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Scientists Say Spread of Schmallenberg Virus Is 'Warning To Europe'

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the potential-involuntary-vegetarians dept.

Medicine 113

redletterdave writes "The outbreak of a new livestock disease in western Europe last year, particularly harmful to offspring, could move further into areas surrounding the worst affected countries in the next cycle of new births, scientists say. The Schmallenberg virus — named after the German town where it was first detected in November — infected sheep and cows on at least 2,600 farms in eight EU countries last year, most likely between August and October. Thought to have been spread for hundreds of miles across Europe by biting midges and warm late summer winds, the virus has since been confirmed in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Spain and Britain. 'It is certainly a warning for the whole world in the sense that, unfortunately, new threats may emerge,' said Alberto Laddomada, a former virologist who heads the animal health unit at the European Commission. 'This virus has spread very, very quickly in the European Union amongst an animal population of many millions.'"

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Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714387)

The spreading of viruses among animals seems like the most dangerous motivator to reduce animal agriculture. The subjective pro of "meat/cheese/etc. tastes good" is beginning to look weaker and weaker against the many cons.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (2, Insightful)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714467)

Luckily there's never any human illness or casualties from contagion on crops, nor strains of fungus, mold, or insects that desimate farmlands...

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (0)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714681)

Luckily there's never any human illness or casualties from contagion on crops, nor strains of fungus, mold, or insects that desimate farmlands...

Do plant contagions or plant destroying insects evolve to directly attack humans?

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714825)

For contagions: No. They do not evolve in livestock to directly attack humans any more so than they do from plants. They evolve in their host and can be transmissible, and this is just as true from plants as it is from livestock.

For the non-transmissible diseases/insects : You wont give a shit about the direct danger posed by them if they indirectly cause your starvation.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1, Troll)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714939)

For contagions: No. They do not evolve in livestock to directly attack humans any more so than they do from plants. They evolve in their host and can be transmissible, and this is just as true from plants as it is from livestock.

Influenza viruses frequently fester in livestock, jump to humans and then spread throughout the world.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (2)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715103)

No more so than in wildlife. Nature changes. The alternative to that is far less appealing.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715385)

Ergot?

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

VoidCrow (836595) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717157)

MKULTRA?

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714737)

It is true that direct transmission of novel pathogens to humans is more likely to happen from animals than from plants; but starvation will kill you every bit as readily as contagion will, so the plant-farmers aren't exactly safe...

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1, Informative)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714961)

. . .so the plant-farmers aren't exactly safe...

Of course they aren't exactly safe. The questions are which is safer, and by how much?

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715037)

I'd say that not be wholly reliant on one thing would increase your overall odds. Wouldnt you?

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716315)

No. How do you raise your animals if there are no plants? In the end, aren't all food sources dependent on plants?

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715001)

starvation will kill you every bit as readily as contagion will

If you live in a agricultural monoculture. Think of the Irish potato blight. Something that hits rice hard, would be rough on Asia.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715129)

starvation will kill you every bit as readily as contagion will

If you live in a agricultural monoculture. Think of the Irish potato blight. Something that hits rice hard, would be rough on Asia.

As a fungus in good standing, I would like to suggest that "Ug99" [wikipedia.org] , which cuts through wheat like nobody's business, could also ruin some days...

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (2)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715699)

Good thing wheat and the grain industry in general are completely unnecessary for human subsistence.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (2)

ridley4 (1535661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716207)

That's very true. Corn is completely needless.

  With this in mind, human subsistence can be attained just by almost anything else, and it doesn't matter if you make your diet based on anything else, because a loss of supply, be it a factory shut down if you live on twinkies (okay, silly example) or a crop blight if you live on corn, unnecessary in a diet as it is, still means famine and starvation. By extension, rice isn't necessary for human subsistence, but if you're subsisting on rice, losing it is going to leave you starving it, and the same applies to corn.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (3, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714611)

The spreading of viruses among vegetables seems like the most dangerous motivator to reduce vegetable agriculture. The subjective pro of "fruits/vegetables/etc. tastes good" is beginning to look weaker and weaker against the many cons.

Great! Looks like the only option is to become a mineralivore...

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (5, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714667)

In the end, it's an argument against high-density monoculture, animal or vegetable, isn't it?

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714775)

Not in this case. This virus attacks quite broadly, affecting ruminants in general.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714847)

Possibly, yes. I happen to be a biochemist, but I haven't looked into the details of this particular case. Just felt the need to quip about the vegetarian/non-vegetarian bullcrap up there, sorry...

