Vegan Grandma

Monday, October 30, 2006

Dr. Greger’s New Book, Bird flu A Virus of Our Own Hatching, Available Free On Line

The entire text of Bird flu A Virus of Our Own Hatching, Dr. Michael Greger’s latest book, is available free, online at The hardcover will not be released for a couple of weeks. You can order sneak preview copies at . As always, the proceeds from Dr. Greger's book will go to charity.

Dr. Greger is the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture for The Humane Society of the United States. You can sign up for his free email newsletter at .

Here’s how Dr. Greger describes his book:

"Bird Flu is my prescription for preventing, preparing for, and surviving the next flu pandemic. Leading public health authorities now predict as inevitable a pandemic of influenza, triggered by bird flu and expected to lead to millions of deaths around the globe. But the influenza virus has existed for millions of years as an innocuous intestinal virus of wild ducks. What turned a harmless waterborne duck virus into a killer? That's the question I attempted to answer. The book is practical too, explaining what we can do to protect our families and what society can do to reduce the likelihood of such potential catastrophes in the future. As with all my work, I've tried to make it engaging (a real page-turner!) and entertaining (funny too!). I am just so excited to share it with everyone; I think it's the best--and most important--work of my life."

Here is what someone else says about the book:

"A brilliant and captivating book, meticulously researched, beautifully and engagingly written with wit and grace, and argued with relentless logic. In addition to providing practical take-home tips for protecting oneself from the flu, the author elegantly demonstrates that the evolution of the devastating influenza virus, as well as that of numerous other zoonotic pathogens, stems directly from the proliferation of confinement agricultural systems. Every person concerned about human and animal health and welfare, self-preservation, and justice should read this book."

-Bernard Rollin, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University

Here are some quotes from the book.

"According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, expanding livestock production is one of the main drivers of tropical rainforest destruction, particularly in Central and South America. 'hamburgerization' of the rainforests sets the stage for disease emergence and transmission in a number of ways."

"Many disease-carrying mosquitoes prefer to breed out in the open along partially cleared forest fringes, rather than deep in the forest. When livestock are grazed on the cleared land, the animals serve as warm-blooded meals for disease vectors like mosquitoes and biting flies, which may become so numerous they seek out blood meals from humans. Clear-cutting can also create a windfall for disease-bearing rodents."

"H5N1 [bird flu virus] has evolved great virulence among chickens only because of the conditions under which the animals are kept—crammed together in cages, packed into giant warehouses. H5N1 was originally a mild virus found in migrating ducks; if it killed its host immediately, it too would die. But when its next host’s beak is just an inch away, the virus can evolve to kill quickly and still survive."