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‘To Keep Out Disease’: Preventative Medicine

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Chapter Summary

This chapter pieces together the information provided in a variety of literary sources about how to keep animals healthy and disease free. It examines contemporary ideas about 'healthy lifestyle' and discusses each of the non-naturals, the ways in which they could affect the health of animals and how they could be influenced. Biomedicine, which is the dominant medical model in Western Europe, focuses on disease rather than health. Preventative health care was one of the basic tenets of medicine in early modern England. Adherence to all or even some of the non-naturals resulted in stronger bodies that were more resistant to disease. It addressed what has been recognized as the rampant feeling of helplessness in the face of disease. Trying to provide their charges with a good lifestyle provided people with the feeling of a small sense of control over their health, the animals' future and of their own family.

Keywords: Biomedicine; disease; England; healthy lifestyle; non-naturals; preventative medicine

10.1163/ej.9789004179950.i-175.30
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