Ellen G. White deleted her chicken
By Robert K. Sanders
When Mrs. White traveled by rail from Michigan to California in February, 1880, she wrote a letter (Letter 6a, 1880) to her twin sister, Elizabeth "Lizzy" Bangs. Mrs. White wrote that she ate chicken on this trip. This letter will be shown first.
This letter was then published in the Review and Herald as "Incidents By the Way," Vol. 55 (June 17, 1880). In this article Ellen deleted all mention of her eating chicken. Could it be that she deleted her writing about the chicken because she did not want the public to know she was eating chicken, after leading the public to believe she was practicing health reform and true temperance in all things?
EGW: Thursday morning we arose from our births refreshed with sleep. At eight o'clock we took a portion of the pressed chicken furnished us by the matron of the sanitarium, put the same in a two-quart pail, and placed it on the stove, and thus we had good hot chicken broth and enjoyed our breakfast. The morning was very cold and this hot dish was very palatable. —Manuscript Release Volume Eleven, page 142, paragraph 3. Chapter Title: Geographical descriptions and travel in the Western U. S., Ellen's (Letter 6a, 1880) to Her Sister Elizabeth.
EGW: But night draws her sable curtains around us, and we are preparing to occupy our berths for the night. The wind was blowing strong against us, sending the smoke of our heating stove into every crevice and opening in the car. I slept, but awoke with a suffocating scream. I found myself laboring hard for breath, and the coal gas was so stifling I could not sleep for hours. This was the most disagreeable night that I had on the journey. In the morning felt better than I had expected to feel. We again made a nice hot broth of our pressed chicken. Our two tables were prepared, one in each seat, and we ate our nice breakfast with thankful hearts. The porter, well filled [with silver donations], was very accommodating, bringing lunch baskets. —Manuscript Releases Volume Twenty, page 302, paragraph 5, Chapter Title: Observations on People and Scenery While Traveling.
Note: The above portion of her letter to Elizabeth about eating chicken was totally deleted in the Review and Herald article. In its place EGW wrote the following to indicate she was following health reform.
EGW: "At that time the light of health reform dawned upon us, and since that time the questions have come home every day, "Am I practicing true temperance in all things?" "Is my diet such as will bring me in a position where I can accomplish the greatest amount of good?" If we cannot answer these questions in the affirmative, we stand condemned before God, for he will hold us all responsible for the light which has shown upon our path. The time of ignorance God winked at, but as fast as light shines upon us he requires us to change our health-destroying habits, and place ourselves in a right relation to physical law.
We have crossed the plains fifteen times, and we would recommend to those contemplating such a journey strict temperance in all things. Take your lunch-baskets with you, well filled with fruits and plainly cooked bread.
Eat at regular hours, and nothing between meals; and whenever the train stops for any length of time improve the opportunity by taking a brisk walk in the open air. By so doing, the journey will not only be more enjoyable, but far more beneficial healthwise. —Ellen G. White, "Incidents by the Way," Review and Herald, Vol. 55 June 17, 1880), p. 386.
Note: Ellen ate her chicken meal with a "thankful heart." This means she had no guilt in eating chicken. If eating chicken broth is OK for Ellen then it is OK for Adventists, as she is the "Spirit of Prophecy" that Adventists follow after. I can imagine if Ellen were living today she would enjoy, McDonald's Chicken Nuggets, Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, buffalo wings, and chicken fingers—and she would be able to tell you with a straight face, that she is following health reform.
Now that you know the truth you can bring chicken to you church dinners and if anyone complains, tell them you are following Ellen G. White's health reform. Also you can bring oysters as that was one of EGW's favorites.