Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/588

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taught to relish other than their usual food, cases are cited by M. C. Cornevin in which animals usually carnivorous spontaneously seek vegetables and fruits. A group of well-fed dogs came under his observation which manifested an epicurean taste for plums. He often found them in his morning walks in the orchard, they having crept through the holes in the fence, snapping at the fruit that had fallen off during the night. One of them, when offered bread soaked in bouillon and plums, took the plums. Another dog did not lose his appetite for the fruit when stung by a wasp concealed in a plum, but afterward turned every plum carefully over and examined it before biting it. The dogs seemed to prefer sweet fruits; they liked pears as well as plums, and the choicest varieties best. The author was told that shepherds who trade in dogs' skins have found that they got the best prices for the skins of animals that are slain in October after having been fed on fruit during the summer, and that the meat of such dogs had been found to be palatable and destitute of the usual unpleasant flavor. Cats were observed to be fond of melons, and to manifest a decided taste for cooked vegetables, especially leeks and onions. They will abandon for a time the meats given them with their dinners and eat the vegetables only. They are not fond of raw vegetables except asparagus, of which they have been known to keep the young shoots well down by biting off the tips as they appear. A cat is mentioned, however, that lived one summer chiefly upon beans in the pod; and another that spent the whole season in the garden, beginning with the asparagus bed, then taking to green beans, which he pulled down from the trellises that supported them; and next on carrots, of which he ate the tops down to the ground, but did not scratch the soil from the root. This cat would have led the same kind of life a second season, but, being as destructive to the garden as a rabbit, was shot. The fierce and carnivorous marten and weasel enjoy cherries, and become fat and hearty upon them. These peculiarities, and the fruit hunting of foxes, skunks, and bears, have been accounted for by some naturalists as induced by hunger; but the explanation is not sufficient. The tastes are manifested when food of all kinds is most abundant and most easily obtained. A more probable explanation is that they are atavistic reversions, or are adaptations to peculiar conditions of the digestion and its ferments, demanding the introduction of new agents to re-enforce those already at work, but which may have become enfeebled. The subject is a good one to experiment upon.


Revaccination.—The following paragraph is taken from a "memorandum" recently prepared by Dr. Bond for the Jenner Society in England: "The experience of every epidemic, and last but not least of that of Middlesbrough, shows conclusively that if we wish to protect the community against these increasingly frequent scourges we must take as much trouble to promote revaccination as we have hitherto taken to promote infant vaccination. So long as the public are led to believe, as they have been hitherto, that vaccination in infancy is the only thing about which the state need take any care, so long will epidemics of so-called 'vaccinated' adolescents and adults and of unvaccinated or badly vaccinated children be the opprobrium of our country. There is only one way of effecting this, and that is by requiring, so far as is practicable, every child who enters a school to be efficiently vaccinated, and that before it leaves school it shall be equally efficiently revaccinated. It is to the revaccination of her adolescent population that Germany owes the remarkable immunity from epidemics of smallpox which she has for the last twenty years enjoyed rather than to her compulsory vaccination in early childhood, for it is the adolescents and adults whose early protection in infancy has become attenuated by age who are most exposed to the risks of smallpox. If we can secure their protection by revaccination at the end of the school age, as well as that of the children at the commencement of it, we need not trouble ourselves much about the infants. We have been misled in this respect by false inferences from the experience of Jenner and the early vaccinators. When infants were the chief sufferers, because the adult population was in a large degree protected by having had the disease, the discovery of a means by which these unfortunate little victims could be almost absolutely protected naturally led to an undue estimate of the value of infant vaccination, especially