Science tells us over and over again the risks of eating animals, and now we face the ultimate punishment of our despicable actions as a society.

The cognitive dissonance of this whole situation is absurd as people fail to realise it’s not just the wet markets in China, it’s the slaughterhouses everywhere.

Rumours are widespread that wet markets in China are responsible for the spread of this coronavirus but instead of being pre-cautious about handling animal flesh, we are seeing rapid increases in meat sales. According to Food Engineering “Industry News,” compared to last year, beef sales increased almost $40 million (8{85424e366b324f7465dc80d56c21055464082cc00b76c51558805a981c8fcd63} increase) and chicken sales increased more than $16 million (6.1{85424e366b324f7465dc80d56c21055464082cc00b76c51558805a981c8fcd63}).

“I’ve visited many slaughterhouses across the world and I can tell you right now the filth, the contamination, the blood, the maggots, the bacteria are all found globally in these processing plants. Murder is never clean,” said animal rights activist Jennifer Flynn.


American Halal Meat, Newark NJ. Image by Jamie Kurtzer

People are judging other cultures for the animals they choose to eat because it helps them feed the idea that their consumption is somehow normal and more ethically justified. The CDC claims on its website that handling raw flesh and consuming animals can lead to the passage of various zoonotic diseases if the animal host is in fact infected… and many are.

“Many zoonosis stem from the ways in which farmed animals are treated by human beings,” Kanaly et al. 2009, 23. Some have even gone to say this outbreak is karma for the way we treat other living beings.

The irony in spending energy panicking about the virus while hoarding meat in the supermarket is extraordinary. Scientists around the world are claiming that the coronavirus originated from an animal host. While we don’t know exactly which species passed the coronavirus to humans, people speculate bats or pangolins, the origin was in a wet market in Wuhan – hell on Earth where living and dead animals from fish to bear paws are sold for human consumption.

According to Dr. Michael Klaper, “We confine hundreds of millions of chickens, cows, pigs and they breed these horrible viruses… It’s not just the bats in Wuhan.” He also goes on to say that the Swine Flu came from pigs and we also see zoonotic diseases in the mad cow outbreak, HIV aids, Ebola, and many more, “If that’s not a wake up call I don’t know what is.”

The shelves at the grocery store the other day were lonely and the air was thick with anxiety. The young masked their fear with Netflix binges and Tiktok dances, while the old trembled as they wondered if the virus would take them next. Bottles of purell scattered each square foot of the store and masks made us unrecognisable.

I sped up my pace in the market reaching for the last roll of paper towels and grabbed as many cans of beans as I could. It felt like the apocalypse yet I wasn’t armed up in guns, I was cowardly covered up in gloves and masks. I could feel the cool air flow through my sweatshirt as goose bumps lit up all over my body. I had entered the refrigerated section.

The morgue held body parts of all shapes and sizes. It held the young, the grass-fed, the factory farmed, the family owned… The aisle was near to empty as shoppers stocked up their carts. Fresh produce was piled in large bins behind me, but people walked right on by. Red slabs of flesh rested on the shelves; cold, lifeless, and silenced in this unforgiving hierarchy we call life. I couldn’t help but narrow my focus on a package that said, “Young Calf.” A beautiful being so full of life that was reduced to nothing more than sliver of muscle tissue concealed in plastic. What had he or she looked like? Did he or she have a name? When will people wake up and realise that cruelty doesn’t taste good?

In a world where we have access to fresh fruits and vegetables there is no excuse to continue slaughtering animals for food. If not for the animals that lose their lives by the billions yearly, halt your consumption for yourself and your own health. The World Health Organization has classified processed meat as a class one carcinogen and we are now in a state of emergency because of our consumption of animal products.

Millions of people haven’t left their homes for days in fear of COVID-19. Grocery stores are empty, people are losing their jobs and their only sources of income. Graduations are cancelled, weddings are postponed and society is forced to do something we rarely have to do. Pause. We are forced to think about our past ways of life and improve. The invisible virus has sure made itself visible in our society, it has changed everything. Yet people are still hesitant to change with it.

Science tells us over and over again the risks of eating animals, and now we face the ultimate punishment of our despicable actions as a society. Covid-19 is not only a virus, it’s an awakening and it’s a change in how we will live going forward. It’s a time to love your family and friends, time to evolve with video technology, a time to enjoy nature and a time to simplify one’s life. Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change what they eat for breakfast. Maybe now it’s time.

Article by Jamie Kurtzner