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Bird Flu


compassionategirl
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I just saw on the news today about how 2000 chickens and turkeys were "destroyed" on a chicken farm in Turkey because of suspected "bird flu" in the animals which can be lethal if passed to humans.

 

In Western Canada, the same story recentlyt. Because of suspected "bird flu", birds are "destroyed."

 

And, it showed on the news how people dressed up in protective wear were just grabbing the birds and throwing them - while they were alive and fully conscious- into huge heavy duty garbage bags!! Grabbing them and throwing them into garbage bags, one on top of another, while they were fully conscious. Only to be "destroyed."

 

I cried. I cried at the callousness with which these living, breathing, gentle and inquisitive animals were being treated. As if they were widgets being collected. As if they were "toy" birds being collected. There was no hesitation whatsoever to show these images of authorities collecting these animals and throwing them into trash bags. No question of ethics, unkindness, humane treatment - nothing.

 

Just the human threat posed by the bird flu and how the the birds were being "destroyed."

 

Newsflash to all you meat eaters: the best way to protect yourself from things like sars, mad cow, bird flu, etc. is to go veg. Alright? Instead of "destroying" innocent and possibly even healthy animals because of the "risk" to human health of bird flu. So here is an idea: If you are afraid of catching the "bird flu" and dropping dead, how about you STOP eating birds?

 

 

Scared of mad cow disease? So stop eating cows!

It aint rocket science people.

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Although your initial concern for these animals is respectable, I think you might have misunderstood the nature and threat of avian bird flu, or H5N1, which is positioned to be the next great pandemic with the potential of killing up to 150 million people worldwide. As there is no soluble vaccine available, no nation is promised protection.

 

Avian bird flu is dissimilar to Mad Cow Disease in that it is not a result of poor agricultural practices or human flesh consumption; rather it is a naturally occuring virus - just like human-to-human influenza - among birds. Birds carry the virus in their intestines but usually do not get sick from it; however, the virus is highly contagious to chickens, turkeys, etc., and can easily kill them.

 

The alarming factor with the avian bird flu is that the virus has mutated to point where it is now believed to be becoming spreadable from birds to humans and, eventually, from human to human.

 

Given the insurmountable threat this poses to human (and animal) life, nations are more than justified in having to kill massive amounts of birds. At this point, we can't pretend to be living in a vacuum, where animal rights is the overriding and most humane choice before us.

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Brendan

 

Nothing you said justifies the callous treatment of these sentient beings. If they "must" be destroyed, they can be "destroyed" in a more humane manner. period. Nothing justifies grabbing these animals by the wings, legs, necks and shoving them, one on top of anther, into plastic bags. They araent "trash", they arent "toys", they arent widgets. They deserve to be treated with more respect and compassion no matter how "diseased" they are. Remember the foot and mouth scare in England where hundreds of thousands of animals were bulldozed into a pile (some I am sure still fully conscious) and set on fire?

 

No "pandemic" threat can, in my mind, EVER justify the torture of animals. Note that there is a difference between torture and "humane execution." We should never subscribe to a position that essentially suggests compassion should be invoked only when there is time to be compassionate or when it is feasible to be so. That is how the meat industry justifies its abhorrent practices : compassionate farming isnt "feasible" for them.

 

Sars began because somebody was skinning a civet (who was still alive while he was being skinned and who scratched the person torturing him). The civet is considered a "delicacy" in many countries. The sars virus ended up here in Toronto and ended up killing people. Why? Because people are assholes and havent the decency to even make sure an animal is dead before they rip its skin off it back!!!!!

 

Furthermore, how is it that consumers can catch the avian flu from Turkeys and chickens? I would like to hear your answer on this before I comment on the rest of your post.

 

The bottom line for me will always be the same. We should leave animals THE HELL alone. Any "need" to destroy animals for whatever reason is almost always our fault. We fuck with nature, and the animals pay the price. This is an oversimplication I know but I think you get what I am trying to say.

