Red Winged Black Bird on a fence post in a field.

On Avian Flu


Category: philosophies

You?ve probably heard about that bird flu spreading throughout Asia and Europe. The big worry is that this virus will mutate to become more virulent (spread-able) among humans. That?s the pandemic thing they all talk about. However, there is still plenty to worry about if the thing doesn?t kill everybody.

?What do mean, LibertyBob?? you ask.

Well, right now the virus spreads quickly among those of a poultry persuasion. Much of the world enjoys eating the poultry. I myself am fond of turkey sandwiches. If the avian flu gets into the food supply, we can find ourselves without the chicken and turkey everyone seems to enjoy so much. All those dieters who eat the skinless chicken breast to cut calories will have to switch to couscous.

Of course, that?s not the worst of it. We have a planet with an intricate ecology. That whole food chain thing assumes that birds eat some things while being eaten by others. How many insects or other vermin are consumed by birds? Would you really want to see what it is like if those vermin are not eaten? The world would be crawling with crawlies. That sounds bad.

Unfortunately, it is the nature of things that microbial organisms are also part of our ecology. This virus is just the latest in a long history. When this one is finished, there will be another. A few years back there was fear that Monkey Pox (a relative of small pox) would become more virulent among humans and that has yet to happen. It could still happen and the same spread can be predicted about the spread of all sorts of diseases. Our concern is whether we humans will survive the onslaught.

Humans are adaptable and will make an effort to survive. The species will probably make through almost any cataclysm shy of the destruction of the Earth. Even then, we have the technology to make survival a slim possibility. Those without technology are more susceptible to these problems.

What can you do? Well, enjoy your chicken while you can (get your mind out of the gutter). Figure out how to cook beef, pork, and goat in as healthful manner as you can. Keep your poultry safe. Hide really important birds the way the British royalty hid their ravens. If your emotional attachment to your bird is really strong, you should get psychiatric help.

Try not to worry too much. In ten thousand years this will have all blown over.

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