I thought the rest of the world knew that pigs weren’t to blame for the spread of the H1N1 virus. Apparently nobody called the HSUS or PETA to share this news.
They are using H1N1 as another reason people should choose not to eat meat. You can even watch an hour long presentation on their website blaming “factory farms” for the emergence of this strain.
From the HSUS website:
“Crowding pigs into factory farms likely led to the emergence of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. So far, millions of people have been infected and thousands have died. Learn the inside story on the origins of swine flu and ways we can help prevent flu pandemics in the future.
“The price of factory farmed meat doesn't reflect its true cost. This pandemic may be part of the price we're all paying for products from filthy industrial pig factories.
“. . . the best way to reduce the risk of future outbreaks may be to follow the advice of the American Public Health Association and declare "no more factory farms."
But, in another section of their site about the H1N1 and safety of pets, they inform that other animals that have contracted H1N1 have caught it from a human.
Hmmm? Don’t worry about your pets, but farm animals are evil—yes I’m drawing my own conclusion. No need for any HSUS member to call me.
PETA is up to similar tactics. They’re now calling it the pork flu at events and handing out masks as well as handing out starter kits to make the switch to eating vegan. And to appeal to the artsy crowd, they’re sponsoring a “swine flu haiku” contest.
Give me a Rolaid.
Neither group has gone as far as to say you’ll contract the flu by eating meat, but the average person reading on their site would make that assumption.
Here’s what they’re saying about agriculture’s role in H1N1 and other health issues.
“Hans-Gerhard Wagner of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization has acknowledged that factory farms create an “opportunity for emerging disease.” The meat, egg and dairy industries keep diseased animals in crowded, filthy conditions and feed them a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive. It shouldn’t come as a shock that factory farms provide the ideal conditions for drug-resistant “superbugs” to develop.
How about this billboard from PETA: “Your demand for meat creates disease.” It’s in the UK. How would you like to see that up against a “Beef: It's what's for dinner” billboard?
These groups see some chinks in our armor and that their message is starting to gain some traction. Now more than ever it’s time for producers and the organizations that represent us to start sharing reality and calling these guys out when they spread lies.
Ten years later: the rest of the story - This morning I found myself in a reflective mood thinking back to mid-July 2008 and one of the most hectic weekends of my life. I blogged about it at the t...