Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia
All our certainties are suddenly unreliable. While emergency workers risk their lives for us, most of us are stuck at home, anxious for our loved ones, and worried about our lost income and whether we can still feed the family. We wash our hands, binge watch the news or streaming services, and wash our hands again.
But perhaps COVID-19 will give us an opportunity to rethink some things we take for granted. While we are suffering anxiety and discomfort, let’s take a moment to empathise with the terrified animals who are torn away from their families, kept in tiny cages, deprived of everything they enjoy, and brutally killed, simply because humans like the taste of their flesh or secretions. Animals like chickens, cows, sheep and pigs value their lives just as we do, and suffer when confined without any of the comforts we can obtain. And not only does animal agriculture kill billions of animals every year, and is a leading cause of climate change, but it is also a breeding ground for the viruses and bacteria that cause pandemics.
Our suffering during these weeks or months is necessary and temporary. Theirs is routine and will continue for as long as we subsidise it through our grocery expenditure. That’s why caring people are opting for tasty vegan foods rather than animal-based ones. Going vegan is the sensible thing to do for your health, and the well-being of others.