More H1N1 flu information

Thank you for clarifying some of the myths and truths about H1N1 influenza. However, I do think there are a few more necessary points of which people should be aware. Numerous studies have been published saying that the denser the pig farm, the higher the risk of disease presence. âÄúClose location,âÄù as they call it, enhances the possibility of disease transmission between farms, especially during transport. It is no coincidence that the virus emerged in the state with the densest pig population in North America: North Carolina . This state even brags that they have more than twice as many corporate pig factories than any other state. It is also no coincidence that one of the first confirmed cases in Mexico appeared to be in close proximity to one of their largest pig farms. A 2008 study published in Zoonoses and Public Health took a look at the relationship between farm sizes and the risk of Eurasian lineage swine flu infections. Researchers concluded that farms with more than 5,000 pigs appeared to have a significantly higher risk of testing positive for strains of âÄúswineâÄù influenzas than smaller farms. They also found that when farms were packed closely together, as is perpetually the case in places like North Carolina, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, pigs appeared to be almost 17 times more likely to test positive for swine flu. Our factory farming industry is putting these viruses on what some people are calling an âÄúevolutionary fast-track.âÄù Many of the leading experts on flu virus evolution blame these infections on intensive farming practices that most of us donâÄôt even think twice about. Though this new strain is a âÄúnovelâÄù strain, meaning it has never been seen before, flu viruses have been circulating throughout pig farms for years. The lack of compassion and humane treatment on these giant âÄúfarmsâÄù is truly disturbing. Baby pigs are taken away from their mothers before they are even 1 month old. They spend their entire lives in filthy warehouses where they donâÄôt even have room to turn around. Males have their testicles ripped out without any pain relief at all. Shortly after giving birth, breeding sows are forcibly impregnated again and again, until their bodies finally give out and they are sent to slaughter. When they arrive at the slaughterhouse many are still completely conscious as they are immersed in scalding hot water for hair removal. Pigs are loyal, friendly and intelligent beings. Some even purport that pigs are smarter than the average 3-year-old human. Would you allow your child or family pet to be subjected to the same conditions that most pigs are? I think not. Perhaps we should pay attention to how our abuse of animals is really making it worse and more dangerous for ourselves. If people were to shift toward a more vegetarian diet âÄî even cutting meat out of one or two meals per week âÄî perhaps we could change the face of factory farming and have a better grip on preventing the transmission of viruses like the H1N1 flu. Kristine Volovsek University Employee