This section is from the book "Health Without Medicine. A Treatise On The Laws Of The Human System", by Larkin B. Coles. Also available from Amazon: Philosophy Of Health.
The preceding pages were written with the sincere hope of doing good to humanity. There is no subject belonging to this life more important than the true science of health. The standard of general health is constantly declining from generation to generation, and the whole cause may be found in the habits of the people. The grand question for the reader is, will he follow every suggestion in this little work, which commends itself to his good sense, endeavoring to raise the standard of strength in his own system, and be prepared to transmit health and soundness to his posterity? Will he live according to the principles of physiological law, and reap the benefits to himself and his progeny? or will he make a god of his belly, suffer the penalty of violated law, and bring disease and premature death on himself and those that follow him?
What shall be said of him who will go on in known hurtful indulgences -- feeding unnatural appetites, or crowding his natural ones by unnatural burdens? Shall he be reckoned among intelligent beings -- beings endowed with a soul? Inspiration calls that man a fool who seeks only worldly good, and neglects his higher destiny. And is a man any less a fool who knows no higher rule of life than the mere gratification of a depraved appetite; indulgence which hazards health and life, and lowers the standard of his intellectual and moral being? In doing this he puts himself on a level with the soulless brute! Some even put themselves far below the brute! They cherish appetites so low, and vulgar, and unnatural, that brutes will not stoop to be their associates. Brutes will not sip the drunkard's drink; they will not chew the tobacco eater's cud.
How would the ox, or the horse, the dog, or even the muddy swine, degrade his nature, were he to use tobacco -- that deadly thing which is working greater devastations to this generation than even alcohol itself! What would a man think to find his horse eating the poisonous stuff? Would he not be alarmed for its effects on his strength and durability? -- for every one of much intelligence knows it to be injurious to animal life. Let that same man ask himself whether his own body is worth less than that of his beast; and inasmuch as he has a higher nature, let it be saved from the benumbing influence of the deadly weed. If intelligent beings would live as lawfully as the brute creation, they would as seldom be affected with disease. Will they be lower than the brutes?
Let him who was made to be a man, be a man; or, if not, let him down on all four, and no longer pretend to be what he is not. If he is endowed with reason, let him govern himself; let him study to understand, and resolve to obey the laws of his being, which are the laws of God. Let each one resolve to do what he can to turn back the mighty current of physical and moral declension, which now threatens the extinction of the noble qualities of human nature. Let him not live, like the beasts that perish, to gratify his lower nature; let him improve his higher being, live for God and Humanity.