E. Coli Vaccine Could Make It Safer To Be A Meatatarian

E. coli, your future is looking as bleak as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff chances because a vaccine has overcome some governmental hurdles to enter testing. If approved, the vaccine could stop e. coli from finding its way into 65 to 75 percent of animals, the New York Times reports:

The test has been a long time coming. Bureaucratic delays in Washington stalled the arrival of the vaccines for years, even as people continued to become sick and die from eating tainted beef. And now, even if the vaccines prove successful in the ambitious tests that are just getting under way, they face an uncertain future as farmers and feedlot owners worry about who will pick up the extra cost.

“I hope it works,” (rancher Jason) Timmerman said. “It probably won’t be so good for my pocketbook directly, but it’ll probably be good for the industry.”

That, as well as the fact that vegetables are disgusting unless slathered with salad dressing, is another reason to avoid the vegitarianism siren call.

After Delays, Vaccine to Counter Bad Beef Is Being Tested [New York Times]
(Thanks, NORMLgirl!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    FDA: “Then you will have no treaty, no vaccine, and no Lieutenant Yar!”

    Sorry, had to. Props to Wil Wheaton.

    • Coles_Law says:

      Nice-they just reran that episode a few days ago here.

      Now, will the FDA fight the cattle industry to the death?

      • johnva says:

        It’s such a terrible episode. Really up there in the top 5 or so worst TNG episodes ever.

        • webweazel says:

          Yeah, that one was pretty bad. They ran the one with the “oil monster” last night where Yar gets killed on the show, and that one’s in my top 5 worst list.

        • Coles_Law says:

          Oh, wholeheartedly agreed. ditto on the oil-slick thing one. They’re cycling through the garbage right now.

  2. floraposte says:

    Probably worth making clear that the vaccine is for the cows, not the people (and that it’s not for all strains of E. coli, just the really nasty one).

  3. kaceetheconsumer says:

    No pity for the ranchers regarding the cost. When they choose to operate CAFOs that have animals knee-deep in filth, in close quarters, and being force-fed diets that they were never built to eat, all in the name of bulking up meat cheap and fast, then tough titty if it turns out that they need to spend money to reduce risks associated with that monstrous behaviour.

    I’m a total carnivore but very unhappy with how meat is produced here. We try to buy humanely treated, pastured, grass-fed meat whenever we can but so do lots of other people in Austin so there’s never sufficient supply to meet the demand. We’re willing to pay about three times as much for that kind of meat, in large part to help generate demand and eventually lower prices for those who can’t afford it. When the industry smartens up and starts following the Joel Salatins of the world instead of mocking them, then maybe I’ll have some kind of sympathy for the costs they’re complaining about!

    • Aphex242 says:

      I’m up here in Dallas and a lot of us feel the same way. Fortunately we don’t have the supply issues you do.

      But yeah, ultimately I can’t see this vaccine as leading to anything other than even more atrocious conditions.

      • pop top says:

        I can see that too. “Well they have a vaccine now for the bad stuff, so we can make conditions even worse now!”

    • Wolfbird says:

      Agreed. Animals are tasty, but I also don’t want to be a jerk to them because it’s cheaper that way.

  4. Mr. TheShack says:

    Vegetarianism is the only humane *and* healthy choice. At least I don’t have any swine flu or e coli worries. Also I have a low-mid BMI.

    • chiieddy says:

      You really think eating pork causes swine flu? I think you need to read up more on it. The H1N1 virus is past through contact between PEOPLE. You can get it from anyone. Vegetarian, vegan or omnivore.

    • johnva says:

      Uh, you realize that a) swine flu is not spread by eating meat, and that b) you can get a dangerous strain of E. coli from contaminated vegetables, too?

      (Or were you joking? It’s hard to tell on the Intertubes sometimes.)

      • oblivious87 says:

        I think he was joking, that or he’s been brainwashed by PETA.

        I think vegetarians are great and if you have the time and money to create a balanced diet of non meat products and even non animal products (eggs, dairy, etc), the more power to you. For most though, those diets are dangerous because not enough planning goes into it. Meat is inexpensive in most cases, extremely filling, and is a great source of protein and iron.

