Foot and Mouth Disease - The Horror of Live Burial   
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The images in the following program are highly sensitive and may be as disturbing to viewers as they were to us. However, we have to show the truth about cruelty to animals, praying that you will help to stop it.

It’s January 1, 2011 in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. In the chilling winter, pigs are pushed into a pit by a metal crane. Each frantically struggles to get up, stunned. Instinctively, they huddle to one end of the pit as others come helplessly tumbling, colliding down. One piglet failed to survive the deep fall. He is lucky. The other 400 pigs in this pit died a much slower death as they were slowly, hellishly buried alive.

The highly contagious foot and mouth disease virus had struck hard in South Korea around November 2010. Symptoms seen in the livestock animals included high fever and painful blisters inside the mouth and on the feet. It spread like wildfire, and by January, the massacring had begun. Millions of cows, pigs, goats and deer were buried in a rushed attempt to stop an even more severe epidemic.

Mass killing, is the routine response to foot and mouth disease, one of the most dreaded livestock diseases throughout the world. Mr. Lee Won-Bok, president of the Korea Association for Animal Protection, attended 15 of the mass burials. Fifteen, that is, out of a shocking 4,000 pits scattered across the country.

They dump and drop live pigs from trucks into the pit. There are 1,500 to 2,500 pigs in one small pit, and the pigs climb up on each other’s backs, piling double, triple layers as they’re buried alive. The pigs scream, groan and cry out for their lives. I haven't had any sleep for a month because I was haunted by the screaming sounds. The slaughtering site is literally a horrible hell itself.

Other species besides pigs were also killed in recent months.

For chickens, they put 3 to 4 live chickens in a sack, tie it, and carrying them by carts bury the sacks in a pit. The chickens scream feeling sharp pain of their bones shattering in the sack. It’s so horrible.

One South Korean count in February revealed staggering numbers: some 6.2 million chickens and ducks were destroyed due to avian flu. For foot and mouth disease, it was over 150,000 cows, over 6,000 goats, 3,000-plus deer, and over 3.3 million pigs. Their burial sites today are eerily silent. Signs – like tombstones – identify the species and number of animals in each grave.

As you can see, 3,900 animals have been buried over there 200 meters away from here, and 3,000 animals have been buried here. Over on the other side diagonally, 2,000 have been buried. One thousand and nine hundred animals have been buried in the back. So that’s 12,000 live-buried animals in just this area right before us.

I had taken a look around the sites myself, and the feeling was much different when I was there first-hand as opposed to just watching it on TV.

Humans too were victims. Reports stated that approximately 130 workers were injured in the process of burying the panicked animals, which at times took all day and night. Some ended up seeking mental help. At least 9 workers died, reportedly due to “overwork,”

In 1997 in Formosa (Taiwan), up to 200,000 pigs were killed per day, mainly by electrocution. In the US, one method is stunning and pithing. In this method, a stun gun punches a metal bolt into the animal’s head, breaking the skull; then, a rod is shoved into the stunning hole to utterly destroy the brain.

In South Korea, the method was live burial.

When foot and mouth hits, most people think about the economic cost and not about the welfare of the animals, sadly. Countries decide often on a kind of emergency basis, to kill the animals, to cull them. Culling seems to be a sort of polite word for mass killing. And often, the animals are killed in huge numbers, not just the infected animals, but sometimes animals nearby, animals in the certain area.

Ironically, many of the animals killed were healthy, their only sin being their proximity to a suspected outbreak.

Foot and mouth disease is an infectious disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals. Its virus covers a large area in a short time, affecting a large number of susceptible animals, including camels, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs and deer, etc. Affected adult animals have a low mortality, while young animals can have a high mortality.

The reason that this disease is always a serious consideration is its rate of spreading and infecting. The virus can even be carried by the wind to hundreds of kilometers and it spreads via any daily objects due to the fact that the size of this virus is very small. Then, the disease immediately takes place if the animals and livestock are susceptible. Generally, once the disease affects a part of the herd, the whole herd will be infected. The percentage of spreading is very high. But the percentage of death is low.

