General/ vegan history/ vegetarian history

Abandoning All Animal Food – Vegan Advocacy From The 1840s

‘..abandoning all animal food..’ = consuming nothing which has an animal source = 100% vegetarian = vegan

Some Very Pleasant History

Discussions of Vegan Advocacy from the 1840s 

An 1851 Article by R. T. Trall

dr-r-t-trall_0001

Russell Thacher ‘R. T.’ Trall’s – autographed 1860s Carte de Visite.

The original is in the Ernest Bell Library.

dr-r-t-trall_0002

The article appeared in an Almanac published in London, UK in 1851

– by the London, UK based vegan, William Horsell

William Horsell

William Horsell, London, c.1857 – source.

In this article Trall is discussing – Vincenz Priessnitz – at his hydro-cure / water therapy clinic in Europe during the 1840s – advising his patients to be eat no animal foods whatsoever.

Persons’ names are marked in red & expanded on – below.

Any words or phrases marked in brown – we will also expand on – below – ……because some are archaic / no longer used in modern English.

Excerpt –

~ ……according with the more profound investigations of Graham, Lambe, and other dietetic reformers. He gives them to understand, in general terms, that the more simple and plain their food the sooner they may expect to recover health. He tells them that coarse, unconcentrated food is the best, eaten cool or cold; that brown or unbolted meal is far preferable to fine or superfine for the farinaceous part of their diet; he teaches them that the most rapid and perfect cures are made by abandoning all animal food; that simple brown bread and pure water are sufficient in themselves for perfect nutrition, and then leaves them to their own responsibility. ~ 

Graham = Sylvester Graham – vegan from the 1830s – running & promoting vegan guest houses in New York & Boston, USA – we have many of his original books, journals, press articles.

Lambe = Dr. William Lambe – vegan from 1809 – he inspired Graham – we have early editions of his books & copies of some of his letters to Graham.

dietetic reformers = the 1840s term for what we call today 100% vegetarians or vegans.

coarse = unrefined or unprocessed = what we today call ‘wholefoods’.

unconcentrated food = non-concentrated – not dehydrated – ……so no dried fruits, or foods boiled down to a concentrated form.

brown or unbolted meal = unsifted 100% wholemeal bread flour = flour with 100% of the bran fiber still in it. 

fine (meal) = bran reduced flour – wheatmeal bread flour.

superfine (meal) = strong white bread flour.

farinaceous = made from, rich in, or consisting of starch.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 The Original Article

Trall-Vegan2

The full article transcribed –

Diet at Grafenberg

Much has been said and written about the unphysiological character of a portion of the dietary system at Priessnitz’s establishment. Persons not accustomed to provide a table for water-cure patients, can have little idea of the difficulty of controlling artificial appetites. Imagine a man surrounded by five hundred invalids, all having their opinions, conceits, and prejudices; all having been long addicted to improper or intemperate eating and drinking; all full of morbid cravings, and in exact ratio to their intensity, incapable of self-control; most of them, too, nervous, peevish, irritable, and fault-finding, because the consequences of over indulgence demand self-denial and privation as indispensable conditions of restoration; and some conception may be formed of the Herculean task of carrying out any dietetic arrangement on strictly physiological rules

It is true that some articles of food, usually found on the table at Graefenberg, are positively bad; and the greater part of the dietary system would admit of improvement. It is not to be supposed that Priessnitz, with all his vastness and originality of mind, has had the opportunity of investigating theoretically and reducing to practice all the details of a physiological regimen

To his great credit, however, and evincive of his quick perception and accurate observation, be it said, that his special directions to his patients as to what food is best for them, are singularly judicious and philosophical, according with the more profound investigations of Graham, Lambe, and other dietetic reformers. He gives them to understand, in general terms, that the more simple and plain their food the sooner they may expect to recover health. He tells them that coarse, unconcentrated food is the best, eaten cool or cold; that brown or unbolted meal is far preferable to fine or superfine for the farinaceous part of their diet; he teaches them that the most rapid and perfect cures are made by abandoning all animal food; that simple brown bread and pure water are sufficient in themselves for perfect nutrition, and then leaves them to their own responsibility. 

