Donning black hooded capes, skeleton masks and holding signs that read, “Chicken Meat and Avian Flu: Go Vegan” , the members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and the Orissa wing of People for Animals (PFA) converged at the Bhubaneswar city centre on Friday – 20th January 2012. The action came on the heels of the mass culling of chickens in the state in an attempt to prevent the spread of avian influenza. PETA’s point?
In addition to being cruel, raising chickens, pigs, and other animals in filthy and stressful conditions creates an ideal breeding ground for disease, including bird flu, swine flu and more.
“Avian flu, Swine flu, SARS and mad cow disease are just some of the symptoms of a very cruel industry”, said PETA India nutritionist Bhuvaneshwari Gupta. “And with diseases running rampant in crowded, filthy factory farms – not to mention the known link between meat-eating and heart disease, the safest thing to do with chicken flesh and all other meat is to avoid them like the plague and go vegan”, she added.
The H5N1 strain of bird flu has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of humans. Most animals used for food are raised in severely crowded conditions where diseases spread like wildfire. One factory-farm chicken shed can house tens of thousands of birds, who are constantly kept cooped up in their own filth. Laying hens are typically kept in stacked cages so that excrement from the birds on top falls on the birds below. Hans-Gerhard Wagner, a senior officer with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, has called the intensive industrial farming of livestock an “opportunity for emerging disease.”
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Glimpses of the Demonstration
Photos Courtesy : Poonascha Priyadarshi and Madhumay Mallik