Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/525

This page has been validated.

that elephants have immortal souls as much as men, and are, as a species, far more deserving of immortality. I believe it is as much an act of murder to wantonly take the life of a healthy elephant as to kill a native Australian or a Central-African savage. If it is more culpable to kill a highly developed man than an elephant, it is also more culpable to kill an elephant than an echinoderm. Many men are both morally and intellectually lower than many quadrupeds, and are, in my opinion, as wholly destitute of that indefinable attribute called the soul as all the lower animals are commonly supposed to be.

If an investigator like Darwin or an educator like Dr. Howe should take it in hand to develop the mind of the elephant to the highest possible extent, his results would be awaited with peculiar interest, and it would be strange if they did not necessitate a revision of the theories now common among those who study the purely speculative portion of theology, which is based on man's immortal soul.


A SHEEP or an ox, a fowl or a rabbit, is made up, like ourselves, of organic structures and blood, the organs continually wasting as they work, and being renewed by the blood; or, otherwise described, the component molecules of these organs are continually dying of old age as their work is done, and replaced by new-born successors generated by the blood.

These molecules are, for the most part, cellular, each cell living a little life of its own, generated with a definite individuality, doing its own life-work, then shriveling in decay, dying in the midst of vital surroundings, suffering cremation, and thereby contributing to the animal heat necessary for the life of its successors, and even giving up a portion of its substance to supply them with absorption-food. The cell-walls are mainly composed of gelatine, or the substance which produces gelatine, as already explained, while the contents of the cell are albuminous matter or fat, or the special constituents of the particular organ it composes. A description of all these constituents would carry me too far into details. I must, therefore, only refer to those which constitute the bulk of animal food, and which are altered in the process of cooking.

In the lean of meat, i. e., the muscles of the animal, we have the albuminous juices already described, the gelatinous membranes, sheaths, and walls of the muscular fiber, and the fiber itself. This is composed of muscular fibrin, or syntonin, as Lehmann has named it. Living