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Factory Farms Should Be ‘Discontinued’ To Protect Humans, Says Scientists In New Paper

A new paper examines the current COVID-19 outbreak – and says we should stop factory farming for the ‘sake of animals, humans, and the environment’.

The paper, titled What the COVID-19 Pandemic is Telling Humanity, is published in the journal Kargar.

It was penned by David O. Wiebers, MD, Emeritus Professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic, and Valery Feigin, MD, of New Zealand’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences.

A global health emergency’
Laying out the current situation, the authors say the world is ‘enveloped in a global health emergency that is exacting enormous medical and economic tolls upon humanity’.

They describe how the SARS-CoV-2 that has caused the current COVID-19 pandemic is ‘thought to have originated in bats and, via an intermediary such as the pangolin, to have found its way from a ‘wet market’ where live wildlife species were being sold for human consumption in Wuhan, China, to one or more humans at that location’.

The medical community has found itself on the frontline of the crisis, both in treating patients, and racing to find a vaccine for the virus, they say. Meanwhile, politicians are attempting to ‘mitigate the overwhelming societal and economic devastations that are unfolding’.

‘Imperative to reflect’
The paper considers how it is ‘imperative for us as a society and species to focus and reflect deeply upon what this and other related human health crises are telling us about our role in these increasingly frequent events’ – as well as how we can try to stave off such situations in the future.

The authors note that according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ‘…three in every four new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals’.

“The alarming increase in frequency of these lethal zoonotic diseases relates in large part to our human-dominated ecosystem with increasingly unnatural human-animal close contact, grossly aberrant crowding of animals for human purposes, destruction of animal habitats, and vast numbers of highly mobile humans to swiftly carry these diseases throughout the world,” says the paper.

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Factory farming
The authors are decisive in what action they believe should be taken to help prevent further pandemics. They write: “Intensive confinement of animals in factory farm operations should be discontinued worldwide for the sake of animals, humans, and the environment, and we should rapidly evolve to eating other forms of protein that are safer for humans, including plant-based meat alternatives and cultured meat (produced by culturing animal cells).”

They add that investing in plant-based agriculture and growing crops for human consumption rather than livestock would be more efficient in feeding more people while using less land and water. This, they say, would allow ‘for the preservation of vital ecosystems for innumerable species’.

They conclude: “Ultimately, the survival, not only of other life forms on this planet, but also of our own, will depend upon humanity’s ability to recognize the oneness of all that exists and the importance and deeper significance of compassion for all life.”

Doctors on factory farming
This paper follows numerous doctors speaking out about the public health risks of factory farming. Dr. Gemma Newman – also known as the Plant Powered Doctor – is a senior partner at a UK medical practice. She described factory farms as a ‘ticking timebomb’ while speaking about the dangers of industrial meat production while supporting the No Meat May campaign.

“Some politicians and commentators blame China for Covid-19, but they do not mention that all of the recent major disease outbreaks have been caused by tampering with animals and their habitats, or that our chicken salad and pepperoni pizza could be the next big health risk,” Dr. Newman said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

“The inconvenient truth is that factory farms put a strain on animal health, which means we treat them with antibiotics and small doses end up in your meal. suggests an extra 10 million people may die by 2050 as a result of antibiotic resistance, and we can add viral pandemics to these figures too. This current crisis shows us that we are not prepared for the future we are creating.

“Our industrial-scale factory farms are like a ticking time bomb – yet I can guarantee that lentils will not spark a viral pandemic anytime soon. Many of us are sitting at home wondering what we can do to help this situation. Taking some time to reflect on what we eat, limiting the meat we put in our supermarket trolley, and shifting to a more plant-based diet will help us move towards a safer future. Signing up to the campaign is a lovely way to feel supported in reducing meat consumption moving forwards.”

sauce Factory Farms Should Be 'Discontinued' To Protect Humans, Says Scientists In New Paper
 

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FRANCE JUST GOT ITS FIRST MICHELIN STAR FOR A VEGAN RESTAURANT
French eatery ONA is the first vegan restaurant in France to win a coveted Michelin star. ONA—which is an acronym for “Origine Non Animale” (“animal-free origin”)—is the first vegan establishment to appear in the Michelin Guide to France since it was created in the year 1900. Michelin stars are a rating system used by the Michelin Guide to grade restaurants on their quality.

A gourmet menu
ONA was founded by Claire Vallée in 2016 in the city of Ares in the southwest area of the country. Vallée was able to open her restaurant thanks to crowdfunding and a loan from an ethically minded bank. ONA offers a gourmet menu of several dishes, some of which involve flavors of pine, boletus mushrooms and sake, or celery, tonka, and amber ale. “More than a restaurant, it’s a way of life. Self-taught chef Claire Vallée, proposes 100-percent vegan, organic gastronomy—hence the name, which stands for ‘non-animal origin’ in French,” the Michelin Guide to France says. “The beautifully dressed plates feature a splendid array of fruit and vegetables. Greatly deserving of the attention it is garnering.”

