Reading Time: 2 minutes Cox celebrated Earth Day on Instagram (Photo: Instagram ./ Courtney Cox)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Celebrity actor Courtney Cox, best known for her role of Monica in the TV series Friends, has blasted the illegal wildlife trade for causing the ‘deadliest diseases of our lifetimes’.

The star made the comment in an Instagram post celebrating Earth Day (April 22) – where she also asked her 9.3 million followers to help donate to conservation charity Space for Giants.

‘A healthy earth’

“By protecting our natural ecosystems, we can stop the illegal wildlife trade which has caused the deadliest diseases of our lifetimes including HIV, SARS, and Covid-19,” Cox wrote.

“This Earth Day help Space For Giants protect ecosystems and promote a healthy earth!”

Coronavirus

It is believed the coronavirus originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China – where live animals are slaughtered and sold alongside dead ones- and has killed globally around 203,000 at the time of writing.

According to a recent BBC documentary, wet markets are ‘only part of the problem’ – as nearly a third of all cases where viruses jump from animals to humans are thought to be caused by changes in land use and intensive farming.

Veterinary pathologist Professor Andrew Cunningham, who specializes in wildlife diseases, said: “It’s not a coincidence that we talk bout avian influenza and swine influenza, those are the two species that are farmed intensively the most around the world.

“Thousands and thousands of animals packed in together and that’s a very good environment for a new virus to emerge from a mutation.”

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.