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CG, I understand your concern for all of these birds that are being "destroyed." However, the reason that the Avian Bird Flu has been all over the news is that it truly is a pandemic and poses a real threat to mankind. Think smallpox, the plague, etc. It's not something to be taken lightly and its effects are being felt in many nations, particularly in the East. However devastating it might seem, in order to prevent the spread of this disease something drastic, fast, and effective needed to be done. In a perfect world, I would agree and say it should be done humanely. But the same people killing the birds are the same ones raising them as food (not that that justifies anything, but it's reality). They obviously do not care about the well-being of these animals. That is beside the point, though. This disease needs to be stopped in its tracks, regardless of our individual viewpoints about how it should be eradicated.

 

To educate yourself on the Avian Bird Flu, check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avian_flu

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I think this is a good working example of how we, as animal rights advocates, need to choose our battles wisely. Inhumane slaughter of animals is unequivocally appalling. But when the whole world is feeling threatened by a naturally occurring disease, it is neither appropriate nor effective to seize the opportunity as a chance to disseminate our animal rights worldview. As Corey said, these are already people who do not care about animal life - Why give their everyday acts any credibility or justification by polarizing the world against us in a time of crisis?

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It's not something to be taken lightly and its effects are being felt in many nations, particularly in the East. However devastating it might seem, in order to prevent the spread of this disease something drastic, fast, and effective needed to be done. In a perfect world, I would agree and say it should be done humanely. But the same people killing the birds are the same ones raising them as food (not that that justifies anything, but it's reality). They obviously do not care about the well-being of these animals. That is beside the point, though. This disease needs to be stopped in its tracks, regardless of our individual viewpoints about how it should be eradicated.

To educate yourself on the Avian Bird Flu, check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avian_flu

 

I cringe when I hear vegans and animal rights advocates essentially suggest that compassion, or lack thereof, can ever be beside the point.

 

I dont want to die of bird flu any more than a meat eater does. The difference, it seems, between our positions is that you say "something drastic, fast and effective needs to be done." I say: "Something drastic, fast and effective needs to be done, but we should always demand that society chooses the most compassionate and humane of these "drastic, fast and effective" measures.

 

The implications of a "no time for compassion" stance send a chill up my spine.

 

Thanks for the link.

Edited by compassionategirl
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But when the whole world is feeling threatened by a naturally occurring disease, it is neither appropriate nor effective to seize the opportunity as a chance to disseminate our animal rights worldview.

 

 

"When the whole world is feeling threatened by a naturally occuring disease" , it is neither apropriate nor effective to demand compassion.

 

if this is essentially what you are saying, I will have to disagree. I think it is unwise to say essentially "Oh, that is okay world. YOu are feeling justifiably and understably threatened by this disease, and so we will let you off the hook of your compassionate responsibilities. Do whatever you want. All bets are off because you are feeling understandably threatened by this disease, by this potential pandemic. We will only demand compassion of you, world, when you have the time for it, when you dont have more important things to worry about."

 

 

No, sorry, I disagree. Obviously I am unable here to divorce myself from my non-speciest bias. So I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree Corey and Brendan.

Edited by compassionategirl
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Avian bird flu is dissimilar to Mad Cow Disease in that it is not a result of poor agricultural practices...

 

While your point about how you cannot catch avian bird flu from eating animals seems to be correct based on the link Corey posted, the veracity of what you state above seems to be a little less certain. THis is from the same link:

 

"Longer term strategies proposed for regions where highly pathogenic H5N1 is endemic in wild birds have included:

 

changing local farming practices to increase farm hygiene and reduce contact between livestock and wild birds.

 

altering farming practices in regions where animals live in close, often unsanitary quarters with people, and changing the practices of open-air "wet markets" where birds are slaughtered in unsanitary conditions near fruits and vegetables. Cock fighting also has played a role in spreading the disease by bringing humans into contact with fowl, and this practice will also continue to contribute to infection if it is not curbed. A challenge to implementing these measures is widespread poverty, frequently in rural areas, coupled with a reliance upon raising fowl for purposes of subsistence farming or income without measures to prevent propagation of the disease.

