The Bible, the ACLU and Cannibalistic Cows
Vol: 27 Issue: 26 Friday, December 26, 2003
A single cow that was slaughtered in Washington State was confirmed as having Bovine Sponiform Encephalitis, more commonly known as ‘Mad Cow Disease.’ While BSE only affects cattle, consuming infected meat can cause a similar disease in humans called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), or vCJD.
The disease is not common; as of May 2003, there have only been a reported 139 cases of vCJD worldwide.
BSE has been of great concern since 1986, when it was first reported among cattle in the United Kingdom. At its peak, in January 1993, almost 1,000 new cases per week were identified.
The nature of the transmissible agent in BSE is not known. Currently, the most accepted theory is that the agent is a modified form of a normal cell surface component known as a prion protein.
Why or how this substance changes to become disease-producing is still unknown. Prions are resistant to common treatments, such as heat, to reduce or eliminate its infectivity or presence. In other words, cooking or freezing the meat has no effect on it.
There is a disturbingly high instance of the use of the word ‘unknown’ in most scientific documents referencing BSE and vCJD, especially considering the USDA’s confidence that the Holstein cow slaughtered in Washington was the only instance in the United States.
BSE came into existence as a consequence of feeding cattle feed made from the remains of other slaughtered animals. The outbreak in the United Kingdom may have started from the feeding of scrapie-contaminated sheep meat-and-bone meal to cattle. Scrapie is a disease of sheep that is related to BSE in cattle.
There is strong evidence that the outbreak in cattle was amplified in the United Kingdom by feeding rendered bovine meat-and-bone meal to young calves.
Here is what makes BSE-related vCJD so terrifying. Symptoms may not appear for as long as EIGHT years after infection. There are no early warning signs. Once infected, there is no cure. At first, the patient has symptoms resembling those of Alzheimer’s Disease. As the patient nears death, the symptoms more closely resemble rabies as the brain wastes away.
The disease is 100% fatal and the diagnosis cannot even be confirmed until after the patient is dead.
So, had the hamburger you got from your favorite fast food place been infected, about eight years from now, your brain would begin to break down, become spongy, and your illness would be untreatable, and results in a slow, painful, horrible death. Scared yet?
The USDA’s assurances that the US meat supply is ‘safe’ are based on the fact only one cow was diagnosed with the disease. It was a ‘downer cow’ which is a term used for cattle too sick to stand or walk.
Under USDA regulations, such cattle are routinely slaughtered for human consumption. Most downers are spent dairy cattle, and are the prime carriers of “mad-cow” disease.
The Holstein in Yakima County that tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was unable to walk due to complications from a pregnancy.
A 2001 study in Germany found that downed cows were up to 240 times more likely to test positive for BSE. The USDA itself has warned that downers “represent a significant pathway for spread of disease if they are not handled or disposed of with appropriate safeguards.”
Despite this known threat, an average of only 10 to 15 per cent of downers are tested for BSE in this country.
Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and beef-industry representatives blithely assure the public that our food supply is safe. Yet the continuing boycott of Canadian beef by the U.S. and some 30 other countries that so far has cost Canada almost $3 billion makes that claim ring hollow.
(A single cow infected by BSE in Canada was discovered earlier this year.)
The Congress attempted to pass a law requiring ‘downer’ cows to be euthanized and their meat destroyed, but it was killed in conference committee after the dairy industry lobbied against it.
Farmers continue to sell these crippled, low-value animals for processed meat or hamburger, instead of euthanizing them.
(A study by California Department of Agriculture found that their average net value to the farmer is just $28.70 per animal after shipping and other costs are factored in.)
Following its recent outbreak that involved a single, aged dairy cow, Canada is on the verge of banning the slaughter of downed cattle.
That’s exactly the preventive action the USDA should have ordered months ago when the discovery of BSE north of the border signaled its virtually certain appearance here.
While the slaughter of ‘downer cows’ for human consumption is perfectly legal in the US, the USDA banned the meat from ‘downer cows’ from the National School Lunch program. Most fast food chains, like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King deemed downer meat too dangerous for its customrs and refuse to buy it.
California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Vermont and Wisconsin prohibit downers from being sold or killed at state-inspected abattoirs.
But states have no control over federally regulated slaughterhouses that process most of these disabled animals. The USDA says that the most risky parts of the cow are the brain and spinal cord tissue, and prohibits processing those parts. Although the federal government bans brain and spinal cord tissue in all meat, a 2002 Agriculture Department survey found central nervous system tissue in beef products at 74 percent of the plants tested.
Despite the assurances of safety, last year the USDA inspected only 20,526 cattle out of a herd of 35 million.
In our hi-tech world, the Bible continues to be under assault as an archaic book of superstitions and outdated rules — rules so dangerous that the mere posting of ten of them in public brings atheists, ACLU lawyers and the lunatic fringe of the liberal left streaming to little towns across America, where they demand these dangerous rules be removed before impressionable young children can read, (and worse, even follow) the Ten Commandments.
To the lunatic fringe of the liberal left, the Bible is dangerous, and has no value or place in modern American society.
We return to the cause of BSE — the rendering of bovine by-products into feed given to young calves.
In the Hebrew books of the Law, in which we find the Ten Commandments, there are no less than THREE admonitions saying, “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk” (Exodus 23:19, Exodus 34:26 and Deuteronomy 14:21)