Eating Outside Our Kingdom

Eating Outside Our Kingdom
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A higher rate of cancer deaths among those that handle and process meat is attributed to infection with viruses, and chronic exposure to animal proteins.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Although those with the most poultry exposure appear to suffer the greatest excess mortality, surplus cancer deaths are also found in other slaughterhouse workers, and this research goes back decades. Higher cancer rates in butchers, in slaughterhouse workers, meat cutters, and those working in processing plants. The bottom line is that it’s “clear from this large study and others reported in the literature that workers in the meat industry are at increased risk of developing and dying from cancer.”

“The increased risk may be due to [these animal-to-human] viruses, or antigenic stimulation through chronic exposure to animal protein.” And, in fact, cancer-causing virus exposure could help explain why those who eat meat have higher cancer rates. There’s even a retrovirus associated with cancerous fish tumors, which is speculated as a cause for increased cancer rates in American seafood workers.

Growing up on a livestock farm is associated with higher rates of blood-borne cancers—lymphomas, leukemias—but, growing up on a farm raising only crops was not.

Worst was growing up on a poultry farm, consistent with chicken consumption being most tied closely to these same cancers. A quarter of a daily chicken breast is associated with a doubling or tripling of lymphoma risk.

Researchers are finally able to start connecting the dots. High levels of antibodies to avian leucosis, sarcoma viruses, and reticuloendotheliosis viruses recently found in poultry workers, provides evidence of infectious exposure to these cancer-causing poultry viruses. And, some of the highest levels were found not in, like, the eviscerators (the gut-pullers), or those that hang the live birds, but just among the line workers that cut up the final product.

In an attempt to narrow down which diseases were associated with which meat, researchers tried separating out those in the pig slaughtering and pork processing. “One of the primary sources of concern is, in the use of pig organs and tissues as [transplants] in humans (which is widely practiced), is the fear of introducing zoonotic infections.” What they’re concerned about what’s called PERV transmission, the pig-to-human transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses, raising theoretical concerns about cancer, immunological, and neurological disorders. But, you don’t need to get a pig valve to be exposed. It’s found in the blood of pigs, so people exposed to pig blood may be exposed to the virus.

The main findings unique to the pork study, not found in beef or sheep processing, was the significant excesses of deaths from senile conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It reminds me of those poor pork brain-extraction workers. You think your job is bad? How would you like to work at “the head-table?” Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, until you learn it’s where, “in the unbridled use of compressed air in the pursuit of maximum yield of soft tissue[s],” they blow the brains out of severed swine heads.

As the line speeds increased, the “workers reported being unable to place the skulls completely on the brain removal device before triggering the compressed air, causing greater splatter of brain material.” The aerosolized “mist of brain” is blamed for dozens of cases of inflammatory neurological disease in workers who started with symptoms as mild as pain, tingling, and difficulty walking, and ended up as bad as having to be put in a coma for six weeks, because of unrelenting seizures.

At first, they thought it was some brain parasite, but now, it’s known to be an autoimmune attack triggered by the exposure to aerosolized brain. A similar mechanism has been blamed for meat proteins triggering inflammatory arthritis in people eating meat. See, by eating fellow animals, we are exposed not only to fellow animal diseases, but to animal tissues that our body may mistake as our own.

This may be an advantage to eating a more plant-based diet. By eating outside of the animal kingdom—dipping into the plant kingdom or fungi, not only do we not have to worry about getting something like Dutch elm disease; never has an autoimmune polyradiculoneuropathy been blamed on a head—of lettuce.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Farm Sanctuary and USDAgov via flickr

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Although those with the most poultry exposure appear to suffer the greatest excess mortality, surplus cancer deaths are also found in other slaughterhouse workers, and this research goes back decades. Higher cancer rates in butchers, in slaughterhouse workers, meat cutters, and those working in processing plants. The bottom line is that it’s “clear from this large study and others reported in the literature that workers in the meat industry are at increased risk of developing and dying from cancer.”

