Ghost Pangolin Breath

I’m sure there’s a billion people in china that don’t go in for medical woo that involves slurping down nature’s rare wonders. I just wanted to say to the other ones, this is not the recommended use for chopsticks motherfuckers.

To be honest I find the idea covid entered humans via pangolin consumption a little suspect, if only because it seems tailor-made to appeal to aggrieved environmentalists like myself. It is an evocative idea, isn’t it?


  1. says

    It almost certainly was not pangolins that were the carrier.

    On the other hand, the stupidity of “traditional chinese medicine” is profound and should be crushed and plowed with salt.

  2. says

    So I saw the initial talk about it, and the laughable Chinese government response with the “wild meat ban,” but I never saw the counterpoint. How bad was the idea? Why did it get floated in the first place? If you don’t mind my asking.

  3. says

    If I understand the situation correctly, there are some animals that can contain (and therefore amplify) viruses. Like some snakes apparently can live happy long lives with ebola. There was a hypothesis that some of the animal meats that the Chinese eat might be reservoirs – most particularly bats – and I think someone thought it would be clever to mention that the Chinese eat a lot of pangolin byproducts. If I understand correctly, pangolin is not eaten directly – it’s just people doing dumb shit like making pangolin scale tea and whatnot. Like powdered rhino horn or whatever. Fucking goofball bullshit “traditional medicine” focuses a lot on eating endangered species (this is a classism phenomenon not a medical doctrine but basically you want to eat something moderately expensive) Anyhow, my take on it was that someone thought “oh here is an opportunity to get the Chinese to stop eating pangolins” – not realizing that it’d probably result in the species being wiped out.

  4. says

    One thing that had me /facepalming so hard I nearly did a backflip: apparently something like 50% of Chinese men smoke. I’m betting a dollar it’s American poison-sellers that are pushing it because tobacco is still a big cash crop, here. Note: it’s not 1840 right now and these are not colonial opium wars. Speaking of which if the Chinese government weren’t a bunch of goofbrained authoritarians with a god complex, they’d push a campaign decrying smoking as the new opium colonization, and fucking shut that shit down. It’d be a huge boost to their economy. Although I suspect the traditional Chinese medicine asswipes sell tiger scrotum powder or something as a cure for fucking lung cancer. You can’t make this shit up.

  5. brucegee1962 says

    I’ve heard the argument that an authoritarian government might not care about smoking. From a societal standpoint, it’s kind of sweet: it doesn’t cause too many health problems during your prime working years, and then just when you’re ready to retire and start relying on the state to look after you, you die of lung cancer, so they don’t have to look after you for a prolonged amount of time. It’s better than, say, alcoholism where you decline in productivity from a young age.

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