Reading Time: < 1 minute The couple are both passionate activists (Photos: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals and Animal Equality)
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Vegan power couple Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have blasted factory farming for ‘breeding contagions like the coronavirus‘.

The celebrities, who often speak up about animal-rights, made the comment in an Op-Ed for major publication The Washington Post.

‘Proliferation of superbugs’

“Less notorious [than wet markets] but much more commonplace threats to public health are the ‘concentrated animal feeding operations’ (CAFOs) scattered throughout the South and Midwest,” Phoenix and Mara wrote.

“These factory farms warehouse thousands of animals that wallow in their own waste with limited or no airspace, routinely creating conditions for the proliferation of superbugs and zoonotic pathogens.”

The piece added that ‘nearly the entire supply’ of animal products consumed in the US come from these types of factory farms. 

‘Must change’

This isn’t the first time factory farming has been slammed for its risk of spreading disease. The BBC warned intensive farming ‘must change’ to avoid future pandemics in a recent documentary.

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.”

You can read Phoenix and Mara’s Op-Ed here

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'.