January 1, 1995
Jarvis rides with an elderly vegetarian who says "Rabbits eat lots of carrots, and their feces have no odor." but explains the thinking that "during a Bible class at an SDA school, I was taught that people did not defecate in the Garden of Eden but utilized the food they ingested in its entirety."
Why I am not a vegetarian
The John Harvey Kellogg character in the 1995 film Road to Wellville stated that his feces had no more odor than that of "freshly baked biscuits." One evening I offered a ride home from the university to an elderly colleague, an avid vegetarian. Upon entering my car, he declared: "When I drink carrot juice, my bowel movements have no odor."
Before I could respond, he said: "Rabbits eat lots of carrots, and their feces have no odor." The thought of someone running around sniffing little piles of rabbit doo-doo almost made me laugh, but I didn't want to be disrespectful. His idea that rabbits eat many carrots intrigued me. I had raised them in my boyhood and discovered that, despite the passion for carrots shown by Bugs Bunny, real bunnies are not particularly fond of carrots. Furthermore, wild rabbits seldom would have an opportunity to eat carrots. Luckily the ride was short.
The late Pulitzer Prize-winning anthropologist Ernest Becker argued that defecation is most closely associated with humankind's animality and mortality. 15 During a Bible class at an SDA school, I was taught that people did not defecate in the Garden of Eden but utilized the food they ingested in its entirety. Apparently, foul odors did not befit Paradise. (Perhaps the persistence of the miasmatic theory of disease the theory that diseases are due to foul-smelling emanations from the earth well into the nineteenth century, when SDA beliefs were developed, reinforced the idea of a poopless Paradise.) I was also taught that roughage became part of the human diet after the Fall. Allegedly, this broadening of the diet to include "the herb of the field" (Genesis 3:18, King James version) occurred because humans were now under the " death sentence" caused by original sin. Whether this reportedly was a voluntary dietary change or part of the curse of being ousted from Paradise is debatable. Some versions of the Bible imply that "the herb of the field" merely meant "wild foods" (New English Version), not a new source of food.