Quantcast

Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
Printer-friendly version Share:  Share this page on FacebookShare this page on TwitterShare this page by emailShare this page with other services

GRAPPLE | WITH ISSUES AND IDEAS

Snuffing Out a New Industry | Critter: Greater Sage Grouse | Graphic: Where the Jobs Are | Gender Bender |
On the One Hand...: Ticks | Woe Is Us | Up to Speed


Peter and Maria Hoey

ON THE ONE HAND . . .

Nurtured by our warming climate, the tick population is booming—and so are tick-borne diseases. As the tiny bloodsuckers scuttle north and east of their old haunts, they're bringing Lyme disease to eastern Canada, Rocky Mountain spotted fever to the coasts, and the malaria-like Nantucket fever—also known as babesiosis—to Minnesota. Ticks are spreading other diseases as well, including tidewater spotted fever, a brand-new malady carried by the Gulf Coast tick.

ON THE OTHER . . .

Ticks may also be spreading a more benign condition: vegetarianism. This is good news for the planet, given that livestock production is a major contributor to climate change. Researchers at the University of Virginia have found that a nibble from the Lone Star tick can cause people to become allergic to alpha-gal, a substance found in the meat of hooved animals. Sufferers—at least 1,500 have been documented thus far, among them author John Grisham—break out in hives or even full-scale anaphylaxis a few hours after eating meat. One infectious disease specialist terms the allergy "the cow's revenge." —Dashka Slater


NEXT: Woe Is Us


Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2014 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.