A declaration of war against organic backyard chicken farmers…

Dear friend,

Believe it or not, I really don’t like being the bearer of bad news––or being the one who is always looking for the next big conspiracy. But someone has to be. And when it comes to the bird flu, there’s definitely a fox in the henhouse.

I’ve told you before that running around like a chicken with its head cut off to develop a bird flu vaccine and to devise emergency quarantine plans is simply a waste of time. Right now, the H5N1 virus is a bird-to-human virus––not a human-to-human one. But if the course charted by the Big Chicken industry continues undeterred, you’ll have a whole lot to worry about––and I’ll tell you why.

The bigwigs in the chicken industry know that the H5N1 viral strain is rampant in the industrialized poultry operations yet is all but absent from the small backyard operations. But they’re not about to pass up an opportunity to pass the “duck.” After all, organic chicken farmers are the Big Chicken industry’s No. 1 competition. Why waste an opportunity to throw them under the bus?

Remember how devastating mad cow disease was for the beef industry? I can assure you, the Fat Cats at Big Chicken remember it all too well, and they’ll be damned if they’ll allow the same thing to happen to them. I always tell you to follow the money. This situation is no different…and I’ll tell you all about it in this special issue.

A declaration of war against organic backyard chicken farmers…

Following Big Chicken’s lead, the world is pointing a giant collective finger of blame at backyard chickens for causing the bird flu epidemic. The United Nations and individual governments are taking action to do away with genetically diverse free-range chickens ––and to replace them with fowl from industrialized, heavily regulated operations.

This plan isn’t just ineffective––it’s downright deadly. Doing away with backyard chickens would mean that an entire class of people (mostly those in poorer countries, such as India and Egypt) would lose their primary source of income and food.

How would this affect you, in your civilized society with indoor plumbing and prepackaged chicken products? For starters, it would mean having no alternative to chickens that are hopped up on hormones, vaccinations, antibiotics, and God only knows what else. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Ultimately, it would mean that there would be no alternative sources of poultry when the avian flu (whether it’s the H5N1 strain or a future, deadlier one) rips through the inbred chickens in their factory prisons and then spreads like wildfire from one continent to the next. And when that happens––and here’s the part you really need to know––there will be nothing stopping the strain from morphing into a human-to-human one that would wipe out more than just the peasant farmers.

To make matters worse, agencies like the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are only perpetuating the lie that independent farmers with free-range chickens are responsible for the spread of the epidemic. Not that they’re doing it consciously. After all, this wouldn’t be the first time that faulty information brought about a disastrous mistake. (Think hidden WMDs in Iraq. Of course, whether or not that was an “honest mistake” remains to be seen…)

In any event, the UN sure is singing a different tune than it was a few years ago when it enthusiastically encouraged backyard farming. Now, it can’t wait to utterly destroy it. Louise Fresco, the assistant director general of the FAO, said, “The backyard chicken is the big problem, and the fight against bird flu must be waged in the backyards of the world’s poor.”

Louise, how can I put this delicately? You are ignorant and uneducated, and you should be confined to an industrial chicken prison for the rest of your life. Don’t worry about catching H5N1 pneumonia and septicemia in there. You’ll be OK––as long as you don’t breathe. You can’t say it more clearly than Comrade Fresco has. She’s just declared war on independent chicken farmers worldwide.