Human Medical Bloodletting in the 1700s Discussion

Human medical bloodletting 07/24 02:59

Do you think that humans accepted the practice of bloodletting among themselves in the 1700s because they were widely draining the blood of their farm animals for nutrition?

The medical bloodletting instruments could have been used on cows and horses as easily as humans.

Since no one has anything bad to say about the taste of blood, I wonder about the practice of its consumption when medical bloodletting became popular.

Um no 07/24 06:03

I believe bloodletting was accepted because doctors so strongly believed in and recommended it. It was a way to let out extra blood and rid the body of bad humors, two things that were thought to make sickness.

I was not aware (and have been unable to find reference to) bloodletting of farm animals for nutritional purposes. Bloodletting, by definition, takes a small amount from the host while leaving it living. During slaughter, blood WAS collected and consumed (primarily in stews, sausage and puddings) because our ancestors were frugal folk and did not want to be wasteful.

So no, I don’t think there’s much correlation between animal and human bloodletting other than to provide healing practices to both. Humans, as a general rule, did not drink each others blood for nutritional value.
No corilation, blood was captured during 07/24 07:16

slaughter and used in cooking. not exactly medicinal for the cow.
Shakespeare and other actors of the time used cattle blood on stage.
this is absolutely correct. 07/24 08:00

There are many references to blood being more than a biological element.

Blood was considered the essence of a person. Take the phrase “blood brothers”, “blood is thicker than water” and the “king’s bloodline” which was believed to be granted by God, by some.

An illness “must” be bad blood, thus the logical conclusion was to let it out. As modern people we can see the flaw with that logic being based on the faulty premise.

To rob an animal of its “being” was not a crime but our right under Christian doctrine since God gave Adam dominion over the beasts. However robbing a person of their “being” could not be looked on favorably by the church.
Bloodletting of cows was done by and 07/24 07:22

still is done by the Maasai in Africa. I thought of them first when I read about blood letting for nutrition. I saw a documentary a long time ago.

Anyway, I wondered if the Maasai were brought to the U.S. as slaves and brought that tradition with them. Answer is probably no as few of the Maasai were taken as slaves. They mostly protected neighboring tribes from being captured.

Since I had never thought about farmers using blood letting on their animals I looked into it. The posted site has pictures of blood letting tools and these paragraphs:

“The fleam is perhaps easiest-to-find bloodletting antique. These devices have one or more blades at right angles to the handle. The most common form is a brass case containing 2 or 3 steel blades, often stamped with a makers name (figure 8). The blades were usually of various sizes to offer a selection to the phlebotomist. Many of these fleams were likely used on animals but the ones with small blades no doubt were used at times on humans as well. Imagine the farming family that used their fleam for both purposes!”

“The fleams used for veterinary purposes were placed over the jugular vein of the neck most commonly and inserted with the help of a fleam stick. This was a heavy wooden club used to drive the blade in with a quick motion (so the horse didn’t know what hit him). Figure 12 shows a variety of fleam sticks. Often the bleeder would place a sheet over the animals head so they didn’t see what was coming. It’s a good thing they didn’t bleed humans this way!”

No mention was made that the blood was consumed.
Non-European cultures 07/24 07:53

After writing the above post, I did remember a scene from an episode of Sharpe (TV Series, British, 1993-97, 2006) where a downed Calvary horse is blooded at the neck, springing to life after. I know that show did really well within their scrooge-like budget to portray costume, props and military tactics during the Napoleonic Wars as authentically as they could.

I didn’t want to sound racist or ethnocentric in my earlier post, but I did figure that other cultures outside of European and North American might have different views on blood-drinking, whether human or animal. My education, like many others, is skewed in that area. I couldn’t find anything in a quick google search (plus I was at that time on an android tablet, and HATE doing more intricate typing and searching on it!).
Oh lordie…. ICK!!!!! 07/24 08:03

Just found a, uh, ‘interesting’ article that is close to the topic. I’m not gonna paraphrase it here…. I can barely make my way through the reading of it!

The Gruesome History of Eating Corpses as Medicine
The belief is not entirely dead, i.e., 07/24 08:54

“By ingesting corpse materials, one gains the strength of the person consumed. Noble quotes Leonardo da Vinci on the matter: “We preserve our life with the death of others. In a dead thing insensate life remains which, when it is reunited with the stomachs of the living, regains sensitive and intellectual life.”

Just recently I had two older men who wanted older roosters, about 2 years of age, for eating. One man was with his son and he and I both tried to get the father to take a younger roo.

Another man, maybe 40 or so, came to get an “older” roo as he had company coming from out of town and they wanted a fresh chicken to eat.

Generally people want roos that are from 6 mos to a year old.

I was talking about this with another customer and she explained that many cultures believe that eating older animals results in the person getting the “wisdom” and other positive attributes of an old rooster.

Same idea. Glad that they limit themselves to animals.
The worst & only exposure I had to drinking 07/24 08:18

blood was probably 40 years ago. I went to a picnic hosted by a Filipino group. I had never eaten goat and was urged by the ladies to have some. As soon as the juice–it was like a stew–hit my stomach I was at the big garbage barrel throwing up. Yuck, it was goat cooked in its own blood. Hell with “waste not, want not”.
Common practice..for hunting 07/24 09:11

Drink the blood of your first kill.

And yet another movie. Red Dawn, (1984) ..

If nothing else you want to watch because it has a young Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Emilio Esteves
Another movie.. 07/24 09:03

The Killing Fields. The man was starving and risked death to blood let from a cow. The livestock were protected for what one can assume that very purpose.



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