George Cheyne (physician)

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George Cheyne

George Cheyne (16721743) was a pioneering physician, early proto-psychologist, philosopher and mathematician. He is best known for his contribution to vegetarianism.


  • To see the Convulsions, Agonies and Tortures of a poor Fellow-Creature, whom they cannot restore nor recompense, dying to gratify Luxury, and scratch callous and rank Organs, must require a rocky Heart, and a great Degree of Cruelty and Ferocity. I cannot find any great Difference on the Foot of natural Reason and Equity only, between feeding on human Flesh, and feeding on brute animal Flesh, except Custom and Example. I believe some rational Creatures would suffer less in being fairly butcher'd, than a strong Ox, or red Deer; and in natural Morality and Justice, the Degrees of Pain here, make the essential Difference; for as to other Differences, they are relative only, and can be of no Weight with an infinitely perfect Being. Did not Use and Example weaken this Terror, and make the Difference, Reason alone could never do it.
    • An Essay on Regimen (London: C. Rivington, 1740), pp. 70-71.

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