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Links With Your Coffee - Wednesday

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Re: Schweinkapitalismus,

Eating mammals is phylogenic cannibalism, as perverted as not having maximum wage laws. Eugenics, not phylogenic capitalism, err, cannibalism!

I'm afraid Dr. Greger's arguments are unpersuasive and statistically unsound. Inter species transmission of a virus is less likely to occur on the larger "factory" operations than it is on the traditional family farm for numerous reasons. These "factory" operations have stringent controls on visitors who might travel from operation to operation. They have in house veterinaries and veterinary technicians to monitor the substantial investment involved. They have a large degree of automation and lower ratios of staff to livestock than conventional farms which translates directly into less statistical opportunity for a virus to pass to humans than a similar population of swine spread over a larger number of conventional farms. While the good doctor may have a point about combining large scale poultry and swine operation in close proximity this is less common in factory operations than it is on family farms. All in all, his arguments rate a D at best.

I'm afraid Dr. Greger's arguments are unpersuasive and statistically unsound.

Don't be afraid. :)

Inter species transmission of a virus is less likely to occur on the larger "factory" operations than it is on the traditional family farm for numerous reasons.

I think Dr. Gregor's main thrust was that globetrotting (well, continent-trotting) pigs were the reason it spread.

But I agree, he doesn't make his point very well. See how many contradictions you can find in this:

The year of emergence, 1998, was the year North Carolina's pig population hit ten million, up from two million just six years before. At the same time, the number of hog farms was decreasing, from 15,000 in 1986 to 3,600 in 2000. How do five times more animals fit on almost five times fewer farms? By crowding about 25 times more pigs into each operation.

Thanks for the Slate article! I've been looking for something pretty much exactly along those lines...

Whether the mortality rate is high or the virus spreads really fast, it doesn't seem to be enough of both to kill us all ...yet.

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