Postcard portrait of Joseph Salomonson, “Meva, The Apostle of the Natural Life.”. Vegan, Joseph Salomonson.

Postcard portrait of Joseph Salomonson, “Meva, The Apostle of the Natural Life.”

(Hove: Fenwick & Son, ca. 1906). Halftone postcard, approx. 3.5 x 5.5 inches. Correspondence on the verso, postal cancellation dated Uckfield (U.K.) Dec. 12, 1906. A trifle dust-soiled, corners a little worn; in very good condition. Item #18831

A fine portrait of the eccentric health reformer and early vegan activist Joseph Salomonson, striking a walking pose in his tunic and sandals, the portrait captioned, “While you are drinking beer and wine, I eat the grapes so sweet and fine; And when you kill the little birds, They sing for me their latest flirts.” (The correspondent notes on the verso, “Rose has seen this man at (Brighton).”) The eccentric vegan Salomonson seems first to have appeared on the scene at the counterculture colony of Monte Verità in Ascona, Switzerland around late 1901, where his strict anti-salt and vegan principles led him into conflict with fellow colonists (though his nudist principles were well in keeping with the tenor of the community); he soon departed and appears to have become something of an itinerant lecturer—an article in the Phrenological Journal of April, 1904 reports his lecture at the March meeting of the American Institute of Phrenology, where he claimed “I find that by taking the raw carrots, raw turnip, raw onions, and fruit, I now have no thirst, and I have come to believe that thirst is artificial, and that it only accompanies cooked food when salt is put into it, but the natural life does not demand drink. I have not drank any water, tea, coffee, or spirits of any kind, since September, 1901.” (He also notes “there are social questions to consider. One should sleep on the ground, for the ground is much healthier than conventional beds. Of course I would not advise meat-eaters to begin at once to sleep on the ground, for they are not prepared for such a change.”).

Price: $125.00