Renowned American scientist and a strong advocate of plant-based diet, Dr Michael Greger, has warned of an impending virus outbreak capable of wiping out half of the world's population. He warns that this deadly virus could originate from chicken farms around the world.
The warning comes in the wake of the latest global pandemic, which many believe has been caused by bats. Originating from Wuhan in China, the pandemic has infected over 6 million people globally and killed more than 366,000.
With no immediate vaccine in sight, the coronavirus has doomed the economies across the world due to lockdowns and social distancing rules to avoid its spread.
'Real Plague is Yet to Come', warns Greger
The campaign nutritionist made the explosive claim about the apocalyptic virus looming in mass chicken farming in his latest book 'How To Survive A Pandemic'.
The Sun reported that according to Greger, our close connection to animals is making us vulnerable to the worst kind of epidemic. "With pandemics explosively spreading a virus from human to human, it's never a matter of if, but when. As long as there is poultry, there will be pandemics. In the end, it may be us or them," Greger writes in his book.
During the H5NI bird flu in Hong Kong in 1997, the government ordered to kill 1.3 million chickens to curb the virus. The virus has never been fully eliminated as outbreaks have happened again between 2003 and 2009 outside of China, reported the publication.
Chicken Farming Practices Must Change
Blaming the manner in which the birds are raised in mass chicken farms, Greger said it leaves humans vulnerable to a killer virus which could wipe out half of the world's population.
The Mirror stated that according to the author, intensive farms where the birds live in such tight spaces cannot move their wings, and are exposed to high ammonia levels from their own droppings, thus providing an ideal ground for the disease to spread.
"The more animals are jammed together, the more spins the virus may get at the roulette wheel while gambling for the pandemic jackpot that may be hidden in the lining of the chickens' lungs," the publication quoted Dr Greger.
Suggesting an end to unnatural egg production and the practice of breeding, the American scientist claims that focus needs to shift from the mass production of chickens to smaller flocks that are raised in less crowded spaces with outdoor access, better hygiene and without the use of human antivirals.