As a bit of background, we are on the verge of eradicating Guinea Worm, a horrific parasite that infects humans through drinking water and then exits the body, painfully and slowly, as a multi-foot-long worm-looking thing, usually through the feet (click here for details – warning, graphic image at link).
Eradication, though, means the extinction of the species. It can only live in humans, and causes us great pain and occasional death. Don’t all animals have rights? Who are we to keep this horrible piece of crap from plaguing us until the end of time? Enter the Save the Guinea Worm Foundation. I believe the site is just a brilliant work of satire, but they play the game so well that it’s hard to be totally sure. It’s all very entertaining, or maybe scary. And this comment thread on reddit indicates that in fact some people actually believe in the moral equivalence of parasites and human beings – and strongly enough to potentially oppose disease eradication.
So who’s going to sign up to host the revival of smallpox?