Maryn Mckenna, The Hidden Link Between Farm Animals and Humans, Wired 9th September 2018
Now a new study, years in the making, goes further than any other to demonstrate that resistant bacteria can move from animals to humans via the meat they become. It also provides a model of how new surveillance systems might reduce that bacterial flow at its source on farms.
It’s just one study, but it possesses outsize significance, because it eliminates the uncertainty at the center of that bacterial flow. Outside of experimental conditions, it’s never been possible to prove that this antibiotic given to that animal gave rise to this bacterium that ended up in that human. But this new work dives so deeply into the genomics of bacterial adaptation in food animals and humans, it proves the link that ag would rather deny.
Through the WI lens
This is a well researched and informative piece that highlights a study by the American Society for Microbiology that provides evidence: “…that this antibiotic given to that animal gave rise to this bacterium that ended up in that human”
It makes a robust case for both plant based diets, organic meats and/or a notable intervention in the animal rearing process and proves a link that the agricultural industry have tended to deny – that bacterial adaption in food animals and humans exist. Earlier studies lacked evidence that meat strains and human infections were linked, not just in time and location but in movement from animal to person.
What this article goes on to explain is how positive thinking – described here as ‘thriving’ – can counter the effects that come from the negativity outlined above, from reduced memory to diminished performance. Based on studying people in a series of organisations in different industries, one of the authors has found that people who attain this state are more resilient, experience less burnout, and are more confident in their ability to take control of a situation
“Behind the jargon what this is really about is how we address the challenge of biodiversity under threat, move away from fossil materials like plastic and concrete, and use nature in a sustainable way, all of which could be summed up by “living in harmony with nature”.”
“In the new ‘consensual contract’ between employer and worker, what’s required is a commitment from the employer to safeguard the wellbeing of their people, and a commitment in return from employees to take personal responsibility for their performance of their job.”
“Could loneliness not only be damaging our mental and physical health but also be making the world a more aggressive, angry place? And if so, what are the implications for a cohesive society and democracy?”
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”