The recent Covid-19 outbreak has put an unexpected spotlight on animal borne pathogens and how they affect us humans. According to the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/basics/zoonotic-diseases.html these pathogens can lead to serious illness to humans including the current outbreak of the Corona Virus. An excellent article by Aljazeera outlines some of the worst outbreaks that originated from animals. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2020/02/deadly-viral-outbreaks-originated-animals-200205173647803.html
It is the proximity of live and dead animals in many overseas animal markets that has to give one pause. Many animals are wild, often endangered like the Pangolin, and sadly they are still on most of not all international trade agreements. These animals in what are called ‘wet animal markets’ are kept closely confined, and are butchered on the spot. I personally have never visited one of these, and never want to but I have witnessed the butchering of a goat many years ago in the 60s, as a little girl living in Aiea Hawaii. It was traumatizing, and I had nightmares for many years after. I can imaging that most folks who live overseas, see this every day, become insensitive to the severe savagery to these animals, and the suffering of these unfortunate creatures. Does this not make sense then, that the humans will also become immune to the cries and suffering of their fellow humans?
The current pandemic of Covid-19 has raised another issue. One that most folks have never even considered. The outbreak of this disease at slaughter houses. Smithfield foods in South Dakota had nearly 300 employees come down with this virus, thus the plant was shut down, as have many other slaughter plants across the U.S. https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2020-04-13/smithfield-foods-closes-south-dakota-processing-plant-after-employees-test-positive-for-coronavirus So what happens to the animals at the CAFOs awaiting transport to these slaughter houses? Simple. They will be ‘euthanized’ a whitewashed way of saying slaughtered. https://www.businessinsider.com/pork-farmers-disaster-may-kill-pigs-to-cut-losses-2020-4
What most folks also do not realize is that these wet animal markets overseas, as brutal as they are, and how horrified we Westerners are at learning about them, are really no different than what we do to animals here in the U.S. The only difference is that overseas it is out in the open for all to see. Transparency. Here in the Western so called ‘civilized’ world, the suffering, the savagery, the brutality, is hidden. The laboratories where experiments are performed on defenseless, often baby animals are no where to be seen by the average citizen. Slaughterhouses have no windows for anyone to see. The dairy industry does not disclose how many bobby calves are destroyed after being stolen from their crying mothers. The fur and leather industry will not show how many animals are skinned alive. Trophy hunters will not tell you they were at a canned hunting ranch murdering what was a hand raised, practically tame animal. Probably the same one they had a photo op with once the animal was drugged up enough to sit for a photo.
So are these outbreaks nature’s way of getting back at us? Planet Earth trying to defend her children? If so, when are we finally going to get it, and leave her children alone?