be able to direct ihe proportion of food which it inay be proper to take?. I shall answer this question in the words of Dr. Philip, whose opinion so exactly coincides with my own experience, that it would be difficult to discover a more appropriate manner of expressing it.--" The dyspeptic should carefully attend to the first feeling of satiety. There is a moment when the relish given by the appetite ceases ; a single mouthful taken after this, oppresses a weak stomach. If he eats slowly, and carefully, attends to this feeling, he will never overload the stomach.” But that such an indication may not deceive him, let him remember to eat slowly. This is an important condition; for when we eat too fast, we introduce a greater quantity of food into the stomach than the gastric juice can at once combine with*; the consequence of which is, that hunger may continue for some time after the stomach has received more than would be sufficient, under other circumstances, to induce satiety. The advantage of such a rule over every artificial method by weight and measure inust be obvious; for it will equally apply to every person under whatever condition or circumstances he may
be placed. If he be of sedentary habits, the feeling of satiety will be sooner induced ; and if a concurrence of circumstances should have invigo. rated his digestive powers, he will find no difficulty in apportioning the increase of his food, so as to meet the exigencies of the occasion.'
We may here take the opportunity of urging, that individuals of weak digestion especially, ought ever to be on their guard against the habit of fast eating. In this, perhaps, there is quite as much error as in respect of the quantity taken at each meal; and the caution is particularly requisite in the case of those individuals whose digestive powers are feeble ; for besides that in such persons full mastication is more loudly called for,
• Fast eating is likewise calculated to injure the condition of the stomach in another way ;-viz. by causing irregular, contractions of its muscular fibres, and thereby interfering with that peristaltic and orderly movement which we pointed out in the first division of the present article, as necessary to the digestive process. Vol. XXVII. N.S.
it happens that these very individuals are the most likely to transgress in the particular now referred to, from the circumstance of their appetites being of that impulsive and craving kind which calls for immediate supply.
Mastication, it should be noticed, does more than merely divide the food ; it calls forth the secretion from the salivary glands, which secretion, by acting in some degree specifically upon the aliment, lessens the necessity for the influence of the gastric juice; or at the very least, facilitates that influence by preparing the food for its operation. But it does still more than this. It will be recollected, that, in the first part of the present paper, we slightly adverted to the connection which exists between the action of the salivary glands and that of the pancreas : this connection seems to subsist in such sort, that ihe promotion of one agency is the promotion of the other. It will further be recollected, that we pointed out the necessity for a due pancreatic supply to the duodenum, in order thoroughly to effect those changes which the aliment has to undergo while detained in this portion of the alimentary canal. Allowing then the correctness of the assumptions advanced, it follows, that the second digestion and the assimilating processes are assisted by detaining the food a due time in the mouth; and thus, a further reason presents itself for careful and due mastication, beyond the very important one of lessening the Jabour of the stomach itself.
These remarks may be considered as somewhat out of place, since quantity, and not mode, is the question more immediately under consideration ; but as the manner of eating effects in some measure and relatively the quantity to be digested, we have thought it expedient here to introduce cautions against a prevalent and pernicious habit. It will be all along understood, that, as well in this particular, as in reference to the quantity of ingesta, we wish to inculcate prudence rather than prudery, and have no desire to insist upon stop-watch nicety in the regulation of dietetic precepts.
Now as to the question of drink with meals. It is well known that the practice of taking at the same time solid and fluid sustenance had been generally thought adviseable, under the idea that the liquid portion of the ingesta served as a sort of solvent to the solid, and thus materially facilitated the digestive process. So far is this from being the case, say some of our dietetic reformers of the present day, that liquid ingesta serves unduly to distend the stomach, and, by thus doing, interferes with its digestive energies. Moreover, by diluting the gastric secretion, liquids actually diminish and deteriorate, instead of aiding the solvent power of the gastric juice,