|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
|North America: early 20th Century
Nikola Tesla (1857-1943)
The following was sen by Darko Djurdjic, engineer of Geodesy, writing
from Republic Srpska, BIH
"With the passing decades, Tesla shifted away from a meat diet. He substituted fish, always boiled, and finally eliminated the meat entirely. He later almost entirely eliminated the fish and lived on a vegetarian diet. Milk was his main standby, and toward the end of his life it was the principal item of diet, served warm. As a youth he drank a great deal of coffee, and, while he gradually became aware that he suffered unfavorable influences from it, he found it a difficult habit to break. When he finally made the decision to drink no more of it, he adhered to his good intentions but was forced to recognize the fact that the desire for it remained. He combated this by ordering with each meal a pot of his favorite coffee, and having a cup of it poured so that he would get the aroma. It required ten years for the aroma of the coffee to transform itself into a nuisance so that he felt secure in no longer having it served. Tea and cocoa he also considered injurious. He was a heavy smoker in his youth, mostly of cigars. A sister who seemed fatally ill, when he was in his early twenties, said she would try to get better if he would give up smoking. He did so immediately. His sister recovered, and he never smoked again."
A MACHINE TO END WAR
"MORE people die or grow sick from polluted water than from coffee, tea, tobacco, and other stimulants. I myself eschew all stimulants. I also practically abstain from meat. I am convinced that within a century coffee, tea, and tobacco will be no longer in vogue. Alcohol, however, will still be used. It is not a stimulant but a veritable elixir of life. The abolition of stimulants will not come about forcibly. It will simply be no longer fashionable to poison the system with harmful ingredients. Bernarr Macfadden has shown how it is possible to provide palatable food based upon natural products such as milk, honey, and wheat. I believe that the food which is served today in his penny restaurants will be the basis of epicurean meals in the smartest banquet halls of the twenty-first century. There will be enough wheat and wheat products to feed the entire world, including the teeming millions of China and India, now chronically on the verge of starvation. The earth is bountiful, and where her bounty fails, nitrogen drawn from the air will refertilize her womb. I developed a process for this purpose in 1900."
THE PROBLEM OF INCREASING HUMAN ENERGY WITH SPECIAL REFERENCES TO THE
HARNESSING OF THE SUN'S ENERGY.
"A thousand other evils might be mentioned, but all put together, in their bearing upon the problem under discussion, they could not equal a single one, the want of food, brought on by poverty, destitution, and famine. Millions of individuals die yearly for want of food, thus keeping down the mass. Even in our enlightened communities, and not withstanding the many charitable efforts, this is still, in all probability, the chief evil. I do not mean here absolute want of food, but want of healthful nutriment. How to provide good and plentiful food is, therefore, a most important question of the day. On the general principles the raising of cattle as a means of providing food is objectionable, because, in the sense interpreted above, it must undoubtedly tend to the addition of mass of a "smaller velocity." It is certainly preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarious habit. That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory, but a well-demonstrated fact. Many races living almost exclusively on vegetables are of superior physique and strength. There is no doubt that some plant food, such as oatmeal, is more economical than meat, and superior to it in regard to both mechanical and mental performance. Such food, moreover, taxes our digestive organs decidedly less, and, in making us more contented and sociable, produces an amount of good difficult to estimate. In view of these facts every effort should be made to stop the wanton and cruel slaughter of animals, which must be destructive to our morals. To free ourselves from animal instincts and appetites, which keep us down, we should begin at the very root from which we spring: we should effect a radical reform in the character of the food. There seems to be no philosophical necessity for food. We can conceive of organized beings living without nourishment, and deriving all the energy they need for the performance of their lifefunctions from the ambient medium. In a crystal we have the clear evidence of the existence of a formative life-principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is none the less a living being."
SPEECH ON BEHALF EDISON MEDAL PRIZE
"On this occasion, you might want me to say something of a personal
and more intimate character bearing on my work. One of the speakers suggested:
"Tell us something about yourself, about your early struggles."
If I am not mistaken in this surmise I will, with your approval, dwell
briefly on this rather delicate subject. I may say, also, that I am deeply
religious at heart, although not in the Orthodox meaning, and that I give
myself to the constant enjoyment of belleving that the greatest mysteries
of our being are still to be fathomed and that, all the evidence of the
senses and the teachings of exact and dry sciences to the contrary notwithstanding,
death itself may not be the termination of the wonderful metamorphoses
we witness. In this way I have managed to maintain an undisturbed peace
of mind, to make myself proof against adversity, and to achieve contentment
and happiness to a point of extracting some satisfaction even from the
darker side of life, the trials and tribulations of existence. I have
fame and untold wealth, more than all this, and yet - how many articles
have been written in which I was declared to be an impractical unsuccesful
man, and how many poor, struggling writers, have called me a visionary.
Such is the folly and shortsightedness of the world!"