The Wastes of Modern Civilization — Ebook

Author : Felix L. Oswald
Publication : 2023-09-04
Language : English
Publisher : Human and Literature Publishing
ISBN : 9782381116594
Categories : Philosophy / Essays

"Whatever is natural is wrong," was for centuries the shibboleth of our spiritual taskmasters, and that doctrine has borne its fruit in the reckless disregard of our natural intuitions. The shocking taste of a poisonous weed or liquid is generally accepted as a prima facie proof of its wholesomeness, and many millions of acres, plowed and harrowed with highly improved apparatus, are wasted on the production of not only useless but positively pernicious harvests. Our prohibition orators bewail the vast area of arable soil wasted on distillery crops, but in the eyes of science the alcohol-habit is only a special form of the stimulant-vice, which, in the course of the last fifty years, has assumed more gigantic proportions than in the most bibulous era of pagan antiquity. The official statistics of the liquor traffic generally allow one bushel of grain for two gallons of spirits, and three bushels for one barrel of beer. By that estimate, the distilleries of the United States alone consumed in the last few years an annual average of thirty-five million bushels of grain, the breweries at least twenty millions. The aggregate of that wasted farm-produce would have made more than a billion four-pound loaves of bread, or nearly a hundred loaves for every household in North America.

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