Factory Farms and Swine Flu

Quite a bit of information is coming out about the swine flu “pandemic”.  Here’s one of the thought provoking articles I read,  Mexican Lawmaker: Factory Farms Are “Breeding Grounds” of Swine Flu Pandemic. 

Large-scale swine producers in Mexico deny that their industry is the source of the deadly new influenza strain, saying the animals are all healthy, and that it is scientifically “not possible” for hogs to infect people with the illness. But lawmakers in the eastern state of Veracruz are now charging that large-scale hog and poultry operations are “breeding grounds” of infection that are making people sick and fueling the pandemic.

The article goes on to say:

Mexican newspapers have been reporting for weeks that residents living near Granjas Carroll’s massive hog facility at La Gloria are falling ill with severe upper respiratory diseases. One five-year-old girl in the village just tested positive for swine flu – the bodies of two more children who died recently are being exhumed.

According to an April 5 article in La Jornada newspaper, “Clouds of flies emanate from the lagoons where Granjas Carroll discharges the fecal waste from its hog barns – as well as air pollution that has already caused an epidemic of respiratory infections in the town.”

More than 400 people had already been treated for respiratory infections, and more than 60 percent of the town’s 3,000 residents had reported getting sick, the paper said. State officials disputed that claim, and said the illnesses were caused by cold weather and dust in the air.

The problems began in early March, when many neighbors of the hog CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) became sick with colds and flu that quickly turned into lung infections, causing local health officials to impose a “sanitary cordon” around the area and begin a mass program of vaccination and home fumigation.

“According to state agents of the Mexican Social Security Institute, the vector of this outbreak are the clouds of flies that come out of the hog barns, and the waste lagoons into which the Mexican-US company spews tons of excrement,” La Jornada reported. “Even so, state and federal authorities paid no attention to the residents, until today.”

How can anyone seriously believe that raising hundreds or thousands of animals in confinement houses is perfectly healthy and natural?   Factory farming practices are at the core bad and have serious consequences.  We are all subject to such practices whether we like it or not…visit any restaurant or any grocery store and you are subject to the factory farm food.  That’s just what happens with mass globalization and industrialism.  

There has been a huge surge in family friendly farming over the last couple of years.  Consumers are seeing the failures and dangers of factory farming and are turning towards alternative means of feeding themselves and their families:  buying from family farms, farmer’s markets and community supported agriculture co-ops (CSAs). 

More and more people are wanting to buy food from family farms.  Many people are sick and tired of the denatured, substandard, sub-quality, altered, globalized factory food we have been eating for decades.  We’re all about localized economies and the swine flu pandemic is another reason why these local economies are vital for the health and the well-being of those in the community.