Close Down All Slaughterhouses and Wet Markets to Help Prevent Future Pandemics
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Urge WHO to pressure governments to close down all slaughterhouses and wet markets and animal agricultural facilities to help prevent future pandemics and move from an animal to a plant-based food system.
It has never been more urgent or necessary than now to globally shift our dietary habits away from an animal-based diet. The entire world is suffering from the current pandemic caused by the deadly novel zoonotic virus. The COVID-19 pandemic is crippling the global economy, healthcare systems, tourism and almost every industry, due to mandatory closures and quarantines being implemented to mitigate the spread of disease. Unemployment and loss of livelihood is happening at an unprecedented rate as businesses close down or let go of their employees. The most devastating effect is the vast number of victims which now number over 2 million infected and over 130,000 people killed (as of April 15th). As well as humans, non-human animals have also been an indirect victim of the virus with millions of non-human animals being killed to reduce potential risk.
This all began from the wildlife trade, farming and slaughter of animals in a wet market in Wuhan, China. Wet markets are places where live animals are slaughtered and sold on the spot to customers. They are gruesome places where diseases can breed, harbour and transmit to humans. You will often find distressed and sick animals of different species at these markets, many are kept cramped in tiny cages in unsanitary conditions and slaughtered in plain sight of other animals. In order for zoonotic diseases to transmit to humans, there needs to be close contact to the saliva, faeces, blood, bodily fluids or consumption of infected animals. The current pandemic has brought international attention and scrutiny to wet markets and the whole wildlife trade. China issued a nationwide ban on the wildlife trade shortly after the outbreak as they recognized it to be a serious threat to human health and safety. What we need is this industry to be completely shut down permanently to prevent future pandemics.
The majority of diseases arise from eating animals and destroying the environment
About 60% of human diseases and 75% of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. Most are caused by infections from farmed animals such as cattle, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, camels and fish. Others are from wildlife such as bats, rats, civet cats and sea creatures. The statistics in 2019 are shocking as 49 out of 50 of the worst food recalls in the U.S. involved animal flesh and products. This also results in a massive food waste problem leading to millions of cows and other animals losing their lives needlessly in single recalls.
According to the WHO, zoonotic diseases account for one billion cases of illnesses a year while killing millions of people. Zoonotic diseases that can lead to interspecies infections in humans are often caused by human actions including the breeding, farming and slaughtering of animals, wildlife trafficking, hunting, close contact and consumption of animal meat and by-products. These actions allow zoonotic diseases to recombine their genetic material to give rise to new diseases that can then infect humans.
Past pandemics that were related to zoonotic diseases include the Spanish Flu in 1918 and SARS in 2003. Other notable zoonoses that have caused widespread human infections and death include Ebola (2014), MERS (2012), Swine Flu (2009), Avian Flu (1997), Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (1995), and HIV (1981).
CALLS TO ACTION
> All wildlife markets must be shut down to help prevent another outbreak but closing the wildlife trade and markets is not enough.
Zoonotic infections are not isolated to just wild animals but all animals including farm and domestic animals carry zoonotic diseases. Most farmed animals today are raised in factory farms where thousands and thousands of animals are kept in extremely close and small spaces and these intensive farming operations or factory farms is where 99% of animal products come from today. These farms, including slaughterhouses, are the origin of many of the zoonotic infections seen today that cause millions of illnesses and deaths annually. Most food recalls are also related to animal products and microbial contamination, making animal products one of the deadliest causes of human illness and death.
Until we change our ways and stop relying on animal products as a food source and shift to plant-based, it will only be a matter of time before another pandemic hits again. Civilization as we know it can very well be wiped out by a future pandemic if we don't act now. Billions of dollars are being poured into medical research but the only long-term solution to prevent future outbreaks lies in changing our food systems. We must stop eating and exploiting animals and adopt a healthy, ecologically responsible plant-based food system.
> We urge governments to stop mass animal agriculture and their slaughter and adopt a plant-centric food policy system to promote sustainability, a healthier ecosystem and infectious disease prevention.
What you can do
- Please sign and share this petition to raise awareness of the link between animal agriculture and zoonotic diseases such as covid19. Contact your local politicians and media and ask them to acknowledge the link and to commit to transitioning to a plant-based food system now!
- You can make a difference by going vegan. You’ll also benefit by improving your body’s immunity against disease with healthful, plant-based meals as well as getting enough sleep and exercise. Studies show that affordable, plant-based options can help people prevent and even reverse diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, among other conditions.
- Join Animal Save vigils in your location. See our website www.animalsavemovement.org for a chapter near you and join our joint Slaughter Free Cities/Animal Save Movement campaign.
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