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.
"In nature a curious yet simple phenomenon is often observed - a rise and fall. If perpetual, it alternates and becomes a fall and rise. We notice it in the sun, in gravity, in fluctuation, in the tides, and even in the rise and fall of empires. Man has degenerated - this degeneration is due solely to his diet. He has fallen; but we hope that he has risen to the highest point in the art of shortening his days, and that in the present generation he will commence to gradually fall back on his original and ordained diet. Since the creation, the days of man's existence have been little by little decreasing - it has been a gradual fall; but both science and religion tell us that he must rise again, that his life on earth must be prolonged.....
"It is a well-known fact that children brought up on human milk are healthier and more robust than children fed on cow's milk. The reason is obvious. The salts in human milk exist in ratio to its nourishing properties, as one part of salts to seventeen and a half parts of nitrogenous matter; in cow's milk, as one part of salts to six and one-third parts of the same nourishing substances. Therefore, in round numbers, the nutrient part of cow's milk contains nearly three times the amount of salts as compared with human milk. The proportions of alkaline and earthy salts are proximately the same in the ashes of both, so that one ounce of caseine taken from cow's milk contains nearly three times the amount of earthy salts found in an equal weight of caseine from human milk.
"A human being takes four or five times longer to mature than a cow; the latter therefore grows more quickly, and its bones ossify in a less period of time than the former, whose organs are more gradual in their development and growth - whose bones should take a longer time to ossify, and therefore nature gives a food which contains less earthy matter. If we do not follow nature's laws, some bad result must follow, and one-half of our strumous children, who, besides their milk, are as a rule fed on bread and other farinaceous foods - most of them rich in earthy compounds - are for their age, in years and months, bodily older than healthy and robust children of the same age. Rickets and mollifies ossium are in themselves diseases, not necessarily caused by a deficiency of earthy salts in the food, but by a lack in the system of power to assimilate them.
"We can stunt the growth of the lower animals by giving them an excess of earthy matter; we can ossify them, make them permanently old, and shorten their days, by the same. In human beings we need not look further than the Cretins found in the valleys of the Alps, Pyrenees, and other regions. Although cretinism has two distinct causes, the first and most important is that an excess of earthy matter - lime or magnesian lime - is taken into the system in solution in water used for drinking purposes. Hereditary it must be to children born of parents suffering from this disease, if not removed from the cause; but sound healthy children brought into districts where cretinism exists are, at an early age, equally subject to the disease with children born in them.
"Now these beings are, in their infancy, literally prematurely ossified, the development of the bones is arrested, the height being seldom more than four and a half feet. The bones of the cranium, which in a natural state should expand to allow the brain to grow and develop, at an early age become thickened, hardened, and ossified to such an extent that expansion is impossible; the brain, therefore, cannot develop; it is gradually deprived of its blood-supply from below; it is encased and imprisoned by its own shield; its intellectual part cannot develop; the being is subservient to the animal portion; he becomes voracious and lascivious, and in many cases sinks in intelligence below the level of many of the brutes. The age of Cretins is short; few of them reach thirty years, and, as Clayton remarks, 'although they die early, they soon present the appearance of age.' This miserable state of existence is due, to a great extent, to premature ossification.....
"As we know there are many who could not be persuaded to make any alteration in the articles of their diet, white* there are others who might be influenced in this direction, we give a few rules for both these classes. To those who are not inclined to alter the articles of their diet, we say :
"1. Eat moderately, always remembering that you eat to live - to give a balance to the system.
" 2. Take no more than three meals a day.
"3. Avoid eating large quantities of bread, pastry, and other farinaceous foods.
"To those who are willing to make alterations in their diet, the same rules will apply, but with this difference : Eat fruits, if possible at every meal, and commence with them; if the appetite is not moderately satisfied, finish with the ordinary articles of 1iet."
I have heard it said that a prominent Vegetarian, in a public address, recently stated that if he could be persuaded that he could live twenty years longer by going back to a meat diet, he would not think of making the change;"because," said he,"a Vegetarian life is so much more jolly, and one enjoys life so much more while one does live." I am reminded that this is almost the exact reply that is quite universally made to me by the flesh-eater, when pleading with him to adopt the more clean and more wholesome diet of the fruit-eater. And the answer, in both cases, is made in entire ignorance of the law of life. Lest any one attempt to be "jolly" by a liberal indulgence in champagne, or tobacco, or any of the so-called pleasures of life; and afterwards let the same person adopt only water or fruit for drink, and wholly abstain from all poisons; and he will find that any one who seeks pleasure in poisons makes a great mistake - that the life of the water drinker is productive of far more pleasure, and is far jollier, than is possible to the wine drinker.