Flesh Eating A Cause Of Disease
( Originally Published 1921 )
There remains but to call attention to the fact that cattle in this and other lands suffer to a great extent of malignant diseases, such as cancer, tuberculosis, anthrax, foot and mouth disease, Bright's disease, etc., and that a large proportion of the flesh obtained daily through the regular channels and consumed as food, is that of animals killed when suffering of one or more of these maladies. The prevalence and increase of ulcer of the stomach, cancer, Bright's disease, and tuberculosis, undoubtedly bear a close relation to the modern excessive use of flesh as food.
It is customary to sell the flesh of tuberculous animals for food, even when portions of the animal are condemned. Quite recently, as brought to the writer's notice, a herd of dairy cows in a near-by canyon, when subjected to the tuberculin test, gave 8o% reactors; whereupon the whole herd were sold as "feeders," and sent to a pasture land to await their turn in supplying beef-steak to the unsuspecting public. One housewife, having purchased beef at the counter, upon returning home found the meat so conspicuously full of lumps and spots that she sent it to the inspector. After careful examination of the beef in question, he gave the following verdict: "There is a certain amount of tuberculosis in the meat, but not more than the law allows."
If the organs of an animal prove, on examination, to be tuberculous, how can the blood that circulates through these organs be pure? And if the blood is impure, what hope is there that the flesh is untainted with disease? And if the flesh is tainted with disease, how can it be fit for human food?
Cancer, especially cancer of the stomach, is a disease that baffles the skill of the medical profession. The most frequent cause of cancer of the stomach is believed to be an irritated mucous membrane, or ulcer. It is an undisputable fact, though one not generally recognized, that ulcer of the stomach is rife among all classes of people who partake largely of flesh food. Upon good authority, it is said that ulcer of the stomach is not frequently met among peoples who subsist upon rice and vegetables,— for in-stance, the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Indians, or among Asiatics generally ; but as has been well expressed, "The zone of the ulcer is the meat eater's zone."
President William J. Mayo, in his address before the American Surgical Association, April 9, 1914,2 on the subject of "The Prophylaxis of Cancer," said that cancer of the stomach formed nearly one third of cancer cases of the human body, and that the extraordinary frequency of cancer of the stomach was confined to civilized man. He stated further, that within the last one hundred years, four times as much meat had been consumed as before that time, and inferred that the increase in consumption of meat undoubtedly had something to do with the prevalence of cancer.
Julius Rosenberg, M. D., writing for the Medical Record of November 27, 1915, said concerning the increase of tuberculosis among cattle, and its menace to health :
"Cattle tuberculosis is rapidly increasing. There is scarcely a dairy herd without a number of infected animals. It is an ever growing menace. A conservative estimate places the number of cows dying yearly from tuberculosis at one million, were they permitted to die a natural death; but they are killed before drawing the last gasp, and served as prime beef."