June 12, 2009

Swine flu reaches pandemic level

During an emergency meeting held on Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the escalation of the swine flu to the highest epidemic level 6, of global pandemic proportions. Speaking during a press briefing, WHO Assistant Director-General of Health, Security and Environment, Dr. Keiji Fukuda stated, “In terms of what we are seeing right now, we continue to see the spread of this virus evolve and we continue to see new countries report the virus, and we continue to see evolution of activity within countries.” Nations worldwide are now urged to gear themselves for widespread infection.

Currently, a total of more than 27,700 27,735 cases have been confirmed across 74 countries, with Colombia’s first declared fatality joining the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic in raising the deaths from this illness to 141. Along with the sometimes deadly consequences of consuming animal products, which occur from bacterial infections as well as viruses like the swine flu, is the emotional toll that can be seen in people who live near large livestock operations.

Dr. Kendall Thu, an associate professor of anthropology at Northern Illinois University in the US recently spoke with Supreme Master Television about some of these less obvious consequences of meat and dairy consumption, which can include an increased sense of hopelessness leading to stress, tension and even humiliation.

Professor Kendall Thu – Associate Professor of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University, USA (M): I know of cases where children who board school buses from standing on the rural street corner waiting for the school bus to come, absorb the smell, and they're taunted on the bus once they get there because they smell terribly.

VOICE: Factory farm odors are more than just unpleasant; they can disrupt an entire town’s activities. Not only that, as Dr. Thu points out, consumers anywhere in the world buying the farms’ products are also implicated in the problem.

Professor Kendall Thu (M): I remember interviewing a pastor in North Carolina who lives next to a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) and she was giving her sermon in church and then she suddenly realized she smelled something and it was herself. She absorbed the hog smell and she was so embarrassed within the church setting that she went home to change in order to continue with the sermon. So many of the social impacts are invisible to so many people who buy meat in the grocery store and don't realize that eating meat of this sort and being connected to this pathological system of meat production impacts directly the lives of people who work inside of them and who live near them.

VOICE: Professor Thu, we appreciate your research on the debilitating emotional toll of industrial farmed animal operations. We are thankful for the World Health Organization's careful monitoring and commitment to safeguarding public health. Our heartfelt sympathies for the minimizing of this illness and for those who have been afflicted by the swine flu, as we pray for the recovery of dignity and health to humans and animals alike through the life-sparing vegan diet.

Reference:
http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_06_10a/en/index.html http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jTkkEKE5LtPih_5Jcc-3MpD0gOYQD98O1NF80

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