BY JAMES HENRY COOK.
AS we are none of us built constitutionally alike, no hard and fast rules can be laid down that will suit any particular person, but the of common sense with the will-to-be-well, will accomplish “miracles of healing” or better still, render healing unnecessary. If the man happens to be a manufacturer, and is willing to take half the care and thought with a view to keeping his body fit, that he does to get the best results from the intricate machinery in his factory, then he is likely not only to enjoy good health, but to out-live many of his competitors who were looked upon as wonderful “business” men.
But is it true business to spend all the thought necessary to get the best possible results from every marine in his factory, while he is governed by no such business-like methods to keep his own body fit, the most wonderful machine he possesses?.
Every machine the business man has if used in the manner he believes will produce the best possible results, and will keep each machine in perfect running order, while his digestive organs receive no such wise consideration. His digestive organs have to digest, as best they can, whatever the owner likes best, often in quantities beyond their capacity, without a rest or a holiday, Sundays and week days, year in and year out.
Such unwise business men also deceive themselves with the belief that they are thus getting the best out of life, while the truth is that if they were to “use themselves to that course of life which was best, custom would render it the most delightful”.
I often think that none of us are as fit as we might be, and thus require healing, owing to the fact that we are unwisely discontented through our failure to get satisfaction from the many everyday things of life. We accordingly require stimulants and excitement in everything we eat or do. In eating and drinking we must have stimulants of some kind, which are stimulants but are certainly not foods.
Or they must have animal food, such as beef or mutton, the most stimulating of solids, but certainly not those which tend to create a pure blood stream, without which perfect health and fitness cannot be secured. When all is said it must be admitted that animal foods do not provide any nourishment not obtainable first hand from the vegetable kingdom, while the animal product also contains vast quantities of ready made impurities not present in the vegetable products.
The majority of flesh eaters would draw the line at eating human flesh, if for no higher motive than they would prefer to eat a vegetarian animal such as the sheep or ox, and they would prefer to eat a vegetarian pig that has been kept under clean conditions and fed on barley meal, rather than one that had been kept at the back of a slaughter house.
When it comes to other things, apart from eating and drinking, does it not prove that the majority have failed to make a true success of their lives? Does not the smoking habit amongst all classes prove this by the lack of contentment that exists without it? Does not the fact that there are a large number among all classes who must obtain excitement on as many nights as possible every week, in the form of dancing, music halls, etc., prove this?
Things that may be in all respects desirable in reason, but are certainly otherwise if we cannot be happy and contented without them. There is not doubt that if we wish to Heal Ourselves, so that we possess a “Healthy” mind in a “Healthy” body, we must become masters of our appetites, our nerves, our habits and our enjoyments, and must be slaves to none of these. We shall then be in the position to truly say and sing “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”.
By the letter i receive I often think that many make a mistake and are greatly handicapped in the healing process by wrongly believing that they inherited this or that complaint. They will be much wiser in believing that they inherited nothing but tendencies. One may even have been born of drunken parents-the unlucky child is not to blame for that-parents are not of our choosing-but if they were, that is not reason why the offspring should die a drunkard, and no such thing could happen if alcohol is left severely alone.
The same law operates with all other conditions. Nothing can exist for long without being fed, not even “tendencies” or the “will-to-be-well”. Feed either and the results are bound to follow. Every urge or will-to-be-well makes an impression on the fibre of the man, whereby the right soil is created which will make healing and perfect fitness possible. Starve “tendencies”, good or bad, inherited or otherwise, and neither can live for long.
We all have the animal and the angel spirit within us. We also have fitness-more or less-and unfitness in like manner. Feed the animal and we become more animal, we may even come to take a delight in the killing process, as does the human on the horse, following the fox and the dogs in the chase, or as the wolf did recently near Oxford by killing fourteen sheep in one night. This kind of “pleasure”, however, in the human, is entirely destroyed by abstaining from the eating of flesh and doubtless eventually it would be so with the wolf, as has been clearly demonstrated by many owners of prize dogs.
There is undoubtedly more truth in the American dictum, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are” than the majority dream of. The many including the writer, who have abstained for forty to fifty years from the eating of slaughtered animals, know full well that such a mode of living makes the question of “Heal Thyself” much easier than it otherwise would be. This way has been found to be one of the best WAYS THAT HELP.
Before attempting to make this change one should be convinced that all this horrible slaughter entailed to provide good lovable Christian people with animal food is quite unnecessary. They should realize the fact that if they do not do the slaughtering themselves then it must be done for them by deputy as long as they continued to be meat eaters.
They should realize also that this world bears a cleaner and brighter aspect for them with their hands washed clean of all responsibility for the annual slaughter of millions of our fellow creatures that need our protection. Not forgetful of the fact that we shall be paid a thousand fold, not only with greater enjoyment but also better health and fitness.
From other letters I receive I have come to the conclusion that many letter I receive far too much about what they should and what they should not eat and drink. I remember when “living in” in a House of business in my young day, I often used to hear the question asked by those only just in their teens, “what is there for dinner to-day, Mrs. Smith?” Which meant was it beef or mutton, as if there were nothing else to eat. I never remember being sufficiently interested myself to ask such a question.
Years later, long after I had become a vegetarian, when I commenced married life, I remember being asked “What would you like for dinner?” My reply was, “Dont ever trouble me with any such questions, my time is too much taken up with earning the money to buy dinners.” Learning to live without animal foods will help to get over this pitfall, for it helps us to live on a simpler diet. It also widens our breadth of vision and helps to reveal the hundred and one different foods nature provides for our sustenance (apart from the few the animal kingdom provided), all tending to help to “Heal Thyself”.
It also should not be overlooked what a simple matter, to those in earnest, the change over from a meat diet to the cleaner one had become, to what it was only forty years ago. When the writer commenced, he simply dropped the “flesh pots”. It then appeared that the Scotsmens porridge and the English whole meal bread was all the support there was to claim in place of the animal products. Things are very different now, with Health Food Stores in almost every town of repute, supplied by Health Food Manufacturers claiming to manufacture hundreds of different foods to take the place of fish, flesh and fowl.
These include Nut Meats that need no mustard; nut butters, cheese, milk and cream free from tuberculosis germs; gravy without blood; nut lard and suet produced without the aid of the “Family Butcher”; delicious vegetable jellies made without the aid of fish bones or pigs trotters. All superior to, and will keep fresh longer than the animal products, to say nothing of the many foods specially prepared for every complaint in the Doctors vocabulary, brought about through unwise eating and drinking.
These foods include those in place of such objectionable things as Codliver Oil and Malt, Meat Extracts, and a host of other advertised goods that deserve, for price and claims, to be placed with the including that of the “beer that is best” only for dividends. From the same source can also be obtained a Diet Guide indicating the best food for most complaints.
I had in my hands a book only this last week written by a lady some thirty years ago to meet the difficulties that then appeared to loom big in the eyes of some would-be vegetarians who did not care to venture. This book contained a different menu for 366 days in the year. To the writer the difficulties to-day appear to be simplicity itself compared with what they were when he commenced.
The attainment is now much easier, the path is much smoother for would-be food reformers, and the reward is much greater. It is still true, however, that the way of the Reformer is more or less rough, and always will be, for the things in this world that are worth having are worth striving for. We should not appreciate them when we got them if it were otherwise.
I can only sum up by saying that to Heal Thyself the most important of the “Ways that help” is, in the words of Count Tolstoy, “the first step”, to become masters of our own stomachs, then all else is easy in comparison. Vegetarianism is a great help with this end in view, but reader rest assured it is only THE FIRST STEP.