Dietary Practices of Ellen White

I have been told by someone who claims to be in a position to know, that during the later years of Mrs. White's life she departed from the vegetarian dietary she recommended, and occasionally ate meat, especially chicken. Is this true?

ARTHUR L. WHITE. [Secretary, E. G. White Publications Board.]

I have been told by someone who claims to be in a position to know, that during the later years of Mrs. White's life she departed from the vegetarian dietary she recommended, and occasionally ate meat, especially chicken. Is this true?

Recognizing that in the earlier years of vegetarian practice there were occasions when, without use of meat it was not easy to secure an adequate diet, and recognizing her teetotal stand of 1894, the question concerns her later practice. If we are to credit her with truthfulness of statement, the question can be largely answered by Mrs. White herself. In 1908 she wrote:

"It is reported by some that I have not lived up to the principles of health reform, as I have advocated them with my pen. But I can say that so far as my knowledge goes, I have not departed from those prin­ciples. Those who have eaten at my table know that I have not placed flesh meats before them. . . . It is many years since I have had meat on my table at home. We never use tea or coffee. . . . I regard it as my duty to refuse to place in my stomach any food that I have reason to believe will create disorder. My mind must be sanctified to God, and I must guard carefully against any habit that would tend to lessen my powers of intellect.

"I am now in my eighty-first year, and I can bear testimony that we do not, as a family, hunger for the fleshpots of Egypt. I have known something of the benefits to be received by living up to the principles of health reform. I consider it a privilege as well as a duty to be a health reformer.

"Yet I am sorry that there are many of our people who do not strictly follow the light on health reform. Those who in their habit transgress the principles of health, and do not heed the light that the Lord has given them, will surely suffer the consequences.

"I write you these details, that you may know how to answer any who may question my manner of eat­ing."—Counsels on Diet-and Foods, p13. 491-493. (See book for full statement.)

Again the next year she testified as she stood before the General Conference in session in Washington, D.C., on May 31, 1909, reading the following as a part of an address she had prepared for presentation :

"It is reported by some that I have not followed the principles of health reform as I have advocated them with my pen ; but I can say that I have been a faithful health reformer. Those who have been mem­bers of my family know that this is true."—Quoted in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 159.

But, we are asked, what about the years 1909 to 1915, the year of her death ? For wit­ness regarding this period we turn to a state­-ment made by one very close to her during these years, her son, W. C. White. He states:

"I was closely associated with Sister White during all the years we were in Australia and during all the years that she lived here in St. Helena after our re­turn in the autumn of r000. During much of this time, Sister Sara McInterfer, who is now living in Mountain View, was her private secretary and nurse and traveling companion, and she tells me that these reports springing up here and there about Sister White eating meat after her resolution in Melbourne in 1894, that she would be a teetotaler [See statement in Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 4881, are abso­lutely false. From my own observation, I can testify that they are false."—W. C. White letter, Feb. 11, 1937.

This witness from Mrs. White and those dose to her should forever silence the wild and misleading rumors which at times spring up charging that Mrs. E. G. White was untrue to the light given her in regard to health reform.

ARTHUR L. WHITE. {Secretary,  E. G. White Publications Board.]

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ARTHUR L. WHITE. [Secretary, E. G. White Publications Board.]

March 1947

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