Novel corona virus - aka COVID-19 - is, like the many other epidemics we’ve faced in the last decade (swine flu, avian flu, ebola), classified as a zoonose - or zoonotic disease. Zoonoses are simply defined as diseases that can be passed from animals to humans and vice versa. Put simply: animals get sick too and not all diseases are subject to the human-animal species barrier.
So what happens is: when infected animals come into close contact with humans, they are able to pass on harmful germs - like bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. And this is way more common than you’d think. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 61 percent of all human diseases are zoonotic in origin, while 75 percent of new diseases discovered in the last decade are zoonotic.
So what does this have to do with animal agriculture?
Animal agriculture - or animal husbandry as it used to be called *ICK* - necessitates close contact with large populations of animals. Whether contact occurs at a breeding operation in Canada, a slaughterhouse in the UK or a wet market in China, it is this close human-animal contact that creates the perfect opportunity for major epidemics to break out.
ANIMAL AGRICULTURE = CLOSE CONTACT BETWEEN HUMANS & ANIMALS = RISK OF CONTRACTING ZOONOTIC DISEASES
We all know that animal agriculture is a devastating industry for the planet, human health and the animals themselves. And now more than ever we are seeing the effects on global human health, health care systems and consequently the global economy. Now, Andrea and I are no epidemiologists, but common sense and logic points us to the idea that in a vegan world - we could possibly eliminate up to 75% of new diseases including devastating pandemics like COVID-19.
We’re not gonna lie, things are beginning to feel like “the end”. Between the Australian fires and now this… 2020 is shaping up to be a very gloomy year. But as Mark Maron says, almost prophetically in his recent comedy special on Netflix, we need something BAD and something BIG to wake the world up. And maybe this it. So if it feels right for you, we encourage you to share your knowledge with your social circles (digitally of course #stayhome). There are so many ways to do our part during these uncertain times and productive conversations are a great place to start. And if you are not financially affected by the COVID crisis and in the mood to get more vocal with your apparel / sticker collection, we recommend the 99 Problems Sweater (I got 99 problems and animal agriculture is almost every one) and Get In Losers Bumper Sticker (get in losers, we’re going vegan).
We hope you are staying healthy, mind, body and spirit, amidst these challenging times.
Hugs + High Fives,
Janel & Andrea
Photo cred: @bretlyne
Read our latest TVTM Change Maker Story from Tara and Shannon!
Change Makers Stories are features from humans who are making a real impact in their communities whether it be online or in person.
- Do you or someone you know selflessly volunteer at local animal sanctuaries in your/ their free time?
- Are you or someone you know active on social media spreading awareness about the vegan lifestyle?
- Have you or someone you know started a meetup, market/ festival or other vegan event?
- Have you or someone you know encouraged your/ their family or friends to try a vegan lifestyle and have had some success?
- Do you rock TVTM wherever you go and have some pretty cool conversations?