A green star
In addition to the classic Michelin star award, ONA also won a green star, which Michelin introduced last year to honor establishments with a strong focus on ethical and sustainable practices.

sauce France Just Got Its First Michelin Star for a Vegan Restaurant
 

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Low fat/No fat was created to market processed food, not health (or environmental health). I suspect a substantial undercurrent of the vegan and vegetarian drive comes from the same goal, not from an altruistic drive to save the planet (or piggies). There's profit in it for all the wrong reasons.
 

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Low fat/No fat was created to market processed food, not health (or environmental health). I suspect a substantial undercurrent of the vegan and vegetarian drive comes from the same goal, not from an altruistic drive to save the planet (or piggies). There's profit in it for all the wrong reasons.
There is always an angle that can be exploited for money.
 

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I welcome anyone helping make veganism more mainstream. If having vegan junk food helps reduce animal suffering that's fine by me. With veganism growing as a market trend its no surprise some want to jump on the bandwagon for the wrong reasons. If the end result is less animal suffering and an expedited end to systematic animal abuse I couldn't care less about profit motives and people eating garbage.
 

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Survival of the species is not described as pleasure or convenience by any species other than man. Birds kill more insects than we kill animals. Should they cease? If animals were otherwise immortal, the argument may be different, but we are all just meaningless and infinitely insignificant points on an infinite calendar. Just saying.
 

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The treatment of animals in factory farms is barbaric and cruel. Bringing attention to this cruelty will change practices. eg
Recently, the German government plans to ban the practice of killing male chicks after they hatch, which results in the death of around 45 million birds per year in the country.


I'm thrilled to see actions being taken at a government level to begin to address the serious and pervasive issues of animal cruelty. This is a significant victory as it acknowledges that bringing an animal into the world only to kill it is innately and unjustifiably cruel.

What a fantastic scientific advancement, and it will indeed prevent a great deal of suffering. However, it's also unbearably sad that so much time, energy and money will be spent on a problem that could be solved by simply not breeding them to eat at all.
 

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Survival of the species is not described as pleasure or convenience by any species other than man. Birds kill more insects than we kill animals. Should they cease? If animals were otherwise immortal, the argument may be different, but we are all just meaningless and infinitely insignificant points on an infinite calendar. Just saying.
The survival of our species does not in anyway depend on exploiting and killing animals. We're past that phase of our history and it's time for our morals to catch up. What's left when a necessary evil is no longer necessary?

On the contrary our current pandemic is the result of eating animals, future pandemics are most likely to come from factory farming and we're already losing antibiotic efficacy due to overuse in livestock. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. A pandemic or ecological collapse has a pretty small chance of wiping out humanity IMO but veganism has no chance and is in fact a powerful tool to address serious issues we face.

Vegans don't have a problem with animals doing what they need to survive, including killing for food. But as humans we have the capacity for moral reasoning and the ability to choose what we eat.

If you want to zoom out to the "lol nothing matters" scale sure, we're all insignificant and our lives are meaningless. But you could use that same thinking to justify anything - it's a wholesale rejection of ethical behavior. If that's what it takes to defend your position you might want to rethink where you stand.

The treatment of animals on factory farms is an ongoing atrocity and I encourage you to watch undercover footage or read about the conditions they are kept in. It's really hard but we can't make the right decisions if we won't face the truth.

If you were in control I know you'd want them to be treated as humanely as possible. But as consumers we don't have that control. We have a binary choice - fund animal abuse, or boycott it.
 

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The survival of our species does not in anyway depend on exploiting and killing animals. We're past that phase of our history and it's time for our morals to catch up. What's left when a necessary evil is no longer necessary?

On the contrary our current pandemic is the result of eating animals, future pandemics are most likely to come from factory farming and we're already losing antibiotic efficacy due to overuse in livestock. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. A pandemic or ecological collapse has a pretty small chance of wiping out humanity IMO but veganism has no chance and is in fact a powerful tool to address serious issues we face.

Vegans don't have a problem with animals doing what they need to survive, including killing for food. But as humans we have the capacity for moral reasoning and the ability to choose what we eat.

If you want to zoom out to the "lol nothing matters" scale sure, we're all insignificant and our lives are meaningless. But you could use that same thinking to justify anything - it's a wholesale rejection of ethical behavior. If that's what it takes to defend your position you might want to rethink where you stand.

The treatment of animals on factory farms is an ongoing atrocity and I encourage you to watch undercover footage or read about the conditions they are kept in. It's really hard but we can't make the right decisions if we won't face the truth.

