Bird Flu Vaccine? Impact of Avian Flu on Birds
New reports of bird flu being discovered in new countries come almost every day. Reuters posted a few days ago a factsheet entitled Bird flu in Europe, listing over 20 European countries with documented cases of bird flu. Experts estimate the epidemic will reach birds in US in less than 6 months.
On March 10, WHO said there were a total of 176 confirmed human cases of avian flu, with 97 deaths. At least one more human death occured since then in Egypt.
These are all sad news.
I wish we would hear more about the impact of this devastating disease among bird populations, too. And for a good reason. In Turkey alone, the authorities have culled around 2.3 million poultry to date... Other countries have followed suit, culling hundreds of thousands of birds in a desperate attempt to stave the spread of disease.
You may think these were necessary measures, and I agree. But I think we should not stop there. There is conclusive evidence that the industrial farming methods that make ever-cheaper chicken possible may also have created the lethal strain of bird flu virus, H5N1, that threatens to set off a global pandemic (I strongly encourage you to read the article under the previous link...). Which means we, humans, are to a significant degree responsible for what is happening.
Recently I've come accros this funny yet thought-provoking cartoon from PETA. As they state in their article, it’s not farfetched that a vegetarian diet could have prevented this deadly disease. The problem is becoming vegetarian, though healthy as it may be, is not a popular choice in our culture.
Yet we do have a choice...
The Avian Flu Doc