Author Topic: Is human meat-eating a major cause of pandemics?  (Read 435 times)

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Online lonely moa

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Re: Is human meat-eating a major cause of pandemics?
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2020, 02:04:26 PM »
Ruminants are the best source of carbon sequestration available. They have been for millions of years.

Oh, come on now. That's just plain silly.

The deep dark carbon rich soil that humans have been squandering for the last two centuries was built by large ruminants, mammoths to antelopes, eating, trampling moving on for new pasture for millions of years.  That's science, not silly.  No other source of long term carbon sequestration, forests included, is superior. 
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Is human meat-eating a major cause of pandemics?
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2020, 03:27:52 PM »
I recent days I have been reading several op-eds about how pandemics often stem from animals to humans, that human meat-eating is a major cause of pandemics in modern times, and that if everyone was vegetarian, we would have fewer to no pandemics in the world.

Is this accurate? If so, I suppose this is yet another reason that we should eat minimal to no meat, apart from its environmental impact.

One counter-argument to this could be that pandemics from animals to humans seem to happen in developing countries with poor regulations (Covid-19 in China, MERS in Saudi Arabia, and SARS again in China), and so maybe that is the main problem rather than the eating of meat. These kinds of pandemics don't originate in developed countries.

‘These kinds of pandemics don’t originate in developed countries.’  The Spanish Influenza in Haskell County in Kansas in 1918, which killed 50-100 million? 

The danger with industrial meat production is that very large numbers of farm animals are crowded together, and then it becomes relatively easy for a flying migratory species, such as waterbirds or bats, to come into contact with them and allow infection to hop from one species to another.  Eating meat isn’t dangerous, but it provides an opportunity for infection to further hop into humans, either farm workers or live animal market workers and customers (as happened in Wuhan).
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Online John Albert

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Re: Is human meat-eating a major cause of pandemics?
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2020, 07:56:24 PM »
Ruminants are the best source of carbon sequestration available. They have been for millions of years.

Oh, come on now. That's just plain silly.

The deep dark carbon rich soil that humans have been squandering for the last two centuries was built by large ruminants, mammoths to antelopes, eating, trampling moving on for new pasture for millions of years.  That's science, not silly.  No other source of long term carbon sequestration, forests included, is superior.

The creation of fertile topsoil is not what "carbon sequestration" means.

Online bachfiend

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Re: Is human meat-eating a major cause of pandemics?
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2020, 09:58:02 PM »
Ruminants are the best source of carbon sequestration available. They have been for millions of years.

Oh, come on now. That's just plain silly.

The deep dark carbon rich soil that humans have been squandering for the last two centuries was built by large ruminants, mammoths to antelopes, eating, trampling moving on for new pasture for millions of years.  That's science, not silly.  No other source of long term carbon sequestration, forests included, is superior.

The creation of fertile topsoil is not what "carbon sequestration" means.

And mammoths didn’t sequestrate carbon.  Towards the end of the last glaciation, as the mammoths were hunted into extinction, more carbon was retained in the soil as the churning up of the tundra by the mammoths’ tusks ceased, resulting in a drop of atmospheric CO2 levels, and prolongation of the glaciation.
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Online lonely moa

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Re: Is human meat-eating a major cause of pandemics?
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2020, 11:03:48 AM »
Mammoths, btw, lived in North America as far south as the now border fo the US and Mexico (now desert) and the last mammoths existed until maybe 500 years ago in the arctic.  Bison were probably more effective in the cycle of creating carbon rich soil than wooly mammoths, but mammoths are more iconic. 
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Is human meat-eating a major cause of pandemics?
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2020, 11:54:03 AM »
Read, then post. Good system. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alluvial_plain
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Offline Sawyer

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Re: Is human meat-eating a major cause of pandemics?
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2020, 11:32:19 PM »
I have a cat on my lap at the moment so I can't look up any of the viruses in my copy, but I would highly recommend David Quamman's Spillover if you want to learn about recent zoonotic diseases.  I think we've had several major outbreaks that are tied to the consumption of wild animals, although in some cases hard to tell whether it's eating the meat or simply being around enough animals that causes the initial spillover.  But if you're cutting back on eating meat your automatically cutting back on people coming into contact with those animals, so it's probably not a big difference in terms of measuring the harm

Despite the awful "some African dude screwed a monkey" urban legend, we almost certainly got HIV from consuming ape meat.  I'd say that death toll deserves some consideration at this point.

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Is human meat-eating a major cause of pandemics?
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2020, 04:55:51 AM »
Bush meat is all some folks can get, that source of contamination isn't like to change soon.
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