If you were in control I know you'd want them to be treated as humanely as possible. But as consumers we don't have that control. We have a binary choice - fund animal abuse, or boycott it.
I don't remember supporting inhumane animal farming. I don't. Sustainable farming, rotating poultry and various critters over the same land as it is refertilised and kept healthy, along with the animals on it is not immoral. Thankfully, it is gradually clawing back, albeit at local community levels.

While I have zero issue with eating vegetables and they make up the majority of my diet, I do have an issue with highly processed food and broad-acre cropping. Land-clearing, destruction of local ecosystems, excessive use of fertiliser, fungicides and weedicides, raising salinity levels and gross profiteering from the production of low quality plant-based foods is not something we should be blind to either.

There's nothing lol in this argument, the health of the species' or the planet.
 

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I don't remember supporting inhumane animal farming. I don't. Sustainable farming, rotating poultry and various critters over the same land as it is refertilised and kept healthy, along with the animals on it is not immoral. Thankfully, it is gradually clawing back, albeit at local community levels.
I try not to point fingers or lay blame. I wasn't born vegan and it took a long time for my thoughts and actions to change. And that never would have happened if I didn't hold myself accountable - when I bought animal products I wasn't just paying for a packaged product, but for everything those animals endured. And paying extra for fancier packaging with words like "humane" and "sustainable" wasn't enough to satisfy my conscience.

I also used to think that if we could return to some pastoral ideal of small scale family farming that would be justifiable. But after being vegan for a while my feelings changed. Even the nicest methods of animal farming commodify living beings, and bring life into the world with the sole purpose of stealing that life away so it's corpse can be sold for profit. I see nothing moral in that. And when the ideology that says this is okay is applied to industrial scale manufacturing and corporate competition the only possible outcome is atrocity.

We can't realistically revert to traditional farming anymore than we can reverse globalization. The only way to end factory farming is to extinguish the ideology that says animal's lives and animal's suffering matters less than profit and flavor and tradition.
 

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For those who are interested, I highly recommend reading The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina. The author does an exemplary job of looking how fish get from the boats to our table. He highlights not only the impact on the environment and the extraordinary number of sea animals that are thrown out because they are caught in nets (e.g., millions of sharks), but also the incredible amount of human trafficking and forced slave labor that occurs on fishing boats. I'll admit to having been completely ignorant about many of these issues prior to reading the book.
 

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We can't realistically revert to traditional farming anymore than we can reverse globalization. The only way to end factory farming is to extinguish the ideology that says animal's lives and animal's suffering matters less than profit and flavor and tradition.
Realistically, the only way we're going to end growing animals for food is with lab-grown meat. It's closer than you think: The perfect steak? Researchers create lab-grown meat with better taste and made-to-order marbling - Study Finds

but also the incredible amount of human trafficking and forced slave labor that occurs on fishing boats.
Pick any agricultural product and there's immense human and environmental suffering involved in its production. You can read an entire book about the horrors involved in tomato cultivation: Tomatoland, Third Edition: From Harvest of Shame to Harvest of Hope: Estabrook, Barry: 0050837416383: Amazon.com: Books

Post-WW2, and especially during the Nixon and Reagan years, our government decided that corporate profits and low consumer prices were commercial agriculture's only priorities. That system is now so entrenched that it's difficult to even imagine how we'll be able to extricate ourselves from it.
 

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Realistically, the only way we're going to end growing animals for food is with lab-grown meat. It's closer than you think: The perfect steak? Researchers create lab-grown meat with better taste and made-to-order marbling - Study Finds
Yeah lab meat is extremely promising from an animal welfare standpoint. I still think the shift in ideology will be necessary to truly eliminate killing animals for profit/flavor. I predict the lab meat market will grow in parallel with a boutique-y "natural" meat market, where genuine animal corpses will be seen as even more of a luxury and status symbol. While that would represent a big step forward it isn't an acceptable stopping point IMO. Lab meat may help accelerate that ideological shift and I fully support it as an alternative to factory farming but it's hardly a cause for complacency. The needless suffering and violence in our food system is a moral emergency and should be treated as such.
 

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I predict the lab meat market will grow in parallel with a boutique-y "natural" meat market, where genuine animal corpses will be seen as even more of a luxury and status symbol.
I think lab meat will reach a tipping point in the relatively near future where simple economics will quickly lead to mass adoption. Large agribusinesses aren't going to keep raising actual animals when the producing the same quantity of meat in a lab costs half as much. 10 years, 20 years tops, before the meat case at Safeway is all lab-grown. Use of real animals as a niche boutique item will probably continue for a long time, but the total market share will be less than current flip phone vs. smartphone sales. Hunting will also probably continue for a long time, and I don't really have a problem with that.
 
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