The World Health Organization has ratcheted up the threat alert for the Swine Flu epidemic. Along with the avian flu of a decade ago, the Hong Kong flu of 1968, and the Asian flu of 1957, Swine Flu has been traced to animal waste in a factory farm. Its H1N1 type virus is nearly identical to that of the Spanish flu, which killed more than 50 million people during a two-year period in 1918-1919.
Today’s factory farms constantly expose sick, crowded, highly stressed animals to contaminated feces, urine and other secretions. They provide ideal breeding grounds for the replication and mutation of viruses and bacteria into more lethal forms.
In fact, there are more than 70 human diseases that are developed and transmitted by animals, frequently through confinement and crowding. Among them, according to online sources, are such infamous killers as AIDS, bubonic plague, cholera, diphtheria, Ebola and dengue fever, measles, SARS, smallpox, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Every one of us can help prevent the development and spread of these killer diseases by replacing animal products in our diet with healthful vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains. These foods don’t carry deadly microbes, unless contaminated by animal waste, and they are touted by every major health advocacy organization.