Much is known about the current pandemic of Covid-19, but its origins are still a mystery. Scientists agree that it traveled from bats to another species, then landed in a human and spread from that unlucky person. But what was the interim species? Some speculated hogs, even though no clear link has been revealed. It could be that hogs are a suspect because they’ve harbored viruses before, with devastating effect. This article traces the story of an early swine flu that originated in China and is still killing hogs worldwide https://www.reuters.com/article/us-swinefever-china-epidemic-specialrepo/special-report-before-coronavirus-china-bungled-swine-epidemic-with-secrecy-idUSKBN20S189
While agricultural commodity groups like the Pork Producers, Cattlemen, Corn Growers and Soybean Associations do a good job of promoting their “feed-the-world” and “get big or get out” brands of propaganda, the research they provide to prove their points is usually funded by–guess who–their own allies. Independent researchers have found lots of reasons to disagree, but their work is often buried by industry. It’s easy to see how the cycle works: Industry builds the oversized and overpriced equipment, creates the chemicals and the seeds, invents the CAFOs and owns the animals that are shipped to them and even dictates the prices that farmers earn from their work. Industry also hires the lobbyists that work on lawmakers to destroy regulations that protect the public but, alas, slow down production or add expense. Farmers are often too much in debt to buck the system, so they don’t object or try to find new ways to do things.