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ships and a cruiser that are being built in this country and in France to its order. To whom they have been sold is a secret between the Brazilian Government and its customer. The United States and Spain have bought other vessels. Lord Beaconsfield supplied a precedent for such bartering in war-vessels, when in 1878 he purchased from Turkey the two coast-defence ironclads which still figure in the Navy List under the respective names of Belleisle and Orion. In view of these latest deals in war material, who can say that in the event of the relations between Great Britain and some other Power or Powers becoming strained, the whole situation may not be complicated by the transference from the navy of some minor Power to the enemy of two or three or even more of the ironclads or cruisers that have been built in British yards? It may be that such bargaining would upset all the careful calculations of the Admiralty, and place this country at a disadvantage.

But perhaps as strange as this assistance in arming the world against ourselves, is the policy of recent years of the British naval authorities of lending officers and men to foreign countries-our enemies if we accept the dictum that who is not for us is against us. British shipbuilders construct and fit out ships for these possible foes and the British Admiralty grants to officers on the active list permission to train the foreign officers and seamen in all the mysteries and intricacies that surround a war-ship as an effective weapon of offence and defence. Such service has been rendered to China and Japan and most of the South American Republics. At present the officers who are reorganising the Chinese naval forces, after the crushing defeat received from Japan, are English officers, with Captain Dundas at their head. The policy of good-natured assistance has quite lately been still further extended, and there are now seven young foreign naval officers serving in her Majesty's ships, learning all that can be learnt of the largest and—if the Truth about the Navy' can ever be found at the bottom of the abnormally deep well where it lies hidden-probably also the most efficient navy in the world. In various ships belonging to the Mediterranean Squa. Iron and in H.M.S. Powerful now serving in Chinese waters are six lieutenants of the Chilian Navy, while the Crown Prince of Siam is a midshipman in H.M.S. Ramillies, enjoying the same advantages as any British-born aspirant to an admiral's flag. Albion may be 'perfidious,' but at least she gives a most liberal interpretation of the courtesies due from one nation to another, and does not permit mere questions of national policy to rob her of Napoleon's gibe, that the British are a nation of shopkeepers. It is not easy to suggest any alternative course, but the results of the present policy are surprising, if they be not an actual menace to our national security.

ARCHIBALD S. HURD.

WHY VEGETARIAN'?

On two or three occasions at least during the last twenty years I have been permitted by the editor to offer in the pages of this Review some remarks, the result of much observation, experiment, and thought, relating to the elements of human food and to the modes of preparing it for use. In doing so I have called attertion to the importance of rightly selecting different kinds of diet appropriate to the many and varied conditions affecting the consumer. Thus, diet has to be considered first in regard to its fitness for different periods of life: for that of infancy; for that of growth to manhood; during middle life and old age. Secondly, it must be appropriate sometimes to the demands of a career involving considerable physical activity; or to those of one in which the occupation is largely intellectual, i.e. activity of the brain. Thirdly, it may have to be adapted to the requirements of an easy-going existence, in which little energy is demanded and little is expended in any pursuit. Lastly, all these conditions are considerably modified by the climate and temperature of the country which the individual inhabits.

In each of these categories, it must be obvious to most persons that much modification of diet may be required in order to secure as far as possible the enjoyment of unimpaired health and also reasonable expectations of attaining a fair longevity. In discoursing on this subject it has often appeared desirable to point out, especially to those who belong to the third group, and also to some extent to many of the second, that their chief risks of impaired health from dietetic error arise from too freely consuming the flesh of animals, together with that nutritious liquid secretion, milk, which these so largely produce. Further, that such persons might gain much by adopting what is usually understood as a lighter diet, viz, of fish, birds, cereals, vegetables, and fruit. One of the results of this advice, somewhat emphasised as it has been because of its undoubted importance to many, was that I found myself often quoted, and not infrequently with approval, by avowed vegetarian authorities in speech or print: a notice which has been naturally gratifying, although scarcely, as it appeared to me, wholly merited from the ' vegetarian’point of view.

During the last year, however, such notices have taken a new form, and several quotations have been lately forwarded to me from

vegetarian' prints in which I am distinctly regarded as a vegetarian or as recommending the practice so designated—whatever it may enjoin or preclude, of which more hereafter—and also as asserting that animal food is wholly unnecessary' for the support of man. Under these circumstances I cannot remain silent. I feel that a clear statement on my part has become necessary in relation to the subject of food or diet, since, during a period of more than forty years of professional activity, I have never failed to teach its supreme importance in relation to the preservation of health; and this, notwithstanding a career devoted for the most part to that exacting and engrossing pursuit, the practice of operative surgery. So much for the personal statement, perhaps already too long.

In offering a sketch of the sources from which it is necessary or desirable that man should seek his food, a brief summary of the purpose it bas to accomplish in the economy of the body is first naturally demanded.

This purpose may be regarded as threefold : to repair the daily waste of the body itself, a necessary consequence of life and its activity; to maintain its natural heat, always in our climate a temperature many degrees above that of the surrounding media, whether earth, air, or water ; lastly to provide the means of supplying energy to support an active existence.

To this end, fresh elements, similar to those of which the body is composed, must be furnished in such form and proportions as to repair its loss. Additional elements must be supplied, by the oxidation of which more heat and energy are produced in proportion to the demand. All these are only to be obtained through digestion, and must be acquired in response to the instinctive demands of hunger and thirst.