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714777)

At the rational level, yes, but I still have yet to find a rational vegitarian.

I will be generous and assume it is because rational vegitarians exist, but don't shout about how wrong everyone else is. In that case, I may know some rational vegitarians, but I don't spend enough time obsessing over what others eat to notice.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715369)

At the rational level, yes, but I still have yet to find a rational vegitarian.

That would be the people who don't eat meat simply because they don't like it. Yes, they exist. I've once met one.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715389)

Vegetarians are incapable of rational thoughts due to the lack of a proper diet ;) hehe

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (0)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716437)

Vegetarian diets cause less strain on the ecosystem, generally taking less land and resources to generate enough to feed a person. Those who decide to eat vegetarian and aren't irrational will not be noticed. Someone orders a salad, and unless someone presses them about it, they won't mention they are vegetarian. There are lots of the quiet ones, and nobody knows until a meat eater notices and makes an issue of it.

I'm a rational vegetarian and I've never had anyone learn I don't eat meat and not ask for (or sometimes rudely demand) an explanation. It's the religion issue. We can't both hold different beliefs without one of us being wrong, so the mere fact I exist indicates that I'm shouting "you are wrong" at the top of my lungs, offending all those around me who eat meat.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

akboss (823334) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716725)

But with every tasty bite of Beef, Chicken,Pork,Turkey,Moose (best tasting meat in the world),Caribou,Grizzly,Black,Brown bears, Mt. Goat,Elk,Deer,Antelope,Salmon,etc., I consume screams that I am right and you are wrong. Kind of hard to eat a nice selection of vegies up in Alaska without paying for the importation of them from the lower 48. Now Moose are every where, including my dinner tonight and I am now in Texas...

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

captainproton1971 (1838798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717309)

of Beef, Chicken,Pork,Turkey,Moose (best tasting meat in the world),Caribou,Grizzly,Black,Brown bears, Mt. Goat,Elk,Deer,Antelope,Salmon,

<MontyPythonQuote>
And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu...
</MontyPythonQuote>

Sorry, a long day...

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39718231)

lower 48? My veggies come from the Philippines and South America, where all good Americans get their veggies from.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39717925)

It takes less land, but better land. You won't be growing much for vegetables or fruit around here (due to soil quality and low annual moisture), but the land does support grazing animals. Also, fruits and vegetables (as they are currently grown) require the use of large amounts of pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizer.

For what it's worth, I don't care what a person chooses to eat, as long as I'm not on the menu.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (0)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714907)

Arguments against monocropping are pointless unless you're dealing with geographic regions. Changing my farm from corn to soybeans doesn't mean jack if the guy next to me is rotating corn and soybeans as well, and the same is true of his neighbors and so on.

Unless you're able to coordinate and schedule the growing/raising at a county or state level you arent going to have impact on mutation or spread of disease. You may actually cause more harm than good by forcing ecosystems in a large area to adapt rapidly, raising the possibility of severe unintended consequences.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (4, Informative)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715021)

You don't understand a damn thing about monocropping. It is the difference between using inbred lines that are all susceptible to the same pandemic disease versus landrace varieties that provide buffers that can potentially stop an outbreak because -- gasp -- differing genetics differ in whether diseases may spread (and, consequently, mutate and spread onward) in them easily or not.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (2)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715179)

And unless you ensure that you dont have like breeds/strains/etc being grown/raised contigiously AT A COUNTY OR STATE LEVEL you cannot assist in that containment. You have to have a calculated and agreed upon mechanism whereby every farmer in very large reqions ensure that they arent raising/growing any breed that their neighbors are so that a spread of disease has no vehicle to pass over large areas.

I farm and raise horses. I do have a little bit of a clue about it. I cant get my neighbors to agree on whose turn it is to level the farm roads, let alone agree on what crops we're each going to raise.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (3, Informative)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715671)

Here's the beauty: you don't need to. Eliminate the Monsantos and corn subsidies of the world and monocropping disappears. You don't need "calculated entropy" to reduce the dangers we're putting ourselves in now. You remove the backwards thinking and suddenly people stop trying to producing the same damn thing. It's beyond ridiculous that local heirloom varieties are disused when you realize how much effort it takes to customize the right environment for the /wrong/ variety. Indigenous plants got us to the point of civilization. We never needed inbred lines, but we went down that path, and now we suffer.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716591)

Eliminate the Monsantos and corn subsidies of the world and monocropping disappears.

