The Corona Virus is not a novelty in the world, it’s been around for a long time already – it’s only new in the human species. Its typical hosts are wild animals.
About 75 percent of new infectious disease, such as Ebola, HIV and Corona, are of animal origin.
Also the SARS-Coronavirus, which killed about 8,000 people in China, in 2003 originated at a market. The transmitter then was the viverrid, a delicacy in parts of China.
Similarly, about ten years ago the world struggled with the pandemic of H1N1, also called Swine influenza, which was transmitted from pigs to humans. It caused a death toll of approximately 212,000 people worldwide.
It is not a question of IF, only WHEN the next animal virus will affect humans again. We need to consider how we treat our fellow living beings.
Why do we support industrial farming where animals never get to see the sunlight, are cramped in tiny cages, fed a diet which is not even close to the foods they would consume out in nature and eventually die a brutal death? These animals are being born to be abused and used by humans.
Why are wild animals being cramped together, caged and consumed? Criminal trade with wildlife, illegal breeding of wild animals and the sale of these species at markets where they are flocked together are the breeding grounds for new viruses.
Treating animals in this manner is sick and provokes nature to create a sickening response. The suffering of the animal kingdom is converted to suffering of humanity.
Close to home we need to support animal welfare and organic farming. If a vegan life-style feels too drastic we need to reduce or eliminate our meat consumption, get dairy products from local organic farms, ensure that we only consume eggs from free-range chickens – just think about the animal welfare while grocery shopping.
On the global spectrum we need to realize that wildlife conservation is not a luxury. It is necessary that we protect the populations of wild animals, enforce the end of the illegal slaughter of wild animals and ensure that illegal trade is stopped. Wildlife crime and consumption need to become a part of history.
The fact that we are now dealing with the Corona Crisis should make us reconsider and redesign our relationship and co-existence with animals and nature. The new disease is clearly showing us that Animal protection is also Human protection and we have to pay the consequences for our misconduct towards animals.
The economic system, which is based on the exploitation of nature and its unsustainable use will fail. Now is the time to understand, even in the Western World, that we are and always will be part of nature.
Author: Daniela von Pfuhlstein, Coordinator of International Communication of Economy for the Common Good