"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi
In addition to people suffering from war and disease, the cruelty of stuffing live birds into plastic bags and burning them alive is a reminder of the inhumanity that still exists on our planet. The graphic videos of birds being cruelly killed in Turkey, because they were suspected of being infected with the avian influenza H5N1 virus, is not to be compared to the fast efficient slaughter methods used on food farms. A dreadful disease can be contained without scaring the pants off little children, families and communities with the ice cold methods pursued by the “Disease Police”. We share this planet with many diverse forms of life, which form our biosphere. Mahatma Gandhi recognized the relationship of human behavior to animals when he said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
The disease police looked like creatures from outer space, wearing white spaceman suits, breathing masks, and hiding their faces behind green goggles, as they attacked little chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. After the plastic bags were stuffed with kicking and screaming birds, they were thrown in the back of a truck. Gravediggers and eradication workers greeted the truck's arrival at the bird burial ditch. Plastic bags with suffocated birds and some still kicking were thrown into the ditch, like garbage at the dump. With many birds still trying to breakout of the bags, they were doused with chemicals and gasoline and lit on fire. If fire was not enough to kill them, they were all buried alive. All this took place on the suspicion that the birds might be infected with the deadly virus, whether they had it or not. I don't want to point the finger on Turkey alone, because this inhumane slaughter has been repeated in many other countries. If Human Pandemic Influenza becomes a reality, humans might rethink about how humane their own country will treat them.
Humanity, in many parts of the World, can still be measured in terms of money: rich, middle or poor class. The unfortunate no-class farmers were given money by their government to compensate them for the murderous space invader attack on their poultry, and for many families, their only means of existence.
Viral diseases should be taken seriously, whether the viruses are created by natural processes or by irresponsible research laboratories. If humans perceive that their governments are becoming cold-blooded space invaders and that their hospitals are becoming plastic disposal bags for their children’s bodies, they will begin to hide their animals in the cellar, keep sick love ones at home, and not report serious illnesses. A humanitarian approach to disease containment requires that people become useful information and that every government reforms their ice-cold policies to demand more humanity in times of crises.
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