That's a much taller order than what Feyshtey was suggesting, given public apathy. Which is sickening, but lets be honest: the only way monsanto and corn subsidies are going to be "eliminated" is if a catastrophe with monoculture actually happens, and people care enough to override monsanto and corn farmers' lobbying efforts.

In other words, the only way to prevent such problems before they occur on a wide scale is to do calculated entropy.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

jbov (2202938) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717003)

I believe both of you are using different, but correct, definitions for the term monocropping. Monocropping does not always mean inbreeding. Monocropping also refers to growing the same species, even if they are not genetically singular. By this definition, monocropping has both drawbacks and benefits. The disease susceptibility is not nearly as high as using genetically identical cultivars.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39718279)

Indigenous plants have not gotten us to this point in civilization. Domesticated crops which are the result of 5000 years of plant husbandry got us here.

For example maize and squash dominated the Eastern North America Agricultural complex 1000 years before Europeans arrived. Neither crop was indigenous.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39718441)

Eliminate the Monsantos and corn subsidies of the world and monocropping disappears.

Eliminating these is a good idea IMHO, but I don't think monocropping would disappear as a result. A farmer will grow whatever grows best (where best = most net dollars/acre) in his given geographic region. If you remove corn subsidies, everyone in that region shifts to the new high dollar crop (soybeans, wheat, etc). If they don't do that, they go broke and whoever buys their land will do that.

Now by eliminating the Monsantos I'm assuming you mean increasing the number of varieties of a given crop. I plant hard red winter wheat, and while there are some commercial varieties, a lot come from the local university. So when I pick a variety, I look for what will grow best in my region based on test plots that the university grows. What you see is when a better variety comes out, all the farmers in the area eventually end up planting that variety. Again, if they don't do that, they go broke and whoever buys their land will do that.

The Irish potato famine wasn't the result of a giant corporation controlling the seed potato market, or about potato subsidies. It was a result of planting the best variety for their region, to the exclusion of everything else. I think the reason we haven't seen a similar event is solely due to the availability of pesticides that can stop a major catastrophe and give people time to switch to a different plant variety.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (2)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716003)

You are confusing 2 terms. Monoculture is not the same as monocropping. Monoculture is growing the same crop over a given area of land. Monocropping is doing that without rotating the crop year to year.

A single given plot of land can avoid both of these problems by planting several crops and rotating among your own land. In fact, big surprise, that's how subsistence farming used to work for a long time before corporate megafarming started planting the same crops (rotated or not) on vast expanses of land. Native Americans had known this was a good idea in a thousand years ago (see "three sisters").

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714991)

I'm pretty sure that it's an argument in favor of assembling an international team of oddballs and hard-cases who have what it takes to do what needs to be done, against a background of entertaining interpersonal drama... Ideally, each one's backstory should be connected to broad stereotypes about their country of origin and somehow involve a hackneyed reason for their involvement in agricultural pathology. Of course, they should also be brooding and haunted, or hot, or both.

I'm thinking a fiery Irish redhead attracted to the study of plant pathogens by a desire to see that a famine of the likes that claimed her ancestors is never repeated; along with a technocratic, but nerdy and mild-mannered, Japanese chemical engineer with a boundless confidence in our ability to outwit emerging pathogens. An apparently shallow and hard-partying Aussie vet(whose sensitive core can be shown during close-camera scenes of his delicate work to save adorable furry animals) rounds out the team's zoonotic expertise, along with a fatalistic epidemiologist(suggestions for an appropriate national stereotype welcome). Finally, there would be a 'native' around to provide the folksy wisdom of the traditional small farmers, from some country and backstory that makes this culturally-aware, rather than racist; and an American who started out studying agricultural chemistry under Borlaug; but left to serve with the Chemical Corps in Vietnam.

It wouldn't actually, y'known, solve any problems; but the made-for-TV spinoff would be a hit!

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715113)

It would solve the problem of what to do with all the European odd-balls (we're running a surplus).

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715185)

Are you suggesting an Existentialist Frenchman as the epidemiologist? He could drink more heavily than is good for him, and mix statistical deduction with Camus quotations...

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716405)

Yes, but he has to have a Mandelbrot Set on a t-shirt or on the back of his jacket.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715377)

You forgot to include me, as the nihilistic German biochemist-gone-patent-engineer getting dragged back into his original field, ranting at everyone else in a throaty, consonant heavy voice about evolution taking its course. I'd even offer the sacrifice of slowly, oh so slowly getting convinced by the Irish redhead that, actually, we should do something about it instead of just letting the weak perish. Just for the dramatic effect, mind you.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716219)

along with a fatalistic epidemiologist(suggestions for an appropriate national stereotype welcome).

