To prevent male pigs from releasing a hormone that is said to adversely affect the taste of the meat, farms widely castrate male piglets physically, very often without anesthetics.
As an alternative method, a synthetic chemical vaccine that causes a similar hormonal effect has now been legally permitted in the UK, along with 53 other countries where it is already in use.
This chemical injection prevents puberty while making male pigs gain more weight. However, concerns have been raised regarding its effect on human health and the environment, especially since scientific studies have already linked hormones and other artificially introduced substances in meat to diseases such as cancer.
The British Assured Food Standards agency has rejected the vaccine based on anticipated consumer safety concerns following the 2008 introduction of what was later discovered to be the dangerous synthetic chemical dioxin.
From the widespread use of chemical antibiotics and hormones, to the animals’ utterly foul and confined spaces, livestock farming poses risks to public health in ways we have only recently begun to understand.
These include the origination of such viruses as the H1N1 swine flu. The most recent global death toll from this pandemic is calculated to be more than 28,510, a rise of several thousand since one week ago.
However, both infections and fatal cases are known to be many times higher due to the number that go completely uncounted. In Egypt, official swine flu fatalities just rose by another 4 to 244, while Ukraine reported that flu-like illnesses have cost 1,019 lives.
We send our sorrowful condolences to the loved ones of swine flu’s latest victims. May all such animal-borne afflictions soon subside as we choose only cruelty-free organic vegan fare to nourish and ensure the vitality of all.http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/dec/09/irish-pork-dioxins-food-scarehttp://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/health/2010-01/24/c_13149197.htmhttp://www.namnewsnetwork.org/v2/read.php?id=108358http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/57759/http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/24/pork-chemical-castration-pfizer-improvac