THE PRICE OF MEAT

Bird flu: Many questions and one answer

In an interview with the BBC, Samuel Jutzi, Director of the Animal
Production and Health Division of the FAO, was asked about the
possibilities of fending off the dangerous bird flu Virus H5N1 that is
inching into Europe, frightening meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

He answered that the availability of financial resolve to eradicate
the virus along with the animals would play an important role in
keeping Europeans secure. However, there was no plan to cull wild
birds: the flu infecting them would `taper off’ after a while and
remain without impact on humans.

Is it not then a reasonable conclusion that chickens raised for meat
are the reason for the threatening pandemic about which everyone is so
concerned?

Would the logical answer to that situation not be to avoid chicken
meat, even if this may prove difficult for those who opted for chicken
because they feared the consequences of BSE, other animal diseases
dangerous to human health and fish laden with hormones, PCBs, dioxin
and mercury?

Why does the FAO not openly admit that in a situation of increasing
transboundary animal diseases, safe meats cannot be guaranteed?

Why does no institution have the guts to admit that the safety of meat
is crumbling at dazzling speed?

Why are all measures dealing with symptoms and not with the source of
the bird flu problem?

Why does the WHO avoid the promotion of vegetarianism even though
every one of their nutritional recommendations underlines the
importance of fruit and vegetable consumption in ever-stronger
statements?

Why are no official health warnings issued regarding meat?

Why does damage restriction so far mainly consist in the culling of
millions of sentient beings and the recommendations to eat the flesh
of other animals than those affected, which happens to appear
relatively safe at the given time (until further notice)?

Why, in the light of all present and emerging problems, is meat still
heavily subsidized in the industrial world, at the expense of each and
every taxpayer?

Why do international, European and national bodies ignore the fact
that a vegetarian way of life is a healthy one, as scientifically
proven time and again?

How bad does the situation need to get before experts will finally
acknowledge the need to research the benefits of vegetarianism
seriously?

There is one conclusion to all these questions: Since the production
and consumption of meat is risky, puts enormous strain on global
ecology, adds to the problem of world hunger and endangers the
security of future generations, the price of meat has become far too
high!

Renato Pichler
President
European Vegetarian Union
http://www.european-vegetarian.org

c/o Swiss Union for Vegetarianism
Bahnhofstr. 52, CH-9315 Neukirch-Egnach
Tel. +41 (0)71 477 33 77, Fax 477 33 78
http://vegetarismus.ch svv@vegetarismus.ch

European Vegetarian-Label: http://v-label.info

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