The coronavirus has created an unprecedented global health epidemic that is impacting billions of people and will most likely cost the economy trillions of dollars (as predicted by the UN). However, we must not forget the other pressing issue that revolves around the same problem: the exploitation of animals, which is not only the cause of the coronavirus and other health issues, but is also a leading cause of climate change and deforestation.
If this is not a wakeup call for what we consume, and for us to change, then I don’t know what is?
I do not need to tell you the negative impact coronavirus has had all over the world, because I am sure you know. Instead here’s some information about the some of many things we can be hopeful for – positive things are happening too:
As we stay inside and think about the freedom that we once took for granted; simple seeing friends, eating at a restaurant or going for a walk. The birds are still singing, the skies turn blue and pollution clears, the planes are grounded, the boats ashore and roads are empty. Reducing our impact on the environment.
In Japan, deer are roaming city streets,
In Venice, the canal water is clear,
In Thailand, the monkeys are fighting.
In China, air pollution has been cut 25%.
The lesson within this struggle: we are not invincible, and if we do take a step back, we can make sustainable change. When we open our doors and go back outside, we will look around at this diverse world, and I hope we can see it in a different light.
The situation is uncertain and as governments and countries aim to control the virus, we need to realise that if we don’t change our ways, this is just the beginning. One thing we know for sure is that coronavirus was transmitted from animals in China, and 75% of new viruses come from other animals. (Link) The exploitation of non-human animals is a leading cause of climate change, health issues and the death of trillions of animals.
If we continue business as usual once this epidemic is over, it will be a great shame, since this is an opportunity to focus. From how we have come together and dealt with these crises, it is apparent that we deeply care about our and others’ wellbeing (except when tissue roll is involved!).
Could this be our last opportunity to choose a sustainable alternative path for humanity and the other animals we share this incredible earth with?
This article was also featured in The Plant Based Network here