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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    Question. — It is stated by Sister White that the Lord is leading his people back, step by step, to the original diet for man; do you not think this means a gradual disuse of meat?GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.1

    Answer. — In other words, the question is, How slowly must we go in this matter in order to satisfy the Lord? Well, I see some here that I know began to give up the use of meat twenty years ago, and I am not sure that they have entirely given it up yet. Don’t you think the Lord would be glad to have us step a little faster?GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.2

    Question. — How about meat for weak stomachs?GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.3

    Answer. — A weak stomach is the worst kind of a stomach into which to put meat. That is my observation. I have had five hundred people I presume say to me, “Doctor, I cannot eat meat; my stomach is too weak.” Meat put into a weak stomach will decay. If the stomach is not able to disinfect the meat, destroy the germs, and digest the meat, it will decay. It takes a strong stomach to digest meat. The dog has a strong stomach, and can even digest meat that is putrid, but for a weak stomach meat is dangerous.GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.4

    Of course there are different kinds of weak stomachs. I am talking now about stomachs that are really weak, as a muscle is weak, and that makes little gastric juice; such stomachs will certainly be troubled with meat.GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.5

    A lady who was at the Sanitarium recently, said that her doctor, an eminent physician of Chicago, forbade her eating meat. She simply had a coated tongue; but he knew from experience that meat only made the coat on the tongue worse.GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.6

    As I said, there are different kinds of weak stomachs. We may have conditions of the stomach in which it will digest meat more readily than most kinds of food; for instance, when there is too much acid present in the stomach. But as I said yesterday, it is not necessary to give meat to a single living soul, unless it should be under circumstances when it was impossible to obtain other food. It would be better to eat some meat even than to try to live habitually on cabbage or potatoes.GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.7

    There might be cases where it is impossible, for a time, to get food that the stomach could digest, except meat; where everything one could eat would sour; milk would sour, grains would sour, fruit would have too much acid; nothing one could eat but would sour, while the stomach would take meat and digest it. In such a case, if nothing better could be obtained, meat might be eaten. but in such cases, we can give gluten; and generally the patient can eat eggs, and perhaps could take kumyss or cottage cheese. Sometimes a patient uses nothing else but kumyss for weeks, until his weak stomach is strengthened, and the germs are driven out by the disinfecting influence of the acid in the kumyss. Even sour milk — bonny-clabber — might be better for such a case than meat, and yet meat is apparently beneficial in some cases. I insist, however, that it is not necessary in any case where the resources now at our command are available. But if a stomach is weak in a way that renders meat useful, it ought to recover after a time.GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.8

    Question. — Is there the same objection to canned salmon and other fish as to other meat?GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.9

    Answer. — Canned fish when opened, very quickly undergoes a change which produces a deadly poison, although the change may not be noticeable to the taste.GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.10

    Now upon the question of meat-eating, I would not have you think that if any one insists upon eating meat, I would wish to compel him to refrain from eating it. I simply want to set the facts before you, and allow every one to act according as his conscience dictates. But I hope to so enlighten those with whom I have the opportunity to associate that their consciences will not allow them to eat meat. If any are not enlightened so their consciences forbid their eating meat, we must apply the Scripture rule, “Of some have compassion, making a difference.”GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.11


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    I don’t want you to think that abstinence from meat is all there is of health reform; it is not. There are other things of even greater importance than abstinence from the use of flesh. But the man who leaves off the use of meat is more apt to inform himself upon other principles of health reform and live them out than the one who eats meat; and so vegetarianism is a sort of keynote for health reform.GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.12

    I wanted to say some things to-day about germs. Germs will kill a person quicker than the use of meat. And it is exceedingly important to know how to avoid them.GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.13

    Germs are a vegetable growth, allied to the mold on the wall and the green scum on ponds. Some germs increase as rapidly as to double their number every fifteen minutes, at which rate, if they could continue to grow right along for twenty-four hours, there would be more than a million million million, times as many as all the people upon the face of the earth. They would make a cube sixteen miles on each side. But for reasons we shall learn, such a thing cannot occur.GCB February 15, 1895, page 169.14