Russian. Definitely Russian -- in certain sciences (and mathematics, too) it's become almost stereotypical, thanks to huge influx that occurred following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

Matheus (586080) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717221)

Personally I think the true impact of such a series would be improved if they followed my complete mis-reading of the summary:

spread for hundreds of miles across Europe by biting midgeTs

Now THAT's a story I'd watch :-)

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715793)

It is - and in fact that's the *real* argument against GMOs, as well.

I'm skeptical about large-scale use of GMOs, but I'm so sick of people thinking they are going to somehow kill us all with their genetic cooties. The problem is spreading (accidentally or intentionally) these engineered genes throughout an entire species without understanding their long-term effects on said species itself. If human start dying from GMOs it's going to be from a massive famine after we have managed to kill off a couple of staple crops worldwide...

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717843)

I'm sure it will be used as an argument against high density and/or monoculture. Not necessarily a good argument though. No matter what your agricultural practices may be there will be pests and pathogens. Crop rotation and a variety of species or breeds are two of many tools used to minimize the threat.

Re:Another reason to reduce animal agriculture (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716491)

The subjective pro of "meat/cheese/etc. tastes good" is beginning to look weaker and weaker against the many cons.

No. Nope. Bacon, cheese, steak, pizza etc are still fucking delicious no matter what goes on before it's on my plate.

Now, when we get in vitro meat [wikipedia.org] , maybe that will make this natural cheeseburger look hideous by comparison, but in the meantime... (nom nom nom nom)

Stay current with patches (0)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714429)

It's the only way to keep yourself protected.

Re:Stay current with patches (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715011)

It's the only way to keep yourself protected.

It's funny now; but it won't be when your continued enrollment in Monsanto Genuine Advantage is your only hope for agriculture!

Re:Stay current with vaccines (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715427)

Vaccines, patches, same thing right?

Re:Stay current with vaccines (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716517)

Still in trouble if it's a 0-day virus (no available patch/vaccine).

It's spread by midges? (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714527)

Are hobbits susceptible to this virus?

Re:It's spread by midges? (1)

Desco (46185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715107)

Probably safest not to bite any midges OR hobbits.

While it sounds scary... (5, Informative)

Necroman (61604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714537)

For the lazy, the wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] on the virus. While it can spread easily, it sounds like the virus has a short life span and there is a vacine already developed for it.

Though, it can have some nasty effects on pregnant farm animals, it seems unclear (at least to me), if animals that were effected in the past then get pregnant afterwards still have birthing issues.

Re:While it sounds scary... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715059)

The real giggle would probably be a crossover into humans of a virus with substantial potential for horrid prenatal issues... Livestock diseases are quite expensive, especially if there is some vector in the wild that prevents wholly eradicating them even by scorched-earth means; but genuinely starving because the calves are sickly has somewhat gone out of fashion in the EU.

A big spike in spontaneous abortions and horrid fetal malformations, on the other hand, would really turn up the cheer...

New threats can now easily be created. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39717131)

Peta is after your meat and it's not some vegan that smells like food begging for implantation.

We treat farm fields as toxic waste dups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39717575)

I will just leave [wikipedia.org] this here [sludgenews.org] as a homework [vimeo.com] assignment.

And you thought pink slime was bad....

Re:While it sounds scary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39718789)

Just go Old Skool: Shoot, shovel, and shut up.

Biting Midgets...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714539)

Am I the only one who read it as "biting midgets" at first?

Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714597)

It's one more disease to inoculate farm animals against. It's one more reason farmers must remain vigilant in their pest control regimen.

What's old is still old...

Re:Global Warming (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714727)

WTF does it have to do with global warming?

Re:Global Warming (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714785)

It expands the range of vectors that never used to be present in those parts of Europe. For the same reason, expect "tropical" diseases to expand their ranges, as the insects that transmit them move towards newly-warm regions.

Re:Global Warming (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715047)

That's crazy talk, good sir. Human behavior can't possibly have consequences on the natural world!

Re:Global Warming (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715413)

That's crazy talk, good sir. Human behavior can't possibly have consequences on the natural world!

Yeah, that's why it is completely safe to make fire in the forest. :-)

Gee (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714647)

Maybe we should stop monocropping the world.

Re:Gee (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714739)

Right, a virus that attacks several species of ruminants is going to be controlled through raising different strains.

Brilliant!

