There are many reasons to go vegan, and news that almost three-quarters of shop-bought chickens tested positive for the food poisoning bug Campylobacter highlights yet another one. A year-long study by the Food Standards Agency found that 73% of chicken bought from UK retailers were infected, up from 65% in its last study in 2009.
"Time and again a study shows animal products to be rife with diseases that can be passed from farmed animals to humans, causing serious long-term health problems. If it's not Campylobacter then it's salmonella or E. coli," said Jasmijn de Boo, CEO of The Vegan Society.
"The type of bacteria does not matter, nor does the fact it arises from miserable conditions endured by animals farmed using intensive, cost-saving methods. All that matters is that these diseases come from eating animal products, which we do not need to be healthy.
"The health benefits of a vegan diet are now so well established, with more and more studies suggesting that vegans may be less likely to suffer from common diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure," de Boo added.
Found in red meat and milk as well as poultry, Campylobacter affects around 280,000 people each year with symptoms including diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fevers. It is the most common foodborne illness in the UK, which can so easily be avoided.
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