Saturday, September 25, 2010

Benjamin Franklin Went Veggie

I'm reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin right now, and imagine my surprise and delight when I ran across the following:

"When about 16 years of age I happened to meet with a book, written by one Tryon, recommending a vegetable diet.  I determined to go into it.  My brother, being yet unmarried, did not keep a house, but boarded himself and his apprentices in another family.  My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my singularity.  I made myself acquainted with Tryon's manner of preparing some of his dishes, such as boiling potatoes or rice, making hasty pudding, and a few others, and then proposed to my brother, that if he would give me, weekly, half the money he paid for my board, I would board myself.  He instantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I could save half what he paid me.  This was an additional fund for buying books.  But I had another advantage in it.

My brother and the rest going from the printing-house to their meals, I remaind there alone, and, despatching presently my last repast, which often was no more than a bisket or a slice of bread, a handful of raisins or a tart from the pastry-cook's, and a glass of water, had the rest of the time till their return for study, in which I made the greater progress, from that greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension which usually attend temperance in eating and drinking."

This little quoted segment of the writing illustrates two things which make me passionate about being vegan.  First, you'll note he saved a great abundance of money by not eating meat.  This is because meat SHOULD cost more to produce than crops do.  Only in our backward, twisted bureaucracy of corrupt legislation could meat be cheaper than broccoli and potatoes.  Second, it confirms that even Benjamin Franklin experienced the same increase in energy and mental well-being on a vegetarian diet that I have.  It's not placebo effect.  It's actually real.

Just wanted to share.  Finding this made me smile.

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