Swine Flu Linked to Factory Farms

| 5/1/2009 5:45:06 PM

Tags: industrial agriculture, animal disease, livestock welfare,

Let’s address the elephant (or should I say “pig”) in the room: Across the globe, illness is spreading due to completely avoidable circumstances. The link between factory farms and H1N1 is clear. While no one can blame the hog industry for asking the World Health Organization to change the name of the illness to H1N1 (the virus contains swine, avian and human components), I have a really hard time not blaming them for the current epidemic, as well as each and every one of those deaths.   

In fact, some believe the virus can be traced directly to a Smithfield Foods hog farm. Read more on the topic in this piece, “Swine Flu Outbreak Could Be Linked to Smithfield Factory Farms” from Grist


scott peters
5/4/2009 10:53:19 PM

I am not saying the major hog producers are angels, BUT reading your comments and then going to the Grist site proves nothing. All that can be seen in my opinion is accusations. There is no solid evidence presented just claims. I thought your publication was for presenting facts. It appears that you have been caught in the media feeding frenzy. Lets all catch our breath and set back and let the researchers do their work and try to figure all this out. It may be traced back to the farms but until that is proven lets not point fingers and not lay blame until solid facts are known.

5/4/2009 6:49:37 PM

We have one hog which is free range and it will travel a hundred feet or so from where it lives to relieve itself. Of course this is the opposite end of the spectrum from a factory pig farm but it shows that given the chance, a hog will go out of it's way to stay sanitary.

5/1/2009 9:21:48 PM

You know, I've only been around a couple hog pens in my time, but none of them-- even the ones where a single porker was contained in an ample space-- exactly smelled like rose gardens. Sometimes I wonder if we're really that out of touch. If we actually need to be sat down and told that the world is not a sterile place, a safe place, or a suburban street, that-- even under ideal circumstances-- diseases happen, and that, to be very blunt, sh*t stinks. Then again, how stupid and greedy have we become to believe that we can pile animals literally on top of each other in the name of "efficient production" (read: cheap prices and good profit margins) and still expect not to have the poo-poo contact the propeller??? Our ancestors must look at our "advanced" society and cringe.

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