7 Celebs Who Have Made the Connection Between Animal Abuse and Pandemics
In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, people are making the connection between eating animals and major disease outbreaks.
Public health experts believe the coronavirus originated at a “wet market” in China, where traders sold both live and dead animals for human consumption. But the problem is global, and it isn’t going away – 60% of known infectious diseases in humans are transmitted from other animals. Factory-farm sheds crowded with thousands of chickens or pigs, bloody abattoirs, and “bushmeat” markets selling the flesh of wild animals are all breeding grounds for pathogens.
These six celebrities have spoken out about the link between animal abuse and the spread of disease:
PETA US Honorary Director and long-time animal advocate Pamela Anderson took to Twitter to speak out about the dangers of wet markets, slaughterhouses, and factory farms:
and other deadly viruses
like SARS, MERS, swine flu, and bird flu
all spread from animals to humans.
More viruses are sure to follow,
since factory farms,
live animal markets,
are the perfect breeding ground
for deadly diseases.
— Pamela Anderson (@pamfoundation) January 16, 2021
In a radio interview, Paul McCartney branded Chinese wet markets “medieval” and called for them to be banned.
“It wouldn’t be so bad if this is the only thing it seems like you can blame on those wet markets. It seems like [they’re also linked to] SARS, avian flu, all sorts of other stuff that has afflicted us … and what’s it for? For these quite medieval practices.
They need to clean up their act. This may lead to [change]. If this doesn’t, I don’t know what will. … When you’ve got the obscenity of some of the stuff that’s going on there and what comes out of it, they might as well be letting off atomic bombs.
It’s affecting the whole world. I understand that part of it is going to be: ‘people have done it forever – this is the way we do things’. But they did slavery forever, too. You’ve got to change things at some point.”
Reality-TV star, vegan entrepreneur, and animal activist Lucy Watson has used her social media to speak up for all animals:
“If you think isolation is bad, think about the factory-farmed animals that spend their lives unable to hardly move.”
“Whales and dolphins that spend their lives in captivity … Think about ALL the animals that live in cages purely so they can be used by humans.”
“If you are shocked at China for eating bats … dogs … cats … how is it any different to you eating a pig or a cow? They’re all animals at the end of the day and none of them deserve this.”
We’re used to hearing Brian May defend badgers and speak up for other wildlife, and on the topic of the pandemic, he’s speaking up for all animals:
“That’s a central issue here, this pandemic seemed to come from people eating animals and it’s becoming more well known that eating animals is not the greatest thing for our health. . . .
But to go vegan was just a decision, and I haven’t been preachy about it, but now we’ve seen more of the effects of how eating animals has brought us to our knees as a species, I think it’s time to re-examine our world in a way that doesn’t abuse other species.
Whether we will see that happen, I don’t know, but I think I will start to be a bit more preachy about veganism because to me it is the way forward, in so many ways.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais has used his massive platform to speak out against the wildlife trade.
“For the sake of people and animals, wildlife trade and consumption has to end, now.
We can’t carry on exploiting animals, eating wildlife and trashing the planet. The wildlife trade and markets have to close, otherwise it will be a case of when, and not if, we have another global pandemic.
How bad does this have to get before you close down Indonesia’s extreme animal markets that pose the exact same risk as the wildlife wet markets in Wuhan, China?”
Musician Bryan Adams uses his massively popular Instagram account to speak out against wet markets and asks his followers to #GoVegan.
“Let’s not forget this virus comes from an open wet market where animals and fish of all descriptions are sold together either dead or alive. This has been going on for decades and as a result, so have these viruses.”
Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton used Instagram stories to encourage people to make the connection between the self-isolation many of us are experiencing temporarily right now and the captivity many animals endure with no end in sight.
“If you are home on lockdown, perhaps you can feel a little of what the animals in captivity go through every day, their entire lives [stolen] from them. In future, please don’t go to any zoos or circuses because this is what our money goes to supporting #NoMoreZoos #Freedom.”
You Can Help
All wet markets are potential breeding grounds for viruses that cause zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19, SARS, and others. Join PETA in urging the World Health Organization to call for an end to live-animal meat markets.
And while many of us are in isolation right now, we know we’re going to get through this soon enough. For orcas and other animals held captive at SeaWorld and other marine abusement parks, though, there’s no end in sight. Take the PETA #SeaWorldBathtubChallenge to speak up for orcas and other dolphins held captive at marine parks.
Reduce the Risk of Pandemics – Go Vegan
To help prevent future outbreaks of killer diseases, we must stop confining, abusing, and killing animals for their flesh in factory farms, markets, and abattoirs. The next pandemic could be even worse than COVID-19 – so we must do all we can to stop it happening.
If you want to make the socially responsible, sustainable, and healthy choice to go vegan, PETA is here to help! Sign our 30-day vegan pledge and we’ll send you regular e-mails and resources that will make your first month of being vegan fly by. What are you waiting for?