        Most vegetarians with minimal income basically have a diet of pasta and rice because its inexpensive, doesn’t spoil, and easy to make. So hopefully if the OP wasn’t joking, he’s willing to turn his ignorance into something that will educate those who are disgusted by the treatment of animals in US factory farms and jump the meat ship without much education about the downfalls of doing so.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Most college students, IMO, should be vegetarians specifically because pasta and grains are so much cheaper than meat. I spent a lot of time eating vegetables when I was in college – it was fine, since I liked vegetables, but I eat more chicken now than I did back then because now I can actually cook (didn’t have a kitchen in college) and we want to be more balanced in what we eat. I make a lot of dishes that have non-vegetarian components, but we stick to chicken most of the time.

        • RPHP says:

          The downfalls of becoming a vegetarian are far less than the downfalls of eating meat. Meat eaters have higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer to look forward to. If a vegetarian has any problems it is because they are eating to much high fat cheese. Whole grains and fruits and vegetables (which most people can afford) are much healthier than meat (which provides little nutrition besides protein). And as for the protein you reference – most people in America get to much protein! Nonetheless, with minimal attention to diet one can get plenty of protein from a plant based diet.

          • johnva says:

            I can’t say I agree with that. You can’t just point to all the various “Western” health problems and claim that as evidence that eating too much meat is the cause of all of that. By the same token, you could claim that eating all that meat protects us from malaria and tuberculosis, but it wouldn’t be true. Westerners are healthier than other people in some ways, and less healthy in other ways.

            There is no doubt that Americans eat too much meat, too much fat, etc. What doesn’t follow logically or from the evidence is the conclusion that it’s a better idea to not eat meat at all, simply because many people eat too much of it. You CAN be healthy as a vegetarian, and you can be healthy eating moderate amounts of meat. Neither is “better” than the other. It’s not an “all or nothing” binary choice. Most people will NEVER become vegans, so it makes more sense to try to get them to change their diet in ways that moderate it and make it healthier (such as reducing the quantity of meat), rather than telling them that they can’t meat at all or they’re going to die of heart disease and cancer. A lot of Americans would choose the cancer, given that choice, at least until they get the cancer. But let them “have it both ways”, to an extent, and you might get a lot further with your arguments.

            • floraposte says:

              Agreed. But I think that several of the vegetarians posting aren’t disagreeing with that either. Basically, it’s possible to eat healthy with a modest amount of eat or with no meat; it’s possible to eat unhealthily as a vegetarian or as an omnivore. Currently, there are more problematic diets in the U.S. among meat-eaters than non. However, I think the problem among meat eaters isn”t necessarily even the large amount of meat; it’s that it’s a part of a 2500-calorie-per-meal practice that draws substantially on pre-prepared foods, whether at Chili’s, McDonald’s, or Marie Callendar’s and goes to feed somebody who sits down all day. Simply removing the meat from that equation wouldn’t be a cure either.

            • RPHP says:

              Actually, I am not talking about an American diet but a westernized diet. Both observational and experimental evidence shows that there are western diseases caused by diet. True we do not get many of diseases caused by sanitation problems but that has nothing to do with diet.

              The fact of the matter is that heart disease (the number 1 killer in the west), diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer have all been linked to a meat eating diet. (True there are good meat eaters and bad vegetarians but I am talking in general terms). One cause for this may be that meat has essential no nutritional value (most people get way more protein than they need and would be fine without meat). On the other hand meat always has cholesterol and is often packed with fat and saturated fat (unless all you eat is veal).

              Further, meat in your diet replaces other items that are packed with nutrition and antioxidants which prevent diseases ie fruits and vegetables. Once again, a generalization. One could be a vegetarian or vegan and eat potato chips all day – on this diet one would not benefit from a plant based diet. However, if one pays marginal attention to their plant based diet to make sure it is well rounded they will see their chances of getting a number of diseases drop dramatically.

              There are many books on the subject which review the scientific data – one good one is called The China Study.

        • subtlefrog says:

          Um no. What’s the most expensive thing you buy as an omnivore? Meat. Vegetarians don’t buy that. As with any diet, you can spend as much as you want, or as little. I have been vegetarian for 30 years, and lived under the poverty level as a student for most of my adult life. I’ve been vegan for the last 7 years – and I’ve never eaten terribly because I make careful choices about what I eat – but I don’t spend a lot of time on it.

