This section is from the book "Meals Medicinal", by W. T. Fernie. Also available from Amazon: Meals Medicinal: With "Herbal Simples" Curative Foods From the Cook in Place of Drugs From the Chemist.
And in this way the moral, and intellectual redeeming moiety was utterly extinguished, so that the monster Edward Hyde completely overpowered the good, benevolent Dr. Jekyll, and presently came to a miserable end by suicide, that he might escape from the Nemesis of the law for the heinous crimes perpetrated through his flesh-eating propensities.
The people who consume the greatest quantity of meat are the Americans, their average individual amount being one hundred and seventy-five pounds per annum. The English come next with an average of rather more than one hundred and ten pounds. The French people eat only half as much meat as the English; and the people of Germany, Italy, and Austria still less.
Long experience by English, Scotch, and Irish labourers has proved cheese to be a capital substitute for meat in affording satisfactory nourishment. A small quantity of sound cheese with them takes the place of a large allowance of meat, and enables them to endure such hard labour as the American thinks he can only perform upon a generous meat diet. In Germany farm labourers depend largely upon the curd of milk, after skimming this milk for butter. Such curd is often used in a fresh state, and makes an important part of the labourers diet. Cheese is less liable to putrefactive change than flesh, and thus much less likely to develop in the human system those scrofulous diseases which are attributable to animal food, more or less diseased, if the truth were known.
The person who eats in excess, especially of animal food, is always too easily fatigued; even a single meal may produce fatigue, if it is unusually large, or rich. Workmen are sooner tired on a Monday compared with any other day of the week, owing to their having more (animal) food, and less work on the Sunday preceding. The said fatigue is then due to self-poisoning, or auto-intoxication by corrupt products from a surfeited digestion. And on this principle it happens that the staying power of vegetarian eaters is so much greater than that of those who consume meat, when competing, for instance, in walking matches over long distances.
Nevertheless a generous diet in the respect of animal food is generally essential towards the cure of hysteria, where the nervous system is always impoverished. As regards the making, and repair of bodily tissues, these effects can be accomplished only by proteids, with mineral matters, and water. Besides the lean of flesh these proteids include white of egg, the casein of milk, the gluten of grains, and gelatin, with fibrin, as parts of meat. They as proteids are alone able to fulfil both functions as a food, viz., tissue-making, and the maintenance of bodily warmth. Hence is given to them the pre-eminent name, proteids. "We may go without fats, but unless we have proteids we die." Vegetable pro-teid is not so readily assimilable as that of flesh meat. "Many of the failures of haphazard vegetarianism are due to a lack of sufficient proteids in the diet." Nitrogen enters the body in proteid, and leaves it in urea, the product of expended muscular force. Carbon enters the body in fat, and leaves it in carbonic dioxide, the product of combustion within the body.
Sir Thomas Browne, in his Religio Medici, 1635, has discoursed after the following manner about our eating of meat. "Now for these walls of flesh wherein the soul doth seem to be immured before the Resurrection, it is nothing but an elemental composition, and a fabric that must fall to ashes. All flesh is grass is not only metaphorically, but literally true; for all those creatures we behold are but the herbs of the field, digested into flesh in them, or more remotely carnified in ourselves. Nay, further, we are what we all abhor, anthropophagi, and cannibals, devourers not only of men, but of ourselves; and that not in an allegory, but a positive truth, for all this mass of flesh which we behold came in at out mouths, this frame we look upon hath been upon our trenchers; in brief we have devoured ourselves!"
Within quite recent times the medical practice has come deservedly into vogue, of curing diseased states due to faulty function of some particular organ (glandular for the most part) in the human subject, by giving as food, or as an extract, portions of the same organ whilst in sound health, taken from a freshly-slaughtered animal. Thus goitre of the throat, and the depraved state of system induced thereby, are corrected, and the patient restored to full health, by administering the neck gland (or its extract) - "thyroid"- of a healthy sheep. Similarly for the urinary difficulties of old men, because of the gland (prostate) at the neck of the bladder having become thickened with senile deposits, the chopped prostate gland of a newly-slaughtered bull is given from day to day in small quantities with the most marked benefit. Likewise other such cures are being effected by giving for their allied diseases the glands, or their prepared extracts, of kidney, liver, breast, ovary, etc. Again, an animal extract is being got from the (blind) gland which caps the kidney of sheep or ox, and which corresponds to the same gland in the human body.
This extract (adrenalin) has the power to stay bleeding by making the blood-vessels concerned therein contract, and close themselves up, even when cut by the surgeon's knife. But it is of difficult production, seeing that each animal gland of this nature (suprarenal) can only furnish a quarter of a grain. Also the gastric juice secreted by a healthy animal's stomach, as of the pig, or calf, will by its pepsin externally, when dried, cleanse, and serve to heal wounds, and sores complicated by sloughing, the pepsin, which acts only on dead tissues, faithfully seeking out, and breaking up the debris of disorganised cellular structure. The sores must be washed thoroughlv from time to time, and a fresh solution of pepsin again applied. Similarly, for chronic urethral soreness, with bladder complications, and disorganized products given off within the urinary passages, the injection of pepsin, or bougies made therefrom, and passed along, have been found eminently successful.
Curative preparations of healthy animal organs exercise this remedial action within the human body under disease, in one of two ways, intrinsic, or extrinsic; the former when they replace some necessary secretion which is wanting in the patient; the latter when not glandular, but identical in structure with the part at fault, so as in some remarkable manner to influence such part for good; as for example by giving animal heart-substance for failure of power in the human heart, or spinal marrow from the ox for weakness of the human spine. Cardin is the medicinal principle of the bullock's heart, and is contained therein when this is sent to table as food, being found to increase the force, and fulness of the pulse subsequently to eating it. Dr. Hutchison speaks of the animal heart as an excellent, and economical food, to be highly commended for healthy persons, and of which a larger use than at present may be well made. It resembles ordinary meat very closely as far as chemical composition is concerned, (whilst plus the cardin,) but differs from it in being of a denser structure. Likewise with respect to the human brain when disordered in function, it is found that sheeps' brains, by the "cerebrin" of their grey matter, when administered as food act beneficially.
Again, the discovery recently made that a local application within the human nostrils of the said animal organ attached to the sheep's kidney (supra-renal), when dried and powdered, will straightway relieve the distress of hay fever, is remarkable and to the point. This animal substance if blown into, and up the nose exercises a positive remedial effect on the severe nasal trouble. Whether or not the same animal organ if given as food would answer equally well, remains to be tried. Furthermore, proof positive has been obtained that if an animal serum, which can dissolve the red corpuscles of the human blood, is injected by small doses into the human body under the skin, it will positively increase the number of sound healthy red corpuscles possessed by the individual. Likewise other serums, or soups, prepared from healthy animals (as of the liver, kidney, or spermatic fluid) and employed in small quantities, will actually strengthen the specific tissue elements of this, or that same human organ, when weakened by illness, or disease.