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The Ethics of Diet - A Catena
by Howard Williams M.A., 1883

Thomas Moffet M.D. 1553-1604
(text from the Appendix to the 1st edition, 1883)

Moffet, another hygienic writer of the sixteenth century, demands indignantly :-

"Till God (i.e., Superstition or Fraud) would have it so [the slaying of other animals for food], who dared to touch with his lips the remnant of a dead carcass? or to set the prey of a wolf, or the meat of a falcon, upon his table? Who, I say, durst feed upon those members which lately did see, go, bleat, low, feel, and move? (1)

"Nay, tell me, can civil and human eyes yet abide the slaughter of an innocent beast, the cutting of his throat, the smashing him on the head, the flaying off his skin, the quartering and dismembering of his joints, the sprinkling of his blood, the ripping up of his veins, the enduring of ill savours, the heaving of heavy sighs, sobs, and groans, the passionate struggling and panting for life, which only hard-hearted butchers can endure to see?

"Is not the earth sufficient to give us meat, but that we must also rend up the bowels of beasts, birds, and fishes? Yes, truly there is enough in the earth to give us meat; yea, verily, and choice of meats, needing either none, or no great preparation, which we may take without fear, and cut down without trembling, which also we may mingle a hundred ways to delight our taste, and feed on safely to fill our bellies."

- Health's Improvement, by Dr. W. Moffet (ed.1746), as quoted by Ritson. The author died in 1604.


Howard Williams, The Ethics of Diet - index