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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/8/09

Swine Flu Hate Speech

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Message Allan Goldstein
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Dear fellow mammals:

The Porcine International Goodwill Society is alarmed by the hate speech being directed at its members by a boorish, unfeeling human race during a tragic time for our species.

"Swine Flu," you call it so callously.  Do you realize Swine is a racial slur?  We demand you cease and desist from using that terrible word!

We here at P.I.G.S wish to free you from your ignorant prejudice.  We are to be called pigs, boars, hogs or porcus-planetarians, never the "S" word.

How would you like it if we called you "Long Pork?"

We know that you see us as food, there is little we can do about that.  We respect our place in the food chain, but we shall defend our dignity with our last grunt.

We are being blamed for a virus that has yet to be detected in a single one of our members.  Pigs by the million have been slaughtered to no purpose.  Good bacon is going to waste.

The genetic material of the H1N1 virus contains as much bird and human flu strains as those of pig origin.  Yet we get all the blame and all the hate.

In Egypt, a nation where consumption and even possession of our kind is officially discouraged, a holocaust is happening.  Half a million of our fellow pigs are being slaughtered without mercy, yielding not a shred of decency or an ounce of ham.  We infect no one, we offend no one, we provide lean protein and football leather for humanity and this is our thanks?  Total destruction and hate-speech insults?

For shame, humanity!  For shame.

Most unforgivably, naming this disease S**** Flu is yet another example of the human propensity to "blame the victim."  Such evidence as there is of interspecies transmission of H1N1 points the arrow of contagion in the other direction!  In Alberta, Canada, a single human farm worker of Mexican extraction infected 220 of us!  No equivalent example of porcine-to-human infection has yet been proven.

But do we demand this virus be named Mexican Flu?  No.  That would be wrong.  The blame is on the virus, not the vector.  We at P.I.G.S are victims of hate speech ourselves, we wish that curse on no one.

The Porcine International Goodwill Society has ordered me to communicate the following list of non-negotiable demands.

We demand an end to the use of our good name as the identifier of this, or any other virus, bacterium, parasite or biologic agent not of our creation.

You must cease and desist from use of the hated "S" word in all its human forms, including, but not limited to, swine, cochino, suino, and schweinehund.  The "S" word is ugly and unacceptable.  Even in a joke.  Even if no pigs are present.  Even between pigs.  Don't use it.

We demand an immediate end to the slaughter of pigs, boars, hogs, razorbacks, et. al. in the name of influenza control, or for any other specious, non-dietary reasons.

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San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)
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