Sunday, May 03, 2009

humans are responsible for swine flu

Physorg.com | Our demand for meat means pigs, turkeys, chickens, cows and other animals must be mass produced in crowded, feces-ridden factory farms like the one in Mexico that is suspected of starting the current swine flu outbreak. These farms are incubators for disease.

While it's easy to point fingers at Granjas Carroll and Mexico, disease-ridden animal factories can be found all over the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studies have shown that 30 to 50 percent of pigs raised for food in the U.S. have been infected with some strain of swine flu. Hans-Gerhard Wagner, a senior officer with the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, has called the "intensive industrial farming of livestock" an "opportunity for emerging disease."

Other harmful organisms, including salmonella, campylobacter, listeria and E. coli, also spread from animals to people. E. coli is found in the feces of farmed animals and often sprays in every direction when animals are eviscerated at slaughterhouses. A study published in the journal Nature revealed that not only are U.S. meat and dairy products more commonly contaminated with E. coli than other foods are, they also contain a substance that can raise the risk of E. coli infection.

Although health officials have been quick to point out people can't get swine flu from eating pork, they have failed to hammer home one significant detail: Raising pigs for pork is what puts us at risk for swine flu in the first place.

The fewer pigs, chickens and other animals we raise for food, the fewer animal-borne diseases there will be. It's that simple. And since meat is high in saturated fat and cholesterol and can cause heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and a host of other health problems. We would all be better off if we stopped eating it today.