Lamentation of swines
Published: Sunday | May 24, 2009
Imogene Hogg, general secretary, Universal Council for Swine Rights. - Ian Allen/Staff Photographer
The Editor Sir,
From time immemorial, we, the swines of this world, have been denigrated, discriminated against, and even demonised, and we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. No, it is not influenza A (H1N1) that we have. We leave that to you, humans. And that is the crux of our discontent. To have called the malady swine flu initially was a gross and vicious misrepresentation.
For according to a flyer, distributed by the Ministry of Health, influenza A (H1N1) "is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus which is easily spread from person to person". It does not say swine to person. So, why was it called swine flu?
Humans running scared
Now, you humans have been running scared of us talking about not wanting to catch swine flu. We are the ones who should be running from you! You are the ones who are infected and dying.
How many of us have you heard of who are stricken with the affliction? How many of us have died of it? Where are the figures?
We are not amused, because many of our innocent brothers and sisters, the world over, have been slaughtered so as to stymie the spread to human. This is a travesty. And though, with its tail betwixt it legs, the World Health Organisation stepped in to call it influenza A (H1NI), the damage was already done. People, especially those in the media, are still referring to it as swine flu.
Confused and conflicting
Why are you humans so confused and conflicting? Can't you get it right for once? You who claim your intelligence quotient is higher than ours. We beg to differ. Very contrary you all are. For instance, you keep us for meat, but you talk about how ugly we are. That we are nasty and lazy, and only want to spend our days eating and wallowing in mud. And to see the delight upon your faces when you are chewing us to bits, one wonders if you are for real. You scorn us, yet you can't get enough of us.
We have been called all sorts of despicable names, but to designate that illness swine flu was the worst. Yet, we stand resolute. We are proud of who we are and we will not change to suit you humans. We refuse to acquire your many bad qualities.
Hog flu vs swine flu
Then, there is this newspaper report, which makes the distinction between hog flu and swine flu. As it relates to hog flu, it says it got its name because of the hog-like sound that the affected make. So what? We might not have the most melodious voices in the universe, but we sound nothing like some of those losers and dimwits who audition annually for 'Rising Stars' and 'American Idol'. Why not call it 'Idol' or 'Stars' flu?
We are at our wits' end, and we would like to recommend to you, especially that politician who stood in Parliament the other day, talking about throwing pearls to swines, the book, Animal Farm. It may be a dystopian allegory, but just as how art imitates life, life can imitate art. It might also be instructive to inform him, and everyone else who believe they can tread upon our rights, of pig commandment number one: 'Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy'.
I am, etc.,
Universal Council for