U.S. health officials have declared a public health emergency in response to the swine-flu outbreak, and the number of confirmed cases worldwide continues to rise. The source of the deadly strain of the influenza virus that erupted in Mexico is most likely linked to one thing-factory farms.
Factory-farmed animals are invariably stressed and disease-ridden as a result of being crammed by the thousands into filthy sheds, which are a breeding ground for new strains of dangerous bacteria and viruses. Pigs and other animals on factory farms are fed a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive in these unsanitary, stressful conditions, increasing the chance that drug-resistant superbugs will develop. Hans-Gerhard Wagner, a senior officer with the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, has called the intensive industrial farming of livestock an "opportunity for emerging disease."
While going vegetarian is the best action that any individual can take to prevent animalborne diseases, there is much more that our representatives can do to fight potential pandemics.
Please write to your members of Congress now and urge them to call for an end to factory farming in the U.S. in order to prevent future outbreaks of animalborne diseases.
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