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Swine Flu Worries? Better Safe Than Sorry

Written by PETA | April 28, 2009


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Swine Flu

Thanks to global pandemonium revolving around swine flu, almost everything has ground to a halt in Mexico; schools in New York, California, and Texas have closed; Europeans are being urged to postpone travel to the U.S. and Mexico, and sore throat sufferers everywhere are dialing their doctors to ask, “Is it really just my allergies … or have I got swine flu?”

You know who’s to blame? Yup, filthy factory farms. A headline in Vera Cruz’s La Marcha points the finger at gi-normous pig-breeding farms operated by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest hog producer. Local residents reportedly believe that feces from the pig farms has contaminated the water and the air, spreading the virus to people. Another article in the Huffington Post quotes La Jornada newspaper, which points the finger at a factory farm in La Gloria, saying, “Clouds of flies emanate from the lagoons where Granjas Carroll discharges the fecal waste from its hog barns ….” Yup, knew all that.

Because human consumption of meat is the sole reason that these factory farms exist, PETA has fired off a letter to Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard urging him to encourage residents to go vegetarian, noting that such an action could help prevent future outbreaks. We’re also shipping emergency Spanish-language copies of our “Vegetarian Starter Kit” in case residents need helpful tips when making the shift.

If you live in the U.S., encourage members of Congress to stop the spread of these diseases by ending factory farming.

Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • ME says:

    Uh are you retarded? The swine flu is NOT linked to pork in anyway. It is simply a different strain of the influenza virus which is why the media is calling it the Mexican Flu now. Honestly people this is on the same level as the people who think the CIA released the AIDS virus to kill homosexuals. FAIL.

  • Deena says:

    Fact The main threat of not being able to produce enough grainsfoodetc in the future would have nothing to do with how much of it goes to feeding livestock. The problem is urban growth that is dangerously devouring the best and richest farm ground in the world mainly in the midwest. So many people think they “have” to have a huge house on the outskirts of town with their own private ponds etc. One day we’ll all look back and wonder why someone didn’t see this coming.

  • carol says:

    I was reading all the comments above I noticed some people thought you need meat to be healthy I eat a little meat still and im trying to go of it and I agree if you do dont buy factory farm go local humane farming But I just saw a piture of the most beautiful people top 100 and saw christy brinkly on there and coundnt get over how young and beutiful she looked for 55 I thought to myself she looks better than most then I read they asked her how she stays so healthy and beutiful and she said I ve been a vegaterian since I was 13 and got my whole family to do so that became another insentace to me to try harder to go veg It seems your even healthier than meat eaters But all the cruelty animals go through should be our main reason It just so happens its a far healther diet thats been proven better for enviorment to

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Marie Thanks for your response. My main point was people needn’t worry about a protein deficiency on a varied veg diet. It would be nice if meateaters could eat veg more often. Not that animal welfare is not important but trying to save our environment becomes a bigger issue by the dayand the raising of livestock is one of the prime generators of greenhouse gases.

  • maggie says:

    Whoever said the Hepatitis comes from plants…PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH….The Hep came from CROSS CONTAMINATION….and is an ANIMAL BASED DISEASE.. like E. Coli or Salmonella..Hepatitis is the swelling of the Liver as in you have to have one to have ityou have to have bodily fluids to CARRY IT. No plant has ever HAD Hepatitis.. Please take Medical Terminology Anat and Phys and Botany and then get back to us….

  • Marie says:

    Mike. I was not referring to people as a whole. My reference was to the comment talking about how many more people we could feed with the crops we as humans grow to feed livestock. My choice to eat meat is based upon the fact that I don’t feel it is a wrong choice. I do agree that the way some meat is obtained is unsatisfactory. Most of the meat I eat comes from animals raised locally. All of them were freerange animals and most were not killed until there was some need to. One cow pretty much lasts my family a year once frozen. She was only killed and processed because her hoof was injured in the field and she could no longer walk without pain. On the flip side I have been to one of the local sausage plants and the strict rules there I found satisfactory. Hogs were penned based on size and gender to reduce fighting and stress if the pigs got too loud the entire operation had to be shut down to allow stress levels to drop and when it came time for pigs to be killed it was done in the most humane way possible. I found the way they are killed there much less painful than all the different ways they could die in the wild. They were shocked quickly in the back of the neck and instantly dropped instead of being slowly eaten alive by coyotes or wolves or being suffocated by cougars and such. These animals came mostly from small farmers in the area. Almost all of the pigs had lived freerange their entire lives and had only around an hour of hauling in a trailer.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Marie You don’t need to eat meat. You can fulfill your protein requirements through plant sources. This is not my opinion but the position of the USDA and the American Dietetic Association httpwww.mypyramid.govtipsresourcesvegetariandiets.html httpwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.govpubmed12826028 Vegetables and fruits don’t generally contain a lot of protein but whole grains beans and nuts and seeds do.

