Reading Time: 2 minutes The next pandemic could be sparked by the ‘world’s addiction to intensive animal farming’ Credit: Twitter
Reading Time: 2 minutes

An Irish politician is facing calls to prioritize organic vegan agriculture.

Charlie McConalogue, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has received a letter from vegan charity PETA.

It states that the production of animal-derived food ‘requires much more water, land, and other resources and causes more harmful emissions than the production of vegan food’.

The letter also says animal-agriculture puts both humans and other animals at risk. Moreover, it refers to abattoirs and meat-packing facilities as ‘breeding grounds for potentially deadly zoonotic pathogens’. 

“The key to stopping climate change and future pandemics in their tracks lies in sustainable vegan agriculture.”

Kate Werner, Senior Campaigns Manager at PETA

Vegan agriculture 

Kate Werner is PETA’s Senior Campaigns Manager. She said: “The key to stopping climate change and future pandemics in their tracks lies in sustainable vegan agriculture.

“PETA is calling on officials to give animals and the planet a lifeline by reorienting our food systems towards vibrant and varied vegan fare.”

The next pandemic

Moreover, a white paper has argued the next pandemic could be sparked by the ‘world’s addiction to intensive animal farming’.

The paper, published last year, is titled The connection between animal agriculture, viral zoonoses, and global pandemics. It was penned by global animal protection organization Humane Society International (HSI).

The paper highlights that farmed animals have ‘been at the heart of multiple zoonotic disease outbreaks’. It lists diseases such as H5N1 avian influenza, Nipah virus, and HINI swine flu among those which have transmitted from animals to humans.

Could COVID-19 have been prevented?

Julie Janovsky is HSU’s vice president of farm animal campaigns. In a statement sent to PBN, she said: Since news broke that COVID-19 likely originated in a live animal market… We began examining what other human exploitation of animals could create a similar petri dish of disease.

“It’s clear looking at the data that the unprecedented increase and expansion of intensive animal agriculture, mostly on factory farms, in which we raise and slaughter more than 80 billion animals around the world every year, is a clear front-runner.

“The message is simple, if we want to stop future pandemics, we have to significantly kick the meat habit, and global leaders need to actively assist in shifting global diets towards more plant-based eating.”

Plant Based News has contacted McConalogue for comment

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.