First, a disclaimer - other than the title this post has nothing to do with houses.
In the Great Plague of London (1665) somebody came to the conclusion that cats were the cause of the plague. I heard somewhere that it was believed that witches traveled in the guise of cats, so the natural conclusion would be that cats/witches brought the Plague. As a preventive measure the cats of London were killed. According to this site the author Daniel Dafoe estimated that 200,000 cats were killed along with 40,000 dogs.
Of course, cats/witches didn't carry the Plague. Fleas did - fleas that rode on the backs of rats. With the cats gone, the rats flourished and so did the fleas. The Plague accelerated.
Fast forward 344 years.
Egypt has ordered the slaughter of all its pigs. In this NPR story I learned that some neighborhoods use pigs to dispose of their garbage. Great idea, using the pigs to eat their garbage. But with all the pigs gone, what will they do with the garbage? What about the flies? Yes, I'm sure there are flies with the pigs too, but all cultures will have livestock. There will be flies. Having a huge pile of food waste building up isn't going to help the situation.
Doesn't it seem more likely that flies carry what what is now called the H1N1 virus? Flies FLY for heaven's sake! How is a pig going to efficiently spread a virus? We know the flu isn't food borne. So it's not the pigs, it's the flies. And the origin must have been the flies from the disgusting factory farms in Mexico owned by Smithfield Foods, recipient of the third largest civil penalty ever levied under the federal Clean Water Act.
Can we not learn a lesson or two once every 344 years? Can we place the blame where it lies -not on the poor pigs but on Smithfield Foods? Can we not end the practices of factory farming and treat fellow creatures with respect?