 

changing local shopping practices from purchase of live fowl to purchase of slaughtered, pre-packaged fowl."

 

So, while I stand corrected on my statement "Stop eating birds if you dont want to drop dead of bird flu", everything else I said I stand by 100%, especially about this "No time for compassion because we have more important concerns here" sentiment that is sending shivers up and down my spine.

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its hard to look at it objectively, but in the end you have to.

 

the birds are going to be slaughtered for human consumption. it is almost never humane. they are being slaughtered earlier than intended - this means they have a shorter life, which i suppose you could say means they suffer less.

 

bird flue is very dangerous, and hopefully people will make some unconcious connection between eating them and the presence of the disease. it may reduce poultry consumptoion in the long term. who knows.

 

best thing is not to become too emotionally involved with each individual case. i have said this before, and i hope it isnt considered heartless, but there are over 30billion animal murdered each year. you cannot cry for them all. i think whilst it is important that we appeal to peoples emtional side, people will take you more seriously if you construct reasonable arguments rather than crying for suffering. i know its hard to tune it out, but without doing so, you are going to get upset everytime you hear of such abuses. these abuses happen every second of every day. we work against them, but you'll end up a wreck if you dont tune it out sometimes.

 

jonathan

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... i think whilst it is important that we appeal to peoples emtional side, people will take you more seriously if you construct reasonable arguments rather than crying for suffering. ..

jonathan

 

I dont think that a continued and consistent emphasis on the fact that these animals are not widgets or stuffed animals to be thrown and slammed around is an unreasonable argument. It's a fact. I dont think that a continued and unwavering spotlight on their sentience is an unreasonable or counterproductive approach. I dont think that a continued emphasis on the fact that eating animals poses in many ways both immediate and long term danger to human health, is unreasonable (even though bird flu is apparently unlike mad cow disease).

 

These are all logical arguments supported by cold, hard, objective scientific facts, and, unlike Brendan, I feel that they are all appropriate arguments even when faced with a pandemic.

 

So again, I will simply state that we are going to have to agree to disagree.

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Uff.

 

I didn't read all of the above, but i'm with CG.

 

It's an ethical decision.

I believe that cold, logical decisions like that, even if made in good intention, don't lead to something good.

I do NOT believe that the end justifies the means.

And i don't believe in the danger of the bird flu. I think they're hyping this to sell vaccination, at least it's the case with regular flu. Maybe bird flu dangerous, but if we all lived healthier, ethical and closer to nature, viruses like that wouldn't exist and wouldn't be able to threaten mankind.

Edited by Daywalker
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And i don't believe in the danger of the bird flu. I think they're hyping this to sell vaccination

 

ABSOLUTELY! I agree with you, daywalker. Our society has been driven into fear-based consumerism. Fear is the number one technique used to control the public because it is the greatest human motivator. Marilyn Mansion was RIGHT ON the money in his interview with Michael Moore in Bowling for Columbine. I'm not sure about the threat of this virus. Lots of things threaten the stability of life. Regardless, savageness is NEVER the solution.

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I think the suffering of those animals as they were being put in the bags is less then the suffering living day to day in small cages or crammed into a large warehouse. I think this should be a wake up call that putting these birds in those kinds of living conditions is bad for their health. If 2000 people had live smashed together the same way I bet they would also get sick.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hmm... just heard on the news that Chinese scientists that are "experts" in flus apparently are recommending that countries "destroy" all of their domestic bird population and .. you ready..."start over." In other words, here is the plan: Kill all foul in all affected countries, and then start fresh - start breeding from scratch, and fill the world with new healthy birds so we can either eat them, or destroy the ones that happen to be alive at that point in the future when another animal linked disease threatens our species. Afterall, these animals have worth that is exclusively commercial. They are commodities, to be "destroyed" as we see fit and then re-bred as we see fit.

 

 

Un- FUCKING- believable. I am sick of the lame consciousness of of most humans on this earth. SICK OF IT.

