We’ve probably all heard how development of the dreaded E.coli O157 has been credited to confined cattle feeding operations of the 80s, and that MRSA has been linked to pig CAFOs in the midwest.
What other new and virulent pathogens will we yet breed as a “side-effect” from continuing farther with these same divorced-from-nature farming practices?
It’s anyone’s guess what shit will hit the fan when the recently introduced GMO alfalfa, for instance, starts being fed to cattle on a large scale? To quote from Ernst Schumacher (author of the book “Small is Beautiful”), “Finally we must say no, this technology is too violent.”
David E. Gumpert quoting Brigitte Ruthman, on The Compete Patient:
“As an experienced herdsman I can tell you that we never gave calves immunizations at birth…and three calves have fared well under similar circumstances here. But it was apparent something Titanic nibbled on after being let out in his second day of life, e coli or salmonella, got into his gut.
We never saw scours like this in Vermont in the 70s. We had scours that created a loose manure, and the calf could be easily corrected.
I saw this scour as something stronger. His ears flopped and he became listless within the hour it took to treat him. I only gave antibiotics when he showed symptoms. By then, the powerful bug had overtaken him. I understand now, after watching Titania, his half sister, what likely occurred.
They are like children at this age, bouncing around investigating and eating anything that has an interesting texture…well, sampling.
They like to eat dirt, and at this time of the year there is more dirt than grass. He ate dirt containing bacteria. At three days old, a calf’s immune system is underdeveloped, even with colostrum. The bugs as I remember them managing a dairy farm in Vermont long ago never overtook a young animal so quickly. The scours was projectile. His system failed almost immediately.
I am told it is now common practice on some farms to immunize all calves, just in case. Well, what does that do? It makes the bugs stronger. Same thing with people….”