How to Stop a Global Pandemic

April 23, 2021


In March 2020 following a series of unexplained deaths, a deadly and highly transmissible virus was found to originate at a wet market in Wuhan, China. Somewhere in-between wild and exotic animals cramped close together; sodden cages piled high, the unnatural contact of faecal and mucus excretions between animal and human that would never normally mix, cast loose the deadly pandemic into the world. In this breeding ground for bacterial and viral infection, Covid-19 trans-mutated from bat to pangolin to person, before making a beeline straight for humanity.

This alarming tale is what movies are made of. But what is even more disturbing is that what occurred at Wuhan is not unique. There are in fact countless thousands of other almost identical wet markets spread throughout South East Asia, continuing to trade animals in this way to this day.

To some, this outbreak will come as no surprise, because the study of zoonosis (diseases which are spread between animals and humans) has been prevalent within the scientific community for centuries. First thought to have arisen around ten thousand years ago, the earliest emergence of zoonotic disease was birthed in agriculture and animal husbandry through the domestication of the common farm yard animal. 

Over the past century, as a rapid rise in population has seen a steady increase in the demand for cheap meats, so too have the emergences of zoonotic disease. With traditional farming methods no longer serving the way we consume, billions of animals are now held in immense factory farms, housed in inhumane, unsanitary over crowded sheds, where antibiotics are routinely administered in a bid to suppress the spread of prevalent illnesses. In recent history, Zoonosis has been responsible for many highly infectious and deadly diseases of pandemic and epidemic proportion. There are currently around 200 Zoonotic diseases, where 60% of all human disease and 3 out of 4 new diseases are now Zoonotic emergences. This includes, Spanish flu, bird flu, swine flu, measles, mumps, chicken pox, typhoid, SARS, influenza, small pox, AIDS and whooping cough, all transmitted to humans from the domestication, captivity or close contact of wild animals.

As the daily deluge of pandemic reporting continues to grab headlines, there is much to be said for life in this masked and sanitised ‘new normal’. Coming to terms with how Covid-19 has held the world to standstill has brought to light an insecurity many have never seen in the fragility of ‘mighty man’. In this disempowerment we have fixedly looked towards our leaders, holding dear to our hearts the keeping of their three commandments, “wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance”. But what remains to be hidden, is the very root cause of the critical change we so desperately need to see, the change of normalising the recognition of animals as sentient and intelligent beings.

We know how to stop a global pandemic, we have known for decades. But while common man continues to be blind sited from the real cause in the wasteful pursuit of the cure, the ultimate battle lies in the ruthless and unrelenting profits of major industries like the meat and dairy and the pharmaceutical industry. We don’t require any more evidence to understand the basis of our problem, captivity and abuse of animals is the major cause of the biggest threat that humanity faces today and the only answer to a lasting solution is in the rapid reduction of the consumption of meat and dairy and the elimination of live animal markets. These may sound like drastic measures any non vegan would be scathed to approve, but if what we have gone through in one year is not drastic enough and if we really are serious about saving the lives and livelihoods of millions more, then what we don’t need is another ‘lock down’ but a collective ‘shut down’ of factory farming globally.

Final thought

The main agenda of Covid-19 global propaganda is to push ownership of responsibility from its place of proper governance and down onto the people. To vilify those for not wearing masks and to imply their heartless arrogance can be seen as an effort to sideline the real issues at heart. If government really were sincere in their tune, ‘in order to stop deaths’ then perhaps we would see them acting with such swift severity to end war, combat climate change, shut down factory farms or even end world hunger. I could be more convinced, but I don’t expect that to happen any time soon because then again lest us never forget... rich people don’t die from starvation.


[2] Dr Greggor


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