Re:Gee (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714873)

You could just admit that you know nothing about virology and be done with it.

Re:Gee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39716051)

Why are you talking to yourself?

Re:Gee (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714747)

Maybe we should stop monocropping the world.

Cutting down on the human population certainly would help the rest of the planet.

Re:Gee (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714883)

For those who believe in that I can only say that each should start with themselves.

Re:Gee (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714909)

Nah, it's better to start with the short-sighted idiot over-consumers with a fetish for instant gratification and deep-rooted insecurities leading to the War on X (for all values of X.) Luckily, disease won't give a fuck. Most of us will die regardless. Make sure to thank Big Pharma for the antibiotic misuse on the way out!

Re:Gee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715893)

Maybe he has, by deciding not to have any (more) children.

Jared Diamond said Europe has been the source. (0, Offtopic)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714723)

One of the main thesis of Jared Diamond's Pulitzer winning book "Guns Germs and Steel" has been high population densities and close proximity between livestock and humans led to very virulent diseases and consequently highly immunized population of the survivors. Today the combination of population density and live stock in close proximity has shifted from Europe to China. But if ever a virus jumps from livestock to humans, we are done for. The pandemic could be catastrophic.

Re:Jared Diamond said Europe has been the source. (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714749)

Good. The world could really use a LOT less humans.

Re:Jared Diamond said Europe has been the source. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714805)

Says someone who doesn't understand how the world actually works.

Re:Jared Diamond said Europe has been the source. (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714857)

Oh, please, wise anonymous. Educate me about the glories of an imperialistic, consumer-based world.

Re:Jared Diamond said Europe has been the source. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714887)

Good. The world could really use a LOT less humans.

Completely agree. You first.

Re:Jared Diamond said Europe has been the source. (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714935)

Please. I really wish you well in your endeavors to reduce human population.
Now that the knowledge of the solution has been passed on by you to others. You can now start on the actual reduction.

Re:Jared Diamond said Europe has been the source. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716351)

"The pandemic could be catastrophic."

We have billions of humans, which literally means we can afford to lose, as a species,, a few billion of those.

Not that it wouldn't suck to be a casualty, but Nature is robust and designed to replace losses.

Nonsense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714817)

Schmallenberg Virus, uuuh, Schmallenberg Virus?

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39716385)

I love you.

Germany (1)

devlp0 (897273) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714885)

Why do all these horrible new viruses emerge from Germany?

Re:Germany (2)

pinkj (521155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715027)

Why do all these horrible new viruses emerge from Germany?

Schadenfreude?

Re:Germany (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715871)

Schadenfreude?

Gesundheit.

Re:Germany (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717055)

Nein. Wirtschaftssicherheit.

When will people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715073)

...stop claiming Macs don't get viruses? Oh, wait, wrong thread.

2012? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715091)

Perhaps the virus will infect every bovine in the world on December 21st?

Wouldn't that be odd, the rapture consisting of taking milk, steak, and dairy products out of our diets.

I blame ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715473)

witches! The symptoms are stillbirths and being born with mutations, classic signs of a witch problem.

Please tell me... (0)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715595)

Someone please tell me that people all over are not demanding an increase in antibiotic usage as a result of this?

Eat More Cow! Spreading of Fear ? (-1, Flamebait)

sakari (194257) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715665)

Eat more cows and pigs, go to McDonalds and just do it like you don't care!
Throw your hands up in the air, say its in only in our D-N-A.

Continue this lifestyle of eating other animals and we will face these widespread of viruses and other nasty illnesses that come from overbreeding, over mating of the same animals and poor conditions in which they live in. We keep these living and thinking, conscious beings in cages, bred them to become our food and jail them in harsh conditions. We don't really care about anything else than the end product. We forget about what happens between the Animal and the Meat. We pump them full of steroids, vacciness, hormones and other sickening mixes of chemical cocktails. Then we eat the meat, and wonder why we get sick ?

Isn't it obvious ? You are what you eat. Go raw! Plants, vegetables & fruit don't catch viruses. Unprocessed raw food is the Nature's Solution. The Cows eat it when they live in a natural environment, why couldn't we ?

And don't bring up the age old argument that "It is how we have evolved, it is in our DNA, it is in our cells!". It has been proven time and time again that we are a empty slate when we arrive to this world. Our body can survive on the smallest things if we have the will power to overcome the addiction to meat and dairy products.