          Point being – you can spend as much or as little money or time as you want.

          • floraposte says:

            Now I’m thinking about this. I’ve often heard it and it seems reasonable, but on recollecting my recent grocery shopping, it seems to be a bit of an overstatement. How are we measuring “most expensive”? Per pound, cheaper meat is pretty much on a par with produce ’round my way, since 99 cents per pound isn’t tough to come by. And, of course, the prepared foods run higher still, plus that’s kind of apples and oranges, if you’ll pardon the goofily apt metaphor. If we’re talking “per serving,” that goes back to the “how meat gets used” discussion, where it’s all too variable to quantify. I suspect the biggest amount goes to prepared foods, whether they contain meat or not.

        • veg-o-matic says:

          Have to agree with subtlefrog (as per usual – high five!).

          How much “planning,” exactly, goes into the SAD? Very little. Just because someone ingests animal products does not mean their diet is complete or healthy. Just the opposite, in fact. Omnivores assume they’re getting everything they need because it’s considered the default diet.

          This perception of vegetarian/veganism being some kind of super secret system one has to crack using a decoder ring and a SuperDoctorate in nutrition is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of vegan/vegetarian diets as well as the standard american/omnivore diets.

          Veg diets are not expensive by default, they are not difficult by default.. they just happen to lie outside the thought range of most omni americans. And it’s just too much work to think about any other way of life.

          • johnva says:

            The only problem I have with your post, is that diet is a very broad spectrum of things. There are more alternatives besides veganism, vegetarianism, and an “omnivore diet” (which is an amazingly broad term). What I think helps in a lot of countries is that you have an established food culture that does a lot of the “planning” of eating healthy for people. In the U.S., we have an established negative food culture, that makes the path of least resistance doing something unhealthy. So I think much of this is a problem of culture, more than anything.

          • psm321 says:

            I’m vegetarian, have been pretty much my entire life, and have to do no thinking/planning around nutrients at all. I’m always amazed when people bring that up to try and discourage those thinking about becoming vegetarian

    • leprofie says:

      Sorry. All it takes is a contaminated critter pooping on the vegetables, or a picker not washing hands for vegetarians to get e coli. Remember the outbreaks on lettuce, beans, strawberries, etc. earlier this year?

    • leprofie says:

      Sorry. All it takes is a contaminated critter pooping on the vegetables, or a picker not washing hands for vegetarians to get e coli. Remember the outbreaks on lettuce, beans, strawberries, etc. earlier this year?

    • DragonflyLotus says:

      Actually, you can get e coli from veggies…and you get ‘swine flu’ from people.

    • Joewithay says:

      Getting Swine Flu has nothing to do with eating meat or not. You are still at risk from getting it. Same could almost be said with e. coil since it is everywhere humans and animals are living.

      • Mr. TheShack says:

        Guess where swine flu comes from. Pigs. What happens when one pig carries it to the 100s of other pigs on his animal farm, and then those pigs come in contact with other pigs in packed, disgusting slaughterhouses/animal storage spaces. The meat industry keeps animals stored in horrible places, in horribly close proximity, and disease spread like wildfire. So eating meat causes swine flu to spread. Do some research, it’s not hard to google this stuff.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      There’s always one, and you’ve chosen to be “that guy” in this thread. Congratulations.

    • tbax929 says:

      Worst comment on this thread – by a mile.

    • Bob Lu says:

      Sometime it is really hard to tell if someone is being sarcasm.

    • pop top says:

      You’re not very smart and haven’t researched your food choices much, have you?

    • Tiaris says:

      Wow. I hope you’re joking.

      If not, I certainly hope you don’t reproduce or adopt.

      *shudder* Ignorance is contagious. Thankfully, so is information *peers above her at the comments that contain some decent info*.

    • veg-o-matic says:

      This vegan prefers to believe you’re just an a#$hat omni troll trying to make the rest of us look like idiots.

      So, you know, keep working at it.

      • Mr. TheShack says:

        You are just an accomadator who won’t stand up for what he believes in.

