A Vindication of Natural Diet. by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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An Excerpt from “A Vindication of Natural Diet” from the famous Vegetarian Percy Bysshe Shelly

Comparative anatomy teaches us that man resembles frugivorous animals in
everything, and carnivorous in nothing: he has neither claws wherewith
to seize his prey, nor distinct and pointed teeth to tear the living
fibre. A mandarin of the first class, with nails two inches long, would
probably find them alone inefficient to hold even a hare. After every
subterfuge of gluttony, the bull must be degraded into the ox, and the
ram into the wether, by an unnatural and inhuman operation, that the
flaccid fibre may offer a fainter resistance to rebellious nature. It is
only by softening and disguising dead flesh by culinary preparation that
it is rendered susceptible of mastication or digestion, and that the
sight of its bloody juices and raw horror does not excite intolerable
loathing and disgust. Let the advocate of animal food force himself to a
decisive experiment on its fitness, and, as Plutarch recommends, tear a
living lamb with his teeth, and plunging his head into its vitals, slake
his thirst with the steaming blood; when fresh from the deed of horror,
let him revert to the irresistible instincts of nature that would rise
in judgment against it, and say, Nature formed me for such work as this.
Then, and then only, would he be consistent.

Man resembles no carnivorous animal. There is no exception, except man
be one, to the rule of herbivorous animals having cellulated colons.

The orang-outang perfectly resembles man both in the order and number of
his teeth. The orang-outang is the most anthropomorphous of the ape
tribe, all of which are strictly frugivorous. There is no other species
of animals in which this analogy exists.[4] In many frugivorous animals,
the canine teeth are more pointed and distinct than those of man. The
resemblance also of the human stomach to that of the orang-outang is
greater than to that of any other animal.

The intestines are also identical with those of herbivorous animals,
which present a large surface for absorption, and have ample and
cellulated colons. The cæcum also, though short, is larger than that of
carnivorous animals; and even here the orang-outang retains its
accustomed similarity.

The structure of the human frame then is that of one fitted to a pure
vegetable diet, in every essential particular. It is true that the
reluctance to abstain from animal food, in those who have been long
accustomed to its stimulus, is so great in some persons of weak minds,
as to be scarcely overcome; but this is far from bringing any argument
in its favour. A lamb which was fed for some time on flesh by a ship’s
crew, refused its natural diet at the end of the voyage. There are
numerous instances of horses, sheep, oxen, and even wood-pigeons, having
been taught to live upon flesh, until they have loathed their natural
aliment. Young children evidently prefer pastry, oranges, apples, and
other fruit, to the flesh of animals, until, by the gradual depravation
of the digestive organs, the free use of vegetables has, for a time,
produced serious inconveniences; _for a time_, I say, since there never
was an instance wherein a change from spirituous liquors and animal food
to vegetables and pure water, has failed ultimately to invigorate the
body, by rendering its juices bland and consentaneous, and to restore to
the mind that cheerfulness and elasticity, which not one in fifty
possesses on the present system. A love of strong liquors is also with
difficulty taught to infants. Almost every one remembers the wry faces
the first glass of port produced. Unsophisticated instinct is
invariably unerring; but to decide on the fitness of animal food, from
the perverted appetites which its constrained adoption produce, is to
make the criminal a judge in his own cause; it is even worse, it is
appealing to the infatuated drunkard in a question of the salubrity of
brandy.

What is the cause of morbid action in the animal system? Not the air we
breathe, for our fellow denizens of nature breathe the same uninjured;
not the water we drink, if remote from the pollutions of man and his
inventions, for the animals drink it too; not the earth we tread upon;
not the unobscured sight of glorious nature, in the wood, the field, or
the expanse of sky and ocean; nothing that we are or do in common with
the undiseased inhabitants of the forest. Something then wherein we
differ from them; our habit of altering our food by fire, so that our
appetite is no longer a just criterion for the fitness of its
gratification. Except in children there remains no traces of that
instinct which determines, in all other animals, what aliment is natural
or otherwise; and so perfectly obliterated are they in the reasoning
adults of our species, that it has become necessary to urge
considerations, drawn from comparative anatomy, to prove that we are
naturally frugivorous.

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About Ava Trudy

AVA Ava has always had two singular passions in life, Yoga, and Metaphysics. Metaphysics includes many things but Astrology, and forecasting the future with the aid of the Tarot cards, are both very dear to her heart. Ava has also been a professional yoga instructer for 40 years and has the highest qualifications and certificates in the field and she currently teaches yoga on Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota Florida. If you would like to check out Ava's Yoga Blog it's listed below at yogaonsiestabeach.com. Besides her life long passion for Yoga Ava has been an athlete and outdoor enthusiast and traveller most of her life and while living in Hawaii she started her own surfing school on the island of Maui which she operated for 8 years. Ava become a proffessional surfing instructor late in life at the age of 40 but her love of the ocean and waves compelled her to learn and her yoga practice made it physically possible. Ava has lectured publicly on the history and spiritual evolution of the Tarot deck and has done countless readings for others. Ava has had her own television show on the Tarot here iin Sarasota and she is currently the cohost of the VIrtual Tarot Show on Youtube which is dedicated to forecasting the future with the aid of the Tarot cards for every star sign for every month of the year. TRUDY Trudy became interested in religion and spirituality and began to encounter angels at a very young age. When Trudy's first child became ill at the age of 18 months with leukemia, she once again began to experience angel encounters. After her son passed, at the age of 35 months, Trudy became interested in the teachings of Carl Jung, and then gradually became interested in the ancient symbolism of the Tarot. Trudy has studied with renowned teachers, such as Robert Johnson and Barry Willaims of Pacifica Institute in California. Trudy and Ava met 7 years ago on Siesta Key beach in Sarasota, Florida, and became best friends. They began reading together online in order to reach more of their friends who were in need of readings. Trudy and Ava's vision and mission is to bring the ancient symbolism of the Tarot to today's modern woman in a relevant, fun and compelling way. AdGals, Trudy's company, produces Virtual Tarot's videos and supports the marketing of Ava and Trudy's mission. She has a B.S. in Advertising from the University of Florida, has an extended creative writing degree from UCLA and is currently pursuing a Professional Research Certification from the University of Georgia. Trudy founded AdGals, Inc. in 1993 in an effort to fill a need of clients who needed to market to women. AdGals is a certified woman-owned company providing branding, broadcast and educational content.

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