What more could one man do among so many whose appetites were ten times as strong as their wills? Although he did not, amid the opposition and persecution which surrounded and embarrassed him, strictly carry out his own views of diet, he has taken a position far in advance of the medical profession, and which, fifty years hence, like the writings of Graham, Lambe, Alcott, Smith, and Cornaro, will be better understood and appreciated than now. 

R. T. Trall, M.D. 

unphysiological = not in accordance with normal physiological conditions.

table = therapy schedule for patients, including a dietary plan,

artificial appetites = desire for food for reasons other than hunger – for example eating too much when depressed

intemperate eating = “….eating too frequently, too much, and of rich, unwholesome food, destroys the healthy action of the digestive organs, affects the brain, and perverts the judgment, preventing rational, calm, healthy thinking and acting.” – Ellen G. White – who founded the Seventh Day Adventist Church 

morbid cravings = to eagerly wish for something which is harmful to health – e.g. compulsive eating – manic eating of salty food, fried food etc.

privation = a state in which food and other essentials for well-being are lacking.

restoration = regaining good health.

Herculean task = a task requiring tremendous effort, strength, etc. A task requiring the strength, courage, etc.of the god Hercules.  

dietetic arrangement on strictly physiological rules = purely therapeutic diet – ‘……without the employment of milk, sugar, salt, yeast, acids, alkalies, grease, or condiments of any kind.’ R. T. Trall’s definition in America’s first ever ‘vegan/ cookbook – more – here.

admit of improvement = have room to be improved upon  / “the dietary plan certainly has room for improvement / can certainly be improved”.

reducing to practice = putting the theory into practice. 

physiological regimen = regulated diet plan to produce optimal health / wholeness

evincive = tending to prove; having the power to demonstrate; demonstrative; indicative. A lovely word – no longer in use in English – this definition taken from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

dietetic reformers = the 1840s term for what we call today 100% vegetarians or vegans.

coarse = unrefined or unprocessed = what we today call ‘wholefoods’.

unconcentrated food = non-concentrated – not dehydrated – ……so no dried fruits or foods boiled down to a concentrated form.

brown or unbolted meal = unsifted 100% wholemeal bread flour = with 100% of the bran fiber still in it. 

fine (meal) = bran reduced flour – wheatmeal bread flour.

superfine (meal) = strong white bread flour.

farinaceous = made from, rich in, or consisting of starch

In the article Trall mentions these places & these people:

GraefenbergLázně Jeseník (until 1948 and in German language called – Gräfenberg) is a small village in the Olomouc Region of the Czech Republic. It is administratively part of the city of Jeseník (Freiwaldau).

The place is known for its connection with Vincent Priessnitz, an early proponent of hydrotherapy. Priessnitz had founded the first modern hydrotherapeutic institute in the world here. It is also known for the Sanatorium Priessnitz building and many springs.

PriessnitzVincenz Priessnitz was an ‘Austrian Silesian’ (the former ‘Austrian Silesia‘ is now mostly part of the Czech Republic).  

Priessnitz was a world famous ‘vegan advocate’ more than 100 years before the word ‘vegan’ was conceived (however Trall notes that Priessnitz did not himself strictly observe an animal free diet). 

Wiki – Vincenz Priessnitz, also written Prießnitz (4 October 1799 – 26 November 1851) was a peasant farmer in Gräfenberg, Austrian Silesia, who is generally considered the founder of modern hydrotherapy, which is used in alternative and orthodox medicine. Priessnitz stressed remedies such as suitable food, air, exercise, rest and water, over conventional medicine. He is thus also credited with laying the foundations of what became known as Nature Cure, although it has been noted that his main focus was on hydrotherapeutic techniques. Priessnitz’s name first became widely known in the English-speaking world through the publications and lecture tours of Captain R. T. Claridge in 1842 and 1843, after he had stayed at Grafenberg in 1841. However, Priessnitz was already a household name on the European continent, where Richard Metcalfe, in his 1898 biography, stated: “there are hundreds of establishments where the water-cure is carried out on the principles laid down by Priessnitz”. Indeed, Priessnitz’s fame became so widespread that his death was reported in the as far away as New Zealand.

