OK. I’ve tried to take a very calm, wait-and-see approach to the Swine Flu story sweeping the world. I mean, yes, it does sound very serious. But I’m not sure we all need to go into complete seclusion just yet.
But a headline today has me so upset I can’t contain myself anymore. “Egypt orders slaughter of all pigs.”
First of all, how many pigs ARE there in Egypt? Maybe like 127?
I’m being sarcastic. I read the story and their are actually 300,000 pigs. But in a nation that is 90 percent Muslim, the pig population is not a major source of food.
I have to say that I was able to spend 12 weeks in Africa way back when and I never saw a single pig. Oh, there were plenty of cows walking beside the road. And people bought their chickens in the market alive and then carried them by the feet all the way home, sometimes even taking them on a bus ride, before slaughtering them for dinner.
I saw hippos, rhinos and elephants, but those were the closest thing I ever witnessed to a pig, a pork product, a hot dog, sausage or piece of ham. Pigs just aren’t real popular in Africa, as far as I could tell.
Oh, but I digress.
So, maybe I missed something, but I haven’t read about a big problem with pigs giving each other the pig flu. I haven’t heard any stories of pigs going on vacation at Mexican resorts and bringing home the flu. I haven’t heard of any pigs traveling on airplanes or crossing the border.
Isn’t the problem that the pigs gave humans the pig flu and now the humans are spreading it to each other?
So, now on a continent that suffers from extreme poverty, the most widespread AIDS epidemic in the world, not to mention killer ants, malaria, dysentery, Hepatitis, and general hardship, but has seen zero cases of the swine flu, does it really make sense to kill all of the pigs?
Doesn’t it make as much sense to kill all of the people since they are the ones spreading the swine flu to each other? And before killing all the pigs, would it be possible to test one of them to see if they even have the flu?
And what happens after all the pigs are dead? Is that the end of pigs in Egypt? Would it ever be safe to raise another pig in that nation or will they be banned forever?
Now, if Mexico wanted to kill its population of infected pigs, THAT would make sense! But to take one of the sources of nutrition in a continent where people are more in danger of dying of starvation than the flu, I’m in disbelief.
That’s my soapbox for today. What do you think about the swine flu? Is it scaring you?
I’m thankful that our three-week bout with strep throat, followed by Fifth’s Disease, accompanied with a few other random fevers has finally passed through our house. Otherwise, I might be on my way to get a supply of surgical masks.