Even if infected, most animals can recover if allowed. And cases of humans being infected are extremely rare. So why the brutal, destruction of so many animals? Greed is the main reason.

It is really terrifying that this live burial is our selfishness – human selfishness that cares for nothing but our own interest, and that selfishness has become socialized and authorized, and that power became the authoritative power that killed, in an instant, 3 million livestock animals in this country.

In South Korea as in Mongolia, the government attempted to halt the spread of the virus through widespread vaccination of livestock. But so far, this has proven to be costly – and unreliable. In South Korea, over 2,000 vaccinated cows and pigs still got infected, while more than 6,300 new animal deaths have been linked to the vaccine itself.

There are 7 different types of viruses. And with globalization, the exchange of goods, and tourism, the types of viruses could hit anywhere and anytime. So in order to make sure that we are protected, vaccines need to be given against 7 different viruses, which is extremely expensive. So the best situation is not to get that disease in the territory.

So what you are saying is that once the animal is affected and then gets cured, he still carries the virus?

Yes, some of them, and we don't know who carries the virus or not.

Once rare and isolated, foot and mouth epidemics have been striking more frequently and harder across the globe. Experts attribute this to the widespread practice of factory farming.

In order to produce meat in large amounts at once, lots of livestock are crowded in one spot by people, in a form of factory farming. And this in itself creates a very powerful infectious disease-causing area. Many diseases are being caused by this.

Ninety-nine percent of livestock farms in South Korea are run as factory farms. Every animal is raised tied and locked up in a tiny space in there. In such conditions, they don’t have the immunity to fight against any tiny germs or viruses coming into their body and this leads to serious infectious diseases such as foot and mouth disease and avian flu.

The purpose of cattle, poultry and pig farming and the like are business and money. When livestock are crowded in one spot in such big numbers, there’s a huge possibility for that area to become the source of infectious diseases.

There is no consideration for life at all, but only concern about how much weight the animals can gain per serving of feed. So antibiotics are used before diseases break out; the teeth are pulled out before animals bite one another or tail is cut off; and in case of a hen, the beak is cut off, and so on. But, more importantly, factory farms are very condensed. If we don’t solve this density problem caused by the greed for money, this outbreak will continue to happen again next year.

We have to find another solution to this. How we treat the animals is how we will be treated. We all have to be in balance. We’re forcefully overriding this balance by raising livestock in mass numbers and then slaughtering them to eat.

Each pit measured about 10 meters long, 30 meters wide and 10 meters deep. A mass grave shared by hundreds of live, terrified, screaming pigs, whose intelligence has been equated to that of a 3-year-old human child. When the South Korean public saw the images of the live burials emerge, they erupted in outrage, as well as pangs of guilt and sorrow.

I personally decided to stop eating meat through this incident.

With recent foot and mouth disease outbreaks also reported in multiple countries, Supreme Master Ching Hai has addressed the serious implications of livestock-related diseases, as during an October 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan).

In one of the worst animal disease outbreaks to hit the island of Formosa (Taiwan), the virus called hoof-and-mouth disease was transmitted from one pig that came to the island in early 1997. Within just six weeks, 6,000 farms had been stricken, resulting in the tragic slaughter, massacring 3.8 million pigs. This gives you some idea of how quickly animal-borne diseases can spread, causing devastation for themselves and humans alike.

The best is to abolish meat altogether. Because animal consumption is eating up our planet, is killing us humans The livestock sector is probably the world's biggest source of water pollution as well The list never ends if we continue to partake in this killing phenomena, massacring tragedy called “animal industry.”

We sorrow for the loss of both countless innocent animals and perished humans, as we pray that this cruel crisis will stop.

Thank you, gentle viewers, for joining us today. Please tune in again next Tuesday, May 3, as we continue our 2-part series on more sides of the global tragedy of foot and mouth disease. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May all sentient lives on Earth be cherished and respected.
The images in the following program are highly sensitive and may be as disturbing to viewers as they were to us. However, we have to show the truth about cruelty to animals, praying that you will help to stop it.