These elements are regarded as divisible into four distinct classes, as follows:

(1) The Proteids. This group contains an essential element for renewing the tissues of the body, named protein, without which life is impossible, since starvation must take place unless a sufficient quantity is supplied by food. It is for the most part a definite compound of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen with nitrogen, often associated with a little sulphur and phosphorus. Slightly varying according to the sources from which it is derived, it is spoken of as forming the class of proteids. They form a large proportion of the flesh and other parts of all animals used as food by man, and are found in many products of the vegetable kingdom; from which two sources the body can alone be supplied. The proteid element which abounds in lean meats, the muscle of animals, is known as “myosin;' 1 Some authors speak of these essentially nitrogenous compounds as 'albuminates.'

in the blood and other parts as “fibrin’; it is also largely present in eggs as 'albumen,' and in milk as · casein,' the nitrogenous constituent of cheese. There are, moreover, two nitrogen compounds allied to but not identical with proteids, viz. 'gelatin' and 'chondrin,' in bones and cartilage respectively. The proteid of wheat exists in smaller proportion known as 'gluten;' in leguminous seeds it is abundant as legumin,' almost identical with 'casein.'

(2) The hydro-carbons or fatty matters, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen combined in certain proportions; necessary for nutrition, obtainable also from both animals and vegetables.

(3) The carbo-hydrates, also carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, but in different proportions from those of the preceding class, not so absolutely essential to life as the proteids, although they are most desirable elements of food. They are largely furnished by the vegetable kingdom, consisting chiefly of the starches of all grain, roots, and tubers, with the sugars and the gums; also existing in human milk and in that of the lower animals, as milk-sugar or lactose.'

(4) Lastly, certain products no less essential than the first class, all belonging solely to the inorganic or mineral kingdom: viz. water in large quantity, various salts of soda, lime, magnesia, potash, with traces of iron and other metals. All these must be present in the food supplied, and are so obtained from both animal and vegetable sources.

The human body may thus be regarded as a complex and highly organised machine adapted to execute work of varied but specific kinds; self-supplying by means of food, and automatically regenerating itself in order to maintain a condition of good repair.

It has been already said that the elements of man's food are obtained from both animal and vegetable sources, the chief of which shall be briefly mentioned. Among animals, he consumes the flesh of domestic quadrupeds, the ox, sheep, pig, goat, &c.; milk, butter, and cheese being derived from members of this group. Among wild animals, the various families of deer, with many varieties of ground and forest game both large and small, in different parts of the world; then domestic poultry in great variety, with eggs in abundance, also wild fowl and winged game.

Of fish there is an enormous and varied supply in almost every part of the globe; besides these, marine mammals, turtles, lobsters, crabs, oysters, shellfish,' &c.

The vegetable kingdom may be held to comprehend the cereals, namely wheat, oats, barley, maize, rice, &c., all the leguminous seeds. viz. lentils, peas, and beans in great variety, the various nuts and their oil, roots and tubers, starches in many forms, gums, sugars, and honey, green vegetables, herbs, and fruits in profusion.

But there is a marked difference in the kind of provision afforded on comparing the products of the two kingdoms. While the vegetable kingdom is conspicuous for the plenty and value of the carbohydrates produced, it will be seen that the proteids as well as the fats are not only less bountifully supplied, but exist in a form generally not so well adapted for man's digestion as those which are obtained from the animal kingdom. The most valuable proteid of the vegetable kingdom, since it is easily assimilated by the human stomach, is furnished in moderate quantity by certain members of the cereal class, viz. 'gluten,' and is consumed, for the most part here, in the form of wheaten bread. Next comes the extensive order of leguminous plants which, containing a very considerable amount of the proteid 'legumin,' furnish cheap and excellent food, although inferior to wheaten bread which contains less of the nitrogenous element. It is quite true that chemical analysis shows the presence of a larger proportion of that element, the legumin, in dried peas or lentils than is found in an equal weight of butcher's meat, of its corresponding proteid. But, on the other hand, none of the former furnish a proteid in so digestible a form as that of beef or mutton; many human stomachs failing to digest easily the leguminous product. From the flesh of animals man acquires their proteids readily; and if he happen to be a delicate invalid unable to digest solid food, an infusion of the meat, together with some purée of the flesh, will yield valuable sustenance in an easily assimilated form. No such treatment of the legumes will produce an equivalent ; and their special proteid, like 'casein'or cheese its congener in milk, is then quite unsuitable. The lower animals, living on vegetables only, have stomachs and allied organs widely differing from our own, specially adapted to deal with vegetable foods and to convert them into flesh. Thus it is that oxen and sheep, exclusively vegetable feeders as they are, consuming only grass and a few roots, produce largely and rapidly the necessary proteids in the form of flesh, as man himself is wholly incapable of doing, and meat thus becomes to him a concentrated food of exceeding value, admirably adapted to his digestive system. The need for an abundant supply of easily digestible proteids to sustain the hard-working inhabitants of the British islands is obvious. And hence it is that almost all those who ordinarily classify themselves as 'vegetarians,' a numerous body of earnest adherents to a rule which forbids them to eat flesh, are mostly compelled to consume not only milk, butter, and cheese, but also eggs, all of which are nevertheless choice foods from the animal

2 Relative to vegetarian diet ordinarily used, but especially by vegetarian athletes, the following passages may be cited in support of the text, from Best Food for Athletes, published with the sanction of the Vegetarian Federal Union, Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, 1893 :

• Vegetable nitrogen is got from peas, beans, lentils, dhal, macaroni, &c., and from eggs, milk, and cheese, which are common foods among ordinary vegetarians' (p. 10)

Under diet advised for training is the following, and its success is recorded : • Breakfast: Oatmeal or hominy porridge and milk. Have the porridge made stiff

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