Dear China, Not EVERY Animal Has to be Medicine (or Food)
The latest animal that may be linked to the deadly coronavirus is the pangolin. The pangolin looks sort of like an armadillo but the animal it most resembles is the Sandshrew from Pokemon.
(That’s the species sandii shrewili domesticus from the family Pokemonus rarus)
Chinese researchers say the coronavirus found in pangolins (pangoli?) is 99% identical to the version that’s been showing up in humans. According to this report in the journal “Nature” pangolins are endangered…but are regularly consumed for their meat or for their shells which are ground up for use in Chinese folk remedies.
Other animals previously thought to have been carriers of the virus include bats and snakes…both ALSO sold for human consumption in Chinese markets.
I know I’m walking on some shaky ground here. It may be culturally offensive to suggest that people in Asian countries actually consume these clearly non-food animals. Paradoxically, it may also be offensive to suggest that IF people in China are eating bats, snakes and pangolins that they should STOP. And, it may yet turn out that the human consumption of these animals doesn’t have anything to do with the outbreak in humans. But, come ON, China. Bats and snakes are not food because ewww. Also, because pangolin shell is “hard” that doesn’t mean ingesting it will make you “hard”. That’s another aspect of some of this: if it were starving peasants I would say, “Yeah, eat whatever you can kill”. But in lots of cases the exotic meats are considered delicacies for the well-to-do and the “traditional medicines” are often “traditional B.S.” that, more often than not, is for boner-related issues. So, as a western outsider here’s my list of foods that should be off the menu in China and elsewhere:
Things Americans consider pets, including but not limited to: dogs, cats, parakeets, budgies and sugar-gliders.
- Any part of a primate from howler monkeys all the way up to mountain gorillas.
- As a rule, fish is ok, as long as it’s not still twitching or it looks like it’s trying to breath. That just dick-ish.
- Also, quit trying to eat things that are still kind of alive. Japan, I’m looking at you on this one.
- Snakes. Sheesh!
- Bird’s Nests. Seriously, I thought “bird’s nest soup” was just a mistranslation but NOPE! It turns out it has actual bird’s nests in it! How would you like it if somebody turned YOUR house into a soup?
- Any beef cooked more than “medium”. That’s just ruining meat, people.