More and more articles are coming to the surface regarding the coronavirus and its link to the wild animal trade.
With over 110,000 cases and nearly 4,000 deaths worldwide, it is important we take a serious look at the prevention of this disease, and whether or not it is a direct consequence of the trade of wild animals.
The first case of Covid-19 was officially reported from a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan, selling both fish and birds. While the exact source of the illness has not been identified, it is assumed it came from a bat. This connection was established based off the fact that coronaviruses cause animal sickness – and bats have hosted viruses including Ebola and HIV in the past.
This is not the first time that animals have been labelled the cause of wide spreading diseases. In the UK in the 1980s, people believed the “mad cow” disease was a result of cows, known herbivores, being fed crushed meat and bones, impacting their nervous systems and ultimately damaging our beef.
Similar beliefs came about with the poor care of poultry and pig-farms in India and Mexico, the prior of which induced bird flu in 2005 and the latter swine flu in 2009.
PETA UK states: “Filthy factory farms and meat markets [are] providing a breeding ground for deadly diseases like the new coronavirus, SARS, bird flu, and more.” In this same article, they advertise the US’s new ‘Go Vegan’ face masks. In big, bold, white writing, the masks read: “Meat markets breed killer diseases, Go Vegan.” They then go on to state: “Some studies claim that by 2050, more people will be dying of such diseases than of cancer.” It is important to know that none of these claims have been supported with concrete evidence.
Plant based news platform Live Kindly reported on this same issue, expanding that: “Chinese authorities [recently] placed a temporary ban on the wild animal trade” and that if anyone breaches this, they will be “severely investigated and punished”. This point is backed up by the other very similar case of the Sars – severe acute respiratory syndrome – in 2003 that they believe was triggered by wild animal markets.
Live Kindly and PETA are two examples of vegan-based outlets claiming the use of meat has a strong connection with the coronavirus. Though these sources outline why this could be possible, many question the motives behind their points, suggesting an underlying bias.
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