        • veg-o-matic says:

          No, I won’t stand up for what “he” believes in, because I don’t know which “he” you’re talking about.

          I am, in fact, one of those lady types – you know, not a dude. Also, calling me an “accomadator” (whatever that actually meant) only makes you look more like a troll.

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      To everyone having a fit over my post – you need to research what you are saying first. The only HUMANE diet is one without meat. Any doubts, go watch some slaughterhouse videos for a little bit. I’ve been a vegetarian for some time now, and believe me I hear it all from. I don’t eat meat, and I realize that fact makes a lot of people really angry. Because they realize that in the presence of someone who doesn’t eat meat (even a more modest veg*n), they are embarassed, and as a result turn to this I LURRV MEAT IM CARNIVOR I HAVE FANGS LOL LOL. I actually heard someone say on here that the e coli comes from veggies and not meat? Like can you be more wrong? What do you think is in that juice meat is packaged in? Here’s a hint: you can’t eat it for a very good reason. Nothing dies for my diet.

      • Difdi says:

        Actually, some extremes of vegetarianism (veganism, specifically) do cause people to die. A number of courts have actually found that subjecting small children to a vegan diet constitutes child abuse (and some children actually have died of it).

        • Mr. TheShack says:

          How is this specific to a vegan diet? A child malnourished on any form of food regimen caused by the parents/guardians in child abuse. ANY diet where particular essential nutrients are left out can be unhealthy. Being vegan does not cause you to miss out on anything that cannot be supplemented by other foods, or a vitamin here or there. I take b12. That’s it. I live a perfectly healthy and normal life, with a low BMI. On a side note, in some countries children that are obese are considered to be abused, and taken away from their parents. Too bad the US doesn’t do that to it’s fatasses.

      • pop top says:

        There are just so many things wrong with your elitist post. Someone posted a ton of links further down that show many e.coli outbreaks with vegetables, so you’re wrong that you can’t get it from vegetables. You also said you weren’t getting swine flu because you don’t eat meat. How is that even possible? Is it because you think swine flu comes from pork? Wrong again. You say that nothing dies for your food, that is also wrong. If you are a vegetarian and not a vegan, I can only assume that you consume things with ingredients like gelatin, eggs, milk, etc. You do realize that things have to die to make gelatin, certain kinds of food dyes and many other small, yet still animal-based products you most likely consume? Also, think about all of the animals that die during the harvesting process. Many animals such as mice, voles, rats, shrews, birds and other small animals are killed when they are crushed by the harvesting machinery. Don’t forget that all that precious farmland displaces many animals from their natural habitats, driving them into places where they are killed (such as suburban backyards). Do you wear leather as well? Animals die for that too. You can’t complain about animals dying for food and turn around and wear leather.

        Lastly, you can have a low BMI and still be unhealthy (and conversely you can have a high BMI and be healthy). But I’m sure you know that since you’ve obviously done so much research into your diet.

        • pop top says:

          OK, after reading your recent title change, I have to say you’re a troll. No one would be so dumb as to put something so incendiary unless they wanted the attention. Nice job.

        • Mr. TheShack says:

          I like this line of thinking. People always think they can pull a fast one with the gelatin or mono-diglycerides, etc. etc. Nope, I know what to stay away from.

        • Mr. TheShack says:

          And you want to get into an argument with me over how much farmland is used for crops? Versus what, how much land is used to house animals in overcrowded, smelly, disgusting conditions, where animals routinely suffer, the green house emissions cause environmental damage, and no veterinary care is given to sick/dying/injured creatures? Have you even LOOKED UP any videos of slaughterhouses or animal farms? You are completely clueless and here trying to tell an educated veg*n his business. I love people like you, always thinking your right, and always so wrong. Do I wear leather? Do I eat gelatin? Animals in a wheat thresher? Are you dense? One must really wonder. I know you have to grasp at straws in an attempt to prove a right person wrong, and it’s sad. Meat is Murder. http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/murder

      • Timbojones says:

        “Nothing dies for my diet”

        Except plants and fungi. Most likely also worms, caterpillars, aphids, moles, mice, frogs, beetles, etc — to prevent those pests from eating your delicious vegetables, or as part of the harvesting process.

