DEATH IN THE POT
By Dr. J.H. Kellogg, M.D.
WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF RHEUMATISM, JAUNDICE, TUBERCULOSIS AND OTHER DEADLY DISEASES? Does it ever occur to you that the tender beef-steak or juicy mutton chop which you so much relish for breakfast may be less wholesome and nourishing than you have. supposed it to be9 In Bible times, and indeed among most nations at the present day, bread was the Staff of Life but the average American evidently believes that beef or flesh food of some kind is the chief means by which strength is to be replenished. The error of this opinion is shown by the fact that millions of human beings are practically vegetarians and yet enjoy in most excellent health; and the.additional.fact that the strongest and. the longest-liyed of all members of the animal kingdom are not flesh eaters. Our object is not, however, to argue the question whether the use of flesh food is handful or unnecessary, but to call attention to the fact that much of the flesh food consumed is either in a diseased state or liable to be diseased.
ANIMAL DISEASES TRANSMITTED TO HUMANS: All of the domestic animals which are used as food are liable to diseases, many of which are similar to those from which; human beings suffer. Consumption, scrofula, rheumatism, typhoid and malarial fevers, small-pox, scarlet fever, pleuropneumonia, influenza, carbuncle; and jaundice are a few of the disease to which food-animals are liable, to say nothing of such functional disorders as torpid livers, dyspepsia, and deficient or disturbed secretions. Besides these diseases, there are those terrible maladies, tapeworm and trichinosis, which are known to arise from the use of diseased flesh, and from this cause only. These disorders are exceedingly prevalent among cattle and hogs, and increasingly so.
DISEASED HOGS FOR THE DINNER TABLE: Do you feel no uneasiness on this subject? Then come with us,. for a visit to a packing house in some large Western city where thousands of animals, cattle, sheep, and hogs, are daily slaughtered and prepared for market We will not undertake to study the whole immense business in all its details, but will just glance about here and there and note what we may see that has a bearing on the question which we are considering. Perhaps the first thing we note is a long inclined plane up which is being driven, in single file, a long line of hogs, fat, unwieldy, and bleary-eyed. Most of them look as though they were not enjoying the best of health, and a few appear to be positively sick. There is one that is evidently scarcely able to walk. He totters slowly along, and at last falls in the middle of the procession. If he had held out to the other end, he would have been seized by the legs, swung up, his throat cut, and in a twinkling he would have been in the course of preparation for the pork barrel. Now he is doomed to go to the rendering establishment, where he will be thrown into a great cauldron, and stewed up with a lot of other sick hogs, for a few hours, after which a great part of him will appear in the shape of first-class steam-refined lard, and shortly he will be, on his way to an artificial butter factory to be converted into oleomargarine.
There is no question that vast numbers of hogs sick with hog cholera and 4 other diseases to which the animal js subject, find their way in one form or another into the stomachs of the people. If the sick porker has been able to reach the top of the inclined plane, he would haye been eaten without so, much circumlocution, and if his consumer had died of some mysterious disease, it probably would have been charged to Providence or the weather instead. of the pig or the packer. Unquestionably, thousands of deaths of this sort do occur every year, the real cause of which seldom is suspected. A few years ago, a family in Michigan was made sick by the use of steam-refined lard. A portion of the lard was sent to an eminent microscopist, who reported that he found in the lard the germs, of hog cholera, which certainly was sufficient explanation of the sickness.
COLOR OF MEAT INDICATES DISEASE: Let us take a look at the dressed carcasses which are lying about in scores. Here is one, the flesh of which is of a dark 'purple color. The color signifies that the animal was suffering with an acute fever when it was killed. Will this flesh be likely to make pure blood and healthy tissues?
Here is another which has a pale pink color. What does this signify? Simply that the butcher got the start by a month or two on a consumption, which was preying upon the animal's vitality. If we had seen its lungs, we should have found them studded with tubercies. It is more than likely that those who eat the flesh of this animal will consume some millions of tuberdes in so doing, and it is possible that some of them who happen to take their steaks a little rare will contract the disease. It is very probable that this is one of the most common sources of the rapid increase m prevalence of this greatest of all the scourges of civilization. According to the most reliable statistics, it appears that about one-fifth of all who die fall victims to this most incurable of maladies. Here is one source of infection with the disease, which it would be wise to avoid.
That carcass over there which has a golden yellow cast, was from an animal which had jaundice. The flesh is stained with bile, and yet some One will eat it with no thought of the grossness which he is consuming.
WORMS AND TAPEWORMS COME FROM MEAT: Suppose we take a closer view of some of the fine rounds and roasts which are going to be served up on somebody's table before a week has passe4+Iereis a piece of splendid looking meat, which would be quite likely to make a carnivorous man's mouth water for a liberal slice of it. Let us cut off a bit and put it under a pocket microscope which we happen to have with us. You notice some little white specks scattered here and there. Do you ask what they are? These are small cysts. In each one of them is curled up a little tapeworm. When the flesh is eaten, the sac will be dissolved by the gastric juice, and the little worm will be liberated. It will soon fasten itself by a pair of minute hooklets to the side of the intestine, and will begin t6 grow, feeding upon the digested food which ought to nourish the host who furnishes him a lodging. Our worm may go on growing until it reaches the length of fifty or 'a hundred feet, or even more. The careful study of tapeworms, which has been made within the past few years, has developed the fact that in nearly all cases these loathsome parasites are derived from beef or veal.
A large proportion of all hogs are afflicted with trichinac. When this infected pork is eaten, as most of it undoubtedly is, it is liable to give rise to a disease known as trichinosis, one-half the cases of which prove fatal. It has been ascertained in England that the use of the flesh of animals which have died of pleuropneumonia is a cause of a malignant and very deadly form of a disease known as malignant carbuncle. Dr. Livingstone observed the same thing in South Africa.