Graham = Sylvester Graham – vegan from the 1830s – running & promoting vegan guest houses in New York & Boston, USA – we have many of his original books, journals, press articles – more – here.

Lambe = Dr. William Lambe – vegan from 1809 – he inspired Graham – we have early editions of his books & copies of some of his letters to Graham – more – here.

Alcott = Amos Bronson Alcott – running / founding vegan communities in the UK & the US from the late 1830s – more – here.

Smith = John Smith (of Malton, U.K.) – lacto-vegetarian – author of  Fruits and Farinacea the Proper Food of Man & other books – such as – The Principles and Practice of Vegetarian Cookeryhere.

Cornaro = Luigi di Cornaro 1465-1566 – he records that he ate very little animal flesh. He is the author of 3 famous books – A Treatise on a Sober LifeA Compendium of a Sober Life – and – An Earnest Exhortation to a Sober and Regular Lifemore.

R. T. Trall M. D. =

Russell Thacher ‘R. T.’ Trall – an American ‘vegan’.

R. T. Trall was cooperating continuously with Elizabeth & William Horsell – both of whom were ‘full-on’ British vegans.

In the late 1840s & the 1850s, vegan pioneers Elizabeth and William Horsell, actively leafleted London & farther afield, broadcasting the clear message that: –

~ ….it was not enough that one should give up the use of flesh,

one should become a whole, and not a half  person,

and give up the use of tea, coffee, cheese, eggs, and milk. ~

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Priessnitz – Telling – but not – Forcing

So, in the article, Trall is telling us that Priessnitz advised his patients to eat –

‘……..according with the more profound investigations of Graham, Lambe, and other dietetic reformers.’

……but that he left his patients –

‘……to their own responsibility.’ 

He took this path because the patients –

‘……appetites were ten times as strong as their wills.’

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

R. T. Trall’s 1851 Prediction

Priessnitz – 

~ …… has taken a position far in advance of the medical profession, and which, fifty years hence, like the writings of Graham, Lambe, Alcott, Smith, and Cornaro, will be better understood and appreciated than now. ~

Sylvester Graham did become exceedingly well known.

Henry S. Salt – in his essay Food Reform – Published: Westminster Review, October 1886

“To Sylvester Graham, above all others, should perhaps be given the place of honour in the annals of vegetarian literature; for his ‘Lectures on the Science of Human Life’ form the text-book from which the advocates of the reformed diet derive their most powerful arguments.” – more.

Science1

 

‘Lectures on the Science of Human Life’ by Sylvester Graham

William Metcalfe’s signed copy Volume I of the 1st Edition – more.

1851 + 50 years = 1901 – there was certainly healthy ‘debate’ in the US, Britain, France, Germany & some other countries. There were still relatively small numbers of 100% vegetarians.

2015 –

1851

  164 years later – ……with the growth of the Internet – veganism is growing exponentially & they are all becoming very well known indeed.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

R. T. Trall’s Vegan Advocacy

R. T. Trall was a founder member of The American Vegetarian Society in 1850 – along with Sylvester Graham & Bronson Alcott.

Discussed here & here.

20 / 30 years later, Trall, in his own water-cure clinics in the US, Trall offered his patients ‘only’ a vegan diet.

In 1874 Trall published :

THE

HYGEIAN HOME COOK-BOOK;

OR, HEALTHFUL AND

PALATABLE FOOD WITHOUT CONDIMENTS.

The Ernest Bell Library has a very nice original copy of the 1888 second edition of ‘The Hygeian Home Cook-book’  – the image of the front cover is posted below.

