Zoonotic diseases are diseases passed from animals to humans. These diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, or fungi according to this CDC article from 2017. Food poisoning is one common issue which includes salmonella, campylobacter, clostridium perfringens, listeria, staphylococcus aureus, and E. coli are just some of the possibilities when you spin the wheel-of-bacteria. Salmonella, clostridium perfringens, campylobacter, listeria, either lie within the digestive tracts of animals or is spread when feces contaminates other foods. When conditions are ideal for sprouts, sometimes the conditions are also good for bacterial growth. Zoonotic disease must be dealt with responsibly. With that train of thought, let’s work on preventing the next deadly disease, or at least, minimize the risks.
Clearly, when dealing in animal flesh and anything that drops out of an animal, cleanliness has taken a back seat. Here is an example of a “cage-free” chicken farm. So, how do we move forward? Enter, vertical farming.
When you look at the operations listed just above, what do you see? Would you expect epidemic (local overwhelming disease) or pandemic (global overwhelming disease) level diseases to come from such sterile environment? There is no guarantee, however, risks can be and should be minimized. Animals are not filthy, but place hundreds or thousands in tight spaces, sometimes so constricted they crush their own offspring, and one can see how virulent epidemics or pandemics can emerge. Have you heard of the swine flu and avian (bird) flu? Even the word vaccine comes from cows (vacca is Latin for cow). Find out the story of Edward Jenner and vaccines by clicking this link. Do you think it’s coincidence that the animals we farm the heaviest have brought upon some of the most recent and noteworthy strains of disease? It’s our doing. If it’s our doing, we can also undo it. The future can be lean, green, and clean.