Last week I asked students to comment on the Mad Cow scare in Alberta:
Mad cow is the least thing I worry about being in my beef! One case does not necessarily lead to rampant wide-spread infections of all cattle, this could have been a dormant gene passed down many generations. We are a society that is quick to jump to opinions without first understanding the facts, case in point being the SARS “epidemic” supposedly sweeping Toronto.
I’ve researched Mad Cow – especially when writing an article about it last year. What I learned was terrifying, and I feel very strongly that Alberta and the rest of Canada must take an extremely aggressive stance toward stamping out the disease, so we can avoid the mistakes of Britain. The defiant way in which Albertans have run out to eat beef before knowing the extent of the problem, indicates that this will not occur, however.
That said, this isolated case now looks like a single, spontaneous mutation and there is probably little need for concern. It worries me, though, that infected cattle may still be used in feed for other animals, since this is exactly how the disease first spread from sheep.
I still feel safe eating our beef, but I am watching Alberta’s actions very closely:
Recently the issue of homosexual marriages has come to the fore. Each province has taken its own stand, and here in Alberta Premier Klein insists that Alberta will use the notwithstanding clause to prevent the legalization of gay marriages in Alberta, if necessary. The governments have had their say, so tell us what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org