Could What You Put in Your Mouth Prevent the Next Pandemic?
A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from

FROM Zoe Weil, M.A., M.T.S., Psychology Today / Animal Emotions
April 2020

When our children ask us: “How could you have been so foolish, selfish, and cruel?” perhaps we’ll honestly admit that for too long we cared more about temporarily pleasing our tastebuds than about their future.

decked hamburger
Source: 'Amirali Mirhashemian on Unsplash 

When the history of COVID-19 is written, will we finally name our obsession with eating animals as the original sin that led to a catastrophe of such profound consequence?

Will we have learned from the lesson of the Wuhan “wet market” – where COVID-19 is thought to have originated – that cramming wild animals into meat markets is dangerous? Will we have added to that lesson the one about the H1N1 swine flu of 2009 that originated in an intensive pig confinement operation in North Carolina? Will we have also added both these lessons to the H5N1 bird flu lesson in 1997, in which yet another deadly disease evidently originated in animal farms? Will we have factored in the tens of millions of illnesses each year that come from bacteria-contaminated meat? And will we have finally concluded that confining billions of animals annually into potentially lethal pandemic- and bacteria-breeding grounds didn’t add up to anything good?....


Zoe Weil, M.A., M.T.S., is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education, where she created the first graduate programs and workshops in comprehensive Humane Education linking human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection. She is a frequent keynote speaker at education and other conferences and has given six TEDx talks, including "The World Becomes What You Teach.” She is the author of seven books, including The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries, Most Good, Least Harm, Claude and Medea, and Above All, Be Kind. Weil was named one of Maine Magazine’s 50 independent leaders transforming their communities and the state and is the recipient of the Unity College Women in Environmental Leadership award. She holds masters' degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Pennsylvania.

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