Thursday, June 30, 2005

Benjamin Franklin, vegetarianism and flatulence

Benjamin Franklin wrote a half-serious letter on the subject of flatulation to the Royal Academy of Brussels. The letter, which was never posted, may be found in the Stevens Collection of the Franklin Mss. at the State Department, Washington, D.C. It reads in part: “He that dines on stale Flesh. . shall be able to afford a Stink that no Company can tolerate; while he that has lived for some time on Vegetables only, shall have that Breath so pure as to be insensible to the most delicate Noses and if he can manage so as to avoid the Report, he may anywhere give vent to his Griefs, unnoticed.”

(Adolf Hitler's Guilt Feelings: A Problem in History and Psychology
By R. G. L. Waite
Journal of Interdisciplinary History,
Vol. 1, No. 2. (Winter, 1971), :236)

If only people didn't discriminate against flatulent people then all would be well, but that's discrimination for you. Do you discriminate against stinky people? Is it not bigotry to discriminate against all stinky people based on the smell of a few?

Word of the day: flat·u·lent Etymology: Middle French, from Latin flatus act of blowing, wind, from flare to blow -- more at BLOW1 a : marked by or affected with gas generated in the intestine or stomach b : likely to cause gas2 : pompously or portentously overblown : INFLATED- flat·u·lent·ly adverb

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