Humans must find another way to solve this. Twenty-five thousand livestock were killed during the last occurrence of foot-and-mouth disease in Mongolia. This is very terrible. This is very sorrowful.

This is the Stop Animal Cruelty series on Supreme Master Television. Today we present the conclusion of a two-part program on foot and mouth disease (FMD) in domestic livestock. This highly contagious virus causes painful blisters on the animals’ mouth and feet.

Foot and mouth disease for the animals is like a really bad attack of flu. They get a fever and they feel rotten. But in addition, they can get conditions around their mouths, maybe some blisters around the mouths, salivating and real pain and discomfort around the mouth. And similarly around the feet, they can get blisters around the feet which are really painful. So sometimes the first thing the farmer would notice is lameness quite severe lameness in the animals.

Foot and mouth disease is rarely, if ever passed to humans. Modes of transmission include saliva, feces, milk, urine, and exhaled air of infected animals. The disease is not usually fatal and livestock with this condition can recover. There are vaccines available, however there is not one universal one that protects against all variations of the disease.

There is a foot and mouth vaccination. You can vaccinate to live, and let the animals live. We believe the animals should be let live. So we think that vaccinations should play a much higher role in controlling an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

However the standard practice to deal with this virus which spreads very quickly in filthy and squalid factory farms is to immediately murder all infected animals, as well as any healthy animals who may have been in contact with the sick livestock or even in close proximity to them. Thus an outbreak of FMD frequently leads to the widespread massacre of millions of innocent and helpless beings.

In 1997, a FMD epidemic occurred in Formosa (Taiwan), with farmers horrifically electrocuting and then incinerating 3.8 million pigs in response. Then in 2001, following an outbreak in the UK, over 7 million cattle and sheep were cruelly put to death. Evidence that this “death solution” to prevent virus transmission is by definition deeply and fundamentally flawed is that the disease re-emerged in the UK again in 2007.

There have also been recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in Mongolia, China, Japan, North Korea, and Bulgaria. In early 2011, FMD struck South Korea and more than 3 million animals, most of them pigs, were victims of an outrageous mass killing program. To save money and kill as many pigs at one time as quickly as possible, these gentle beings were ruthlessly mass-buried while still alive. Deep burial pits were dug, and the innocent pigs were shipped in, truckload after truckload.

Backing up to the edge of the pits, the vehicles simply dumped the terrified and crying pigs into trenches of death. Moments later, another truckload of pigs was mercilessly piled on top of the ones below. Sometimes the animals were beaten and chased into the hole, or forcibly pushed in with a huge excavator. During this barbarous process, countless porcines were painfully injured, with their organs crushed, and bones snapped.

The final act of the killers was to cover the pits. The pigs endured slow, brutal deaths, screaming out for help until they eventually suffocated. As many as 4,000 animals were piled on top of each other in a single pit. The live burial process often lasted long into the night. The gruesome atrocities brought outcries of anguish from around the world.

They dig up this empty land and drive pigs into the pit and bury them alive.

We saw video footage showing unacceptable scenes of pigs being buried alive. We obviously stood against that.

They’re rounded up, and then thrown into a pit. So they’re alive in the pit crawling all over each other in terror. It's probably about the most awful end to a life that you could imagine.

The sounds of the panicked, shrieking pigs and the sickening sight of the live burial deeply affected the people involved. During the process nine government officials died from extreme stress and 126 workers were injured.

Public servants involved in this are now suffering from trauma and getting psychiatric treatment, and some even died because of extreme stress.

Pigs are very sensitive and clever beings. Researchers have discovered that they have an intelligence level higher than that of a three-year old child. They can learn complex tasks even more quickly than chimpanzees. They can make over 20 different sounds and communicate constantly with each other. They also form close, loving bonds with their family members and friends. Many people mourned the brutal murder of over 3 million loving and beautiful beings.

