Following a string of “doughnut days” (days with zero locally acquired cases of COVID-19) in New South Wales, PETA visited Canterbury Place Care Community in Campsie to share some delicious, well-deserved vegan doughnuts with frontline workers and residents.
Fortunately, Australia is seeing the rollout COVID-19 vaccines – but staying ahead of viruses means wholly rethinking our relationship with animals. When it comes to pandemics, prevention is key, and eating vegan food and avoiding animal-derived products are the best ways to prevent the next pandemic.
Public health experts believe the virus originated at a live-animal market, and according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 75% of emerging diseases originate in animals. In this way, the virus that causes COVID-19 is similar to other infamous coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). All three spread from animals to humans. Likewise, swine flu originated in pigs and bird flu in poultry.
Human demand for meat means that huge numbers of animals such as chickens and pigs are crammed together on crowded, faeces-ridden farms; transported in filthy trucks; and slaughtered on killing floors soaked with blood, urine, and other bodily fluids. Pathogens flourish in such conditions, making factory farms a breeding ground for new strains of dangerous bacteria and viruses.
Farm Transparency Project
Just last month, Russia reported the first case of a bird flu strain, H5N8, being passed from poultry to humans, fuelling the fears held by some experts that animal agriculture will be ground zero for the next zoonotic virus outbreak. Dr Michael Greger, author of How to Survive a Pandemic, stated that “as long as there is poultry, there will be pandemics.”
We can all help prevent future pandemics by ridding our diets of meat, dairy, and eggs. Luckily, there is a vegan version of every food you can imagine – including delicious doughnuts!
Meanwhile, PETA is urging the World Health Organization to shut down live-animal markets. Will you join us?