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Man’s Best Diet

William Couchman
Man's best diet, and twenty years' trial of it (Dunfermline [Scotland] : W. Clark & Son, [ca. 1875])
MU Special Collections
BF1042 .S65 1875

William Couchman arrived at vegetarianism through the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, an eighteenth-century scientist and mystic who taught that meat-eating was unnatural and immoral.

Couchman presents several arguments in favor of vegetarianism.  He claims that his diet improved his health dramatically. He draws on scientific studies, including Justus Liebig’s work on food chemistry, to show that people do not need meat to survive.  Finally, like Swedenborg, Couchman contends that eating meat makes people fierce, competitive, and cruel, like carnivorous animals. 

Would you have your children become more turbulent, quarrelsome, fierce, or revengeful; hating and hateful; more like beasts of prey?  Then give them flesh.  But would you not rather render them more lamb-like and of heavenly disposition? – then feed them on vegetable diet.

Couchman also includes several vegetarian recipes in this publication.

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