Don't you wonder why we drink milk ? It is not healthy for you or your children! These same cows that are pumped full of hormones produce the milk we feed to our children, and then we spend billions of dollards yearly in health care to fix the problem .. oh yeah, the Medical Companies get their share this way, of course we eat meat and drink milk! Eat more cows and drink more milk! The US government tells you to do so! Got Milk?

If you have a strong immune system that is not poisoned by Poisoned Food Products (recommended by the FDA of course), you will not catch viruses so easily. Eating Raw gives you this strong immune system, as you are not being bombarded all the time with unhealthy, rotting meat. Think about it.

But .. I guess our habits die hard and those who continue their habits may die even harder.
Seriously, this sounds like another excuse to sell us billions worth of vaccinations. Here in Finland, tens, if not hundreds children got poisoned with Baxters bird flu vaccinations and now have serious nervous damage from the mercury used in the vaccinations. They have trouble staying awake and focusing on normal everyday things. They fall asleep randomly and cannot function normally. Their lives are basically ruined.

Through promotion of Fear we are being treated like Cattle. The big bosses running our medical companies and those responsible for buying medicine for our nations are purchased with ridiculous amounts of money. The local medicine distributors get bonuses for buying certain amounts of vaccines. Here in Finland we spend millions and millions of tax payers money last time to purchase 5.3 million doses of the vaccine manufactured by Baxter. Everywhere in the mass media Fear was spread by telling that the Bird Flu is coming, go take your vaccinations, NOW!

People were lining up to take the poisonous vaccinations. There were fights on the vaccination lines, because there was rumours of shortages spreading, again in the yellow press and mass media. Those who didn't take the vaccine were looked upon like they were betraying their country and placing everyone into danger. This was enough for our milkfed, cow -like people to feel mass pressured to take the vaccine.

And after we found out that these kids nervous systems were permanently damaged ? We dismissed the vaccines. This might be another attempt of Mass Poisoning our Nations, so that we cannot think straight and are no longer an opposing force to those who are in power. Think about it. Think what you eat.

PS. Why do you think they want us to eat Cow and Pig meat? Drink their milk? You are what you eat. They want us to become cattle products, easily manipulated, calm and non-dangerous, stupid humans who buy more stuff, do what they are being told and stay in their mass media promoted stalls of spiritual cages.

Re:Eat More Cow! Spreading of Fear ? (1)

ridley4 (1535661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716479)

Uh, did you ever take a biology class, or did the man infiltrate those? Because I don't know if you've read/seen much NatGeo or Discovery, but this world is awesome as it is ready to kill you, and dying of awful disease born of unprocessed and unsterilized and improperly handled food was quite the common thing before the advent of sanitary processes. Dysentery isn't just something that makes your characters on Oregon Trail disappear.

Unless, of course, you are indirectly suggesting that the solution to this problem is a human die-back. That would indeed reduce the need.

Re:Eat More Cow! Spreading of Fear ? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39718161)

Don't feed the troll cow and pig meat.

Re:Eat More Cow! Spreading of Fear ? (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716701)

Isn't it obvious ? You are what you eat. Go raw! Plants, vegetables & fruit don't catch viruses. Unprocessed raw food is the Nature's Solution. The Cows eat it when they live in a natural environment, why couldn't we ?

They don't? What about plant viruses? [wikipedia.org] You're not suggesting a solution, you're suggesting we delay the problem by switching to an all plant diet. What happens when we face the same problems with plants, like what happened with the potato famine? Clearly we must both control consumption, eliminate waste, and control population growth through family planning. Making everyone vegetarians (or vegans as you seem to suggest) won't magically solve the problem, it will just delay the problem until we have an even more massive world population, where one bad harvest results in massive starvation.

Re:Eat More Cow! Spreading of Fear ? (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716849)

So what you are saying is, you want us to be vegetables instead?

Or fruits?

Fruity vegetables?

You are what you eat, stop living off nuts.

'Warning To Europe' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715781)

Repent!

Anyone else read that as "biting midgets"? (1)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715901)

Probably not, and I did not read all comments to see, but man... I need to get my eyes checked.

Re:Anyone else read that as "biting midgets"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39716461)

I was like, we're totally safe from "biting midgets" because infected midgets could not possible swim across the ocean.

Obligatory Leftist/Libertarian Web Responses: (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716969)

Good we need the human race to die
Blame Global Warming
Blame Capitalism
Blame Monsanto
Meat is Murder

Already Spredink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39717655)

Der Schmallenberg virus ist already spredink to Arctic Circle as consecvence uf der global varmink.

moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39718011)

eat mor chikin

or else

-the cows

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