Historical Events

Kellogg publishes 'The Natural Diet of Man" and says "man not naturally a flesh-eater"

The Natural Diet of Man

John Harvey Kellogg, M.D., LL.D., F.A.C.S.

Man not Naturally a Flesheater

It is to be noted at the outset that our present mode of life is far from natural. Since he left his primitive state, in his wanderings up and down the face of the earth to escape destruction by terrific terrestrial convulsions and cataclysmic changes in climate and temperature, chilled during long glacial peridos, parched and blistered by tropic heats, starved and wasted by drouth and famine, man has been driven by ages of hardships and emergencies to adopt every imaginable expedient to survive immediate destruction, and in so doing has acquired so great a number of unnatural tastes, appetites, and habits, perversions and abnormalities in customs and modes of life, that it is the marvel of marvels that he still survives.

Man no longer seeks his food among the natural products of field and forest and prepares it at his own hearthstone, but receives it ready to eat, prepared in immense factories, slaught-houses, mills, and bakeries and displayed in palatial emporiums. No longer led by a natural instinct in the selection of his foodstuffs as were his remote forebears, he finds his dietetic guidance in the advertising columns of the morning paper, and eats not what Nature prepares for his sustenance but what his grocer, his butcher, and his baker find it most to their pecuniary interest to purvey to him. The average man himself no longer plants and tills and harvests the foods which enter into his bill of fare, that is, "earns his bread by the sweat of his brow," but accepts whatever is passed on to him by a long line of producers and purveyors who do his sweating for him, depriving him of the opportunity of earning both appetite and good digestion by honest toil. So he resorts to condiments and ragouts, palate-tickling and tongue-blistering sauces and nerve-rousing stimulants, as a means of securing the unearned felicity of gustatory enjoyment.

Animal Dietaries

Comparative anatomy and natural history give definite and positive information. It is easy to determine the natural diet of an animal by studying its eating habits when in a wild or natural state, because animals are guided by unerring instincts which instruct them to eat and lead them to avoid those things which are not naturally adapted for their sustenance, and which are hence unwholesome for them. 

Lessons from the Monkey

Even savage man finds it necessary to appeal to his humble forest companions for indformation regarding foods with which he is not acquainted. Dr. Geil, a famous African explorer who visited the pigmies, told the writer some years ago that when he asked the chief of the pigmies, "How do you know what to eat when you visit a new forest?" the quaint little chieftan replied: "When I find a new nut, I put it where a monkey can see it; then I hide and watch the monkey. Pretty soon he picks up the nut, smells it, tastes it, and then if he eats it, I eat it. Yet if he drops it on the ground, I know it is poisonous and don't eat it."

The pigmy has made an important dietetic discovery which the average civilized man has not yet attained. He has found that the safe way in diet is to follow the monkey. He submits his bill of fare to his forest relative, whose knowledge of dietetics he knows to be more reliable than his own, and accepts his guidance.Much more valuable information could be obtained by sitting at the feet of some wise old chimpanzee and watching him eat than by reading many books on dietetics. 

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