PETA ‘Pig’ Joins ‘Nurses’ to Give Residents a Prescription for Swine Flu: Going Vegan

For Immediate Release:
30 June, 2010

Nikunj Sharma (0)9967766220; [email protected]

Pune – With concern about swine flu growing in the city, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India wants everyone to know that there’s one simple way to prevent such outbreaks before they occur: Adopt a vegan diet. While simple, common-sense measures such as hand-washing and covering sneezes are important, simply refusing to eat meat gets to the root of the matter by reducing the demand for meat production. That’s why PETA India will hold a demonstration on Wednesday  featuring a “pig” alongside nurses holding placards that read, “Prescription for Swine Flu: Go Vegan”.

Date: Wednesday, 30 June
Time: 12 noon sharp
Place: Outside Ruby Hall Hospital, Pune

Animals raised on factory farms and used for meat production are crammed by the thousands into extremely crowded pens inside filthy sheds and are slaughtered on killing floors that are contaminated with faeces, vomit and other bodily fluids. These conditions have led to a rise in foodborne pathogens such as E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella, listeria and other organisms that originate in animals’ intestinal tracts and faeces. As their names imply, swine flu and avian flu come from pigs and birds, and the viruses that cause them often mutate into pathogens that can afflict humans.

Because of the filthy and stressful conditions on factory farms around the world, pigs and other animals are fed a steady diet of antibiotics. However, these antibiotics are only temporarily effective against bacteria, and they are completely useless against viruses such as the swine flu virus. And the problem is not restricted to pigs: Factory-farmed cows and chickens, who also live in crowded and unsanitary conditions, can contract and spread influenza viruses and similar viruses. Hans-Gerhard Wagner, a senior officer with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, has called the “intensive industrial farming of livestock” an “opportunity for emerging disease”.

“Meat has long been linked to heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer, but disease-breeding factory farms could be the death of us all”, says PETA India senior campaign coordinator Nikunj Sharma. “The best way to protect our health – individually and globally – is to go vegan.”

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