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Animal Rights

July 06, 2020 - free from HARM

Exploiting Animals Is Killing Us and the Planet

Exploiting Animals Is Killing Us and the Planet
Pig Slaughterhouse, USA 1873© Photabulous!

In the cacophony of reports and commentary on the disaster and discord produced by Covid-19, discussion of human treatment of nonhuman animals and its link to the pandemic remains largely nonexistent. In reality, the current catastrophe is but the latest of a long series of tragedies resulting from nonhuman animal exploitation.

When people began capturing and breeding nonhuman animals approximately 10,000 years ago in Eurasia, the confinement and crowding of these other animals led to the development of deadly diseases that infected humans. From smallpox to tuberculous to the measles, such zoonotic diseases caused by animal mistreatment have been calamitous over millennia. Moreover, large scale human violence and warfare was both enabled and promoted by nonhuman animal exploitation. Horses came to be used as instruments of warfare, and cows, pigs, sheep and other nonhuman animals were exploited as rations, allowing the formation of militaristic, nomadic societies that launched constant invasions in search of fresh grazing land and water. As a result, countless people who did not die from these zoonotic diseases died violent deaths at the hands of societies led by the likes of Attila the Hun to Chinggis Khan.

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