Practical Issues > Factory Farm - Index > Chickens

Please cross-post widely!!!

For background on this letter, please see

Dr Lee Jong-wook
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27

Telephone: (+ 41 22) 791 21 11
Facsimile (fax): (+ 41 22) 791 3111
Telex: 415 416

Dear Dr Lee,

Your organization has recently made the alarming announcement that an upcoming avian flu pandemic is likely to kill up to 7 million people worldwide. This impending tragedy highlights the widespread folly of food-production through animal, and particularly avian, agriculture. As your own fact sheet on avian influenza, dated 15 January 2004 (available online at ) points out, the disease spreads to humans through contact with infected domestic poultry.

It is time for WHO and other international health organizations to use their influence to reduce or eliminate the primary cause of these pandemics: animal agriculture. Plant agriculture can produce up to 16 times as much food by volume as animal agriculture, and a plant-based diet can provide all the necessary nutrients for human health and survival -- without the danger of transmission of communicable diseases that is inherent in daily contact with large stocks of food animals. Animal agriculture is unnecessary, wasteful, pollutant, and is a chief contributor to the spread of deadly pandemics such as avian flu.

Please consider taking the responsible step in calling for a switch to plant-based agriculture and plant-based diets in developing countries, and, indeed, throughout the world. The number of lives saved and improved over the course of time would be immeasurable.