Evening News (London), March 11, 1903


An eminent doctor considers that vegetarian diet and artificial food may have something to do with the increase of crime.1


Erstwhile a vegetarian,
 On curious foods I fed,
A terrible barbarian
 In all I did and said.
My matutinal ravages
 On oatmeal and on fruit
Made me the worst of savages;
 In fine, a perfect brute.

The shocking deeds I did, oh!
 They fill me with dismay.
The orphan and the widow
 I cheated every day.
Without a lamp at nightfall
 I cycled near and far;
My speed was something frightful
 When in my motor-car.

At last, one happy morning,
 A medico I knew
Administered a warning,
 And gave me counsel, too.
He bade me change my diet.
 “You’ll find,” said he, “I’m sure,
The scheme a sound one. Try it.”
 I did. It worked a cure.

My hand no longer forges,
 No longer robs the till.
All Bacchanalian orgies
 My soul with horror fill.
I seldom cheat or kill any.
 My nature’s mild and sweet.
I shun all kinds of villainy.
 And why? I live on meat.
             P. G. W.




“In a report recently submitted to the United States Congress, Dr. Macdonald, of the Bureau of Education, states that within the last thirty or forty years there has been an increase relative to population in criminal insanity, and other forms of abnormality. He believes that the emancipation of women has, by the strain thrown on the nervous system, produced some undesirable results, and attributes the increase in crime, suicide, and other forms of abnormality largely to automobiles, electric cars, and telephone and other modern inventions, because they put an extraordinary strain on the nervous as compared with the muscular system, causing people to take less physical and more mental exercise. But he also seems inclined to think that vegetarian diet and artificial food may have something to do with the increase of crime.” (Manchester Evening News, February 16, 1903)

John Dawson