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he is also placed in a position least likely to favor a healthy condition of the system. The muscular structures suffer most; but the respiratory, circulatory, and secreting organs also experience considerable injury; the inaction is only comparative, as all these parts continue to perform certain offices; but healthy activity is impossible under the circumstances of the animal's position.

The general results of the forcing system may be summed up in few words:

By excessive feeding fat accumulates upon the surface and in the interior of the body, encroaching upon more important tissues. The blood at the same time becomes charged with the fibrinous element.

Inactivity tends to the diminution of muscle, and impairs the functions of respiration, circulation, and excretion, upon which depend the purification of the blood, the removal of effete products, and the proper action of the various vital functions.

Tissues are rapidly deposited, and are by consequence deficient in stability.

The animal prematurely attains his full growth, and as far as appearance is concerned, his perfect development.


It might be imagined that the desire to accelerate the growth of the animal and increase the bulk of the body by the deposit of fat would be limited to the breeds that are enployed for human food. Not so, however, in fact: the same anxiety to economise time affects treatment of the horse, as well as that to which the ox, sheep, and pig are subjected. The horse-breeder finds it as little to his advantage to keep his colts in a natural state until they gradually attain the adult period before he sends them to the market, as the breeder of other stock does. Society demands young, sleek, and well-fed animals to draw its carriages and curvet in its parks; it also affects young animals and despises the older and more muscular subjects, whose anatomy is too apparent to gratify its taste. Society's demand is met by the producer to the very letter: the fairs are thronged with horses in every stage of adolescence and obesity.

Upon a superficial view of the subject, it may seem very meritorious to be able to bring two and three years old horses into the market, presenting all the matured characters of the adult; but looking upon it in the light of experience, what are the real advantages? The horse is ready for use two years before he might be expected; granted this to be true. the advantage is merely a pecuniary one on the side of the dealer; can it. be said that the animal's tissues are in a better condition for work at this

early period? Are the two years added in reality to his working life, or is any thing to be urged in favor of the system beyond the fact that time is saved at the commencement, and thus the markets are supplied to a certain extent with tolerably good animals, who, if kept back for two years, would leave a considerable hiatus to the inconvenience of the purchaser ? Giving full weight to this very meagre defense, we can only conclude that something must be radically wrong with our system of breeding and rearing horses to necessitate the premature employment of them to meet the demand, which can not be supplied in a more legitimate manner.

It is not sought to underrate the disadvantages to the breeder, that a longer keeping of the animal would occasion; such as the risk of illness, injury, or death, added to the inevitable expenses of maintenance. This difficulty, however, is only accidental: it would seriously affect an indi. vidual, but, were it the custom not to work horses before the age of five or six years, the extra expense incurred would naturally be met by a corresponding increase of price.

Of the disadvantages of the forcing system in relation to horses we have constant and ample proof. Let any candid inquirer ask himself to what the efforts to improve the breed amount. On the turf, in the field, on the road, and in the stable, the object seems to be to discover how much strain upon his organism a young animal can bear. Will any one seriously hold the belief that early and severe training on one side, excessive stimulating food on the other, and lastly, work often beyond an animal's powers, are under any circumstance calculated to improve the qualities of the individual or the race? The solution of the question is given by our daily observation of the liability of these young animals to disease, and their rapid prostration under its influence; of the universal prevalence of lameness from derangements of feet and joints; of the rapidity with which the system succumbs to the effects of work; and of the mortality attendant upon maladies wbich in older animals are combated without difficulty. Latterly it is remarkable how quickly debility supervenes upon an attack of a comparatively simple affection. We should cease to find it curious that such is the case did we remember that the majority of young and fat horses, probably all of them, are suffering from fatty disease of the heart, liver, and other organs.

In the event of the animal escaping the first difficulties of his entry into active life, these diseased parts, under the effects of exercise and moderate feeding, are ultimately restored to a tolerable healthy state in most in. stances; but should he be unfortunate enough to be attacked by any inflammatory or congestive disease at the commencement, or be subjected suddenly to acuve exertion, the chance of his recovery from the prostra

tion which results are indefinitely diminished by the state of the most vi. tal organs in his body.

Without advancing a step further in the inquiry, or entering upon details which to the amateur would be tedious, enough has been adduced to prove that one particular result of the “forcing system” is to diminish the stamina of the most valuable of domestic animals, to abridge the period of his active usefulness by prematurely exhausting his powers in his youth, and to induce such a state of organic disease, that the resistant power of the system is lessened and the mortality largely increased. To compensate for the actual loss sustained, we can only discover that animals, by ac. quiring a precocity of development, become saleable at an early age, and so a deficiency in the supply is avoided, while the risk involved in keeping them for the period requisite for them to attain maturity is removed from the breeder to the purchaser.



One very important and fundamental difference between horses and cattle lies in the fact of the latter being cultivated for human food in some form, while the former are only valuable according to the extent and duration of their physical powers. This distinction at once establishes two perfectly separate principles of action in reference to the cultivation of the horse for his mechanical qualities, and the breeding of cattle and other stock for the support of the people. Incidentally, cattle of all kinds are valuable in other respects; but it will be conceded that the essential object of their cultivation is the one we have advanced.

