As we look out on silent, empty, streets, watching while statistics of the sick and the dead skyrocket out of control, and the sickening chill of fear clutches at our hearts for our loved ones whom we are powerless to protect, the question that hangs in the air is, ‘Why?’
Surprisingly, there are numerous excellent articles that point uncompromisingly to the reason why. It’s not a secret. It shouldn’t even come as a surprise. We are in this mess because of our unnecessary and deeply immoral disrespect for every nonhuman species on the planet; our brutality and violence to innocent, defenceless creatures to serve our interests at the catastrophic expense of their own. We are in this mess because we have allowed ourselves to be fooled and lulled into a false sense of security by those who create victims for our use; who have been (and still are, despite everything!) willing to tell us anything we want to hear so that we keep paying them exorbitant amounts of money for the bloodbath and planetary destruction that is the inevitable and unmentioned basis of everything they do on behalf of nonvegan consumers.
I decided to do this blog as a reference, pulling together many of the articles that have affected me in recent weeks. Some of the articles I’ve read are decades old, clear-sighted and visionary warnings that the coming of this day was only a matter of time. As a species we definitely had it coming to us. And as a species, unless we learn the lessons that this plague can teach us if we follow the money and rule out the nonsense from those with vested interests, it’ll be even worse the next time. Because there will be a next time, and soon.
A next time for those who survive that is. Let that sink in.
Racism and xenophobia has to stop
Apart from the usual disgusting racism and xenophobia that any such crisis seems to unleash (because let’s face it, it’s so much easier to blame other cultures than examine our own failings) there’s a lot being said about ‘factory farming‘. As an animal rights writer, I’ve written reams about the fact that the issue is not the environment in which we use our unnecessary victims, but rather the fact that we have victims when it is completely unnecessary.
‘Farming’ of living beings is problematic
The very concept of ‘farming‘ and/or selling sentient lives of ANY species for the purpose of reproductive violation, forced labour, consumption or any other purpose is an affront to all that’s decent – regardless of the scale, irrespective of where in the world it is done.
However there’s no doubt that intensive farming (aka CAFOs or factory farms) have been shown to be a perfect breeding ground for the many zoonoses that are mutating and moving into the human population where they wreak havoc. But getting rid of intensive farming operations isn’t the answer. It’s not even a feasible possibility as a simple look at logistics shows.
Rather than being some particularly barbaric choice, intensive farming is the unavoidable consequence of a massive global population with an insatiable demand for eggs, breastmilk and dead flesh. It’s literally the only way that nonvegan demands can be met within the available space.
Slaughtering wild creatures and destroying habitats
Likewise, pointing at the slaughter and consumption of ‘wildlife’ as being the underlying cause is equally problematic. Every country is involved in the brutal culling and exploitation of indigenous – or imported – creatures to a greater or lesser extent. While in this instance the source of the virus mutation appears to have been determined, anyone who takes the trouble to inform themselves about zoonoses will quickly realise that this does not get every other country off the hook. On the contrary. It illustrates how it’s a matter of the sheerest luck that we as a species have not already been wiped out by something that could have started here or anywhere, as a direct result of our disrespect for our fellow earthlings.
By reinforcing the idea that this issue is about one particular country, those whose nonvegan demands are brewing the apocalypse are encouraged to remain in denial as to their own pivotal role in the horrors being inflicted on their victims, and the existential consequences for humans as a species.
Be informed, be educated and tell the truth
It has always been wrong to harm members of other species. What is happening today as the virus brings us all to our knees will no doubt be viewed by each of us through the lens of our own understanding. Let that lens be an informed one, a perspective that rejects the speciesism that brought our planet to this desperate predicament, that encourages us to share the truth with courage and conviction, and opposes the money-grabbing propaganda of the victim industries as they continue to defy the laws of physics and pretend it had nothing to do with them.
Be vegan. Everything depends on it.