Animal rights activist and former actress Brigitte Bardot has written a letter to to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, criticizing the government’s decision to slaughter every single freaking pig in the entire country in an effort to prevent the spread of swine flu. That’s 250,000 pigs! And Bardot is not happy about the prospect of bringing home that much bacon.
“Taking advantage of the global hysteria over the propagation of ‘Mexican’ flu, which has nothing to do with animals, in order to launch a campaign to exterminate pigs raised by a destitute section of the population is extremely cowardly,” Bardot wrote in the letter, a copy of which was also sent to AFP.
On Wednesday, the authorities announced that Egypt’s estimated 250,000 pigs would be culled as the world grappled with the spread of swine flu.
But on Thursday, Cairo said the cull was a general health measure rather than a precaution against swine flu after the United Nations said there was no evidence the animals were spreading the disease.
Egypt’s pig population belongs to and is eaten by members of the Coptic Christian minority. The animals are reared in Cairo slums inhabited mostly by Christian rubbish collectors.
I think it’s impressive that Bardot is concerned not only about the animals’ welfare but also about the human beings whose food supply will be affected by this massive slaughter.
I must confess however, that instead of pondering the religious politics involved in this pig slaughter, or wondering about the transmission methods of swine flu, I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes trying to decide whether or not that’s an areola peeking out in the photo on Bardot’s Wikipedia entry. She’s concerned about the welfare of humans and animals on the other side of the planet, and all I can think is, “Is that an areola? Or a shadow?”