July 8, 2009
Swine flu update and factory farm connection.
About 90,000 cases of the swine flu have been confirmed across approximately 122 countries, with a first-ever case being diagnosed in Syria. More than 380 people have lost their lives to the virus, three of which were the first fatalities for New Zealand. With over 5,000 cases confirmed and sometimes hundreds of new afflictions that appear overnight, Australia has the highest number of people stricken in the Asia-Pacific region along with nine swine flu-related deaths.
Also of concern are countries in the southern hemisphere where the flu season has just set in, such as Argentina with at least 44 who have perished and Chile’s 19 fatalities with approximately 7,400 cases confirmed.
Meanwhile, two recent US-based Huffington Post articles by Deirdre Imus and Nicolette Hahn Niman highlighted the need for more government and media attention to swine flu’s suspected origin in industrial-scale animal farms.
In her June 15 story titled “Reaping What We Sow: How Industrial Animal Farming is Contributing to the Risk of a Swine Flu Pandemic,” Ms. Niman wrote “…this pandemic reminds us that the current method of raising farm animals is fraught with risks to human health… As part of its efforts to mitigate the risk of a catastrophic flu pandemic, Congress should adopt a national moratorium on industrial animal operations.” Ms. Imus also urged for investigations into what she called “these toxic disease breeding grounds.”
Thank you, caring journalists Ms. Imus and Ms. Niman for helping bring a greater awareness of the real pandemic risks we face today. We also pray for the swine flu patients and loved ones, and send our sympathies for those who have been lost, as victims of today’s animal raising system. May we hasten to prevent a worse situation by ending all livestock raising practices and choosing health and happiness through the organic vegan diet.