Q: Do you vaccinate your animals?
A: There are some people who have demonized vaccinations. Yet in actual fact there are far more important questions to ask in terms of foods safety and nutrition than to worry about vaccinations. Just because you asked though, I'm sure you believe they are bad and I'm a twit for answering in the affirmative for vaccinations. But I am a nutritional fanatic and a believer in good science. I eat for my health and do so based on good science. And for a fact, I won't eat stuff that endangers my health. And for another fact, I will not needlessly expose my cattle to diseases that can have cataclysmic consequences in order to satisfy a few people who harbor needless concerns.
As stated in my article Autism and Omega-3 Fatty Acids vaccinations get bad billing in some quarters, but concerns about vaccinations are myths -- not scientific fact. Why just recently it was discovered that "studies" regarding vaccinations linked to Autism were totally fabricated! My article was written before the "revelations" of those fabrications because it was only common sense that antibodies are not a health hazard!
Yes, all cattlemen worth their salt want to minimize diseases -- some of which can get whole herds condemned if they crop up. Since vaccinations do not have any negative consequences in terms of nutrition, all professional cattlemen will use them. If vaccines were a health hazard, that would mean even natural immunity in an animal could or would be nutritionally dangerous. If that was the case toxicologists would be up in arms about the problems antibodies were causing in the general population. Obviously, they are not concerned. On the other hand professional nutritionists are up in arms about the dangers of eating grain -- yet the mob refuses to listen.
Vaccines take advantage of a natural reaction in any animal to develop immunity against disease. It is a natural thing that is induced in a controlled way, rather than by an epidemic that may kill off half of a population before immunity develops. For instance, when I was young, many children would get polio. Today, polio is virtually nonexistent. Let me tell you, the vaccine did wonders. But the anti-vazzers are gaining ground and the results are literally disastrous as this opinion piece illustrates.
We will continue to use vaccines to create immunity in our herds for better health for all -- the cattle and our consumers.
I hope you are more concerned about EFAs, fungal infestations, and the incredible dangers inherent in eating any grain, grain-based foods, grain-fed livestock products, and high glycemic foods than you are about whether or not antibodies are somehow a nutritional hazard.
This question reminds me of people asking to purchase colostrum from us. Colostrum is crucial for newborn farm animals and is also important for nearly all mammals. Newborn calves for instance receive no passive transfer of immunity via the placenta before birth, so any antibodies that they need have to be ingested. This oral transfer of immunity can occur because the newborn's stomach is porous. This means that large proteins (such as antibodies) can pass through the stomach wall. The newborn animal must receive colostrum within 6 hours of being born for maximal transfer of antibodies to occur. The stomach wall remains somewhat open up to 24 hours of age, but transfer is more limited.
Why people think antibodies in colostrum for a calf will work for them is beyond me. Even the calf can only absorb them into their system within the first 24 hours following birth. But anyway, I look at that "request" as the opposite side of the very question you asked. They want antibodies and you do not want antibodies. Interesting.