        Seriously, good on you for reducing your impact and choosing not to contribute to the horrible CAFO industry. But you must remember that death is a necessary and central facet of life, and ignoring or denying that basic fact will do you and the culture more long-term harm than you might realize.

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      Also in response to veg-o-matic, I am a vegetarian, and I have a tattoo to prove it. You don’t have to get mad because I don’t eat meat. But you can’t eat it without killing an innocent, and that must be frustrating to realize standing next to someone who does not share that burden. Keep pretending you don’t care – your anger gives you away.

      • pop top says:

        Oh no guys, he has a tattoo. That definitely means he’s serious.

        • Mr. TheShack says:

          I can direct you to the veggie boards I read, where my tattoo is posted alongside that of my girlfriends vegetarian tattoo, if you would like.

      • veg-o-matic says:


        You (intentionally..?) missed the part where I said I’m vegan…

        • pop top says:

          But do you have a tattoo? That shows true commitment.

          • veg-o-matic says:

            I’m.. I’m so ashamed.

            *beep boop boop bop beep beep bop!*

            *ring ring*

            “Yes, hello, tattoo store? I’d like your largest and most authentic vegan tattoo please! Money is no object! The most authentic money can buy! See you in a few minutes!”


            Ah, I feel better.

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “That, as well as the fact that vegetables are disgusting unless slathered with salad dressing, is another reason to avoid the vegitarianism siren call.”

    I call journalistic bias by Phil Villareal! Shenanigans!!!

    But seriously,

    I said a brat, beef calbasa, hot smoked sausage, cheddar works.
    when i say ‘Hillshire,’ you say ‘Farm’.
    Hillshire !
    Farm !
    GO MEAT!

  6. Bohemian says:

    How about just not doing the horrible things that have caused ecoli to become so common. Feeding cattle corn and distillers grain (corn left overs from ethanol production) is the main reason for ecoli. Now add the sloppy slaughterhouses running too fast and mixing tainted meat into untainted meat to make big batches of tainted meat.

    All if this is caused by greed. So how about we stop the greedy practices that are killing and making people sick rather than just making another vaccine?

    We would be solely grass fed beef but the only way to do so is to buy from a local farmer and contract a meat locker to butcher. It actually ends up costing less but has a HUGE up front cost for the cow and processing. A 1/4 cow cost nearly $400 even though it was about $3 a pound including steak cuts.

    • johnva says:

      Actually stopping the greed is seemingly never an option in America.

      I’m with you: I doubt that we would have as many of these problems if beef were viewed as more of a niche, high-end product rather than a cheap, mass-market source of protein. We could all eat higher-quality meat less often. But that would make some corporation less money, so it won’t happen.

      • Leria says:

        We shouldn’t have to do that, and with all respect, cattle are fed corn and other things ON SMALL FARMS and don’t seem to get E. Coli near as often…. I think it more has to do with how many cows are slammed into a small area in the meat production industry, and that does need a fix.

  7. It'sRexManningDay! says:

    Doesn’t matter–some other organism will just come in to fill the niche. One day cows will develop gut flora superbugs, and we’ll be looking back wistfully at the good old days of plain-jane e-coli.

  8. Blueskylaw says:

    Maybe now it will be safe to sell the cheaper 60/40 blend at Walmart.

  9. Tim says:

    Just one of the many, many reasons not to eat meat is being … mitigated.

    What about the other ones?

    • chiieddy says:

      Small amounts of meat is not unhealthy. As a family, we’ve MOSTLY eliminated meat from our diet, but the protein it provides is not worth giving it up completely (for example, if I cook 5 meals during the course of a week, 3 will be meat-free). Eating too much soy product is just as bad for you as eating too much meat. I generally believe beans are the healthiest substitution if you have to go without meat completely, but my true belief is as animals, we didn’t evolve as herbivores and were physically meant to eat meat to be as healthy as possible. Our ancestors likely ate it sparingly as it would be difficult to get, but they did eat it. We’re actually considering joining a meat CSA (Community Shared agriculture) to make sure we get the safest cuts of meats from animals treated in humane fashions. It might cost a little more than grocery store meat, but I think it’ll be overall healthier. I just need to buy a chest freezer :)

    • fs2k2isfun says:

      If anything I see this as a negative. If the cattle manure won’t contain the strain of e.coli I could forsee slaughterhouse workers becoming more negligent then they really are. Beef on its own doesn’t carry e.coli, it gets introduced during slaugher when feces comes in contact with meat. It’s easily killed by temperature though, so its generally safe to eat a steak rare, but a hamburger is a different story.

