Humankind may or may not be inherently evil, but sometimes it seems the species is fundamentally stupid. Take bird flu, for instance. The fact that a new strain has cropped up in China, sickening or killing people in the poultry industry (i.e. chicken chopping), has led to “significant” profit losses for Yum Foods, the parent company of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Yet, after a campaign to reassure customers that KFC is “high-quality food,” Yum is STILL planning to open seven hundred new KFCs across China this year. I shudder to think just how many birds will suffer miserable lives and horrible deaths to provide buckets full of extra-crispy flesh for SEVEN HUNDRED new KFCs there!
In case you hadn’t heard about H7N9, the new strain of bird flu that has now killed 16 people and infected 77 in 11 different places across China, it differs from other avian influenzas in that not everyone who carries the virus shows signs of illness. That means people could be unwittingly spreading it from place to place, if not infecting other humans, at least infecting other bird populations. Although 40% of those infected with N7H9 have had no contact with “poultry,” we’re still being told there is “no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission,” so by all means, build more KFCs (sarcastic edge included for emphasis).
But before you decide to grab your shotgun and take out avians for as far as lead can spray, consider the fact that modern strains of bird and swine flu are just cases of friendly neighborhood factory-farm-cruelty coming home to roost.
A cursory glance at PETA’s KFC Cruelty.com reveals:
•The roughly 1 billion chickens killed each year for KFC’s buckets are crammed by the tens of thousands into excrement-filled sheds that stink of ammonia fumes.
•The birds’ legs and wings often break because they’re bred to be too top-heavy and because workers carelessly shove them into transport crates and shackles.
•Chickens’ throats are slit and the animals are dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water to remove their feathers, often while they are still conscious and able to feel pain.
•KFC lets frustrated factory-farm and slaughterhouse workers handle live birds, so many of the animals end up being sadistically abused.
The extreme insanity inherent in the ever-growing blight of modern factory farms—as well as the fact that most of the world’s 7 billion people still defend meat-eating and actively shun veganism— casts new light on the question of whether or not humans are inherently evil.
The former director of the CDC called the new strain of bird flu “a truly nasty virus” because, unlike previous strains, this one doesn’t seem to harm birds and can spread among flocks silently, making tracking its movement quite difficult.
I’m sure the birds would have a different opinion of a virus that doesn’t bother them, but instead affects the mammalian species which causes birds to suffer by the billions.