It’s hot on the Presses, there is a Tic that can potentially leave one “allergic” to red meat for life?!
Is this the Vegan Apocalypse?
Often seen as bad news for red meat eaters but great news for a more compassionate future its estimated that this little tick has thousands of americans ditching red meat. While this tick has been around for over a decade the Lone Star Tick (named for the star like spot on its back thought to resemble to Texas Star) is starting to catch widespread attention as lately it has been spreading more and more. Once thought to be confined to the southeastern United States, the allergy is appearing in people who live all the way up in northern Minnesota, Canada and around the world. The tick is moving westward, too, if reports from Kansas are any indication, could this be the vegan apocalypse?
* side note – the tick can cause a allergic reaction to red meat and dairy products but not fish or foul.
How in the world could a tick bite lead to a meat allergy, when I first heard this I thought it must be a joke or a part of the vegan black op agenda 😉 hahah
Perhaps its “god” telling us something… to move toward the garden once again and take care of our animal brothers and sisters, to listen to the commandment “Thou Shall not Kill”?
But that all aside here’s what we know so far, and yes, there is a chemistry connection.
You may already know that an allergy is a immune system responce basically trying to fight off something that’s not really a danger. All the symptoms— the itching, the hives, the shortness of breath and worse— come from your immune system’s attack on yourself. This meat allergy comes from the immune system’s reaction to a molecule commonly known as alpha-gal. (And there’s our chemistry connection.)
What is alpha-gal? Alpha-gal is a small carbohydrate. It contains two building blocks from the same chemical family as table sugar, stuck together in a specific 3D orientation. Alpha-gal is naturally found in most mammals. That includes most of what’s on the menu at a typical carnist’s summer barbecue— beef hamburgers, bacon toppings, maybe even a little venison.
However, monkeys, apes, and humans don’t make alpha-gal on their own. And that, in principle, is the root of the allergy. Human immune systems are primed to see any alpha-gal in the bloodstream as an invader. When immune systems want to fend off an invader, what they do is make antibodies which leads to allergic reactions. For some the symptoms from eating red meat is small, such as a runny nose, stomach upset, diarrhea, hives, or rashes, although some sources say that death is a potential result as well. It isn’t known if this allergy will last for life or will eventually go away, we shall only see in time.
The biggest issue here becomes cross contamination, we could see red meat / byproducts / anything coming into contact needing to be handled and labeled as carefully as peanuts. From a vegan perspective this already seems as a given, but for others this means going to restaurants could actually be quite dangerous. By itself the tick may simply lead to people feeling they are cursed from eating their favourite foods, but, with some education via some films such as “What the Health” and “Cowspiracy” to name a few, this could lead to more people embracing and choosing a healthier lifestyle for themselves, the animals and the planet.
Perhaps I am a optimist or utopian, but I really hope this helps lead many more people to a more compassionate plant based future…
We all know the world could use it!
All we can do is be compassionate examples and spread the information to make the transition easier for those afflicted and effected.