Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Surprise – eating pills made of raw rattlesnake meat isn’t good for you.  Excerpt:

In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC includes notification of two cases occurring in late 2017 of people falling seriously ill with salmonella – both linked to the consumption of rattlesnake pills.

In the first case, in Texas, salmonella was found both in the patient and in the pills he had been taking as part of a “natural health” regime. The particular salmonella strain isolated by whole genome sequencing was found to be a close match for that found in another patient, a man from Kansas.

The Texan victim refused to be interviewed by CDC investigators, but the Kansas gent admitted to having travelled to the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, and purchasing five homemade rattlesnake pills – or, as they are also known, pastillas de víbora de cascabel. He had swallowed all of them.

The pills, made from dehydrated and smashed up snake flesh, are popular in Mexico and among some Hispanic communities in the US. They are marketed as cures for acne and cancer.

They have been associated with salmonella, sometimes lethally, on several occasions. In 1994, they were blamed for three deaths in Los Angeles County.

Here’s the kicker:

“If you really have a yen to consume rattlesnake, avoid the pills and just go for the meat — but make sure it’s properly treated (i.e., cooked) to eliminate the risk of bacterial contamination,” author Ruth Kava suggested.

“Better yet, leave the snakes alone, after all, most other sources of meat don’t have dangerous venom and the means of delivering it.”

This, True Believers, is Gwyneth Paltrow-level woo.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  There comes a certain point where a fool and his money deserve to be parted.  “But Animal,” you might ask, “what about public health?  These assholes are endangering public health by spreading a dangerous disease.”  Now salmonella is a food-borne disease, but carriers of that disease can spread it to others by handling food and drink, even casually.  I learned that the hard way, having once suffered a bout of what I am fairly certain was salmonella poisoning.  That bout  had me spend two days in the fetal position in a hotel room bed in Japan, alternating between vomiting, diarrhea and flop-sweats.  Never want to do that again.

It seems to me one would realize exactly the same benefit from eating cooked rattlesnake as from eating raw rattlesnake – none – but what the hell, a big rattler can make a tasty soup.  And that’s about the best benefit you’ll ever realize from them.