This section is from the book "The Natural Food Of Man", by Emmet Densmore. Also available from Amazon: How Nature Cures Comprising a New System of Hygiene.
Vegetarianism all over the world has received a severe blow. Its most zealous scientific partisan in Germany - its most quoted learned authority, the writer of so many leaflets and polemical pamphlets - Dr. Alanus, sends the Vegetarians his farewell:- "Warum ich nicht mehr Vegetarisch lebe," (Why I no longer live as a Vegetarian), such is the title of an article sent to the Rhenish Courier by Dr. Alanus. The former preacher of the vegetable diet writes: "Having lived for a long time as a Vegetarian without feeling any better or worse than formerly with mixed food, I made one day the disagreeable discovery that my arteries began to show signs of atheromatous degeneration. Particularly in the temporal and radical arteries this morbid process was unmistakable. I could not interpret this symptom as a manifestation of old age, and being furthermore not addicted to drinking, I was utterly unable to explain the matter. I turned it over and over in my mind without finding a solution of the enigma. I, however, found the explanation which I had sought so long quite accidentally in a work of that excellent physician, Dr. E. Monin, of Paris. The following is the verbal translation of the passage in question:- 'In order to continue the criticism of Vegetarianism, we dare not ignore the work of the late lamented Gubler on the influence of the vegetable diet on the chalky degeneration of the arteries. Vegetable food, richer in material salts than that of animal origin, introduces more mineral salts into the blood. Raymond has observed numerous cases of atheroma in a monastery of Vegetarian friars, amongst others that of the prior, a man scarcely thirty-two years old, whose arteries were already considerably indurated. The naval surgeon Treila has seen numerous cases of atheromatous degeneration in Bombay and Calcutta, where many people live exclusively on rice. The vegetable diet, therefore, ruins the blood vessels and makes one prematurely old, if it be true that man is as old as his arteries."It must produce at the same time tartar, the senile arch of the cornea, and phosphaturia.' Having seen these newest results of medical investigation confirmed by my own case, I have as a matter of course returned to a mixed diet. I can no longer consider purely vegetable food as the normal diet of man, but only as a curative method which is of the greatest service in various morbid states. Some patients may follow this diet for weeks and months, but it is not adapted for everybody's continued use. It is the same as with the starving cure, which cures some patients, but it is not fit to be used continually by the healthy. I have become richer by my experience, which has shown me that one single brutal fact can knock down the most beautiful theoretical building."
Vegetarians ought to realise that an article like this, first printed in German, and having such vitality that, six months after, it is circulated in English in South America, is well calculated to do Vegetarianism great harm; and I maintain that the policy of ignoring such matters, and of refusing to discuss them, helps on the damage by giving the impression that Vegetarians have no answer. Indeed, so far as I know, except the theory that nuts and fruits are the natural food of man, and that all starch foods are disease inducing, there is no answer to Dr. Alanus. Dr. Allin-son's reply, published in the Vegetarian, to the effect that first he had seen very little atheromatous degeneration among Vegetarians, and second, that he had seen much more among the eaters of a mixed diet, will be seen to be no answer. It is quite natural that there should be more cases of this disease outside than within the ranks, when we consider that there are but a few thousand Vegetarians, and millions who are eating a mixed diet; and especially when we consider that cereal and starch foods form the basis of the mixed diet, And this leads to the consideration of another most important fact. If Dr. Alanus abandons Vegetarianism because cereal food has thickened the walls of his arteries, is he not still in danger, since the cereals are yet the basis of his food ? It will be seen that the only logical deduction from the experience of Dr. Alanus is that cereal foods must be wholly abandoned, if we are to be entirely free from danger. It is quite true that heretofore, without the key which is supplied by the following pages, Vegetarians are in greater danger than mixed feeders; but it is a difference only of degree; and when we bear in mind they use considerable portions of eggs, milk, and cheese, and have used only a little more of the starch foods than others, we see they are in but little more danger.
An earnest appeal is made to the Vegetarian and meat-eater alike, to put the anti-starch food system to a practical test. Prom Her Majesty the Queen to the lowliest of her subjects, and in my own land from the most influential President to the most humble citizen, there is a bond of sympathy - the greatest of earthly blessings, health. The Vegetarian is interested; not only to be made free from the danger of illness, but in a system that removes the stumbling-block from the path of that movement that has a a clean life, and the avoidance of inflicting suffering upon animals, so much at heart.
But to the meat-eater, this question is not less important. To prove the correctness of the claim herein set forth, all that is necessary is at once to abstain from all bread, cereals, pulses, and starch foods. When obtainable, it will be found advisable to substitute liberal portions of dates, raisins, and figs for the accustomed bread. Continue the usual portions, if you prefer it, of fish, flesh, and fowl. Apples also take the place of bread, and a little practice will enable all persons to relish their accustomed meat, or fish, or eggs, as well with apples as with bread; and whenever dates and figs, or fresh apples are not obtainable, other fruits will be found entirely adequate. Dried apples and prunes are always to be had; and a diet of meat, or fish, or eggs, liberal in quantity, and abundance of stewed apples or prunes, will accomplish wonders in the way of restored health, unstiffened joints, improved complexion, buoyant vigour, and freedom from the heaviness, sleepiness, and tired-out condition of the bread-eater.