  10. chiieddy says:

    Could someone help me with the science here? I thought you couldn’t vaccinate against bacterial infections? I’m fully willing to admit I’m completely wrong, but that’s what I thought.

    • johnva says:

      Nope. There are plenty of vaccines against bacterial infections. A vaccine is just an inoculation designed to stimulate your immune system so that it will “remember” how to recognize a certain pathogen when it sees the real thing later. So vaccines can work with any sort of infection/invasion that your immune system can deal with, in theory.

  11. RPHP says:

    “That, as well as the fact that vegetables are disgusting unless slathered with salad dressing, is another reason to avoid the vegitarianism siren call.”

    Well at least vegetarians (especially those who limit their dairy intake and stick to a lower fat diet) are less likely to develop diabetes and heart disease. Further, many studies are linking animal protein consumption to a higher risk for cancer.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      I’d say the only reason animal protein = higher risk for anything besides heart disease is the crap they put in it interfering with us. Artificial CRAP is what’s causing issues. Eating meat sparingly (3 meals a week) is healthy. Eating a 16oz steak every day is not.

      • RPHP says:

        What are the health benefits of meat? Most Americans get many times the protein they need in their diet. On the other hand, meat is replacing fruits and vegetables in ones diet. So each time you eat meat you are replacing much healthier things that you could be eating.

        I actually have little problem with people saying – “I just like meat so I eat it a few times a week.” However, when you start justifying that it is healthy it gets suspicious. I recommend The China Solution where the author brings down many studies on the benefits of a plant based diet. On the other hand peer reviewed scientific journals are suspiciously void of studies endorsing the health benefits of meat.

    • johnva says:

      To be fair, the “normal” American diet is absolutely horrible. So it’s pretty obvious that a diet that is even marginally more healthy is going to lead to less heart disease and such when you compare that to our population at large. What is a more questionable statement, in my opinion, is whether vegetarianism is a healthier diet than eating animal protein in moderation (such as people who only eat fish occasionally, etc). Humans are naturally omnivores, so the real problem with the Western diet is mainly the proportions in which we’re eating different things. Eating meat wouldn’t be a big health problem if we were all eating far more fruits and vegetables and far less meat.

      • floraposte says:

        Right. People who eat modest amounts of meat score like vegetarians. It ain’t the meat, it’s the portion.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I agree. I make beef stew in the winter, and I balance the meat with the vegetables. Generally, there are more vegetables than there is beef. There’s no reason to eat a meal of solely meat. Even when you eat a steak, there should be balance with anything else you eat.

        • RPHP says:

          It probably depends. Most americans don’t know what moderation is in this field. Further, most people get plenty of protein and would get plenty of protein even without meat in their diet. Fish is the only animal that provides you with a nutritious benefit (besides the already mentioned protein which most get more than enough of). Further, meat always has cholesterol and most of the meat people eat also is packed with fat and saturated fat.

          Just by observational evidence you will find much lower rates of western diseases including hear disease, diabetes, and cancer (yes cancer) in populations which have a very low consumption of animals – and this is true even when adjusting for age and physical activity.

          • johnva says:

            So…educate them about portion control instead of saying they can’t eat meat. It’s totally false, BTW, that fish is the only animal protein that provides a nutritional benefit. Not all meat is packed with unhealthy levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, especially if eaten in moderation. Again, the problem is imbalance in the typical American diet, not the eating of meat.

            • RPHP says:

              What nutrients do animals have that you can not get from a plant based diet? And in what levels. It is not all about portion control it also matters what you eat. The fact of the matter is that populations that eat less meat get far fewer westernized diseases. It is beyond scientific debate that increased meat intake raises the level for heart disease and diabetes. It is becoming more and more accepted that it is also linked to many other debilitating diseases.

              The fact of the matter is meat in the diet is replacing the antioxidants, fiber, etc that you would be getting from the plant based items you should be eating.