 

GO VEGAN, WORLD, SO THERE WILL BE NO DEMAND FOR "STARTING OVER" in foul breeding AND NO FURTHER ANIMALS WILL HAVE TO BE PICKED UP VIOLENTLY AND ROUGHLY FROM A WING OR LEG OF NECK AND TOSSED INTO A PILE OF TERRIFIED other BIRDS AND BE "DESTROYED."

 

Edited by compassionategirl
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I believe that poor animal husbandry, whilst not responsible for creating avian flu, is very much responsible for it's spread - extremely cramped conditions, slaughter techniques, overuse of antibiotics etc etc.

 

It is no coincidence that avian flu is most problematic at present in South-East Asia where animal welfare is practically non-existant....If better husbandry and control measures were implemented I do not believe the virus would be such a threat. I'm sure I read somewhere that they use duck manure as fertiliser on paddy fields and this helps spread the virus.

 

There is a very strong case to be made that farming methods in South-East Asia are very much putting the world at risk - Sars last year, bird flu this year. I hope the rest of the world will some come down very heavy on this region and demand that better welfare and conditions are introduced to limit the spread of such diseases in the future.

 

Incidentally I was in South-East Asis last month and the reputation of the markets there is well-deserved. You need a strong stomach to walk around them......

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I believe that poor animal husbandry, whilst not responsible for creating avian flu, is very much responsible for it's spread - extremely cramped conditions, slaughter techniques, overuse of antibiotics etc etc.

 

It is no coincidence that avian flu is most problematic at present in South-East Asia where animal welfare is practically non-existant....If better husbandry and control measures were implemented I do not believe the virus would be such a threat. I'm sure I read somewhere that they use duck manure as fertiliser on paddy fields and this helps spread the virus.

 

There is a very strong case to be made that farming methods in South-East Asia are very much putting the world at risk - Sars last year, bird flu this year. I hope the rest of the world will some come down very heavy on this region and demand that better welfare and conditions are introduced to limit the spread of such diseases in the future.

 

Incidentally I was in South-East Asis last month and the reputation of the markets there is well-deserved. You need a strong stomach to walk around them......

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Until people all over this country start dropping dead from the bird flu there is no reason to even think its even an epidemic. If the death toll reaches 40,000 I'll start to be concerned. The only deaths connected to it sofar were from people that directly handled the birds, and I think it was 60 people...2,000 dead in Iraq, several thousand each year dead from drunk driving. I think this whole thing is just another big scare the media has latched onto and the government will use to their own ends. Before you start justifying the government killing anything for bird flu you should ask if its even there, and then get some proof. Until more info becomes available about the spread of the disease and how best to deal with it I think this article (http://www.lizmichael.com/birdword.htm) is just as accurate and appropriate ,if not more, than what you see on T.V. If I get the bird flu I'll let you all know before I die. Till then keep up your vitamin c, stay out of crowds if possible, and don't watch too much news if any because you probably have better things to think about.

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As a medical scientist I've been asked to comment a lot in the media in Europe dring the past two weeks as the issue has evolved. It's fast-evolving, for sure. Most people know the risks to humans are low at present, especially in the 'western' world where close contact with live poultry is uncommon. The disease at present (the H5N1-type) virus mainly affects chicks very seriously so it can devastate a poultry unit and the commercial aspects kick up a storm. Imported wild birds as pets were the first to bring the virus to UK and shoddy quarantine facilities were exposed because of that. We now have bans against importing wild birds--a trade severly criticised by animal welfarists, conservationists and many scientists like myself who fill all three descriptions. THEN, the also disturbing issue arises of the quite appalling ways in which poultry have been culled around the world to prevent the spread of the virus. I totally understand the rationale behind measures to stop the spread, and the virus is pretty horrible for the birds when they get it, but the ways these birds are being killed off its extremely worrying--no compassion at all, it seems. The slaughterhouses that would have killed them are highly unpleasant as we all know, so these birds were caught between a 'rock and a hard place' from the start. It's very very distressing to think about the miserable ends to poultry/hens.

 

The only 'good' thing to come from the bird flu crisis is that we have now in place strong prohibitions of importing and selling wild birds.

 

Cliffy

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