Dietetic Reform is now being considered seriously by thoughtful people in all parts of the world and interest in this important though long neglected subject is increasing every day.
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The fact that our physical, mental, and spiritual conditions are greatly influenced by the nature and quality of our daily food, and that, consequently, our welfare depends upon a wise selection of the same, is becoming generally recognized.
Popular illusions concerning the value of flesh-food have been much dispelled during recent years by revelations concerning the physical deterioration of the flesh-consuming nations, and the comparative immunity from disease of people who live on purer and more natural food; also by a succession of remarkable victories won by fruitarians who have secured numerous athletic Championships and long distance Records.
Demonstration has been provided by the Japanese, that a non-carnivorous and hygienic Race can out-march and out-fight the numerically superior forces of a colossal Empire; and that its national and social life can be characterized by conspicuous efficiency, sobriety, health, and vitality.
A vast amount of emphatic personal and medical testimony to the advantages of the more simple and natural fruitarian system of living is being given by thousands of witnesses who speak from experience; and such evidence is preparing the way for a complete change of popular thought and custom concerning dietetics.
In addition to such influences, an ever-increasing consciousness that the emancipation of the animal world from systematic massacre and ruthless cruelty awaits the abandonment of the carnivorous habit by the Western races of mankind, is exercising a powerful effect upon the lives of multitudes of men and women. In consequence of having reached a comparatively advanced stage of evolution, they realise the solidarity of sentient life and feel humanely disposed towards all fellow-creatures; and they cannot avoid the conviction that Man was never intended to play the part of a remorseless and bloodthirsty oppressor of the sub-human races.
Those who are labouring to bring about the adoption of dietetic customs that neither violate the physical laws of our being, nor outrage the humane sentiments of the higher part of our nature, are consequently now met by serious requests for information concerning some way of escape from bondage to ancestral barbaric custom, and the safest path to a more rational and harmonious existence. "How may we live out our full length of days in health and vigour, instead of dying of 9disease?" "How may we avoid the painful maladies that are prevalent, and escape the surgeon's knife?" "How may we be delivered from further participation in all this needless shedding of innocent blood?" "How may we in a scientific way feed ourselves with simple and hygienic food—with the kindly fruits of the earth instead of the flesh of murdered creatures who love life just as we do?" Such questions as these are being asked by thousands of earnest souls, and it is to help such enquirers that this Guide-Book is published.
My aim has been to give practical, reliable and up-to-date information in a concise form, avoiding superfluous matter and 'faddism,' and only supplying simple recipes which do not require the skill of a 'chef' for their interpretation. By spending a few hours in thoughtful study of the following pages, and by practising this reformed system of diet and cookery in domestic life for a few weeks, any intelligent person can master the chief principles of fruitarian dietetics, and become qualified to prepare appetising dishes suited to the taste of a hermit or a bon vivant (provided that its possessor be not hopelessly enamoured of the "flesh-pots of Egypt" and the flavour of cooked blood).
A system of living that is earnestly recommended by thousands of disinterested advocates who have personally tried it, that comes to us full of promise both for ourselves and others, that bids fair to humanize and transform mankind and to solve many 10of the world's social problems, and that is now endorsed by so many progressive medical authorities, merits such attention, and is worthy of trial.
As I am writing a Guide to reformed diet for domestic use—not an elaborate treatise to justify it—I have refrained from introducing medical and experimental testimony concerning the dangerous and injurious nature of flesh-food, and the advantages of living upon the fruits of the earth, supplemented by dairy products. Numerous standard works are now obtainable which demonstrate that the principles and arguments upon which the Food-Reform Movement is based are supported by an array of scientific evidence which is more than sufficient to convince any unprejudiced, logical and well-balanced mind. For such information I must refer my readers to other publications, and I have printed a short list of useful works on the final pages of this book, for the benefit of those who are as yet unacquainted with such literature.
For some of the recipes contained in the following pages I am indebted to certain of the Members of The Order of the Golden Age, and to other workers in the Food-Reform Cause—but especially to Mrs. Walter Carey, who has devoted much time to the task of preparing and testing them. Most of them are original, being the result of thoughtful experiment; and they should, if carefully followed, result in the production of dishes which will give satisfaction. But if certain recipes do not commend themselves to 11some of my readers, they are invited to remember that human palates differ considerably, and to try other dishes with the hope that they will like them better.
With the earnest desire that all who read this book will make some sincere endeavour to seek emancipation from the barbaric habits that are prevalent in Western lands, and to cease from that physical transgression in the matter of diet into which our forefathers, at some period of the world's history, appear to have fallen with such disastrous consequences to themselves and their posterity, it is sent forth upon its humble but beneficent mission. And I trust that many, when they have proved that such a way of living is both possible and advantageous, will strive to persuade others to live as Children of God, rather than as the beasts of prey.
Those who have reached that spiritual plane where the sacredness of all sentient life becomes recognised, and who find it painful to contemplate the wanton and cruel slaughter which at present takes place throughout Christendom—involving the death of at least a million large animals every day—must instinctively experience a longing to apprehend some way by which this butchery can be brought to an end. Such will be able to perceive the real significance of, and necessity for, the twentieth-century crusade against human carnivoracity—the Moloch idol of these modern days. They will also feel individually constrained to co-operate in the great work of 12bringing about this practical and beneficent Reformation, and of giving to mankind the blessings that will result from it.
As in the case of all previous editions of this book, any financial profit derived from its sale will be devoted to the exaltation of these humane and philanthropic ideals—hence its presentation to The Order of the Golden Age. My readers, therefore, who feel that its circulation will tend to lessen the sum total of human and sub-human suffering, are invited to assist in securing for it a large circulation, by lending or presenting copies to their friends, and making it widely known. And to attain this end, the sympathetic aid of journalists and other leaders of public thought will be especially appreciated.
Sidney H. Beard.