my spouse actually thinks of donating some to an infant milk bank which could help little babies in Haiti and such but for the meantime (the milk bank requires check-ups which takes a little while) our small freezer ran out of space. To throw it out would be like wasting gold.
And more to the point about why we aren't cannibals, there's a biological reason for this. Humans throughout history rarely ate predatory animals. We don't eat up the food chain, and we certainly don't eat apex predators. We don't eat tigers, wolves, or foxes. We don't eat hawks or eagles. We don't eat bears. We primarily eat herbivores, because predators are rife with parasites, prions, viruses, etc. from the animals they in turn consume.
Recall that mad cow disease arose from cows being fed the remains of other cattle and sheep.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:40 AM
We feed pigs to pigs then cook the pigs, then use anthropomorphized cartoon pigs to sell the pig-fed pigs to us.
The occurrence of maternal transmission is, however, not predicted by modern knowledge of the aetiology of spongiform encephalopathy, and even though claims of maternal transmission have been reiterated frequently in the literature, re-examination of the source data reveals that these data are extremely scanty, unreplicated, and probably subject to ascertainment bias. The probability of maternal transmission of spongiform encephalopathy in any species should be viewed with the greatest scepticism.
Belief in maternal transmission as the main mode of acquisition of natural scrapie has held sway for 30 years on the basis of poorly reported data on the occurrence of scrapie in a handful of sheep of unknown genotype. The genetic basis of spongiform encephalopathy in familial cases in humans, the absence of maternal transmission in any other form of spongiform encephalopathy, and the results of embryo transfer experiments all suggest that a genetic basis for natural sheep scrapie is compatible with our current understanding of spongiform encephalopathy. The onus should now be on those who wish to maintain the importance of maternal transmission of spongiform encephalopathy in any species to provide convincing data. (emph. added)
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