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So you would like to hear a horror story, eh? Well here one is.

Once upon a time man lived more or less in balance with nature. Oh, man and nature each did their best to do one another in, but that's only because half of everything in nature is trying to do in the other half all the time, and all of them are at least half-successful at it. Balance. But then man came into his time of triumph, outsmarting nature with that big frontal lobe which evolutionary pressures had brought out of him, and figuring out how to pluck preferred pieces of nature and transplant them into artifical settings, and there make them function for man's benefit. Here I speak of livestock, mostly, although there are concerns which might be raised at another time regarding monocultural plant species.

So man took certain animals and bred them to exist only as food for man, and in order to make them serve this purpose as man's smart and able population increased manyfold and manifold more, man figured out how to raise more and more animals in smaller and smaller spaces, in no small part by crowding them together. So there these animals stood, and with no place to go as they ate and grew, they had to walk around soaking in the ever-growing pile of their own shit, their own vomit when they vomited forth vomitous torrents, and their own death when one died and the rotting carcass was not discovered before it sank into that same muck.

Man, being so very smart, found the threat of these conditions leading to illness (and unacceptable levels of unnaceptably unprofitable animal death). The cheapest solution was to dose the herd up with heavy concentrations of antibiotics. But as one author put it, "Bacteria believe in evolution with considerably more joie de vivre than your typical Midwesterner" -- and so the ilness-bearing bacteria which survived those high doses of antibiotics became super-resistant and super-aggressive. Or to be more accurate, man's efforts managed to weed out all but the strongest bacteria, stronger than any which would develop in a natural setting.

And so we at our kitchen tables, or in our corner supermarkets, or at the fast food outlet down the street, daily roll the dice to see if today is the day when the strong stuff gets out, in a burger patty or a melon or a french fry, to invade our flesh and eat it from the inside out,and then on to our neighbors, and our neighbor's neighbors. Sleep tight!!

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For The Nodegel from Yuggoth: The 2011 Halloween Horrorquest

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