No strenuousness on this subject is intended; it is better to let each one choose for himself: yet it may not be improper that some suggestions should be made, some facts stated, and the results of experience shown, for the benefit of any who may be willing to heed. Flesh, as already intimated, composed no part of the food provided for man in his primeval state: its use came to be suffered in consequence of the fall. And if, as argued by some, the food obtained only from the vegetable kingdom is not adequate to the sustenance of man, the Creator must have made a mistake in his first arrangement for the support of his creatures. The fact that naturalists have classified man as in part a carnivorous animal, does not prove it his duty to eat flesh: because either the indications of his classification are the result of his habits of flesh-eating, or they existed before the fall, and mean nothing as relates to his mode of living. The teeth of the carnivorous animals have either conformed to their habits, or they existed in the present form before the fall, and consequently have nothing to do with their eating flesh; for it cannot be supposed that animals devoured one another in their primeval state.

One objection to eating animal food lies in the fact that it increases the proportion of our animality. When the nutrition of vegetation comes to us through the flesh of an animal, it has undergone a sort of animalization; and as it passes into our circulation the proportion of the animality in our natures is increased. A serious objection would seem to lie against such a result, for man is quite sufficiently animal without taking a course to make him more so.

The facts supporting the above statement are these. It is well known that when hunters wish to prepare their hounds for the chase, they confine the diet of those animals to flesh; and that this course does increase the savageness of their dispositions. When ancient warriors desired to give their soldiery a special fitting for the brutal battle-field, they would feed them exclusively on flesh. When the gamester at cock-fighting is preparing his fowl to win the prize, he confines him to flesh. The experiment of flesh-eating has been tried upon the cow. When she was confined to flesh food, rather than starve, she at length ate flesh; and finally lusted after it, and ate it as greedily as though she had belonged to the carnivorous race. But it changed her natural disposition to that of the tiger: she became ferocious. And she verified another general rule with meat-eaters; she lost all her teeth.

It is generally admitted among intelligent people, that eating much flesh tends to animality; and that consequently it is not well for those who devote themselves to study to indulge largely in the use of meat. This general impression is founded on sound philosophy. When we increase the proportion of our animal nature, we oppress the intellectual and moral. If students would make easy progress, they must not indulge themselves with eating much flesh; and the less the better. If any would be eminent in morals or religion, let them eat but little flesh; and the less the better. For when we increase the activity of the animal propensities, we weaken the power of the moral sentiment, and endanger the rectitude of moral action. We need to encourage and cultivate our intellectual and moral powers, rather than our carnality. We are naturally savage enough in our dispositions, and fleshly enough in out appetites, without taking a course that will increase those qualities. There can be no question but that the use of flesh tends to create a grossness of body and spirit. A reference to the history and character of different nations alone would prove this. There is certainly a grossness in the idea of one dumb animal's making food of another animal; and the idea of an intelligent being's devouring the flesh of another animate creature us grosser still. And will a person of refinement -- will the advocate of moral purity and religion -- will woman indulge in such luxuries?

Animal food vitiates the fluids of the system. Practical demonstration has often substantiated this statement. Take the great mass of cases which require treatment for a humor, and it will generally be found that the individuals thus affected were, themselves or their immediate predecessors, large eaters of flesh. Even the cancer can generally be traced back, either mediately or immediately, to such an origin. And what has been found to be the most effectual remedy in cases of common humor? Abstinence from eating flesh. When we feed on flesh, we not only eat the muscular fibres, but the juices or fluids of the animal; and these fluids pass into our own circulation -- become our blood -- our fluids, and our flesh. However pure may be the flesh of the animals we eat, their fluids tend to engender in us a humorous state of the blood. But the meat that is given us in the markets is very far from being pure. The very process taken to fit the animals for market, tends to produce a diseased state of their fluids. The process of stall feeding is a forced and unnatural process, by which the fluids become diseased; and then we eat those diseased fluids. Some of our meat is fatted in country pastures; but by the time it reaches us, the process of driving to market has produced a diseased action of the fluids.

If it be argued that these objections may lie against raw meat, but not against it when cooked, it may be answered, that if meat can be cooked so severely as to remove its juices entirely, it might be comparatively harmless; but just in proportion to those juices will be its nutrition, and also its injurious qualities; besides, if the juices could be entirely removed, who would eat the meat? and how could nourishment be obtained from it?

