Friday, March 28, 2014

Stop Eating Bats!

Yesterday morning, I settled in with my coffee, flipped on GMA, and watched Josh and Robin chat about the morning news.

A headline scrolled across the bottom of the screen about an Ebola outbreak in Africa.

Seventeen years ago I read a book called The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. How do I know it was seventeen years ago? We'd just moved to Toledo, Ohio. I didn't know anyone, so I joined a book club at the library. I was twenty-three years old, and I think the closest person in age to me was oh, about sixty-five! But I loved going. It introduced me to books I never would have read, including this one.

So, anyway, I started reading The Hot Zone (which, by the way, is non-fiction!!) and became so horrified I had to finish it in one day. The book seared in my brain, and the one thing I pray I never contract? The Ebola virus!

I will not go into all of the gory details describing the symptoms, but the fact there are people suffering from this right now gives me chills.

BBC News: Africa shared the scoop on the current outbreak. I've linked the article HERE. What surprised me the most? "'Guinea has banned the sale and consumption of bats to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus,' its health minister has said." (BBC News: Africa)

People actually eat bats?

I'm squeamish. I'm also paranoid. My entire life I've believed bats to be little more than mosquito control and rabies agents. To hear that anyone considers them a delicacy messes with my head.

"'Bats, a local delicacy, appeared to be the "main agents" for the Ebola outbreak in the south,' Rene Lamah said." (BBC News: Africa)

Lesson learned. Stop eating bats. Repeat after me. 


Have you read The Hot Zone? Is there a book so horrifying, you've never been able to forget it?

Have a terrific weekend!!


  1. Jill, no lie, I would say The Hot Zone was the creepiest book I ever read as well because, as you said, it's non-fiction! Never tried bat and now I have a reason not to (just in case anybody asks). :)

    1. Yes, you have a GREAT excuse not to try bats! Ha! Wasn't that book a trip?? I still get chills!

  2. Major EWWW factor! Blech! LOL

  3. I promise I will not eat bats. Maybe a BATch of cookies. But NOT bats! Yikes!

  4. In a previous job I had to learn to eat anything. Survival trumps squeamishness, for one thing, but it's also true that by refusing food in certain cultures you can cause mortal (as in lethal-for-you) offense. They may not skewer you over the soup but you'll be given up to some entirely unsavory people whose sense of fun is not something you'd enjoy.

    Ebola's scary, but it's fortunately self-limiting - so far. Cold comfort, though, if you're caught in an outbreak.

    Never read "The Hot Zone". Most unpleasantly persist book I read was "In Cold Blood", by Capote. It was assigned by an idiot of an English teacher - in ninth grade.

    You just don't do that to kids. You don't make them deconstruct a beautifully written and completely stomach-turning scene for the sake of learning. You don't strip away their innocence and push their noses into piles of corpses.

    You just DON'T.

    Come to think of it, the teacher was more repellent than the book.

    1. I agree with you--In Cold Blood is a terrible choice for young teens. No!


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