There are certain persons for whom pure truth is a poison.
- Andrew Maurois
On Monday, January 17th, 2011, Notmilk reported the mysteriously simultaneous deaths of 200 cows on a Wisconsin farm.
The Notmilk column ("Red Nose? Dead Nose!") was cynical after the official cause of death was first listed as "...A venereal disease called 'Red Nose' which is a form of herpes beginning in the respiratory system."
The Notmilk letter expressed skepticism by writing:
I wonder. How could this supposed sexually transmitted disease simultaneously have killed 200 cows in one instant? Seems like there must have been one hell of a cow party the night before... and...the guilty party must have been a whole lot of bull!
On Friday, January 28, 2009, Peter Vanderloo, director of Wisconsin's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory performed a series of qualitative analyses on the stomachs of these cows and determined that the animals were done in by a toxin produced in moldy sweet potatoes which the dairy farmer fed his herd in order to save a few dollars on feed.
The dairy farmer had to have known that his cheap moldy
cow feed was bad news, particularly when 200 animals
died the day ofter eating that garbage. To not volunteer
that information lies somewhere between unethical and criminal. He hoped not to get caught with his suspenders down. Instead, the dairyman should be baked, mashed, and fried.
According to the Merck Veterinary manual:
Clinicopathologic syndromes indistinguishable from acute bovine pulmonary emphysema and edema (ABPEE, Acute Bovine Pulmonary Emphysema and Edema) occur after ingestion of either moldy sweet potatoes infested with Fusarium solani, or the wild mint Perilla frutescens. Moldy sweet potato toxicity is caused by the ingestion of a furanoterpenoid toxin produced by sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatus) in response to infestation with the fungus F solani; the end result is production of the pneumotoxin 4-ipomeanol."
Note to dairy farmers: Next time, let them eat cake.