bg/ish: Swine Flu is Coming For Your Ass - Eat Bacon
Apparently, unsatisfied with their drug cartels pouring tons and tons of illicit drugs into this country, the Mexican people have begun sweating some filthy swine flu out of their greasy pores in an effort to incite a pandemic outbreak on the west coast of the United States, wiping out the hard working American population and thus reclaiming the lush lands of California for Mexico.
Actually, I'm not sure that's what is happening at all. Good thing cnn.com, suckling the swine flu and propagating fear, has provided a Swine Flu FAQ for all of us to glean so much useful information from.
Oh! I have a question! Pick me! Pick me!
Q: Where did this swine flu come from? How did the outbreak occur in Mexico?
CNN: Researchers do not know yet know. People usually get swine flu from infected pigs. For example, farmers handling infected pigs can contract the virus. However, some human cases have occurred without contact with pigs or places they inhabited.
Oh. Great. I'm glad you could answer that question for me!
In reality, the swine flu outbreak has it's roots in the failure of the free market capitalist system as much as say, our failing economy. Yes, it's all going to shit. Literally.
Mike Davis, in his article, Capitalism and the Flu, helps us understand how this flu, which was likely "conceived in the fecal mire of an industrial pigsty", is really just another lovely byproduct of a global system that allows "3 billion people [to] live on less than $2 a day, [while] Wall Street "winners" are getting billion-dollar paydays".
We really need to look no further than "the corporate industrialization of livestock production" to understand how something like this can happen. Davis goes on to say:
"In 1965, for instance, there were 53 million American hogs on more than 1 million farms; today, 65 million hogs are concentrated in 65,000 facilities--half with more than 5,000 animals.
This has been a transition, in essence, from old-fashioned pig pens to vast excremental hells, unprecedented in nature, containing tens, even hundreds of thousands of animals with weakened immune systems, suffocating in heat and manure, while exchanging pathogens at blinding velocity with their fellow inmates and pathetic progenies.
Anyone who has ever driven through Tar Heel, N.C., or Milford, Utah--where Smithfield Foods subsidiaries each annually produce more than 1 million pigs as well as hundreds of lagoons full of toxic shit--will intuitively understand how profoundly agribusiness has meddled with the laws of nature."
Davis mentions Smithfield Foods and their subsidiaries specifically because there is already talk in foreign press, specifically Mexico, that the epicenter for this flu is a Smithfield subsidiary farm in Veracruz. This link to Smithfield has been casually omitted from 'respected' news sources here in the US, including our beloved CNN.
As Smith concludes, "what matters more is the larger configuration: the WHO's failed pandemic strategy, the further decline of world public health, the stranglehold of Big Pharma over lifeline medicines, and the planetary catastrophe of industrialized and ecologically unhinged livestock production."
So what? Well, besides putting my order for a Woolly Pig on hold, it means that until people start to realize that many of these incidents are intertwined into a mass free market system that is failing on the national and global level, they will continue to be at the mercy of the filthy Mexicans and their swine flu.
Come on, I'm kidding about the Mexicans. Afterall, it's Monday, and nobody really wants to take their news seriously on a Monday...
There is also a line of thinking that is willing to let capitalism off the hook for this one. I suppose I'm a bit of a crackpot, yet I'd be remiss if I didn't present both sides of the coin. Spotted at boingboing.net:
"Pigs seem to provide a particularly good environment for flu viruses to get their gene-reassorting watusi on. But to get that pig/avian/human mix, the most likely candidate would be a pig who'd had close contact with both people and poultry. As I understand it, it's less likely that a human who works with pigs and chickens separately could pass the avian virus to a pig. And, factory farms, which tend to be single-species outfits, aren't really great places for pigs and chickens to interact.
Now, I can see some ways around that. Say, if the pigs were sleeping or wallowing in muck that was contaminated with chicken feces or something. I could also be interpreting the facts incorrectly here. But from what I've read, and from the researchers I've spoken with, it seems more likely that H1N1 would have been created in the communal barn of a small farm, than in a giant hog-only factory farm shed."