The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Covid-19 discussion, bring your own statistics
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:50 pm

shpalman wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:45 pm
shpalman wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:32 am
Gfamily wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:40 pm


Their market has dropped off considerably as a result of the Avian Flu restrictions requiring that flocks be kept indoors*, so they're looking to widen the appeal.


*I think - don't quote me on this.
One million culled in bid to halt spread of bird flu in Lincolnshire
An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, requiring all bird owners to keep their flocks indoors, is in force across the UK, said Defra.
Aren't they supposed to open the windows every so often?
Wild birds migrate to the UK from mainland Europe during the winter so it is vital to not allow wild birds to mix with chickens, ducks, geese or other birds, she said.
Didn't they just abolish the pre-departure testing requirement etc.
Human case of bird flu detected in the UK
Good news everyone!

It would be fun to have multiple overlapping pandemics caused by eating animals.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:05 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:50 pm
Good news everyone!

It would be fun to have multiple overlapping pandemics caused by eating animals.
There are no pandemics caused by eating animals. Pandemics are caused by two things: people living in close proximity to one another, and people living in close proximity to animals. The latter is nicely illustrated by the avian flu story. More details here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/ ... n-is-named which tells us that Mr. Gosling caught it from his pet ducks which he had no intention of eating or letting anyone else eat.

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by monkey » Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:54 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:05 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:50 pm
Good news everyone!

It would be fun to have multiple overlapping pandemics caused by eating animals.
There are no pandemics caused by eating animals. Pandemics are caused by two things: people living in close proximity to one another, and people living in close proximity to animals. The latter is nicely illustrated by the avian flu story. More details here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/ ... n-is-named which tells us that Mr. Gosling caught it from his pet ducks which he had no intention of eating or letting anyone else eat.
Does eating animals put people in closer proximity to them or further away?

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by dyqik » Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:05 am

monkey wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:54 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:05 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:50 pm


Good news everyone!

It would be fun to have multiple overlapping pandemics caused by eating animals.
There are no pandemics caused by eating animals. Pandemics are caused by two things: people living in close proximity to one another, and people living in close proximity to animals. The latter is nicely illustrated by the avian flu story. More details here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/ ... n-is-named which tells us that Mr. Gosling caught it from his pet ducks which he had no intention of eating or letting anyone else eat.
Does eating animals put people in closer proximity to them or further away?
I don't eat dogs or cats, but they're the closest mammals to me.

Next is raccoons, squirrels, mice, chipmunks, skunks, and white tailed deer.

Farmers using draft animals for hauling and plowing for crops probably spend more time in close contact with animals than those raising animals for meat.

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:32 am

Yes, proximity to humans is important, but the density of commercial flocks makes a difference too. A few thousand chickens breathing each others' sh.t in a shed breeds way more germs than the same quantity of wild birds. The routine use of antibiotics in many parts of the world will come back to haunt us too.

Animal agriculture is also the major driver of tropical forest fragmentation, which is implicated in exposing naive human populations to novel zoonoses.

It's not just meat - the cages of mustelids in the Wuhan market were for pelts. But far more animals are raised for meat so it seems fair to single it out IMHO.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:40 am

dyqik wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:05 am
Farmers using draft animals for hauling and plowing for crops probably spend more time in close contact with animals than those raising animals for meat.
Rather depends on the farm. The bucolic idyll of free-ranging grazers you're imagining, sure, but not the typical megasheds crammed full of animals. Humans are in there all the time splashing through fluids, inspecting orifices etc. In poor countries pigs and chickens are often fed sewage, so the close contact goes both ways.

