Friday, December 07, 2007

PETA vs. Barry Bonds

Every morning as I try to struggle out of bed, I turn on the cable news and hope for inspiration. Sadly, it is mostly Lindsey, Britney, etc. Today was no different, except that this morning was all Barry Bonds.

At one point CNN showed a clip of Barry arriving at the San Francisco federal courthouse....the big news, you see......and Barry himself was completely invisible beneath a swarm of paparazzi with cameras held aloft. The irony of a major network covering other reporters covering.....something..... was lost on the anchor.

Someone on Fox News actually said that Barry is San Francisco's OJ.

Getthefuckouttahere.

Last time I checked, Barry had not yet slit anyone's throat.....though if I were a news geek with a Sony X-1 I wouldn't get too close.

And, of course......OJ is San Francisco's OJ. Isn't OJ from Colma?

I still don't get the fuss....but then again I am incapable of watching baseball unless it is the World Series and it is on the kitchen TV at the Behrens' house and I am being paid to cook dinner. I could give a shit if Barry ever took drugs, and remain unconvinced that steroids have anything to do with home runs. Barry hit 760 some odd home runs. Note the operative word: hit. I have not yet seen the literature that tells how steroids improve hand-eye coordination.

Fads in physical fitness come and go, and despite our vaunted scientific modern approach, are mostly bullshit. Forty years ago professional boxing trainers would never consider letting their fighters near a weight room for fear they would become muscle-bound and slow to react. They fed them on steak and eggs, and thought vegetables weakened their boys.

I also always think of the Six Day Bicycle Races in New York city back in the day. These were big deals in the French ghetto where my people are all from. Riders from around the world would gather at the old Madison Square Garden and race for six days. There was an overall winner, but the main action was on side races.....and was all about the gambling. Different Damon Runyan type guys would put together syndicates and set up a side race within the main race for a specified time or distance.....and put down big dough on the outcome.

The way the riders prepared for this?.....to give themselves every possible professional advantage without the scrutiny of the law? Orange slices packed in sugar.....and half bottles of champagne. Off we go! I couldn't agree more. Throw in a half a Vicodin and find me a bicycle!

Booze also played a role in baseball. Babe Ruth would often go to a bar across the street from the Stadium in the middle of a game. The Babe was so protective of his eyesight that he never went to a cinema, and tried to avoid reading anything beyond billboards.....but a couple of pops in the sixth inning kept him tuned up.

My favorite guy was a guy I think was called John Krok....something close. He pitched for the Phillies a decade ago. Once, after a tough game, he was being interviewed for TV at his locker. He was pulling on a cigarette while drinking a Rolling Rock. The interviewer was aghast: "Aren't you afraid of giving a bad impression of professional athletes?"

"Athletes? I am not an athlete. I play baseball!"

So what does this have to do with food?

Ask Pam Anderson and PETA.

They were picketing Barry Bonds' appearance in federal court this morning........because???

Ah.....here it is: "To protest the continuing drugging of farm animals for food."

Once again, the irony of the possibly silicone enhanced bulk of Pamela Anderson protesting the possibly testosterone enhanced bulk of Barry Bonds seems to have escaped everyone. Personally, I want this for my Xmas card.....

Anway, as we all know, the food industry uses massive amounts of chemicals.....especially antibiotics.....to enhance growth of chickens, cows and pigs. Seventy percent of the antibiotics used in the US...some 24 million pounds of drugs....go into our food supply.

Now....in a report out of Europe (of course....Europe still has a functioning press) and as outlined in The Economist last week there are problems that develop when you combine filthy surroundings and a population routinely fed anitbiotics. Problems like superbugs immune to ALL antibiotics.......the so-called MRSA bugs (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).

No big deal, right? MRSA might get a few farmers, but not you. Well, in 2005 MRSA killed NINETEEN THOUAND Americans, and the numbers are growing as the bugs outgrow susceptibility to our existing arsenal of antibiotics.

If that were not bad enough....there is a newer even more super super bug called Non-typical MRSA or NT-MRSA. NT-MRSA is completely resistant to the tetracyclines that are used as growth stimulators in the poultry and pork industries. NT-MRSA was first discovered in 2002, and is now responsible for 20% of all human infections. In a study in Holland this year, NT-MRSA was found at 81% of all pig farms and in 39% of all Dutch pigs. And Dutch pig farms look like Holiday Inns compared to American farms.

Because of the nature of the meat industry, pigs and chickens get exported. Canada now has NT-MRSA in 25% of its pigs and in 20% of its pig farmers. So enjoy that Canadian bacon on your Eggs Benny this Sunday!

Oh, and what is our stalwart FDA doing to stem the tide of superbugs? Well, to help out both the meat and pharmaceutical industries it is approving the use of new antibiotics for animals while the drugs are still in human clinical trials. The ultimately insane result of this policy is that one drug (Quinupristin-dalfopristin) was approved for use in chickens and turkeys before it was approved for humans.......and the bugs developed resistance to it before it could ever even be used to protect humans! Is Chevy Chase in charge of our government? Think about it....have you SEEN him lately?

This ultimate silliness is compounded by the fact that at crappy little places like Johns Hopkins studies show that using antibiotics COSTS producers money with no visible benefit. They even calculated the losses down to the thousandth of a penny if anyone at Perdue would care to look.

If you thought the whole "Global Warming is Not Proven to be Caused by Humans" spew coming from our government officials was an abberation, think again. Our meat industry is counting on studies from the 1950's that seemed to indicate that feeding low levels of antibiotics caused weight gain in farm animals. Unfortunately, the studies back then failed to account for the changes in the quality and quantity of feed, the improved living conditions, the improved breeding etc that had come about since WWII....and were probably bullshit to begin with.

Let's recap: our government and some major corporations are pursuing a failed policy that has no basis in objective reality and is costing thousands of American lives.

At least they are consistent.

Stephen Colbert thinks he is being funny and ironic when he says that facts are annoying, he knows what he feels is right. No wonder they won't let him run for President......we already HAVE that guy.

And I am crazy to spend an extra 20% or more for organic pork and chicken because........???

As a good Irish Catholic I am lighting my third menorah candle tonight....and praying for a miracle.

Happy Holidays.

Enjoy that Christmas ham.

1 Comments:

Blogger Northgate Green Team said...

wonderful post. you take "rant" to a divine level.
and i mean that as a compliment.

6:22 PM  

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