Americans often see a problem; get the cause wrong, and then the solution as well. Years ago, China could not feed its population due to centralized control of business and agriculture. Slow Americans concurred with China’s forced abortion one-child policy because Americans thought the problem was too many people rather than a lack of productivity.
India couldn’t feed its people though they produced plenty of food. US social scientists said they needed to introduce birth control and abortion. However, Hindus had made a god of the rat and refused to control the holy pest. The protected pest was said to consume up to a third of the grain.
In the first case the problem was a bad political philosophy and the second a demonic religious bent. What people believe makes a difference between life and death, prosperity and poverty.
California after leading the world in innovation currently seems smitten with a spirit of stupidity by funding and coddling squatters and now rodents. People relieve themselves and their trash in public and now rodents attracted by the snacks receive protected status because controlling rats is more dangerous than the diseases they breed.
There are options. Many cultures embrace and eat the rat, some as large as one to two pounds. While many women have turned to doctors to enhance their beauty many Vietnamese women eat rats to keep their desired youthful look. It’s much cheaper than potions and plastic surgery.
However, Vietnamese avoid eating city rats as those rodents feed on garbage in alleys and drains. Their meat is considered dirty and even toxic. The preferred rats are caught in rice paddies. Since they primarily feed on rice these rats are considered ‘cleaner’ and safe for consumption. They may damage the crops but farmers still love them for their meat.
Not all paddy rats are the same. Rats with light brown fur have bigger heads and more fat content, bringing a higher price than the dark brown ones. A person could easily down 7 in a sitting. The meat is high in protein and low in fat.
Some use rats in a stew with herbs and vegetables to cure lower backaches. The ladies believe that rat meat contains a high amount of essential amino acids, which aids in skin regeneration for a clearer complexion, thus making them look younger and more beautiful. Rat meat contains a skin supplement!
In the Mekong Delta rodents bring higher prices than chicken. The Delta alone produces up to 3,600 tons of live rats a year, at a value of about $2 million.
Cooks avoid rats that are sick from ingesting poison by purchasing live rats at market where they can inspect their health. A rat can live up to five days after ingesting an anti- coagulant. Since rats can carry 60 known diseases that can also affect humans it is important that rodents are well-cooked.
At least 89 rodent species are eaten around the world, from Asia to Africa to South America to the United States, where squirrels have long been a staple.
In California, environmentalists complain that the anticoagulant found in rat poison is showing-up in other mammals in the food chain - owls, coyotes and mountain lions throughout the state. Bills are being introduced to ban the use of anticoagulant rodent killers.
Will banning anti-coagulants bring back the plagues of the Middle Ages? Typhus cases are the only rodent borne disease on the rise according to the California Department of Public Health.
Urban rodent populations have flourished since the drought, likely due to winter flooding pushing the rodents toward cities. If they aren’t set-back using rodenticides, pest control professionals ask: how long before the state sees a spike in the plague or Hantavirus — deadly diseases that sometimes occur in California?
Of the 73 people who contracted Hantavirus in California since 1993, nearly one out of three died, health officials say.
Rats can be seen everywhere in Vietnam having their way. There were so many earlier this summer outside the CalEPA (Environmental Protection Agency) building in downtown Sacramento that officials closed its outdoor playground out of fear state employees’ kids would catch rodent-borne diseases.
Building officials then set out the controversial rat poison that soon may be banned by the California Legislature. The poison didn’t last long once the word spread that the state’s top environmental regulators were using a poison widely condemned by California’s powerful environmental groups.
Permitting rodents to live may open up a new industry of trapping, selling and consuming rat meat. Meanwhile, Typhus may not kill you but the symptoms may make you wish you were dead.