    Germs can be cultivated. Here are some upon this potato. They have been grown within the last four days, there having been a sufficient number adhering to the point of a needle touched to a person’s tongue and then put upon the potato, to make this growth, which looks and smells like the coat on the tongue.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.1

    Germs are useful in some respects. They are useful to destroy dead matter. The earth’s surface would soon be covered with the dead bodies of insects, flies, and dead animals, if it were not for germs. Germs act as nurses for plants. They have the power to reduce the hard soil till it becomes soluble and is ready for the plant to use in growing.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.2

    But the most important point to us, perhaps, is that germs are dangerous. Many diseases are produced by germs; diphtheria, smallpox, consumption, typhoid fever, in fact nearly all diseases in which there is fever. Nearly all acute diseases are caused by germs. When a man takes a cold, he would get over it in a few days if it were not for germs; but they take advantage of his condition, and aggravate the disease.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.3

    What are the sources of germs? We contract germs from water, from the air, and from food. The air is one of the chief sources of germs.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.4

    The dust in the air is largely composed of germs. The sources of germs in the air are various. A person who has the consumption is walking along the street, and spits upon the side-walk; it is soon dried and converted into dust, and raised by the wind to be breathed by other passers by. In a short time some one has tuberculosis, and no one knows where or how he contracted the disease. Dust is dangerous. A person breathing the dust, takes into his lungs millions of germs at every breath.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.5

    The air of mountainous regions and pine forests is comparatively free from germs; but the air of cities is teeming with germs. Germs abound in our houses. Under the carpets, upon the curtains, in the book-case, wherever dust accumulates, there the germs are found. The dusting-brush only stirs them up, and unless the sweeping is properly done, it does the same. It is better not to have carpets, as the germs get under them in great numbers. Rugs are better than carpets because they can be taken out and shaken daily. The freer the house is kept from dust, the less apt it is to have germs. Here are some Tabernacle germs. A potato was held close to the carpet, and the carpet dusted a little, and the potato was kept in a temperature of about 90 degrees, and you see the different kinds of germs growing on it. I presume there are five hundred kinds of germs in this building.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.6

    Germs in Water. — There are but few natural sources from which water may be obtained free from hurtful germs. Dug wells are especially dangerous. The water of rivers and lakes always abounds with germs. The city water of such a place as New York City and Chicago is unfit to use without being boiled. In fact, the only safe way is to boil all water used. Boiling kills the germs.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.7

    Spring water is occasionally comparatively free from germs, also the water from driven wells which penetrate rocky strata. Malaria, as well as typhoid fever and cholera, is, I believe, usually contracted through the use of impure water. The value of boiling the water is well known even in Africa, India, and China. Distilled water is best of all. At the Sanitarium we use distilled water altogether for drinking purposes.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.8

    Foods. — Certain foods always contain germs. After meat is twenty-four hours old, it always contains germs, besides the poisons of which we have spoken. Cheese always contains germs in great numbers. When six weeks old, a bit of cheese as large as grain of wheat contains thousands of germs. The germs increase as the cheese becomes older.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.9

    Milk always contains germs; not that the cows necessarily have tuberculosis, but from other causes. They get into the milk while the milking is being done. This is why milk does not agree with many people. Their stomachs have not the strength to destroy the germs and digest the milk.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.10

    So the safe way with milk, as with water, is to boil it, or at least to heat it to 160 degrees. When the milk is heated to this temperature for fifteen or twenty minutes, it does not have the taste of boiled milk, and that objection is removed. The principle objection to butter, I have come to believe, is the germs it contains. If the cream is heated till the germs are destroyed, the butter will, of course, be free from germs.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.11

    A thermometer is a great convenience and should be found in every household, not only for testing the temperature of milk, but for gauging the heat of living rooms, of water for baths, and for numerous practical purposes. A suitable one may be procured at from fifteen to twenty-five cents. But in cases where one is not at hand, milk should be heated until a scum forms.GCB February 15, 1895, page 170.12

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