The Emporium of Medicinal Wonderments: In an ongoing series, the curious men and women of The Atlantic bombard me with their physiological curiosities.
J.J. Gould: I haven't eaten meat in about five years. But the years before that included a couple in the U.K. during the mid-and-late '90s. I was in grad school, at the time, and prone to running into McDonald's for cheeseburgers -- frequently, if not as a way of life.
As you know, there's a blood shortage right now, and we're having a company blood drive next month.
Oh I see, and you can't give blood because you ate meat in London during the "Mad Cow" outbreak.
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Yes. Which is frustrating. But it can also give me a vaguely uneasy feeling about the future.
I've thought about that. It's at least a little stigmatizing to tell people their blood isn't safe to give to other people.
Especially when those other people need the blood so badly.
Well "Mad Cow" (Creutzfeld-Jacob) disease is a fascinating type of infectious process that we still don't understand as well as most others. The chances that you're harboring some latent prions in your brain or spine that are going to activate and kill you are super slim, though.