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January 27, 2013
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Vegan diet and the flu epidemic

Dear Editor:

The flu epidemic has invaded 48 states, overwhelming medical facilities, exhausting vaccine supplies and killing 29 children and thousands of seniors. Both the problem and solution to this disaster hinge on how we relate to animals raised for food.

Indeed, 61 percent of the 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans originate with animals. The more recent, contagious and deadly viruses among these include Asian, dengue fever, Ebola, H5N1 (bird), HIV, SARS, West Nile Virus and yellow fever. The pandemic "Spanish" flu of 1918 killed 20 million to 50 million people worldwide, and the World Health Organization predicts more pandemics in the future.

Today's factory farms are virtual flu factories. Sick, crowded, highly stressed animals in contact with contaminated feces and urine provide ideal incubation media for viruses. As these microbes reach humans, they mutate to defeat the new host's immune system and then propagate by contact.

Each of us can help end animal farming and build up our own immune system against the flu by replacing animal products in our diet with vegetables, fruits and whole grains. These foods don't carry flu viruses or government warning labels, are touted by every major health advocacy organization and were the recommended fare in the Garden of Eden.

Andrew Torelli

Aspen


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The Aspen Times Updated Jan 28, 2013 07:17AM Published Jan 27, 2013 11:48PM Copyright 2013 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.