Animal food exposes the system more effectually to the causes of acute disease. Where the fluids are in a diseased state the ordinary causes of disease find a more easy prey. Thousands on thousands of those who have been afflicted with or have died of fevers, smallpox, cholera, etc, might probably have escaped their deadly influence if their fluids had not been vitiated by animal food. In cases of inoculation for smallpox, a dieting process is recommended, which very much mitigates the malignant character of the disease. But let an individual be inoculated who has been accustomed to simplicity and regularity of diet, and especially who has been accustomed to abstinence from animal food, and he is already dieted; he need not change his course; he is prepared to have the disease with comparative safety. The use of meat is undoubtedly a fruitful source of disease, and a means of enhancing those diseases which are unavoidable. The severest cases of worms in children may, as a general rule, be found among the greatest meat-eaters.

The vitiated state of the fluids is often seen in the character of wounds. In those whose fluids are pure, wounds heal readily. Smooth-cut wounds, if rightly treated, will heal by what is called "the first intention," or the first effort of nature: while in those whose fluids are vitiated, there is a liability to extensive inflammation and ulceration. In cases of rough wounds and bruises, where the fluids are pure, nature gets up a cure with remarkable speed; but in those whose fluids are corrupted, the process of cure is generally long protracted, and sometimes exceedingly obstinate and unmanageable. The following extract contains testimony on this point: -"Flesh-Eating and Vegetable-Eating. -- To consider man anatomically, he is decidedly a vegetable-eating animal. He is constructed like no flesh-eating animal, but like all vegetable-eating animals. He has not claws like the lion, the tiger, or the cat, but his teeth are short and smooth, like those of the horse, the cow, and the fruit-eating animals; and his hand is evidently intended to pluck the fruit, not seize his fellow animals. What animals does man most resemble in every respect? The ape tribes: frugiverous animals. Doves and sheep, by being fed on animal food, (and they may be, as has been fully proved,) will come to refuse their natural food: thus has it been with man. On the contrary, even cats may be brought up to live on vegetable food, so they will not touch any sort of flesh, and be quite vigorous and sleek. Such cats will kill their natural prey just as other cats, but will refuse them as food. Man is naturally a vegetable-eating animal: how, then, could he possibly be injured by abstinence from flesh? A man, by way of experiment, was made to live entirely on animal food; after having persevered ten days, symptoms of incipient putrefaction began to manifest themselves. Dr. Lamb, of London, has lived for the last thirty years on a diet of vegetable food. He commenced when he was about fifty years of age, so he is now about eighty, -- rather more, I believe, -- and is still healthy and vigorous. The writer of the Oriental Annual mentions that the Hindoos, among whom he travelled, were so free from any tendency to inflammation, that he has seen compound fractures of the skull among them, yet the patient to be at his work, as if nothing ailed him, at the end of three days. How different is it with our flesheating, porter-swilling London brewers: a scratch is almost death to them." -- Flowers and Fruits, by J. E. Dawson.

The objections, then, against meat-eating are threefold: intellectual, moral, and physical. Its tendency is to check intellectual activity, to depreciate moral sentiment, and to derange the fluids of the body. It is a consequent of the fall, and is adapted to enhance its evils. It is not essential to physical energy and strength: if it is, then the Creator, as before stated, made a mistake when he originally gave to man for his nourishment simply the fruits of Eden.

Animal food is also too stimulating. Simple stimulus mixed with nutrition is what we not only do not need, but its tendency is injurious. Take two laboring men -- one lives on meat, the other on vegetables -- the meat-eater may at first be able to excel in the amount of labor performed in a given time, just as that man will excel who takes brandy with his meal; but in the long run, the man who depends on nutrition that is simple and unstimulating will endure longer and perform more.

The objections against eating flesh are, however, less forcible in the case of laborers than of those of intellectual and sedentary habits. While the laborer works off a measure of the evil influence exerted on his intellectual, moral, and physical systems, the sedentary man retains them.

In speaking of the objections to meat-eating, all kinds of flesh are not meant: fish may be excepted: and fowls are altogether less objectionable than the general run of quadrupeds. And the objections to meat-eating in general are not meant to be urged with the same strenuousness which is intended to be used in regard to other matters presented in this work: for while these may strictly be resolved into rules of natural law, those may perhaps with propriety come under rules of expediency. Matters of fact have been stated, deductions philosophically drawn, and practical demonstrations presented; and every candid reader -- unbiassed by a flesh-loving appetite -- can easily come to the conclusion for himself, whether it be better to eat or to dispense with flesh in his diet. The author of these suggestions has given the matter of abstinence from flesh-eating a trial of six years; and would by no means be induced to return to the use of animal food.