(There's a punch line for a cartoon in here somewhere, I think ...along the lines of the old bit that runs:
A: What's that?
B: My lucky rabbit's foot
A: Well, it wasn't lucky for him, now, was it?
- So, I picture this cartoon, concerning this here news story...There's two vultures, looking disgruntled, sitting on a fence...the one vulture says
to the other "Man, if I could see the winning lottery numbers, I could buy
fresh meat...I wouldn't have to be sitting around here just
waiting for something to die
Sorry, I couldn't resist. Or anyway I didn't.
Now here is the news story.
This is from The Telegraph
, or telegraph.co.uk, of December 27, 2009, I did not see a name given for the writer.
South Africans smoke vulture brains to bring lottery luck
Wildlife experts have warned vultures face extinction in South Africa amid a growing trend for smoking their dried brains in order to have a
vision of winning lottery numbers.
They said that within 20 or 30 years the birds could be hunted to extinction for their use in "muti", or traditional medicine.
Rolled into a cigarette or inhaled as vapors, vulture brains can also help at the horse races, boost an exam performance, or lure more clients to a
Scelo, a healer in Johannesburg's muti market, said: "Vultures are scarce. I only have one every three or four months. Everybody asks for the brain.
You see things that people can't see. For lotto, you dream the numbers. We make the brain dry and mix it with mud and you smoke it like a cigarette
or a stick. Then the vision comes," he said.
He prescribes mainly vulture heads, which he says bring visions of the future, endowing users with the bird's excellent vision that helps them fly
out of nowhere to descend on carcasses.
Steve McKean, a wildlife researcher, said: "Traditional use as it is currently happening is likely to render vultures extinct in southern Africa on
its own within 20-30 years."
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
So, what I wonder is "does it work?"...Not in the sense of actually getting correct lottery numbers, but, where the muti-selling expert guy says it
gives you a vision...that does sound like there might be an actual dose of something in there...particularly coming from the whole knowledge of
pharmacologically-active and psychoactive plants , among the traditional healers...If he says the vulture brain gives you a vision, he's probably got
some plants on the shelf, that definitely would cause visions in a user, to compare it to.
It reminds me of news accounts about the rapid disappearance of vultures in India...Eventually/evidently it was determined that the vultures were in
trouble because of a cheap antibiotic, that farmers were now feeding to their cows...The vultures, being at the top of that food chain, eating lots of
meat, were soaking up big piles of this substance, or more than their (kidneys, I think it was, vultures with weak kidneys) previously-adequate
metabolic processes could handle.
So maybe the reason these South African vulture brains could give users a buzz is that, being high in the food chain, they are concentrating some
substance in their brains?
But smoking it does seem a little weird ...Other things being equal, you would think it would be better to eat some molecule, than to burn it up,
[edit on 28-12-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]