“The increased risk may be due to [these animal-to-human] viruses, or antigenic stimulation through chronic exposure to animal protein.” And, in fact, cancer-causing virus exposure could help explain why those who eat meat have higher cancer rates. There’s even a retrovirus associated with cancerous fish tumors, which is speculated as a cause for increased cancer rates in American seafood workers.

Growing up on a livestock farm is associated with higher rates of blood-borne cancers—lymphomas, leukemias—but, growing up on a farm raising only crops was not.

Worst was growing up on a poultry farm, consistent with chicken consumption being most tied closely to these same cancers. A quarter of a daily chicken breast is associated with a doubling or tripling of lymphoma risk.

Researchers are finally able to start connecting the dots. High levels of antibodies to avian leucosis, sarcoma viruses, and reticuloendotheliosis viruses recently found in poultry workers, provides evidence of infectious exposure to these cancer-causing poultry viruses. And, some of the highest levels were found not in, like, the eviscerators (the gut-pullers), or those that hang the live birds, but just among the line workers that cut up the final product.

In an attempt to narrow down which diseases were associated with which meat, researchers tried separating out those in the pig slaughtering and pork processing. “One of the primary sources of concern is, in the use of pig organs and tissues as [transplants] in humans (which is widely practiced), is the fear of introducing zoonotic infections.” What they’re concerned about what’s called PERV transmission, the pig-to-human transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses, raising theoretical concerns about cancer, immunological, and neurological disorders. But, you don’t need to get a pig valve to be exposed. It’s found in the blood of pigs, so people exposed to pig blood may be exposed to the virus.

The main findings unique to the pork study, not found in beef or sheep processing, was the significant excesses of deaths from senile conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It reminds me of those poor pork brain-extraction workers. You think your job is bad? How would you like to work at “the head-table?” Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, until you learn it’s where, “in the unbridled use of compressed air in the pursuit of maximum yield of soft tissue[s],” they blow the brains out of severed swine heads.

As the line speeds increased, the “workers reported being unable to place the skulls completely on the brain removal device before triggering the compressed air, causing greater splatter of brain material.” The aerosolized “mist of brain” is blamed for dozens of cases of inflammatory neurological disease in workers who started with symptoms as mild as pain, tingling, and difficulty walking, and ended up as bad as having to be put in a coma for six weeks, because of unrelenting seizures.

At first, they thought it was some brain parasite, but now, it’s known to be an autoimmune attack triggered by the exposure to aerosolized brain. A similar mechanism has been blamed for meat proteins triggering inflammatory arthritis in people eating meat. See, by eating fellow animals, we are exposed not only to fellow animal diseases, but to animal tissues that our body may mistake as our own.

This may be an advantage to eating a more plant-based diet. By eating outside of the animal kingdom—dipping into the plant kingdom or fungi, not only do we not have to worry about getting something like Dutch elm disease; never has an autoimmune polyradiculoneuropathy been blamed on a head—of lettuce.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Farm Sanctuary and USDAgov via flickr

Nota del Doctor

For the data on poultry exposure and cancer deaths, see Poultry Exposure Tied to Liver & Pancreatic Cancer.

Though exposure to farm animals growing up might be associated with cancer risk, what about growing up with dogs and cats? See Pets & Human Lymphoma, and Are Cats or Dogs More Protective for Children’s Health? You still probably shouldn’t eat them, though (see Foodborne Rabies).

For more on foodborne illnesses one can contract from fellow animals, see, for example:

Probably the strangest example of this whole concept is the Neu5Gc story; this 7-part video series is definitely worth checking out:

  1. Cancer as an Autoimmune Disease
  2. Clonal Selection Theory of Immunity
  3. Clonal Deletion Theory of Immunity
  4. The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc
  5. How Tumors Use Meat to Grow: Xeno-Autoantibodies
  6. Nonhuman Molecules Lining Our Arteries
  7. Meat May Exceed Daily Allowance of Irony

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Handling Poultry Tied to Liver/Pancreatic Cancer and How Animal Proteins May Trigger Autoimmune Disease.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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