Pandemic Flu, the True Cost of Cheap Chicken

So we all have a choice.

Keep buying “cheap” factory farmed chickens, turkeys and other un-naturally grown animals (a la Bernard Matthews) and we will get a constant flow of killer viruses coming to get us.

matthb

  Bernard Matthews

Or we could buy our food from small farm holdings, using the traditional way of farming.

We may pay a tiny bit more but for that we will not only get healthy food, but also gain great Karma by NOT causing pain and stress to the poor birds and animals during their short lives.

Cheap Factory Farmed Poultry = Bird Flu or worse!

Sign

The following article in the journal of the American Medical Association reviews Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching, a book by Michael Greger.

Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States, discusses how human mistreatment of animals has actually backfired, with factory farming making livestock more susceptible to disease.

He explains how modern livestock production facilitates the transmission and evolution of avian influenza and argues convincingly that the right environment for a virus such as H5N1 to thrive now exists.

The message is that pandemics are not born but rather are man-made—and that there is a price to pay for the modern poultry industry, in which fowl are raised in closed, stressful, unhealthy facilities, facilitating mutation and dissemination of the bird flu virus.

Greger writes that “[It] may take a pandemic with a virus like H5N1 before the world realizes the true cost of cheap chicken.”

Greger also discusses other animal pathogens that may become human threats and argues that the environment that caused the emergence of the H5N1 virus can also trigger these transformations.

The Foreword is by Kennedy Shortridge, PhD, credited with discovering the H5N1 virus in Asia.

Here is the article from JAMA:

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/298/16/1945

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