There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic was a shocking turn of events. Despite threats of infectious diseases in the past, no one could have imagined a global event like the one that is currently taking place.
Now that people are aware of the consequences of pandemics, there are more invested in ensuring that future ones are prevented. This means that people are actively looking for how they can change their lifestyles to avoid such circumstances again.
Well, veganism has been promoted to the top of the line in many of these talks. In fact, many doctors and medical experts are urging people to go vegan or at least cut down on how much meat they are eating. Let’s take a look at why this may be an effective approach:
The Rise in the Number of Zoonotic Diseases
There is a good chance that you only recently became acquainted with the term coronavirus. However, if you think back, you will realize that this isn’t the first coronavirus that you have encountered. Yes, it may be the most severe and sweeping one, but it certainly isn’t the first.
From 2003 and to 2020, there have been three cases of coronavirus – SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. So, what has led to this leap in the number of incidences? For the most part, it is the way in which livestock are being bred and kept.
Since the demand for meat has gone up in previous years, those involved in the meat industry have been greedy and careless. They have kept many, many animals in very close proximity with one another. This has allowed the viruses to evolve so that they can be transmitted to humans.
It isn’t just coronaviruses that you need to worry about, though. Zoonotic diseases, in general, are on the rise. Zoonotic diseases are transmitted from an animal to a human. It is just as possible to transmit a zoonotic disease from being in close proximity to contaminated meat.
Take the Ebola, for instance. The hunting, butchering, and transporting of bushmeat contributed to the outbreak. Hunting and butchering animals gave the virus greater opportunity to be passed onto humans. And, the transport of meat helped to spread the disease even further.
And, just because people aren’t handling contaminated meat directly doesn’t mean that they are safe. The CDC estimates that 1 in 6 Americans get sick from eating contaminated milk, eggs, and meat. Clearly, every omnivore is at risk.
The Links Between Deforestation and Pandemics
Another way that you may be able to convince people to go vegan is by considering the link between deforestation and pandemics. Now, as you are probably aware, most deforestation takes place due to the meat industry. Farmers are encouraged to clear forests and rainforests so that their increasing number of livestock has more room to graze.
This is having an impact on the number of zoonotic diseases. Understand, as more land is cleared away, it forces these poor creatures to head towards human settlements. This increases the chance of humans coming into contact with these animals and the viruses that they carry. Naturally, this can increase the number of zoonotic-related pandemics.
Deforestation also drastically reduces biodiversity. Due to this, there is a greater chance that the surviving animals will have diseases that they can pass onto humans. These viruses may also be better equipped to harm or kill humans as well.
Using This Information Effectively
When you look at these facts, the answer is clear. If more people strove to go vegan, then the risk of pandemics would go down considerably. This is because fewer people would have any kind of contact with meat or animal-derived products.
This is an argument that should be put forth to people who can’t give up meat simply to protect animal rights. If they are shown how becoming vegan can actually save themselves, their families, and thousands of people, they may be more receptive to the lifestyle change. At the very least, you can use this information as a rebuttal for the many excuses that people tend to come up with.
The Changes Already Taking Place
If you have been trying to convince people to go vegan for years and have been failing, you may be skeptical of this tactic. Well, there is no need to be. This is because evidence suggests that people have already started making the necessary changes for themselves.
Let’s take England as an example, polling suggests that around 17 percent have been eating less meat than before. 12 percent of the pollsters have also been opting for more plant-based options as well. As an added bonus, 15 percent of individuals have also reduced their intake of eggs and dairy.
Keep in mind that many people didn’t have access to much meat or animal-derived products during the lockdown. As such, they automatically had to eat from fruits, vegetables, and other vegan options. Many individuals discovered that they actually enjoyed these foods and vowed to continue this trend even once the lockdowns were lifted.
There is also the fact that more and more people are striving to educate themselves. As such, they have learned that eating meat and indulging in eggs and dairy comes with meat. Considering the harm that these food products do, most individuals are open to changing their diets and lifestyles.
Of course, there is plenty more work to be done in this department. However, there is evidence to show that many people are moving in the right direction. Due to this, you may find that your work has become a great deal easier.
If nothing else, you now have a new approach to veganism. Sure, you may not be able to convince everyone to go vegan, but you may be able to help them cut down on their meat consumption. At the very least, you can encourage people to demand better living conditions and situations for livestock animals. It will certainly be a positive start for the movement.
If you like this blog post on “Can Veganism Help Prevent Future Pandemics?“, make sure to check out our other post on our blog. We also have recipes as well over on our Food & Recipe tab!
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