The Cycle of Animal Mistreatment
An Animal Rights Article from

FROM Zoe Weil, M.A., M.T.S., Psychology Today / Animal Emotions
June 2021

Our mistreatment of animals makes us sick, and then we often mistreat animals to make ourselves well.... Now is the time to change our relationship with nonhuman animals.

Piglet Willie
Piglet Willie, photo taken by Zoe Weil, Institute for Humane Education

Let the pandemic be our wake-up call: if ever there was a time to transform our relationship with animals, it’s now. While the origin of COVID-19 remains uncertain, one of the likely theories is that it originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China. Wet markets are places where live animals—both wild and domesticated—are sold, and they have been known to transmit several diseases from wildlife to humans, including SARS. There is also terrible cruelty associated with them.

Wet markets aren’t the only places where zoonotic diseases—those that jump from nonhuman animals to humans—originate. The H5N1 bird flu originated in farmed birds. The H1N1 swine flu originated in farmed pigs. Salmonella, campylobacter, and other infectious diseases are so common in farmed animals that a recent study indicated that more than 17 percent of chickens were infected with campylobacter and a similar percentage with salmonella. In 2014, Consumer Reports found nearly all of 300 samples they studied were contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria....



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