              • floraposte says:

                Right, but you’re coming from the point of view that the goal is to get people on plant-based diets. That may be your goal, but it’s not the general goal. johnva’s point is that there’s no dietary advantage of all-plant consumption over some-meat (flexitarian is one term) consumption; since it’s likelier to convince big meat-eaters to become small meat-eaters than to become vegetarians, and the health gain is the same, the former seems a more reasonable effort.

        • Julia789 says:

          In many countries, meat is tradionally a topping or small side dish, a “treat” if you will. Only in the west and more specifically in America have giant steaks and plates of fried chicken become such the norm. My registered dietician says that Americans eat many, many times the daily requirement for protein, which is surprisingly low. Many misconceptions about protein requirments remain.

          She said it’s supposed to be the other way around, vegetables the main dish, meat as a topping or side dish. Fruits for dessert and snacks. Healthy carbs like brown rice mixed in with the veggies main dish or as a side dish.

  12. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Wait.. isn’t E.Coli naturally occuring in the digestive systems of these animals (and us)? Wouldn’t killing that bacteria completely kill their digestive flora?

    • AnthonyC says:

      Good question, but probably not.

      First, the vaccine is only for a particular strain of E. coli, presumably not the ones that normally occur in the digestive tract.

      Moreover, the body develops immune tolerance for gut flora in infancy, well before this vaccine could be administered. Exposure to antigens you already have a tolerance for wouldn’t create an immune response. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut_flora#Immunity

  13. tsukiotoshi says:

    Ah, I answered the siren call of vegetarianism long ago. But, not eating meat does not completely rule out exposure to e. coli, either.

    I share the concerns some of the other commenters do. Is this really getting at the source of the problem? I’m also generally wary of new vaccines until I see some testing on long-term effects, especially when applied to food sources.

    This is a subject I admittedly don’t know much about, but I would like to know some history of e. coli and whether people have been dealing with this problem for the thousands of years cattle has been domesticated or whether it is a more recent phenomena associated with modern cattle husbandry practices.

    I am pro reducing e. coli contamination in food sources, however.

    • johnva says:

      There are legitimate reasons for concern about this, and about whether it will actually just enable bad livestock processes, as you point out. A similar concern is food irradiation: in theory, irradiation is a really good idea that could sterilize things like meat even when they are contaminated. In practice, it might just mean that the meat processors would care even less about preventing harmful bacteria from getting into the meat in the first place.

      However, I don’t think that the fact that it’s a vaccine is a really big cause for special concern. You often hear people worry about “long term effects” of vaccines, but most of those people are just uninformed. Vaccines are generally very safe for both humans and animals, and there is little reason to be worried about long-term effects associated with them. Especially there is little reason to be worried about such effects from eating animals that have been treated with a vaccine.

    • veronykah says:

      No, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem which is historically how we in the US deal with issues in our food.
      Don’t ask WHY its happening, only try to fix what has already happened.
      Perhaps the food, living conditions etc are the root of this problem? Cows standing knee deep in feces in pens with thousands of other cows probably isn’t doing much to curb e.coli infections.
      But there is no profit in changing how we “manufacture” our food so the best we can do is pump it full of antibiotics and vaccines and cross our fingers.

  14. Leria says:

    It’s already pretty safe to eat meat on a regular basis…. I do, and I have never gotten e-coli that I can remember that was confirmed….. I have gotten ‘sick’ after eating meat (usually because I might have undercooked it) but I usually attribute that to just ‘luck of the draw’.

  15. ahecht says:
    • johnva says:

      Although to be fair, most/all of that contamination probably came from animal sources, originally. So this vaccine could indirectly benefit vegetarians, too.

    • RPHP says:

      I seriously doubt that many people are vegetarians because of the E. Coli issue.

    • smo0 says:

      Thank you, for those links. If any amount of research was done, you’d know that the contamination and outbreaks to vegetables was originally caused by these meat farms. The run off, etc. It’s all sourced to what these animals are being fed. Cows and cattle were never meant to digest corn…. just grass.

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      That’s why you rinse them off first. LOLOLOLOLOL THAT’S SO HARD TO DO.

  16. Mr_Human says:

    This post needs some work.

