After the outbreak of COVID-19, the World Health Organization officially announces the virus as a pandemic. This global crisis invites us to reconsider the relationship between humans and animals, as the two have always been close and interactive to each other. Today it is a great pleasure for me to attend the 1st webinar that is hosted by China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), ACTAsia, One Health China, and the University of Shandong Animal Ethics and Protection Centre. As a high school student, I would love to present my thinking on the Commercial Use of Animals and Pandemics. Please allow me to briefly summarize this webinar and offer several of my personal perspectives.
One of the panelists, Dr. Barbara Mass, emphasizes that this pandemic is caused by our own actions and, fortunately, if we can change our own behaviors, we will be able to prevent future crises. As Dr. Barbara Mass claims that nature, or biodiversity, works like a shell that limits the contact between wild animals and humans. However, when wild animals put into farms, keeping in a crowding and unhygienic environment, they are biologically stressed, which then impair their biological functions and catalyze the spread of pathogens. Therefore, Dr. Mass claims that “wild animals must come off the list.”
How to achieve this? Many people have realized the role that capitalism has played in establishing a global chain of wild animal trades and exploitations. Thus, the most efficient way to eliminate future virus crisis is to interrupt this chain. Everyone can play their part in this collaborative project. Scholars and activists, like everyone here, present your proposals and programs. The government can reinforce legislation to make global trades illegal. We, as the young generation of the global family, can also make our own contribution. We are the nexus of student, school, family, community, and society. At school, we can organize associations, invite guest speakers, and work across different schools to raise the animal protection consciousness among students and teachers. Returning to our families and neighborhoods after school, we can talk to our parents and the local community to eliminate excessive animal abuse and consumption in our everyday life. In society, we can work with government branches, NGOs, and mass media to make our voices and actions heard and seen by more and more people. As such, while capitalism infiltrates our daily life in a silent way, we can also do the same thing to fight against this infiltration and to fight for a better life for us as well as for animals.
Let’s end future pandemic together
(Photo credit: ACTAsia)
Dr. Zhou Calls for an End to Wildlife Consumption and Trade!!!!
ACTAsia, “Notes from Webinar1: The Commercial Use of Animals and Pandemics.
By / Cao Yuanming (a 17-year-old high school student, a CBCGDF volunteer) Modified / Maggie