It has been asserted by a most eminent authority on this subject, Prof. Gamgee, that one-fifth of all the meat sold in the markets is from diseased animals. Prof. Brown, of England, asks the significant question, "What becomes of all the hundreds and thousands of 'rotten' sheep which we see in the fields?" Here his reply: "To bury them would require whole catacombs; the real catacombs are the intestinal canals of the human body." Do you care to have your stomach used as a sepulcher? if not, then look carefully after the character of what goes into it. You may. become through a careful investigation of this subject so thoroughly convinced of the unwholesomeness of flesh food that you will be led to abjure the use of flesh altogether. Should you desire to do so, you may undertake a vegetarian regimen with the full assurance that in so doing you will run no risk of experiencing other than benefit, both physically and mentally.
THE TRICHINA: This parasite has been so well and so frequently described that we hardly need enter upon a lengthy description here. For a long time after it was discovered, the general public received reports concerning the new parasite with incredulity; but so many cases of fatal poisoning from this source have now occurred that no one longer doubts.
The trichina is found usually in pork, though it may infest the flesh of numerous other animals as well. Cases have been reported in England in which it was found in calves. It has also been recently discovered in the hippopotamus. It exists only in the lean flesh of animals, and is found among the muscular fibers, or enclosed in little sacs or capsules. It is almost always found in the latter condition. As found in these conditions, the parasite is a minute, thread-like worm, about one-thirty-fifth of an inch in length, and about one-six-hundredth of an inch in diameter. This is the embryonic or undeveloped form of the worm. When taken into the stomach by the eating of the flesh containing it, the worm is soon liberated from its capsular prison, and in the course of a week undergoes complete development, reaching a size much greater than that described, so that it even becomes visible. During this time it is buried in the mucus of the stomach and intestines. When development is complete it speedily brings forth young in immense numbers, a single worm producing, it is stated, one thousand and or more young. The young worms very quickly begin ~ penetrate the system, either by boring their way through the intestinal walls and thence to the muscles, their final destination, or. by getting into the blood-vessels and being swept along with the blood current.
After reaching the muscles it penetrates the sheaths of the fibers, and finally becoming quiet, coils itself up. and after. a time becomes encapsulated. After some months the walls of the capsules become impregnated with carbonate of lime, when they appear like small, white specks, as seeing the accompanying cut which are readily seen by the naked eye. Prof. Janeway, Demonstrator of Anatomy at the Belle vue Hospital in New York, stated that he had observed the proportion of trichinatous bodies for a number of years, and believed that about one in twenty was thus affected. The worms were found, still alive in cases in which they must have. been encapsulated for more twenty years, so great is the vitality of these creatures. After they have once entered' the tissues nothing can dislodge them; they' will remain as. long as the individual lives. However, they do not, as some erroneously suppose, multiply after entering the muscles. They generate but once and in the intestinal canal.
DEATH FROM MEAT EATING: The entrance of this parasite into the system, except when it is received in very small numbers, occasions a most serious disturbance of the vital functions. At first the symptoms resemble, those of ch6jera morbus, dysentery, or some. other Serious bowel disturbance. When the young worms begin to penetrate the systems, the symptoms, become more general, and simulate rheumatism, cerebro-spinal meningitis, typhoid fever, and other diseases. This is the reason why the malady is so often oyerlooked. Indeed, there is reason for believing that 'the largest share of the cases of this disease are not detected. Whether or not death results, depends upon the number of parasites received into the system and 'the vitality of the patient. Death usually occurs from exhaustion, but may be caused by paralysis of some of the muscles involved in respiration. That the disease is rapidly on the increase is shown by the fact that examinations of pork, made in Chicago, the greatest pork mart of the world, a number of years ago, showed the average number affected to be about one in forty. Recent examinations made under the director of the health officer of that city, show at the present time one out of every twelve hogs packed in that city is infected with the disease. In some parts of the country a still higher percentage of infection is found. As there is no means of arresting the disease after a person or an animal has once been infected. It appears very probably that at no very distant date the hog race will be universally infected with this pest. Already it has been found necessary in most foreign countries open to the importation of American products to prohibit the reception of American pork. If a law were enacted in this country requiring that the raising of the beast and consumption of its carcass should be totally discontinued, we do not doubt that the result would be in the highest degree beneficial to health and, in the end, in no degree damaging to the material interests of the country.
We fear, however, that the thrifty farmers of our Western States will look upon this view as quite too Utopian to be received. Very likely the world has not yet reached a sufficiently high state of civilization to enable the average citizen to sacrifice pecuniary gain in the interest of health unless death stares him in the face.
Undoubtedly there are thousands of pork eaters who are carrying about with them in their muscles millions of these uncanny parasites. When calcarious degeneration of the cell walls with which they are infested.: .has taken place, they have the same effect upon the 'muscles as would so many small particles of chalk, sand, or other foreign material. In other words, they act like foreign bodies, and frequently set up an irritation of the tissues, which is undoubtedly in most cases regarded as muscular rheumatism. An eminent German physician, who has given this matter much careful study, asserts that so~called muscular rheumatism is in a very large proportion of cases due to this cause.
So, our pork-loving friend, whenever you feel a tingle of "rheumatiz" in your chest or shoulder, let it be a reminder to you that you are undoubtedly the host of some millions or billions of the wretched worms which find in your muscles very comfortable quarters.
The incurable character of the malady produced by these parasites, and the extreme liability of contracting it, seem to us to be ample grounds for discarding the use of pork altogether. The hog is well qualified to act the part of a scavenger, for, which he was evidently designed by Yahweh; but there is plenty of food for human beings far superior in quality to swines flesh.
Kingdom Voice Newsletter, August 2005
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