I was very shocked to see the animals suffering and being buried alive. It made me think about how people can do this to animals.

Not only our doctors but also the public nationwide are indignant and incensed at this large-scale massacre, all of us are feeling resentment.

The pigs have been buried in more than 4,000 sites across the nation, and many of these mass graves are near streams, rivers, residential areas, and schools. The danger to public health is very real.

This is a live burial site where about 4,000 pigs were buried. This black pipe in front of you is a perforated drainpipe which reaches to the very bottom of the pit where pigs were buried. That blue pipe next to it is to let gas out. And it smells very bad and strong now. This part right in front us are leachate stains, that is, overflowed pigs’ blood as it decays. The blood formed puddles here the day before yesterday when I came. They sprinkled burnt lime in the pit here to reduce the amount of pollutants because enormous amount of organic compound, meaning pollutants are squirting from the site.

Because animals are buried alive near underground water or water supply facilities around here, it might have a dreadful impact on the drinking water, which is for the residents here.

As the weather is getting warmer, leachates will contaminate drinking water. And once microscopic organisms spread, we can’t handle it anymore.

According to the news, many burial sites are along the Hangang River, and as spring nears, the river can be contaminated. The Hangang River is our source of drinking water at home. I’m really concerned.

What is the solution to foot and mouth disease as well as other conditions like swine flu that are widely spread by the practice of animal agriculture?

Tens of millions of cows, pigs, chickens and ducks are now buried alive in the ground in South Korea. Do you know why? It’s because of our meat-eating habit.

Vegetarianism is the only way to save all animals’ lives and our planet and the environment as well as our own health.

Giving up meat is the only way to live happily and healthily with other living beings on Earth.

The best and only way to protect us from terrible diseases and to preserve the Earth that coming generations will live on is the organic vegan diet.

After all, factory farming should be abolished. In order to do it, humans’ meat-eating culture should be changed fundamentally.

My opinion is that we can conduct a national campaign to promote the vegetarian diet. I’m willing to be vegetarian.

We should ban meat-eating. Without a prohibition on / laws prohibiting the meat consumption, we can’t solve this problem. Improvements or supplements are never enough. We should make a law prohibiting meat-eating.

As a result of the FMD outbreak and the brutal deaths of the millions of pigs, more and more people, organizations, and schools in South Korea are now embracing the healthy, noble and compassionate plant-based diet.

I proposed a vegan school meal once a week. A total of 111 teachers and staff held a vote on it. The proposal won an overwhelming majority of votes to start a vegan school meal.

I personally decided to stop eating meat through this incident.

I’d like to change my eating habit from a meat diet to a plant-based diet. I think it’s better to grow vegetables instead of raising livestock so that there’s no more pollution.

We should change our viewpoint from regarding animals as food and meat. We should come to the realization that they are life.

From this year the Gwangju City Office of Education decided to carry out one-day-vegan-meal a week for its 260,000 primary, middle and high schools students in 300 schools.

Yes, because of foot-and-mouth disease and the news broadcasts on slaughtered animals, people prefer vegetarian food and we have more customers now. The increase (in customers) is 80%.

As on many other occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged an immediate end to humanity’s heartless destruction of innocent animal lives and a swift change to a plant-based lifestyle during a May 2008 videoconference in South Korea.

We have been massacring our co-inhabitant animals, and we have been destroying our environment, and destroying the water and destroying the air.

So, in order to solve the problem that we are facing right now, we have to reverse our actions. We have to be kind to our co-inhabitants. Instead of killing them, massacring them, sacrificing them, we have to take care of them.

Just become vegetarian, refuse all the animals products, then nobody will raise animals anymore, nobody will kill them anymore. Then we stop the physical harmful effect of animal stock raising.

We pray for the everlasting protection of all animal life in South Korea as well as the rest of the world. May all soon adopt the life-affirming organic vegan diet. Thank you for your thoughtful presence today on our program. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May all beings on Earth enjoy lives of freedom, safety, and dignity.

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