Blame the Pigs For E. coli?

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Blame the Pigs For E. coli? – 28 October 2006

“They’re scapegoating pigs” (scape-pigging?J) is what I thought when I heard that they were placing the blame on wild pigs for the latest E. coli O157:H7 outbreak from contaminated Salinas Valley spinach. I heard that they had already killed one pig.

I knew that grain-fed cattle in intensive feeding operations are involved in such cases; and that the manure from infected cattle can contaminate the soil, water, and plants that wild animals come in contact with and, in turn, also become infected. Therefore, it was obvious that the source of any E. coli O157:H7 in wild pigs (or any wild animal) had to be grain-fed cattle.

According to the American Association For The Advancement Of Science, the 11 May 2001 issue of Science* reported that “low-fiber diets can make cattle sick, while allowing harmful bacteria to proliferate.”

Cattle eating too much grain develop very painful ulcers and liver abscesses, for which they are given antibiotics that cause more problems. Another result in feedlot cattle is sudden death from an overgrowth of the bacterium Clostridium perfringens. Finally, grain-based diets can promote Escherichia E. coli O157:H7 within the digestive tract of cattle.

James B. Russell and colleagues first reported that grain-based diets can promote E. coli O157:H7 within the digestive tract of cattle in the 11 September 1998 issue of Science. This finding has been confirmed: 53 different scholarly investigations provided peer-reviewed confirmation of findings on the health impacts of high-grain cattle feed.

Here is an interesting quote from a “Letter to California Firms that Grow, Pack, Process, or Ship Fresh and Fresh-cut Lettuce” dated November 4, 2005 from CFSAN (Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition) that appears on the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services:

“In a preliminary report presented at the August 2005 annual meeting of the International Association for Food Protection, E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from sediment in an irrigation canal bordering a ranch that had been identified in three separate outbreaks. The ranch is bowl-shaped; it sits upon a drained lake, and is highly susceptible to localized flooding. Expanded sampling in the Santa Rita Creek and the Salinas Valley area indicate that creeks and rivers in the Salinas watershed are contaminated periodically with E. coli O157:H7.”

So, as you can see, the source of E. coli O157:H7 has been known for several years, so there is no excuse for this recurring problem. I guess the powerful flesh and dairy industries are too important for any “boat rocking” to take place! Power not only corrupts, it contaminates the environment and our food supply.

As I’ve said before, the only solution to this problem is giving other animals the right to live as God originally intended and for humans to adopt the vegan diet God clearly outlines for us in Genesis 1:29 –

29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.”

*This Science article was written by lead author James B. Russell of the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture in Ithaca, New York with Jennifer L. Rychlik, a graduate student at Cornell.
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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