Best-selling author Kathy Freston, who promotes the health benefits of plant-based eating, wrote recently on the Huffington Post:
“I was stunned to realize the extent to which we have endangered our health by allowing factory farms to flourish and produce 99% of the meat, dairy, and eggs we eat. Not only are dangerous flu viruses mutating because of these concentrated animal feeding operations, but we are also being exposed to some other very serious bacteria and pathogens. It seems that things have gotten out of hand in our food production.”
Michael Greger, MD, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture for the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, follows and compiles all the latest research on nutrition and health, including the public health threats of factory farming. In a recent Huffington Post interview with Kathy Freston, Dr. Greger said, “All food poisoning comes from animals. When’s the last time you heard of anyone getting Dutch elm disease or a really bad case of aphids? People don’t get plant diseases; they get animal diseases.” Most of us know, and many of us have experienced, the vomiting and diarrhea caused by food poisoning.
Each year, billions of tons of animal manure are produced by the animals used in factory farming. Seventy to 90 percent of the beef, pork, and chicken humans consume is contaminated by feces, and even our vegetables can get contaminated by exposure to animal waste via massive open-air cesspools or by contaminated water used to irrigate our crops. E. Coli is an intestinal bacterium found in feces. In 2006 and 2013, a deadly E. Coli strain, which causes kidney failure and can be deadly, contaminated spinach crops when they were exposed to contaminated run-off water.