It’s been way to long since I last posted on here, and I finally found some time (and will) to start again 🙂
We are currently facing a world crisis, that is the pandemic caused by the recent outbreak of Covid_19. The situation is surreal to say the least.
I left Italy to come to the States just in time before the lockdown took place back home, about a month ago. The situation there doesn’t seem to be improving any time soon, meaning the positive cases keep escalating and the hospitals are at their peak in space, despite the strict restrictions that have been put in place.
In California it isn’t as bad as many European countries, but we know by now that it is a matter of ‘when’ and not of an ‘if’.
This is a GLOBAL crisis which should be considered as is. Choosing to close the borders from one day to another, or withholding medical information from country to country are not going to benefit anyone. We are all connected between continents and oceans, whether we like it or not. Borders or walls do not count anymore.
I like to think of the reasoning behind this situation from an ecological point of view. Nature is finally getting back at us. It got a chance to dominate Us (a short one, because yes, we will get over this crisis eventually and get back to our lives as usual). The consequences of our selfish and unrespectful actions are finally emerging.
With all the news going on about the number of cases and deaths, nobody really talks about the origin of the virus: wild and live animal markets. So here is some additional information I posted on social media a couple weeks ago:
Millions of wild animals are trafficked each day – birds, mammals, reptiles. Live animals sell for more since people think food is more nutritious if it’s live and fresh. And Chinese medicine in particular believes in a lot of health benefits in wild animal consumption.
In the past decades we’ve witnessed new disease outbreaks coming from animals such as
Hiv, Ebola, Sars, and now the latest “Coronavirus”.
3/4 of these zoonotic diseases (those that spread from animals to humans) come from the wildlife trade. In nature, chances of a wild animal passing a virus to a human are pretty low but the wildlife markets create environments that make transmission much easier. Animals are crammed in dirty cages which are stacked on top of each other, they are thirsty, often wounded, they are suffering and they are dying, yet they are alive. Different species are mixed together in the same markets, the mix of bodily secretions increase the possibilities of viruses to exchange and spread new strains.
During the Sars epidemic (2003), which originated in the trade of wild civets and infected about 8’000 humans, China enacted a temporary wildlife trade ban, but once fears of that virus passed wildlife trade continued.
Because of the new Covid-19 outbreak, which originated from bats or pangolins in the live wild animal section of the Wuhan market, China has enacted a new ban on wildlife sales for food consumption. Untouched however are the breeding sales for Chinese medicine, fur and leather. And fear is that the ban will increase the already huge black market of wildlife trade.
Some law professors have even suggested ‘ecological killing’ of disease-transmitting wild animals, such as pangolins, bats, and snakes.This plan would be disastrous for biodiversity.
Even though the wildlife trade is a huge money making business, governments should start using an ecological lense and favor the public health interests of the world.
Wild life hunting has been practiced for very long time, but the difference is that our ancetors did it in a much more “respectful” way, disrupting the natural cycle at a minimum. For example, they considered seasons and reproductive cycles.
Many poachers today are among the poorest people on the earth, therefore when they get a chance at getting enough money for the entire family for one week just by selling one pangolin, I understand why they do it. (Look at this very interesting video on pangolins!)
The problem needs to be addresses from another point of view. What drives the market of such animals (endangered, wild, exotic…) and their high prices is the consumer. Unless clients (mostly Asian but not only) in restaurants or markets stop asking for products as these, the market will stay alive. And even if a ban is put on place, that will just strengthen the black market.
It’s a very complicated situation, but the outbreak of this virus should not be surprising (look at Bill Gates’ Ted Talk) and for sure won’t be the last.
Looking on the bright side (challenging!), we are spending more time with our loved ones, we have more time to do the things we often postpone, and we are taking a rest from our usual fast paced lives. It’s the right time to read more, cook more, rest more, and meditate, and realize what are the things we miss more, what makes us happy.
A more global challenge for us is to rethink our lifestyles. Understanding that we are all part of one cycle and being more respectful of our surroundings and other beings is a must by now. We cannot keep living the same way we have been for the past decades.
Let’s start by being more respectful of everything and everyone around us, for example by eliminating animal based foods on our plate. Even just one meal at a time makes the difference!
On a side note, last January I finally got to publish my thesis and research project that I presented for my graduation as an ebook on Amazon!
It is an in-depth research on the Environmental, Nutritional and Ethical implications of factory farms, on the importance of alternatives to industrial livestock, and why we need a critical change in our dietary patterns in order to sustain the current and growing global population. Here is the link to download.
I hope everyone is staying safe and at home. We will get pass this and soon be able to hug and kiss once again. ♥