All meat eating is risky because of the diseases that meat carries and the reaction it causes in the human body which is intended to be vegetarian.
Even more unnatural is for meat-eating humans to consume carnivores because of their greater disease load , smell and the extra allergy of our bodies to theirs. To cite one example of the increased risk of consuming meat-eating animals: those who eat cows and sheep that have been force fed meat run the terrible risk of getting CJS or “ Mad Cow Disease” a fatal condition where the brain melts down. Alzheimers is another condition that scientists have traced to the same source.
However in a couple of Asian countries including India’s northeast states, dogs and cats are eaten. This is not for nutrition but for the most bizarre reasons including the foolish belief that dog meat enhances sexual potency. Sometimes it is eaten out of superstition or even as a cure for tuberculosis! But even i
n Korea , China and the Philippines where dog eating is most prevalent, dogs are not listed as an animal husbandry produce showing that it is a deviant practice rather than a mainstream food habit. The trade is conducted out of public sight with no official records maintained by agencies that normally track commerce because this would be an admission of a traffic of which many citizens disapprove. As petkeeping gains in popularity, petkeepers could soon lobby to finally end this perversion.
In India, dogs are eaten openly only in Nagaland and to a smaller extent in Mizoram. Unfortunately the traffic of dogs into Nagaland is draining the dogs from all the other states nearby like Assam , Manipur, Sikkim, Meghalaya , Arunachal Pradesh even West Bengal and Burma. Cats are not openly eaten anywhere but secretly by gypsies like the Narikauravas of South India and one ethnic sect in Kerala. However dhabas and roadside restaurateurs routinely pass off cat and dog meat as chicken or other meat.
Not only is this illegal but downright dangerous. In the Philippines where dog meat is now banned , there are health warnings about the deadly diseases including rabies that it can cause. Dr. Roberto Umali, regional director of the National Meat Inspection Commission, explains these hazards, "Eating dog meat may cause anthrax, hepatitis, leptospirosis, internal parasites and brucellosis, a virus that causes abortion in both humans and animals. However, the most dangerous are the E. Coli 107 and salmonella virus, most common in contaminated meat. Dogs are not food animals and we appeal to the public to refrain from eating them".
On February 1, 2006 the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that a 4 year old girl, who was given dog meat by her neighbours, died of rabies and encephalitis. Her father said she had developed high fever and symptoms of rabies shortly after eating the meat. She was rushed to hospital but died within a few hours. Doctors say the rabies virus may have entered the girl's system through a tooth cavity. When chewing the meat of a dog infected with rabies, the virus enters the nerve endings through a cavity, loose tooth or a cut in the gums, passes through the lymph nodes and multiplies in the brain, resulting in the victim's death. The incubation period for rabies can be as short as 4 to 6 weeks or as long as 1 to 5 years. People handling dog meat could also be infected by their hands touching their eyes or lips.
Nor is it just the meat of a rabid dog that is fatal, a normal healthy dog’s meat is equally hazardous. Dogs eat raw meat, rats, vermin and garbage. All of this is passed onto the consumer. In the Northeast, death from such cases is simply documented as routine food poisoning. But in Namibia after 68 villagers were hospitalized after eating a dog, Namibia’s Director of Health has forbidden dog meat .
Recently in Azerbaijan, 12 people were taken to hospital with trichinellosis . They had unknowingly eaten dog meat disguised as keema (mince) and put into sausages and shish kebab. Trichinellosis is a parasitic disease caused by eating carnivorous animals infected with the roundworm Trichinella spiralis. Within 1-2 days of infection, it is manifested as nausea, heartburn , dyspepsia and diarrhea. As the worms travel to different parts of the body, other symptoms may occur such as headache, fever, chills, cough, eyeswelling, joint pains and itching. Most dangerous is when worms enter the central nervous system causing serious neurological problems such as
respiratory paralysis and even death. Infestation of the heart can also lead to death. Symptoms occur within 1-2 days with further symptoms following 2-8 weeks after eating contaminated meat. Mild cases of trichinellosis are seldom specifically diagnosed and are assumed to be the flu or other common illnesses. It has been suggested that trichinellosis may be one of several factors that led to religious prohibitions as in Islam and Judaism against eating dog or pork meat.
After tightening meat checks, the incidence of trichinellosis is falling in Russia but increasing in neighbouring countries like Poland and Turkey where clandestine sale of dog meat is on the rise. In China too dog meat has become an increasing source of the disease. Since its first documented outbreak of human trichinellosis resulting from the consumption of dog meat in 1974, such cases have multiplied alarmingly.
Are you at risk for trichinellosis? Certainly, if you order meat at dhabas, or eat bear, pig, cat, fox, dog and wolf meat. Curing (salting), drying, smoking, freezing or microwaving meat does not kill the worms.
Here are other zoonotic diseases that dog meat can transmit:
Cryptosporidosis: A parasitic disease that causes a mild to severe infection of the gastrointestinal system manifesting in watery diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
Giardia: Giardiasis is the most frequent cause of nonbacterial diarrhea in North America and the most commonly diagnosed intestinal parasite in humans.
Leptospirosis: A bacterial disease spread through the urine of infected animals. In people, the symptoms are often flu-like. The risk of leptospirosis through common contact with a dog is negligible, the primary mode of transmission is through contact with contaminated animal tissues, organs, or urine.
Roundworm: Toxocara is a parasitic infection caused by roundworms commonly found in the intestines of dogs and puppies and shed through their stool. Toxocara infections can cause eye disease leading to blindness, or swelling of the body's organs and central nervous system.
Check the food you eat. Eating dogs is neither friendly nor healthful.
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I have been reading your articles on BiharTimes.com for last few months. My comments below are on the last topic that appeared on the website today.
This article focuses on the diseases being communicated by animals to meat eaters. It has no dimension of ethics involved in killing and consuming animals. Deliberately or undeliberately, the article suggests that if I kept animals clean, healthy, properly vaccinated (as I keep my daughter properly vaccinated), thoroughly fed and if I execute them hygienically, I am absolved of any danger or guilt. This is certainly not the case. There is ethics involved in any killing or execution, which can never be humane. There is absolutely no humane way of killing any living being. Disease or no disease, it is wrong to kill any living creature - humans or animals.
Few years back, I attended a talk at Rice University, Houston on the topic of "Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases". It brings out the "ethics" of the topic very well. A PDF copy of the talk/article is attached above. It may be copyright protected, but it appears on the Rice University website and it is open to all. You can also watch the video of the talk at http://webcast.rice.edu/index.php?action=details&event=513 in Window Media Player or Real Player.
Incidentally, few months back I saw man wearing a black T-shirt with words PETA written on it. When i walked close to him, I was shocked to read "People Eating Tasty Animals".
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