Maybe being able to see the Hollywood sign from my living room makes everything remind me of a bad horror movie, but seeing the headline “New Strain of ‘Mad Cow’ Disease” is enough to make anyone (especially meat-eaters) shriek like a celluloid scream queen. That’s right—bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has struck again!
Mad cow disease first captured the world’s attention when it appeared on the scene in the United Kingdom, and it has since been found in cows in Canada, the U.S., and now Japan—although the latest stricken animals are believed to have come from Australia. One cow who tested positive was only 23 months old, the youngest ever found with BSE, and officials believe that this may be a new strain of the disease that can’t always be detected with Japan’s current monitoring system.
Since the prions that cause BSE can be found in all parts of an affected animal’s flesh, staying away from meat is really the only sure-fire way to avoid mad cow disease.