Close contact with one trusty burro while you trek round some fields is much lower pandemic risk than 2m high stacks of caged ducks.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 08, 2022 6:27 am

The people living closest to animals are subsistence farmers and others in the least developed countries. They’re typically living in the same physical spaces as animals like goats or chickens as they can’t afford multiple dedicated buildings or plots to separate the animals from the people. Their homes also involve close proximity to rats, mice and other non-domesticated animals. With bigger animals like cattle they’re not living in the same physical space but it’s usually necessary for someone to be with the herd all day.
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:32 am
Yes, proximity to humans is important, but the density of commercial flocks makes a difference too. A few thousand chickens breathing each others' sh.t in a shed breeds way more germs than the same quantity of wild birds. The routine use of antibiotics in many parts of the world will come back to haunt us
I agree. A shed full of thousands of chickens resembles a respiratory virus factory.

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:39 am

monkey wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:54 am
Does eating animals put people in closer proximity to them or further away?
The fact that you can buy New Zealand lamb in the UK shows that distance to the animal is no barrier to eating it. The Black Death spread using fleas on rats, but people neither ate the fleas nor the rats (well, not routinely) and would have been at least as likely to have rats if they ate only grain and other plants as if they also ate meat. The very effective spread of Covid on the Diamond Princess shows that proximity to animals is completely unnecessary for a pandemic to spread - other people are quite sufficient.

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Herainestold » Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:29 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:39 am
monkey wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:54 am
Does eating animals put people in closer proximity to them or further away?
The fact that you can buy New Zealand lamb in the UK shows that distance to the animal is no barrier to eating it. The Black Death spread using fleas on rats, but people neither ate the fleas nor the rats (well, not routinely) and would have been at least as likely to have rats if they ate only grain and other plants as if they also ate meat. The very effective spread of Covid on the Diamond Princess shows that proximity to animals is completely unnecessary for a pandemic to spread - other people are quite sufficient.
Thats not the argument. The argument is that living in close proximity to animals allows zoonotic diseases to cross over from animals to people, like that guy getting bird flu from his ducks. Once it is established in the human population, it is free to propagate without any assistance from animals.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Al Capone Junior » Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:40 am

Thanks for the invitation to blather
Go on.. Please. Do elaborate. In great detail. We've all got our pencils ready!

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by IvanV » Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:35 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:39 am
monkey wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:54 am
Does eating animals put people in closer proximity to them or further away?
The fact that you can buy New Zealand lamb in the UK shows that distance to the animal is no barrier to eating it. The Black Death spread using fleas on rats, but people neither ate the fleas nor the rats (well, not routinely) and would have been at least as likely to have rats if they ate only grain and other plants as if they also ate meat. The very effective spread of Covid on the Diamond Princess shows that proximity to animals is completely unnecessary for a pandemic to spread - other people are quite sufficient.
The only kind of zoonosis you can get from frozen meat would be a prion disease?

Black death, fleas, rats, is a bit of a simplification. Black death transmitted just fine in rat-free areas. But the rat fleas were carried just fine on some other rodents, including some of those that are good at getting closer to us than rats, like mice. Indeed, maybe they were the main carriers of the fleas even in places there were rats.

So, for example, black death killed 30-50% of the population in largely rat-free Iceland and Norway. Rats are confined to some very small port areas of Iceland, and are probably fairly recent arrivals. But mice are widespread in human buildings across the country, even in the interior. Despite its name Rattus norvegicus is largely absent from Norway. But Norway has plenty of other rodents.

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Herainestold » Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:14 pm

IvanV wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:35 pm

The only kind of zoonosis you can get from frozen meat would be a prion disease?

The Chinese are saying that Covid can be transmitted via frozen meat.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Jan 25, 2022 3:21 am

Herainestold wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:14 pm
IvanV wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:35 pm

The only kind of zoonosis you can get from frozen meat would be a prion disease?
The Chinese are saying that Covid can be transmitted via frozen meat.
Well, they would say that, wouldn't they. The alternative is to admit that infections have occurred despite their extreme measures, which would be career-limiting for the officials involved.

