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STUDY: Many ‘struggle to acknowledge’ animal agriculture’s link to infectious diseases

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Findings show that those who are highly committed to eating meat struggle to acknowledge global meat consumption as a link to the problem of infectious diseases.

UNIVERSITY OF KENT: New research led by the University of Kent has found that people fail to recognize the role of factory farming in causing infectious diseases. The study published by Appetite demonstrates that people blame wild animal trade or lack of government preparation for epidemic outbreaks as opposed to animal agriculture and global meat consumption… The study, led by Dr. Kristof Dhont (Kent), alongside Dr. Jared Piazza (Lancaster University) and Professor Gordon Hodson (Brock University), explored public understanding and opinion to determine where people place the blame of zoonotic disease outbreaks.

Findings show that as well as failing to recognize the detrimental role of factory farming, those who are highly committed to eating meat struggle to acknowledge global meat consumption as a link to the problem. Even after reading about the risks of factory farms in the spread of disease, committed meat eaters were still less convinced of policies to change or ban factory farming than of policies aimed at better preparing for pandemics. Yet, when reading the same information about wild animal markets, they endorsed policies to reduce, regulate, or ban wild animal markets…

Scientists forewarned about the imminence of global pandemics such as Covid-19, but humankind failed to circumvent its arrival. They had been warning for decades about the risks of intensive farming practices for public health… Dr. Dhont said: “As world populations swell, our dependence upon meat is likely to grow, making it increasingly pressing to come to grips with the detrimental role of intensive farming and take action to turn the tide”… “Solutions to this problem will require policy changes and personal sacrifices, akin to dealing with the looming climate emergency.” SOURCE…

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