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animal rights | economic justice | environment

is it possible that all this Mad Cow madness has it's origins, not in prions

here is just another prespective on this Mad Cow madness to put into the hopper for further
repostings 4 u

-Caveat Lector-

This whole "mad cow" disease bothers me. I don't believe it is so
devastating...I am not convinced that the slaughter of 450 young calfs
THIS WEEK (as reported by the news media) is necessary or needed. In
fact, I sympathize with these animals and I feel someone ought to speak
out about this and against their slaughter. I am a poultry-fish eater, I
do not eat red meats. It bothers me that within only some 48 hours these
young animals will die...probably violently...their remains will not be
used...and ALL because ONE calf was distantly related to one cow who may
have had the disease. What is this? What is going on here? None of the
media reports make sense about this...esp the deaths of so many young
calfs, sort of upon a "mad cow" whim or rumor.

Who is mandating this...and why isn't anyone speaking out about reason in
this case. I feel badly about the calfs, young animals, probably none of
whom are infected...their lives shattered, destroyed...quickly for no
real reason.

E. Murray.

On Sat, 3 Jan 2004 21:27:47 -0500 flw < flw@TOGETHER.NET> writes:
> -Caveat Lector-
> NICHOLAS REGUSH, ABC NEWS - What if it turns out that the human form
> of mad
> cow disease is triggered by environmental factors - and not by
> infectious
> beef products - as some ongoing British research at Cambridge
> University
> suggests? What if much of the science to date, focusing on
> contaminated
> meat, has been overly simplistic or even dead wrong? The immediate
> implication would be that we would have to rethink everything
> already done
> to fight the disease, both in Britain where it began, in Europe,
> where it
> has spread, and in other nations, including the United States,
> where
> concerns are mounting about its potential to be unleashed. . .
> The viewpoint held by most scientists is that an infectious agent
> likely
> moved from sheep to cows and gained enough strength in its
> cross-species
> jump to ravage the nervous system and cause the bovine brain to
> appear
> spongy and rife with holes like Swiss cheese. This brain-destroying
> "mad
> cow" infection was further transmitted, according to this
> interpretation,
> via the rendering of carcasses, to meat and bone meal in feed. . .
> But not according to David Brown, a biochemist at Cambridge
> University, who
> counters that "there is no conclusive proof that [mad cow disease]
> caused
> vCJD." Next week at a scientific conference in Quebec City, he'll
> discuss
> some of his most recent research, pointing to a possible
> environmental
> explanation of both mad cow disease and vCJD. That conference is all
> about
> manganese, a heavy metal, that is essential to life and is part of
> the daily
> diet - for example, wheat, rice and tea provide the metal - but
> numerous
> studies show that environmental overexposure to it can be dangerous
> to the
> nervous system. . .
> David Brown agrees with the conventional view that the key agent in
> the
> disease is a protein called a "prion." These prions are thought to
> keep
> nerve cells stable. The conventional view holds that prions can
> somehow
> become malformed and that's when they become infectious and capable
> of
> damaging the brain. The malformed prion, then, according to the
> conventional
> view, is the infectious and transmissible agent in mad cow disease
> and vCJD.
> The infection is neither a virus, nor a bacterium.
> Brown parts company here with the conventional view, altogether
> dismissing
> the notion of an "infectious" prion. He told me: "I have
> [published]
> evidence from my cell culture experiments that shows manganese can
> change
> the prion into its abnormal [and dangerous] form." This is
> especially the
> case when the supply of copper to the cell is low. If David Brown's
> research
> is on a correct path, then scientific and public concerns about
> infection
> from beef could eventually be dwarfed by concerns about toxic
> effects in the
> environment that cause copper levels to decrease and manganese
> levels to
> rise. . .
> Brown's research has given a boost to the controversial theories of
> Mark
> Purdey, a farmer turned amateur scientist who has been challenging
> the
> conventional view of mad cow disease and vCJD from the start. He
> has
> provided detailed reports to the British government's hearings on
> mad cow
> disease and has published several peer-reviewed scientific papers on
> the
> subject, including data on how manganese in the environment may play
> a role
> in both mad cow disease and vCJD.
> BBC, MARCH 21, 20001 - The Phillips Inquiry into BSE confirmed that
> the
> pesticides could make animals more susceptible to the disease. Not
> for the
> first time, Mark Purdey had made a connection that the official
> scientists
> had missed.
> Edward Stourton The man from the Ministry had come with an order for
> the
> treatment of Warble Fly - a parasite which lays its eggs under the
> skin of
> cattle. Like all beef and dairy farmers in the area, Mark Purdey was
> told he
> had to use an organophosphate pesticide on his livestock to
> eradicate the
> infestation.
> But he fought the order in court - and he won. When BSE was
> identified two
> years later Mark Purdey noticed that the areas where the disease
> was
> emerging more or less correlated with those where the
> organophosphates had
> been used against Warble Fly. His conclusion that the pesticide
> caused BSE
> turned out to be mistaken.
> But nearly twenty years later the Phillips Inquiry into BSE
> confirmed that
> it could make animals more susceptible to the disease. Not for the
> first
> time, Mark Purdey had made a connection that the official scientists
> had
> missed. . .
>  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/correspondent/europe/1205915.stm
well, ok 06.Jan.2004 09:09

Purple Punk

Interesting. The scientist in the article says that prions can be caused by an excess of manganese. That will be an important learning if it turns out to be true. However, the scientist (at least in the article) presents no evidence that prions, once formed, are not self-propagating. Let's hope they aren't. But probably they are, because once you have the disease, it keeps on. In the mean time, anybody for tofu? We Portlanders live a bit too close to the infected cow to take things lightly. It takes years for the disease to manifest outward symptoms--this one cow, be it infected from eating beef or from too much manganese, is probably the tip of the iceberg.

A phrase from the initial post 06.Jan.2004 13:59


sticks out at me:

"I feel badly about the calfs, young animals, probably none of
whom are infected...their lives shattered, destroyed...quickly for no
real reason."

This person does not know the conditions for cows on a factory farm. It's actually a blessing to be killed early. Their lives have been shattered from the moment they were born, filled with misery and deprivation. Please take a look at "how animals are made into food" on  http://www.veganoutreach.com or have a look at  http://www.cok.net or a PETA site about cattle farming, or do search and look at any number of other sites that come up. Go to  http://www.meetyourmeat.com and watch the video. I'm stunned at the naivete of the post--not an insult to the poster--but, there is a lack of information. These are animals who should never have been born--their lives contribute to incredible misery in the world (well, I guess the humans who eat their flesh may get pleasure out of it--but make no mistake--the lifelong pain and suffering of the animals far outweighs any amount of momentary pleasure humans may receive). Animal farming as it is practiced is shameful, inhumane, and an abomination for anyone who cares for the sentience and suffering of non-human animals.

Well, I just heard on the news that all 450+ calves from the 07.Jan.2004 11:15


heard have already been slaughtered now and their bodies are getting shipped to the landfill. So these lives were snuffed out because they're not important to us except to use as food. But, their lives were important to them, and to each other. Humans--this is another pathetic second in our existence in which we use and abuse other sentient, non-human creatures. We are a species who does so much damage to non-human others, so callously. Those of you who eat these animals--it's shameful what you're helping to cause in this world.

Think about it. 24.Jan.2004 01:59


Please extend the compassion you have for the calves to the chickens and fishes you eat. You're the one who's causing their deaths for no real reason.