Under these circumstances an apparent defense of the forcing system is at once established. As the object is to supply meat for the people, the more rapidly it can be produced the better. Admitting the general truth of this proposition, it is nevertheless unfortunately requisite to insist upon certain qualifications, the main being that the amount of nutriment is of higher importance than the quantity of material that may be classified as food; hence, unless it can be shown that the meat thus rapidly produced is equal in alimentary quality to the flesh of the mature animal, the ad. vantage to the consumer is only imaginary. Primarily, then, the point to be decided is, does the meat of the young animal, rapidly forced to full growth as it may be, possess the nutrient quality of that of the naturally matured animal some years older ? If the previous reasoning is not altogether false, the question is at once answered in the negative. On the general principle first laid down, that whatever is rapidly produced is of necessity imperfect in some of its parts or properties, the notion is incon

sistent; and on the further ground of the preponderance of the fatty tissue over the nutritious, it cannot be maintained. By the common sense of the practical observer, as by the inductive reasoning of the scientific man, the same reply would be given. Analysis and direct experiment upon the feeding properties of the two kinds of meat would alone estab. lish the position beyond cavil; but there would be a savor of the ridiculous in the idea of a man gravely conducting a series of experiments to determine which animal would furnish the largest amount of available nutriment—a sheep of one year that had been forced by artificial treatment to his full growth, or one that had been left to acquire maturity upon & good pasture during the space of four or five years.

Animal food is a necessary of life, according at least to the prevailing belief; and it may be urged with some force that the supply must be made to meet the demand. The answer to this is easy. Were animals bred and treated with more regard to a healthy condition of the various organs, their liability to disease would be materially diminished and their power to resist it augmented, and the extraordinary losses which are sustained every year in our country would no longer be a reflection upon our agriculture. The readiness with which animals yield to the iufluence of epizootic maladies has long been a subject of remark, and we do not un. derrate the virulence of the disease nor the importance of any means which shall tend to prevent its importation, when we insist that a great part of the mortality is due to the predisposition of the animal's system, permanently established by our methods of breeding and management.

It is very curious to the physiologist to note how perfectly we have come to tolerate the existence of an evil; and even to claim it as an ad. vantage: to hear the common talk and read the every-day remarks, it would seem as if “fat” were the really essential element of our food. “ Lean meat" sounds unpleasantly enough in the ears of the epicure, sug. gestive as it is of deficiency of food or disease. A fine fat beast, on the other hand, establishes a feeling of confidence in the healthy condition of the animal Food is estimated according to its power of fattening with rapidity, and breeds become famous in inverse ratio to the time they take to develop fatty tissue.

To attempt to combat the general idea upon this subject would be futile, the more so as it is essentially founded in truth. Leanness is typical of diseases and wretchedness, as its opposite is of health and prosperity. It is not expected of the people that they should discriminate analytically; but the practical man, who does not desire to misrepresent the principles advocated, will understand the difference between the meager subject whose condition is radically bad, and the well-developed animal whose muscular system is in the most perfect state of development and health, and whose fatty tissues are subordinate but in due proportion to the other structures of his body. Preponderance of fat of necessity diminishes the amount of human food, not merely because the material is non-nutritive and incapable of repairing the tissues, but for the still more obvious reason that the major part of it is not consumed at all, as the process of cooking causes a large proportion to melt and run off comparatively as waste.

Again, the advantage is entirely on the side of the producer, who finding a certain and easy method of increasing almost at will the bulk of the animals required for consumption, very naturally avails himself of the materials which promise such desirable results; enabling him to prepare his stock for market with convenient rapidity, and at the same time to meet the public demand for fat meat, which the public will not eat, but feels constrained to ask for as the only guarantee that the animal was healthy and well fed.

Hence the forcing system leads to development of two palpable evils in regard to the animals which furnish meat for our consumption; it produces flesh or muscle deficient in nutritive quality, and furnishes in addi. tion a large proportion of material, which is almost valueless as food, and is really not consumed excepting in very small quantities. Besides these disadvantages attending the present system of feeding and management, there are others even more serious; viz., the interference with the animal's health. This point has been considered in the general result; the particular consequences, however, are very apparent as affecting cattle, sheep, and pigs, as the condition induced which in the horse is remediable by exercise and proper dieting, in the other animals is fostered designedly until the beasts are placed in the hands of the butcher. Further, the influence of the want of exercise is felt in a particular degree by the organs of the respiratory system, occasioning loss of tone in these parts and ren. dering them peculiarly susceptible to diseases of the congestive order.

From the individual the consequences are extended to the breed. The property of acquiring early maturity is transmitted as other qualities are, and in the endeavor to perpetuate peculiar capabilities and characteristics of form necessary to preserve the race, the temptation to breed from ani. mals of the same family is very strong; in fact these artificial qualities can be cultivated to the highest point by no other means. Gradually under such a course the natural characteristics of the animal body are lost, and in their stead are developed others which are incompatible with absolute health; to wit, muscle wanting in firmness, excess of fatty tissue, defective secretion, logs of tone of the respiratory and circulatory organs, fatty disease of liver and heart, predisposition to disease, and want of

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