Scientists are speaking out about the role nature plays in disease spread and how we can use nature to prevent future outbreaks.
Lee Hannah, Conservation International senior climate change scientist, spoke with Conservation News on steps to take to protect nature, how our actions affect nature and what is means for disease outbreaks. Hannah notes that wildlife trade is crucial to how pandemics are spread. According to Hannah, “This trade puts species in contact with other species — and other diseases — that they likely would have never encountered naturally in the wild. ”
UN’s environment chief, Inger Andersen has said that the coronavirus pandemic is sending us a message about nature. She told the Guardian, “Never before have so many opportunities existed for pathogens to pass from wild and domestic animals to people.” 75% of new infectious diseases come from wildlife. Exotic markets in China and habitat degradation are opportunities for diseases to pass.
Harvard Scientist Dr. Aaron Bernstein believes that coronavirus and climate change are closely linked, a belief shared by both Hannah and Andersen. Deforestation, rising temperatures, habitat degradation all play a role in disease emergence and the rate of spread.
We need to change our relationship with the natural world to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other related diseases. Bernstein said, “The bottom line is that I don’t think anyone having lived through this moment, in this time with COVID, would think that it’s really wise to continue business as usual.”
According to Andersen, “We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of 10 billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.”
Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.
Consider eating fewer animal products to stay healthy at this time. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:
- How Coronavirus and the Wildlife Trade are Linked
- Jane Goodall’s Talks about Coronavirus and the Treatment of Wild Animals
- United States Now Has Most Coronavirus Cases in the World
- Coronavirus Update: How Emerging Diseases are Linked to Factory Farms
- Coronavirus Update: Death Toll Surpasses SARS
- The Difference Between COVID-19 and the Flu
- Coronavirus Update: Quarantined Patients Given Turtles for Dinner In Spite of
- Coronavirus Update: Your Pets are Not in Danger
- China Acts on Coronavirus and Temporarily Bans Wildlife Trade
- Coronavirus Update: World Global Emissions Have Dropped
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!