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An email received May 1 2009

Here is a really interesting piece of PR work
If the latest information is right and the H1N1 virus is pig borne this leaves the question whether a company like Smithfield, already under a lot of pressure because of environmental and animal welfare issues, will "fully cooperate". Just in case the virus could really be traced back to one of their operations lawyers will be working overtime, preparing legal papers : compensation for people who got the flu, people going ballistic out of fear of getting the flu, people cancelling their holidays etc. etc....
Could be quite some money in it... "

Meanwhile Elissa Altman in the Huffington Post tells it like it is

".....every time I walk into the grocery store and pick out a mammoth piece of [fill in the blank] from the case at a staggeringly fabulous price, I am supporting factory farming, which produces gobs and gobs of "food" quickly and cheaply, without any concern whatsoever for environmental impact, quality, or safety. Let's not even talk about humane treatment, because it frankly doesn't matter: in factory farms, the animals -- the cows, the chickens, the pigs -- aren't really animals. They're cogs in a wheel, living short, painful lives destined to end in a processing plant designed to spit out product, and the more product processed and sold, the richer it makes the nice folks at ConAgra and Smithfield, Monsanto and Cargill. The details are not pretty: I read Fast Food Nation, but I couldn't see the movie because I'm a fainter with a very weak constitution.

But I'm also a hypocrite, and, if you're a meat eater with absolutely no real connection to the food on your table and no desire to know how it got there or how it lived, but you also have a professed belief in smart living and good eating and local and Slow Food and bumper stickers plastered all over your Prius, so are you.

Please don't take offense. There's no easy way to say that, but it's true. ..." Read in full