COVID-19 and Animal Exploitation: Preventing the Next Global Pandemic
Food Hazards in Animal Flesh and By-products from Vegan Health Articles

See Health Position and Disclaimer

December 2020

Human lives therefore may be saved to the degree that abolishing animal exploitation should be seriously considered in the interests of public health and the rights of non-human animals.

COVID-19 pandemic


Written by laypersons for layreaders in easily accessible language and published during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, this white paper examines the links between outbreaks of zoonotic diseases - caused when infectious pathogens are passed to humans from non-human animals - and our exploitation of those animals.

The specific details of several notable zoonotic diseases, or zoonoses, including the most widely accepted theories of their origins and the factors contributing to their transmission to humans, will be examined to ascertain to what degree human exploitation of non- human animals played in the resulting outbreaks.

Where animal exploitation is identified as a significant contributing factor, to provide balance where possible, a fair evaluation of the likelihood of the transmission of each zoonotic disease in the absence of that exploitation will also be attempted. It is the belief of the authors that animal exploitation increases the risk of zoonotic outbreaks and therefore potential pandemics, and by reviewing past occurrences in this way, either strengthen or weaken this hypothesis in a qualitative sense.

By asking these questions, the overarching aim of this white paper is to provide context for a broader and more important discussion about whether the risk of future pandemics can be lessened or mitigated by moving away from our widespread use of animals for food primarily, though we will also briefly touch upon globalisation, urbanisation and climate change.

The scope of this white paper, in regards to which diseases are examined, will be limited to notable viral (with one exception) outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics from the 1900s onwards with clear links to animal exploitation according to the leading theories of their origins. This is not to create bias towards a particular conclusion as the claim is not that abolishing animal exploitation will result in zero outbreaks or pandemics, only that the relative risks of the emergence of future zoonoses could be significantly diminished. Human lives therefore may be saved to the degree that abolishing animal exploitation should be seriously considered in the interest of public health and the rights of non-human animals.

Also, apart from state-imposed quarantine, measures to prevent viral outbreaks predominantly centre around stockpiles of antiviral drugs of questionable effectiveness such as Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza), and vaccination programmes that are initially reactive before becoming preventative, and take some months to develop for each new virus, subtype and strain against which we have little or no herd immunity. Existing vaccines become ineffective due to viral mutation and the emergence of new strains such as influenza and antigenic shift - this being when the markers (antigens) that identify viruses and other pathogens change enough to make them unrecognisable to the body’s immune system.

What differentiates a cross-border pandemic from an epidemic or other localised outbreak will also be acknowledged, as there are many human factors that give rise to true pandemics including speed of response by health authorities and increasing globalisation (travel).


The final points for exploration will centre around the consistency of zoonotic outbreaks and how the focus should be on reducing and eliminating situations that increase contact with animals, such as bats, pigs and poultry.

A roadmap for a reduction and total abolition of animal use by humans is outside the remit of this paper, as is identifying the agents of that change be they governmental, societal or otherwise, but in compiling a range of authoritative sources including the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and ending with a clear call-to-action, it is hoped the first step will have been taken.


Please read and share the ENTIRE WHITE PAPER HERE (PDF)

Return to Food Hazards in Animal Flesh and By-products
Read more at COVID-19/Coronavirus Articles Directory Health Position and Disclaimer

We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.