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by IvanV » Tue Jan 25, 2022 2:50 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:14 pm
IvanV wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:35 pm
The only kind of zoonosis you can get from frozen meat would be a prion disease?
The Chinese are saying that Covid can be transmitted via frozen meat.
Silly me. I was remembering it is common to freeze your sushi fish to "kill parasites". But freezing is not a method of disinfection on a par with boiling. Many viruses will survive freezing just fine. A virus is just a big molecule, not cellular life. And some kinds of cellular life can survive freezing, even some multicellular life such as tardigrades. Some bacteria can survive freezing just fine too. Freezing is only going to kill larger parasites like tapeworms.

I once went to Guatemala, stopping in some remote villages, and stayed in rooms infested with cockroaches. Indeed I travelled on buses infested with cockroaches. When I got home, I left my luggage in the shed for a couple of weeks - it was midwinter - to try and kill off any passengers that came back with me. Probably sufficient for Guatemalan insect-life.

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:16 pm

Did you eat the cockroaches after freezing them?

I'm sure there's parts of Asia where they're considered a delicacy.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Herainestold » Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:05 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:16 pm
Did you eat the cockroaches after freezing them?

I'm sure there's parts of Asia where they're considered a delicacy.
We will all be eating insect protein in the future.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:30 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:05 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:16 pm
Did you eat the cockroaches after freezing them?

I'm sure there's parts of Asia where they're considered a delicacy.
We will all be eating insect protein in the future.
I think I'll stick with plant protein, tbh, but nothing much against insect protein if it can be done responsibly (no leakage of pathogens to wild insects, no introductions of invasive species, etc).
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed May 25, 2022 2:10 pm

Monkeypox isn’t the disease we should be worried about, says John Vidal in the Guardian:
It is no coincidence that since 1940, 335 new and potentially fatal diseases have emerged globally, over a period when the human population has trebled, the climate has changed and more meat is being eaten. Disease ecologists say that nothing increases the risk of a crossover of a pathogen from one species to another like the uncontrolled expansion of farming, and the exploitation by humans of wild species.

It is now payback time for nature. The more human numbers have grown and we have encroached on wild spaces or imposed unnatural conditions on other species, the more we have created the ideal environments for viruses and pathogens to spill across species, mutate and spread. HIV, Ebola, Lassa fever and monkey pox in Africa; Sars and Covid-19 in China; Chagas, Machupo and Hantavirus in Latin America; Hendra in Australia; Mers in Saudi Arabia – all have all emerged in the past 75 years just as we have accelerated deforestation, moved to cities, come closer to animals and created a global economy.

Most worrying for humans is not monkeypox, plague or even Ebola, which sound dangerous and exotic but are actually more or less controllable now with vaccines. Instead, the threat of a new bird flu, just as likely to come out of a farm in New York or England as one in China or Bolivia, now stalks humanity. Chicken is now the rich world’s most popular meat and tens of millions of near-genetically identical birds prone to catastrophic disease are being mass-reared at any one time, often in unhygienic conditions, and are able to mix with wild birds. It is only a matter of decades before a new highly pathogenic avian influenza strain evolves to be easily transmissible between humans.
Last winter was a bad one for bird flu in wild birds (many of them migratory), with mass mortality reported right across Europe, from UK to Israel.

Of course, climate change is exacerbating risks by changing distributions of host and reservoir species and thus creating novel combinations:
But we may have seen nothing yet. Climate change is now kicking in, creating a hotter, sicker world with a potentially catastrophic impact on disease. Global heating fundamentally changes the landscape of disease by forcing or enabling species to survive in new places and mix with others. Insects already kill about 700,000 people a year, but global heating allows mosquitoes, mites, fleas, ticks and other vectors to flourish in new areas, spreading dengue, chikungunya, and other diseases to higher ground or to previously cooler climates.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jun 02, 2022 12:28 pm

More on the current bird flu situation, which seems to be the worst ever in some locations, with the virus's behaviour changing. Unfortunately, monitoring in wild populations is pisspoor, and I doubt monitoring in intensive poultry operations is up to much globally.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ldlife-aoe
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