The cause of greatest interest in Alcott throughout his life was vegetarianism. In 1850 he wrote three long letters on vegetarianism to the editor of the New York Tribune - at the request of the editor.
Alcott wrote The Physiology of Marriage in 1856. He deplored free courtship manners. He specifically deplored 'conversation which is too excitable', 'presence of exciting books', 'unnecessary heat', and many other courtship practices prevalent in 18th century America but steadily going out of fashion by 1856. He warned young people of the dangers of courtship. He is criticized by modern day feminists for his 'rigidity'.
Alcott was a founding member (in 1850) and the first president of the American Vegetarian Society. He was also the author of 'The Vegetable Diet As Sanctioned by Medical Men and By Experience in All Ages'. He also founded The American Physiological Society in 1837, the world's first physiological society.
He died of a lung infection and is buried in Newton Cemetary. He worked until the day before he died.
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