Not only are GMOs killing the bees and monarch butterflies, but they will eventually be the death of us all.
In the following excerpt from Making the Best of the Zombie Apocalypse, survivors discuss how genetically modified crops caused the dead to rise:
“We’re all infected.” Dave continued. “That’s why we’ll come back when we die.”
“When the dead bite the living, it’s just a virulent bacterial infection that causes the bitten person to die. Then their own infection, or, if you really want to be accurate, mutation, which is already present in their DNA, reanimates them. A zombie’s bite is like that of a monitor lizard. The chunk they take out of you might not kill you, but the bacteria from their mouths is likely to do so in short order. The bite kills, but it doesn’t cause reanimation.”
“But why?” Ron asked. “Why would nobody have this infection and then, suddenly, one day everyone becomes infected? Some alien asteroid? Or a biological weapon? I’ve heard a million theories since this shit began, but nobody seems to actually know.”
“It had something to do with beef.” Dave said.
We all looked at Dave, with varying degrees of puzzlement visible on our faces, and waited for him to say more.
“You can only feed cows other cows for so long.” Dave said by way of explanation. “All the cutting corners on animal feed and genetic engineering of crops to maximize profits had an unexpected effect. They fed the cows waste, byproducts, genetically modified grain and meal...
You eat enough genetically modified food, it’s going to modify your genetics.”
“But vegetarians...” Maggie began.
“Vegetarians and those who strictly ate organic foods weren't immune to the infection. Vegetarians typically made the decision to not eat meat in adulthood. They had already consumed heaps of genetically altered plants and animals by then. I mean, hell, it was in the goddamned milk.”
Dave had been compiling research since the outbreak began, and now he was able to lay it all out for the layperson, or laypeople in this case—us.
“Scientists kept waiting to see the effects of genetic engineering, but they were looking in the wrong place. They were watching for effects on living human beings, but the mutation it had caused remained dormant during the human life phase. The effect only presented in the post-life phase—the result being that the dead wouldn’t stay dead.”
“Remember mad cow disease? Beef moguls fed cows the left over bits of other cows, and it altered the animals’ protein sequences. People should have seen that something was up then. We fucked up the food supply and poisoned ourselves.”
If what Dave said was true, I wondered what the ramifications would be of our post-apocalyptic diet. Cannibalism had quickly become the norm after the outbreak. The living not only ate each other; they ate zombies if they were still fresh enough to consume. What further genetic damage might we be doing? But maybe that was a moot point; humanity seemed to already be tapering off to its doomed conclusion. Another plague of any sort seemed as though it would just be overkill.
Ron asked, “But why did all the dead start getting up and walking at the same time then? That doesn’t make sense... People would have had to be infected for years before the apocalypse occurred.”
“Popular theory is that the mutation existed but lay dormant and unnoticed until some precipitating global event triggered activation of the gene. A chemical spill was initially blamed as the cause of dead reanimation, but we now know that it could only have been a catalyst. High levels of some fucked up toxic chemical were carried on the air currents around the world, like radiation from Chernobyl. Though it’s difficult to verify anything scientifically anymore, it is strongly speculated that the spill provided the catalytic agent, awakening the gene. If it hadn’t been that spill though, something else would have triggered it eventually. It was just waiting for a reason to wake up.”
After years of having to accept this horrible reality without knowing why, somehow the availability of a plausible explanation didn’t make me feel much better. Still, maybe that there is an ascertainable reason is the first step toward the possibility of there ever being a solution. I’m not optimistic, but maybe.