Dear PCRM supporter,
The global outbreak of swine flu is growing day by day. Media outlets have raised the question whether the epidemic may have started in pig farms in Mexico run by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer.
The link to animal industries is undeniable. One-third to one-half of pigs on modern farms have antibody evidence of the H1N1 virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reason: overcrowded pig farms create the perfect reservoir for this virus to replicate, creating new and more deadly strains. Once a pathogen emerges, it is spread by farm workers and the transport of livestock.
So we've created an "invoice" you can send to Smithfield Foods to show the price consumers are paying to protect themselves from the swine flu outbreak that may have originated at one of the company's farms or one like it.
There would be no swine flu epidemic without pig farms. The average American now consumes more than 200 pounds of meat a year, including a significant amount of pork. A collective shift away from meaty diets could help eliminate the farms that breed infectious disease. Meatless meals would also dramatically decrease obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Please send an automatic e-mail "invoice" to Smithfield to remind the company that pig farms risk public health and put people's lives in danger. Then, please forward this message to your friends.
Thank you for taking action on this important issue.
Neal Barnard, M.D.