Factory farms harm not only health and environment, but also communities - 28 May 2009  
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The A-H1N1 swine flu virus continues widening its foothold globally, with close to 13,500 confirmed cases in 49countries, a first case just reported in Singapore as well, as Romania, and fatalities exceeding 100. As cases rise in Japan, some 2,000 schools have cancelled or postponed their student trips. The country with the highest number of cases is the US at more than 6,700, where the government’s Health and Human Services Department has highlighted shortfalls in the public health system, including inability to ensure food safety and respond to the daily demands of a pandemic.

Experts state with certainty that this swine flu strain would not be the last, nor the worst, to be faced, so long as factory farms exist to generate massive quantities of meat.

Dr. Amy Fitzgerald, a sociologist at the University of Windsor in Canada, is one of many researchers who have studied the impact of the meat industry on surrounding communities. Due to the high-stress job of contacting or killing distressed animals, incidents of injuries, cancers, accidents and fatalities are notoriously high among factory farm and slaughterhouse workers.

Dr. Fitzgerald, who has also seen such social effects as substance abuse, crime and violence, shared her findings in a phone interview with Supreme Master Television.

(Phone interview)
Dr. Amy Fitzgerald – Sociologist, University of Windsor, Canada, VEGAN (F):
I looked at 581 counties in the US that had slaughterhouses, that didn’t have slaughterhouses, that had large ones, that had small ones, to see if there was a significant relationship between the number of slaughterhouse employees and various crime rates.

SupremeMasterTV (F): And what did you find?

Dr. Amy Fitzgerald (F): I found that the slaughterhouse employment levels were related to
significant increases in the total arrest rates, arrests for violent offences. Some of those researches mentioned that they noticed increases in domestic violence and child abuse in particular.

The literature in that area tends to indicate that somewhere between 46 and 80% of women sampled report that their pets were also abused by their partner. So there does seem to be a fairly high co-existence of intimate partner violence and animal abuse as well.

VOICE: Our sincere thanks, Dr. Fitzgerald, for demonstrating the grave problems and degradation the meat industry brings not only to health and environment, but also to society. We sorrow for those people as well as the ones afflicted with the swine flu, as we send our sympathies for the loss of loved ones to this virus. May our awakening to the vast scope of harm caused by livestock raising help lead us towards a compassionate vegan diet for all.