Today’s NYT reports that the pork industry is incensed at the public relations drubbing their industry has taken as a result of the swine flu outbreak. The pork industry insists that it should be called something else. Tom Harkin has decided to call the virus the “so called” swine flu. Meanwhile, a number of countries, including the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Ecuador have banned the importation of U.S. pig products.
Now, there is no reported case of anyone contracting the disease through consuming pig products and it is highly unlikely that any such transmission would occur. It would seem that the millions of people who are refusing to buy pork because they’re scared of contracting the flu are misguided and acting out of a type of reactionary ignorance that I usually abhor and which has led to some horrendously pernicious lawmaking. So, I confess that the downturn in pork consumption connected with this outbreak does give me a moment of pause.
There; I’m over it now. When it comes to factory farming, I’m a brutal instrumentalist. Any reason that people want to use to help them stop eating factory farmed pig meat works just fine by me.