The campaign to expose the harmful, violent, and destructive reality of the animal agriculture industry.

Evgeny Lebedev: It’s not racist to say China’s vile wet markets are to blame for coronavirus and they must ban them


China has passed laws banning the illegal wildlife trade and cracking down on live markets. But it did the same during the SARS outbreak, then quietly relaxed the ban a few months later.

EVGENY LEBEDEV: The coronavirus has emerged as yet another gruesome consequence of the way we treat animals. It is clear now that Covid-19 first crossed over from another species, and one potential origin is the pangolin, or scaly anteater. This mammal is poached in Africa and Asia for use in traditional Chinese medicine and has the questionable honour of being the most hunted creature in the world… They are majestic, beautiful animals in the wild. Yet in China, they are pathetic, caged things. Pangolin meat is seen as a delicacy, but some Chinese also believe the scales, once dried and treated with urine, can tackle nervousness and excessive crying in children…

According to the Zoological Society of London, 75 per cent of new infectious diseases come from animals. Why, then, does China continue to permit the existence of unhygienic live animal markets, where disease transmission is known to happen? Why haven’t the Chinese authorities tackled poaching, animal cruelty and pseudoscientific ‘traditional’ medicine with the same ferocity that they have applied to Falun Gong religious group or Uighur culture?

The Communist Party has passed laws banning the illegal wildlife trade and cracking down on live markets. But it did the same during the SARS outbreak of 2002- 2004 (another coronavirus), then quietly relaxed the ban a few months later… It is not ‘racist’ to confront the medieval beliefs of so-called traditional medicine around the world. Culture is not a fixed thing, a museum for others to gawk at. It is a constantly evolving conversation and we have to be part of it. If China fails to act, the rest of the world should take steps to force its hand…

The illegal wildlife trade corrupts everything it touches. African ecosystems have been destroyed, while elephant populations are only just beginning to recover thanks to organisations such as Space For Giants. And now we are seeing another horrifying facet of the corruption, as viruses spread from trafficked animals to humans. It would be a sweet irony if this virus were the saviour of the critically endangered pangolin. If one good thing comes out of this terrible pandemic, let it be a reassessment of the atrocious and disgusting animal trade that has given us two coronaviruses this century alone’.  SOURCE…


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