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What Can We Do During The SARS Crisis?

Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.

Recently, several people have asked me about my views about SARS. The panic of the public has dealt a severe blow to the economy, with many canceling confirmed travel plans. SARS has also had adverse effects on people’s lives and career. What is this ailment, and how do we protect ourselves?

Where do we begin? Over the past century, mankind has completely changed the natural environment. Tens of thousands of animals and plants have become extinct. Will it be our turn one day? The simplest answer to the question asked earlier is this epidemic comes from “killing”: killing humans, killing animals, killing sea life, killing insects, killing nature.

Let’s begin with the most recent killings: Several weeks before U.S. attacked Iraq, a friend living on the east coast of U.S. suddenly developed insomnia. Everyday, she would fall asleep at about 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., and wake up at 6 a.m. She found it to be unbearable and wished for the war to end quickly. Another friend, a meditation teacher living in Houston, is generally very energetic but she also felt abnormally tired. I reminded her that even before the war began, the Global Positioning System (GPS) had been tuned to the highest level. This is because modern warfare relies on wireless communication for remote control. In addition, precautionary measures were also taken to prevent interference by the opposition. Wireless means radiation. Radiation from satellites affects every person on earth. Those who are more sensitive or weaker are injured first.

Over the past few years, the Lapis Lazuli Light magazine has been publishing articles about the harm that electromagnetic radiation and wireless telecommunication cause to living things and to nature. A new (Chinese translation) book “Say No to Electromagnetic Fields and Microwaves” deals with the same issue. Microwave radiation can cause pneumonia. War has worsened its effects, and caught people’s notice.

In fact, this silent killer has already taken many lives. In my writeup in the February issue of the Lapis Lazuli Light magazine (titled “On Energy Emergency Cares”), I discussed the harm to life caused by high technology, and talked about methods to remedy this crisis. At this time, it is even more important that everyone learns these emergency care methods. Even last year, I heard about people admitted to emergency units in hospitals, and how they could not breathe because heir entire lungs had hardened. There are also normally healthy people who came down with pneumonia. The dangers affecting people living in cities has reached a crisis level, but people are still unaware.

When our immune system is weakened, we have little resistance against bacterial or viral infections. Nowadays, the bacteria and viruses in our environment are getting more virulent, while our own immune systems are getting weaker. This leads to the appearance of ailments like SARS. We need to ask the following questions: Why are the bacteria and viruses getting more virulent? Why are our immune systems getting weaker?

In his new book titled “Food Revolution”, John Robbins revealed that many dangerous bacteria and viruses come from meat and poultry. In recent years, there have been reports around the world of animal-transmitted diseases like the mad cow disease, outbreaks of diseases in pigs and chicken, hoof and mouth diseases, and many other food poisoning cases originating from animals and chicken. 70% of the pigs slaughtered for consumption have pneumonia. Bacteria (such as Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter, helobacter) contained in infected animal meat has caused many people to fall ill or die. For example, the campylobacter bacteria is the main culprit of poisoning cases in the U.S. Everyday, about 5000 people have food poisoning, and more than 750 people die every year from food poisoning. 70% of chickens are infected with the Campylobacter bacteria. Every year, 650,000 people fall ill from eating eggs infected with the Salmonella bacteria, and 600 people die from it. Every day, 200 people fall ill daily from food poisoning associated with the E. coli bacteria 0157:H7, and some will die from it. Survivors generally develop other serious ailments. In the U.S. and Canada, children with weak kidneys mainly suffer from the Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. 85% of them get this illness because of infection by the E. coli bacteria 0157:H7. There are 25 such cases every year in the Netherlands, and 7,500 cases in the U.S. Beef is the major ingredient in American hamburgers, and 50% of cattle carcasses are infected with the E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria. It is estimated that the U.S. has about 20 million to 80 million cases of food poisoning every year, although these figures likely underestimate actual numbers because many cases go undiagnosed. Perhaps, on average, a person gets food poisoning at least once a year. Factory-style methods of breeding animals put animals in tiny cages where they cannot move, or even see daylight in their entire lives. These animals feed on food containing chemicals, genetically-modified products mixed with manure, left-over meat from carcasses in abattoirs, along with growth hormones and antibiotics to make them grow faster. These conditions are ideal for the breeding of bacteria and viruses. In the U.S., the quantity of antibiotics consumed annually by humans is 3 million pounds, while the corresponding amount used for animal breeding (and not for medical purposes) is 24.6 million pounds! This situation has resulted in many bacteria strains being resistant to higher-dosage, more potent antibiotics (100 times that used 35 years ago). As a result many forms of pneumonia, meningitis, and typhoid cases are now incurable. This has prompted the World Health Organization, in 1997, to appeal to meat producers to stop routinely feed antibiotics to animals.

SARS is now the focus of media, but it is only the tip of the iceberg, and many serious cases remain unreported. Howard Lyman, a cattle rancher turned vegetarian, predicted a few years ago that in a decade’s time (five years remaining now), the mad cow disease will become so rampant that AIDS will seem as minor as having the common cold.

Dr. George Carlo, originally in charge of research in the mobile phone industry, predicted that the popularity of the mobile phone usage will cause a significant increase in the incidence of brain cancer. Do we need to wait for death to knock on our doors before we wake up?

When you sit down to consume your plate of meat, think about what diseases it died from? When you buy food, think about whether you are buying health or buying death. When you use the mobile phone to make a call, think about the harm caused to yourself, others, and nature caused by this gadget (which originated from radar technology in World War Two). When you want to save time by putting food into the microwave oven, think about the harm caused to yourself and others in the apartment complex.

Warfare, competition, and control, have been the basis of technical developments in the last fifty years, with killing as a major driving force. Thus, modern technology is also destroying our immune system (e.g., microwave, electromagnetic radiation, chemical fertilizer, herbicides, industrial pollutants). When our immune system rapidly weakens, harmful bacteria and viruses can easily invade our bodies.

Deadly diseases caused by bacteria and viruses serve also as a reminder to us not to engage in wrongful behaviour anymore. Mankind should not destroy its own immune system. Let us begin by respecting life, and refrain from killing. This common understanding will lead us towards developing a science devoted to promoting peace driven by mutual concern, love, and cooperation.

Friends, do not regret and have remorse only after you have lost your health and your life. Now is the time to reflect about your life, your work, your thoughts, and your emotions. Are you benefiting or destroying Mother Earth? We have only one earthly home; let us work together to care and rebuild our earthly home!

Robbins, John. “Food Revolution”, Conrai Press, 2001.

Extracted from Lapis Lazuli Light Magazine 2003 May Issue
Translated by Lapis Lazuli Light Singapore