  17. csto78 says:

    @ Mr. RS: Being a vegetarian does not equal avoidance of E. coli infection. This bacteria is found in fertilizer used on field crops like spinach, strawberries and other delicious fruits and veggies. People get sick from E. coli by not washing their produce well enough, or trusting that those pre-packaged salads are already clean.

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      I hear it in the news every day. E Coli outbreaks, meat recalled. I see the recall notices on the shelves. What do you think is in that disgusting meat juice, and why you can’t eat it? Is any of this ringing a bell?

      You people are being willfully ignorant, and decidedly outrages instead of informed. This stuff is easily researched.

      • veg-o-matic says:

        Let me make this very clear for you:

        E. coli comes from poop.

        Vegetable farming, even on comparatively smaller-scale farms, usually uses animal manure for fertilizer. It is absolutely possible for vegetables to be contaminated with e. coli, and it has happened before.

        When you go on about “meat juice,” you are likely thinking of salmonella (“ZOMG! this is SO TOTALLY EASILY RESEARCHED!”).

        You seem really invested in this “vegetarian” character that you’re playing. I’ll play along and ask you to please, stop making reasonable, intelligent vegans and vegetarians look stupid with your misinformed rambling.

        P.S. – you say you’re vegetarian.. I hope you’re not “willfully ignorant” about what happens to dairy cows and their babies. You are familiar with the veal industry, yes? And you do know how cheese is made, yes? (hint: “rennet”).

  18. RPHP says:

    I think their is a problem with the comment system. Some of my comments were meant to be responses to other people but they ended up in the general comment section. I presume that is the case for others as well.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      I agree – they’re showing up all unthreaded for me. Comments that were threaded a few moments ago are all now in consecutive order.

  19. uptown says:

    Or they could just require mandatory testing of meat. E.coli used to take 18-24 hours to detect … a problem for food where a delay costs money and impacts revenue. A small American company named Nanologix has brought this testing time down to four hours with an extremely affordable technology called BNP. All it takes is the will of regulators to enforce mandatory testing requirements, and strong penalties for not following these regulations.

  20. darklighter says:

    So how long before Jenny McCarthy refuses to eat this beef because it causes autism in cows?

  21. kubus_gt says:

    GOOO STEEEEELeeeeeeRS…… next year?

  22. -Slap- says:

    The Reagan administration deregulated the cattle industry and totally devastated small meatpackers. Only the giants survived and they treat cattle ranchers like indentured servants.

    Here’s an idea: stop feeding the cattle corn and meat and all the other things that would never naturally be found in their diets, thus all but eliminating the risk of e-coli contamination.

    Instead, they’ll spray some more chemicals around. Bon appetit, carnivores!

  23. cupcake_ninja says:

    Ok so they help prevent E.Coli in animals, but what about contamination during processing? Isn’t that where most of the contamination happens anyway?

  24. Mr. TheShack says:

    My original post got crazy amounts of comments, so I’m going to go ahead and throw this in at the bottom here. Meat is murder. Animals are kept in deplorable conditions, causing the spread of disease, infection, and green house gases detrimental to our climate. Veg*n diets do not partake in the consumption of these animals or their by-products, and a further step in an animal-friendly life style is to avoid wearing things made out of them or from them.

    I understand that it makes a lot of people angry to hear that another person doesn’t eat meat. It’s a guilt complex. You want to feel heartless and believe yourself when you say “Oh I love eating animals, I have fangs, we were designed blah blah blah”. But the truth is you realize how silly and addicted you look next to someone who lives a happier, perfectly normal life without meat as a part of it. I hear 50 million excuses seemingly every day about why my diet is so unhealthy, and how I am missing out on “stuff you don’t get from meat”. I laugh, because I know these people haven’t done any research and just want to feel better about themselves. But at the end of the day, it’s a charade, you know that eating animals is wrong, and you just are too lazy to give a damn.

    From a consumer standpoint, it just makes sense. It costs like nothing to eat healthy, be animal friendly, and not contribute to the detriment of the planet and the wonderful creatures on it. So go ahead, call me a troll, call me sickly and dying, what have you. You’re jealous, angry, and frustrated, and I can’t help you. You just have to learn to help yourselves.