Press News 062420

Our article, "Lucky Streaks Don't Last: Livestock Disease and Human Health" was posted on the American Sociological Association's Section on Animals Blog on June 8, 2020 

Our "Regs to Nowhere" article was posted on the American Sociological Association's Section on Animals Blog on Covid-19 on June 8, 2020 

C-19 reflection 062220

four months spreading
a baby pandemic
barely three days old
feels like three years

with 9% positive rate
los angeles is post-pain
post-social distancing
post-giving a damn

with 50% republicans
usa has 2.3 million cases
120,000 deaths
not one is sorry
small price to pay
for MAGA

too broken to fix
too broke to try
who lives
who dies


Biodiversity and Livestock

Pandemics Ahead: Number 6 in a series looking at the link between animal protein and global health disasters.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157)

Human carnivory is the single greatest threat to biodiversity.(863) Animal carcass and feedstock production are expanding quickly in biodiversity-rich developing countries. The sheer quantity of animals being raised for human consumption poses an enormous threat to the Earth's biodiversity. Livestock occupies up to 75% of all agricultural lands, 30% of Earth's land surface, and 20% of the total terrestrial animal biomass.(864)

The land area dedicated to producing domesticates was once habitat for wildlife. In 306 of the 825 terrestrial eco-regions, livestock is identified as "a current threat." And, 23 of Conservation International's 35 "global hotspots for biodiversity," characterized by serious levels of habitat loss, are affected by food animal production.(865) Much of the biodiversity loss due to agriculture is occurring in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and South-East Asia. 

Forests are either logged or burned to make room for grasslands, and often the area needed is extensive. Ruminant production can erode biodiversity through a dozen processes, namely (i) forest loss and degradation, (ii) land-use intensification, (iii) exotic plant invasions, (iv) soil erosion, (v) persecution of large predators, and (vi) competition with wildlife for resources. Deforestation can in turn create (vii) fragmentation, allowing only patches of habitat for species to live. If patches are distant and small, then (viii) gene flow is reduced and (ix) there will be a greater chance for invasive species to intrude. Fencing to convert an open range into ranches can (x) cut the migration routes of wild animals, and (xi) keep them away from waterholes. On top of this, (xii) fencing can trigger overgrazing by cattle. Also, hunting, fishing and other forms of exploitation are a major factor in declines in wildlife populations.(866)

The threat of extinction also affects food animals. Over 17% of the world's 8,774 agricultural breeds risk extinction. This is mostly due to the increasing worldwide use of non-native breeds and the neglect of breeds that are not “competitive” on the global market. Native food animals do not produce as much flesh, milk, eggs or other goods as the most popular commercial breeds.(867) There are a shocking 1,458 potential extinctions of all breeds of agricultural animals like cattle, goats, pigs, and chickens, due to disease, climate change, neglect, and inbreeding. Already 100 food animal breeds went extinct in this century.

Carbon footprints can serve as an approximate indicator of the environmental impact of domesticate production. One team comparing the carbon footprint (CF) and the volume of GHGs (greenhouse gas) emitted during the lifecycle of pig, chicken, and cow carcass production, discovered that how biodiversity is affected varies.(868) There can be contrasting effects from intensification. Higher intensities of production can allow larger areas to be left in its natural state. On the other hand, intensification involves greater use of pesticides, fertilizers, and monocropping locally, which threatens biodiversity around feed crops.

The CF of livestock acts as an indicator of acidification and eutrophication, as well. Improving the efficiency of nitrogen will lead to less eutrophying and acidifying substances being released into the environment, and to lower GHG pollution in N2O form. GHG mitigation strategies based on reduced livestock consumption likewise creates less acidification and eutrophication. Diminished GHG outflows due to lower food animal intake mean less land is required for feed production, so CF can act as a proxy for land use also. Although there are inconsistencies between CF of livestock and environmental impacts, CF can be used as part of the current momentum of carbon footprinting and pricing.

Chapter 23: 6TH MASS EXTINCTION, page 226

Chicken Diseases

Pandemics Ahead: Number 5 in a series looking at the link between animal protein and global health disasters.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157)

In the UK, up to 19 million broiler chickens die in their sheds each year from heart failure. In the case of no ventilation due to a power failure during a heat wave, upwards of 20,000 chickens can die in a short period of time.(998) Chickens are susceptible to several parasites, like lice, mites, ticks, fleas, and intestinal worms, as well as other diseases.(999)

In epizoology, an epizootic is a disease that appears as new cases in a given animal population, during a given period, at a rate that substantially exceeds what is "expected" based on recent experience. That is, an epizootic represents a sharp elevation in the incidence rate. In contrast to an epizootic, common diseases that occur at a constant but relatively high rate in the population are said to be "enzootic,” like influenza virus in some bird populations. An epidemic is the analogous term applied to human populations. High population density is a major contributing factor to epizootics and vast amounts of antibiotics are used to keep diseases at bay in CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operation), with varying success.

These are dozens of common diseases that affect chickens, including (i) Avian influenza or bird flu, a virus; (ii) Histomoniasis or Blackhead disease, a protozoal parasite; and (iii) Botulism, a toxin. There is also (iv) Campylobacteriosis caused by tissue injury in the gut; (v) Coccidiosis, a parasite; (vi) Dermanyssus gallinae or red mite, a parasite; (vii) Erysipelas, a bacteria; and (viii) Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome caused by high-energy food.

Besides, there is (ix) Fowl Cholera; (x) Fowl pox; (xi) Fowl Typhoid; (xii) Infectious Bronchitis, a virus; (xiii) Infectious Coryza, a bacteria; and (xiv) Necrotic Enteritis, a bacteria. In addition, there is (xv) Peritonitis caused by infection in abdomen from egg yolk; (xvi) Prolapse; (xvii) Pullorum or Salmonella, a bacteria; (xviii) Squamous cell carcinoma, cancer; (xix) Toxoplasmosis, protozoal parasite; (xx) Ulcerative Enteritis, a bacteria; and numerous others.

Diseases are critical to each individual food animal's health, as well as the industry overall because they often affect an animal's efficiency at converting feed to protein. These diseases can severely affect an animal's diet and efficiency. They can infect wild populations or jump the species barrier and infect humans and other nonhuman animals. Infections may lead to medical intervention, loss of the bird, and/or spread of disease, which proliferates GHG (greenhouse gas) pollution.

Chapter 27: PANZOOTIC, page 258

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