Animal Aid

Two more reasons to go veggie

Posted 3 June 2008

Two stories emerged today that should persuade any meat-eater that adopting a vegetarian diet is the sanest solution. The Times reported that, in order to free up for human consumption the mass quantities of grain that are currently fed to farmed animals, a solution has been offered: feed pigs to chickens and chickens to pigs. It seems perfectly clear that feeding animal parts to one another is an accident waiting to happen. BSE – caused, or at least amplified by, feeding animal parts to cows – has caused the deaths of more than 160 people and exacted an extraordinarily high financial cost. Given that pigs can and have become infected with H5N1 bird flu from chickens, the feeding of one species to the other seems particularly short sighted.

The second news item appeared in The Independent. Three Britons have been infected with a new variant of the superbug MRSA, which is found in factory farmed pigs. The fears are that, because none of those infected works with pigs, the ST398 strain has now entered the food chain. A 2006 survey conducted in the Netherlands found that 20 per cent of pork products, 21 per cent of chicken products and 3 per cent of beef contained traces of MRSA. DEFRA has begun testing British pigs for the superbug but has not yet published results. Richard Young, policy advisor for the Soil Association said: ‘We suspect that MRSA has now been found in British pigs.’

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