Dugald Semple, an Early Modern Caravanner

Here’s and edited rework of an older post I wrote about Dugald Semple, a Scottish philosopher of the early 20th Century, who was an advocate for simple living.

imagedsAfter studying and becoming and engineer he took to the woods and, for a period, a life on the road. He lived in a tent and in various caravans in order to write and travel and avoid what he saw as the enslavement of increasingly urban society.  His philosophies are interesting and he still has a following of vegans, fruitarians, and Christians around the world.  He apparently never ate meat, eggs, or cheese, and subsisted on a mostly fruit diet.  He clearly survived on this stuff as he died in 1964 at the age of 79.  Not bad, but think of all the bacon he missed! DugaldSempleOf course, my interest in Dugald lies primarily in his simple lifestyle and his fondness for caravans and living in the open.  Not to sound glib but it seems that one key to his success is that he married well.  Cathie, his wife was a widow who was independently wealthy, owning a large house and grounds.  Even as he settled down, he still philosophized and associated with his old friends who roamed the countryside and set up guilds of craftsmen (ref., Nerrissa Wilson, Gypsies and Gentlemen).  He envisioned a new generation of skilled travelers who could pack up their trades and families and move to where the work was, thus alleviating some of the new stress of urban life. SempleI have been able to find out relatively little about this guy on the web but the bottom line is that I love his camp set up.  The wagon seems perfectly suited for summertime use with the opening sides for maximum ventilation.  Too bad his dream didn’t catch on, but he admitted that life on road could be stressful and difficult.  At least, we can give it a try for a while. Joy-in-LivingAs an end note, here’s a quote he is well known for on his philosophy of a vegan lifestyle:

Personally, I began rather drastically over 50 years ago by cutting out not only all meat or flesh foods, but milk, eggs, butter, tea and coffee. Cheese I have never eaten; indeed I hate the very smell of this decayed milk. Next, I adopted a diet of nuts, fruit, cereals and vegetables. On this Edenic fare I lived for some ten years, and found that my health and strength were greatly improved. Probably this was also because I lived more in the fresh air and closer to Nature.

I just don’t know if I can fully trust a man who won’t eat cheese…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s