  • Marie says:

    liveandletlive should meateaters really be ashamed. Those starving people you want to feed need meat to survive. Unlike those of us in the US they need the meat for protien. For them eating only vegetables and fruits would mean that they would basically starve. Humans need some fat stores…especially when they have no guarantee that there will not be hard times again. Animal products are a necessity for most people.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    James Cattle not soy drives Amazon deforestation. April 14 2009 “Brazil’s soy industry with exports of $18 billion last year agreed in July 2006 not to trade soy from deforested areas.” httpwww.reuters.comarticleenvironmentNewsidUSTRE53D65C20090414?feedTypeRSSfeedNameenvironmentNews

  • Kelly says:

    Jay there may be no Grape Flu or Soy Milk Flu but do your homework before you shoot your mouth off. What closed the Chi Chi’s Mexican Cantina Restaurant chain?? Bankruptcy due to several lawsuits from patrons who contracted HEPATITIS A from…GREEN ONIONS. Yes people get sick from veggies too…

  • Anon says:

    I don’t think Mexico is going vegan sorry.

  • liveandletlive says:

    Rev. Meg Schramm is correct that destruction of habitat and pollution is a major threat and she cites the growing of soy. However the soy that’s grown while destroying the rain forest is grown for animal feed. 80 of corn and wheat raised in this country is to feed livestock and over 95 of oats. Too bad we don’t feed the starving instead of raising animals for the unnecessary consumption of meat and dairy. Read the UN’s report the Long Shadow raising livestock is the 1 source of greenhouse gas pollution of the air water and land. For what? so we can eat a hamburger? Meat is murder and milk is misery. Meateaters should be ashamed.

  • connor paul wallace says:

    No suprise there. But to be honest everyone whos going to believe this? Non veggies are extremely ignorant. One day the pigs will be free hopefully. Keep it up PETA.

  • Chad says:

    A small percent of Americans are vegetarians about 5 or about 15 million people. Unfortunately some of those people will suffer from the Swine Flu. Before I ever read this website I knew the Swine Flu was caused by meat production. I am glad that I didn’t contribute to this suffering. Now the hard part will be staying healthy staying away from this Swine Flu.

  • David says:

    Killing another creature just because youre hungry is just selfish and wrong!!!

  • NightCruise says:

    Some of the information in this article is wrong. It’s suggesting that eating meat such as pork will give you the swine fly however this hasn’t been proven by any governmental health organization or even by the UN’s World Health Organization. Plus this virus is a mutated strand that wasn’t caused by pigs. Pigs are susceptible to the swine influenza human influenza and Avian influenza so when they can at times have all 3 viruses in their systems and there is the possibility that they could combine. This outbreak happened because of that. This could have happened even if pigs weren’t on farms considering humans come into contact with a variety of animals every day. Of course there are diseases that come from the poor health regulations enforced on farms but in this case it isn’t really the fault of farms. Anyway the flu virus constantly changes all the time which is why the US has to keep making new vaccines every year. Eating pork will not give you the swine flu however you might get other diseases which is one of the reasons that I am a vegetarian.

  • April says:

    I agree with James. The reason why these people are dying from the “Swine Flu” is because they don’t get medical attention and it develops into pneumonia. People with asthma other respiratory problems and suppressed immune systems are at greater risks for getting the virus full blown and having greater problems then others. If you don’t get medical attention and you develop pneumonia as with the same old flu that others are familiar with you are most likely to drown in your pus that develops in your lungs. There isn’t much difference between the regular winter flu and this one besides worse symptoms. I should know a lot about this I am an RN and have been for the past 10 years.