HYGCover

This was America’s very first ‘vegan’ cookbook, containing recipes –

‘……without the employment of milk, sugar, salt, yeast, acids, alkalies, grease, or condiments of any kind.’

In the Preface, Trall stated that ‘for a dozen years’ – they had left these out of the diet at his health centre.

acidsfor example – different vinegars

alkalies = for example – sodium bicarbonate / baking powder

grease = both liquid & solid vegetable oils / fats.

See these pages….

HYG1

HYG2

HYG3

You can read the entire book online – here

The complete book as a high-res .pdf file to download.

The complete book as a low-res .pdf file to download.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Our Projects

The Henry Salt Archive is one of our, almost completed, projects.

The Humanitarian League is our Hong Kong registered charity.

The Ernest Bell Library was conceived in 1934. It is still strong & very active eighty years later –  its primary objectives are to: –

  • Collect all of Ernest Bell’s book & non-book works and make them easily accessible to everyone.

  • Collect the literature of vegetarianism and all the other humanitarian movements in which Ernest Bell was so deeply involved.

  • Assist students and scholars in their research.

  • Introduce all aspects of Ernest Bell’s life, including his writings, campaign work, influences and his circle of friends.

  • Undertake our own research into missing aspects of Ernest Bell’s life and work.

We already have more than 300 pieces of Ernest Bell’s own writings.

We are also actively building a collection of examples of promotional material, campaign material, fundraising & marketing activities etc. – related to: –

  1. veg(etari)an products.

  2. veg(etari)an books & other publications.

  3. veg(etari)an organisations.

  4. veg(etari)an businesses.

  5. animal rights organisations.

  6. animal rights publications.

  7. humanitarian organisations.

  8. humanitarian publications.

  9. rambling clubs run by members of the above groups & related publications.

  10. the work of Richard St. Barbe Baker & the ‘Men of the Trees’ organization & its many sub-branches.

There are currently more than 2,000 items in the Ernest Bell Library.

We will complete the cataloging of the collection as & when adequate funds are available.

It is long past time for the library to go online!

 “I have little doubt that the proposal for the establishment of an Ernest Bell Library, which would specialize in humanitarian and progressive literature, and so form a sort of centre for students, will meet with a wide response.” 

Henry S. Salt – writing in September 1934

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

If anyone would like more information, please send an email to: – 

humanitarianleague (at) outlook (dot) com 

– or message me  through HappyCow – 

http://www.happycow.net/blog/author/JohnnySensible/
……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 

TweetThis

If you are a Tweeter, please consider sending this post out to your friends.

Thank you! 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“A people without a history is like a tree without roots.”

April / May 2007 – Satya

Q) Colleen Patrick-Goudreau – You use the phrase “historical amnesia” to refer to the fact that contemporary animal activists—and society as a whole—know nothing of the legacy of animal activism in the U.S. What are some of the effects of having “historical amnesia”? Why is it so important to know our legacy?

A) Diane Beers – Animal advocacy has an amazing history, yet it is essentially an untold story. African American activists will often say, “A people without a history is like a tree without roots.” Indeed, if activists don’t know the history of their cause, they can have no sense of their movement’s struggles, long-term strategies, achievements and heroes. In addition, they can’t promote their long impressive movement to the public, and their opponents—the meat industry, medical research industry and the government—will fill the void. They have been the ones most aggressively and successfully constructing negative images and outright myths of animal advocacy that the public often believes.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Question from a reader – Why are there sometimes more than 30 hyperlinks in your blog posts?

Answer – We like to give folk the option of going a tad deeper into the subjects discussed. We also really like English!

tad = a small amount of something. Origin – late 19th century (denoting a small child): origin uncertain, perhaps from tadpole.

Mae West’s credo: “Too much of a good thing is wonderful!

credo = an idea or set of beliefs that guides the actions of a person or group.

Comment via Facebook