Archive for October 25th, 2009

Dispatches from Oinkfluland

October 25, 2009

As I battle what my doctor thinks is almost definitely the swine flu (alias H1N1) I make various rude gestures to factory farms in general and the one in Perote, Mexico, where the sickness first began, in particular.  Apparently this possible connection between factory farming and the swine flu was not widely reported in the US media (surprise!) with some exceptions but as I play reluctant host to the virus I can’t help but think (in my less-exhausted moments) about human greed and stupidity and how this greed an stupidity seems to bite us back, again and again.  I feel a visceral sympathy for the pigs who go through hell in those factory farms (and for the intelligent, emotional animals they are, it must truly be hell) and the humans who are the victims of this sickness. 

In the meantime various things accumulate, as they do when one is not much good for anything but being horizontal and wishing one had another head, preferably a pain-free one.  Apart from responsibilities to the household there are papers piled up for correction, an interview, responses to comments on my blog, and a bunch of iou’s in walks and treats to the dog, who really can’t understand why I’m being such a bore. 

In the rare moments of relative clarity and energy (induced mostly by masala tea and Tylenol) I’ve managed to read Terry Pratchett’s new book, Unseen Academicals, although I think I may have imagined parts of it that he didn’t write when I was particularly feverish — my recollection of it has a weirdly four-dimensional feel — and am now reading a Himalayan travelogue by Ruskin Bond, called All Roads Lead to Ganga.  It is bringing back memories of Garhwal, 1980, so many years ago.

One thing that I am very pleased about is that the International Day of Climate Action, which was this Saturday, October 24, was a great success, with over 5000 events in 181 countries.  The slide show on the 350 site is inspiring.  There was an event in my town but for obvious reasons I couldn’t be there. 

And now it’s time for more tea.