  • James says:

    Over 35000 people in the U.S. alone die each year from human influenza which has absolutely nothing to do with birds or pigs. Mostly they are those with the weakest immune systems ie. young old chronic health problems etc… Of course the knee jerk response is for people to stop eating meat. However even if conditions were drastically improved on animal farms making them healthier places I’m sure PETA’s response would still be the same. When will people learn that the greatest threat to animal species is habit destruction and polution. Did you know that Brasil is one of the largest exporters of soy? Guess how much of their rainforest each year has to be destroyed in order to produce it? I wonder what happened to all those animals? Sounds like a moral dilemma for vegans.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Pigs love dirt and mud because they don’t sweat and rolling in mud allows them to cool off. When I worked as a “farmer” tour guide for a traveling farm the pig pen was the cleanest area there relatively speaking. Pigs are very particular about their living conditions when they are allowed to be they sleep in one area relieve themselves in another area and their mud bath is in a third area distant from the other two. They also love to play chasing their friends around and just having a good time. They also love to investigate shoes and mine just loved those scented shoelaces little kids wear…I used to caution my tour groups that if they were wearing scented shoelaces they might not want to come into the pen because of the chance of losing their shoes.

  • Nicole T says:

    Soy milk flu? Grape flu? That would be impossible those are plantsand I don’t know many people who wake up with afids crawling on their bodies. So these sicknesses that have the names of animals are because what they’re just around? Because we eat them? I eat meat I tried the whole soy diet and it was horrible. Actually made my stomach sick. This isn’t the fault of people who consume animals it is the fault of the companies and caretakers of these animals. Pigs are naturally clean animals although they don’t eat the best and love dirt and mud they are clean as is any other farm animal and many other living creatures. The key is to treating these animals with respect giving them adaquate room to run around with interaction with others of the same species and keeping their enclosures well cleaned and providing them with enough food and water including veternarian care. So it isn’t the “meat eaters” fault that this is going on. Primative I don’t think so. We learned meat eating from cavemen? I highly doubt that! Just like the thought of us coming from monkey looking creatures is ridiculous.

  • Denise says:

    Last I heard on the news they were still trying to figure out how this started to spread well at least that is what I heard as of today. If people aren’t going to stop eating meat maybe good hygiene from these companies that take care of these animals would help with disease.

  • Laura says:

    Actually bird flu can come from chickens and turkey as well as exotic birds. But the swine flu is a mix of pigs and birds.

  • Marie says:

    Actually the swine flu that is going around is a mixture of swine avian and human flu. This is because pigs are very easy to infect with any of the three types of flu. In the pig they mutate to form a new mixed strain of all three. Around 51 of the pigs in the U.S. have had this flu at some point in their lives. It can not be contracted through eating meat from infected animals. It is a respiratory disease. Most of the food that humans eat is contaminated by something. This contamination could include anyhting from bird feces from passing wildlife to mouse feces in the areas where the vegetables and fruits YOU eat are stored. If you have ever been involved in a farming operation you would know that one of the most important things is to keep your animals healthy. Unhealthy animals produce less and are less likely to pass the USDA standards to even be used as food animals. There are very strict laws concerning the treatment of animals and the stress levels that can be reached especially when slaughtering pigs. It is to no ones advantage to have unhealthy animals.

  • Jay says:

    Thank you to everyone who eats meat you are now responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals and the deaths of a couple hundred people. It blows my mind that we knowing what we now know about pathogens still mass produce animals. And that we still eat meat. When was the last time there was a Grape Flu? Or maybe a Soy Milk Flu?

  • Logan says:

    If you guys actually watched the news they have proven that it is not swine flu as it no one has been affected by pork in the United States.

  • Barbara says:

    People who eat animals are just so bloody primative it’s embarrassing.

  • Sarah Eva says:

    That’s what I keep telling people when they want to know why I don’t eat meat. I don’t want to eat filty sickly. If a human has the flu I stay away from them. So why would I eat sikly animals?

  • Pepsi One is Fun says:

    We all got to die eventually.

  • sarah says:

    actually you have it WRONG this did NOT originated from pigs.. this was a sintific experement gone wrong thats why its a mix of swine human and bird flu.. sorta like aids and bird flu were sintific experments gone wrong…

  • Ellie says:

    Ugh because it wasn’t bad enough to kill animals that they have to kill us too!