Am I mad to be vegan? Read on...
Article from www.goveg.com
Mad Cow Disease: It’s Mad to Eat Meat
|According to a 2006 report by the USDA inspector general, USDA slaughterhouse inspectors are still allowing many “downed cows”—who may be infected with mad cow disease—into the human food supply illegally.|
Mad cow disease is one of the most frightening diseases of our generation. Also known as “bovine spongiform encephalopathy,” it is a member of a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These diseases, which cause the brain to degenerate until it becomes “spongy” and lead to eventual death, are caused by misshapen proteins called “prions.”1 Researchers have traced massive outbreaks of the disease on factory farms to the meat industry’s cost-cutting practice of mixing the brain tissue of dead farmed animals into the feed of other farmed animals.…
Any animal with a brain has the potential to become infected with a prion disease and could pass the disease on to humans who eat the animal’s flesh. Scientists have already identified mad cow disease variants in humans, fish, sheep, minks, cows, deer, and cats.2,3,4 Although illegal in Japan and Europe, in the U.S. and Canada it remains common to include the blood, bone, and unwanted flesh of all types of farmed animals in the feed of chickens, turkeys, and pigs. Of all the animal flesh and bone meal that is processed into food for farmed animals, almost half is fed to chickens and turkeys, 13 percent is fed to pigs, and 10 percent is fed to cows.5
How Do People Get Mad Cow Disease?
When people eat infected animals, they can develop the human version of spongiform encephalopathy called “new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease” (nvCJD). This disease eats holes in the brain (which results in a spongy appearance), initially causing memory loss and erratic behavior. Over a period of months, victims gradually lose the ability to care for themselves or communicate, and they eventually die. There is evidence that a large number of Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may in fact be victims of CJD.
Eating contaminated meat has caused more than 150 deaths worldwide. Thousands more are likely infected but do not know it yet, according to a study published in The Journal of Pathology, and it can take years for symptoms to develop.6,7 Millions of cows developed the disease in Europe in the 1990s and were killed and their bodies burned—although burning does not destroy prions. Hunters in the U.S. and their families may have contracted the disease by eating infected deer they killed.8