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In March 2020, the world underwent a rigid lockdown to stop Covid-19 from spreading. But it didn’t stop the suffering. Lost jobs, small businesses shutting down, crashing economies, and death rate increasing every day. The novel coronavirus brought a whirlwind of distress around the globe and shook us upside-down. But this isn’t the first pandemic to occur and certainly won’t be the last unless we make some crucial changes to our lifestyle.

As Covid-19 continues to spread and take lives, one thing is clear - prevention beats cure. To reduce the chances of a pandemic like this from happening again, we must act now. Adopting a plant-based diet is a good start.


Stop the Viruses at the Source

According to WHO estimates, over a million zoonotic (a disease transmitted from animal to humans) viruses leading to severe illness and deaths occur every year, globally.

Throughout history, we have seen many diseases like Swine Flu, Bird Flu and Plague; all of them originated mainly from wet markets and factory farming.

Industrial animal agriculture provides the perfect conditions for zoonotic viruses to emerge, spread, and cross-species barriers. According to a recent study by James Wood, University of Cambridge, “Farmed animals are a major source of viruses with a potential to cause a global pandemic.”


Build a Stronger Immune System

Meat consumption is directly linked to various health concerns like cancer, diabetes, stroke and much more. Amidst Covid-19, we have seen several doctors and health organisations advising us to strengthen our immune system by eliminating meat, processed food and even dairy from our diet.

Milk and its by-products are harmful to our immunity. According to an article in Times of India, around sixty per cent of India’s population is lactose intolerant and dairy consumption has many adverse effects on our system.

Strong and healthy immunity is our best bet to fight any viruses. And the most straightforward way to do so is by embracing a plant-based diet that’s rich in antioxidants, minerals and essential vitamins.


Indirect Antibiotics effects

Animals at factory farms live in tight and confined conditions. Hence, they’re regularly injected with antibiotics to prevent infections. They are also given hormonal injections to grow faster. These chemicals are eventually transferred to humans with the consumption of meat.

A recent foodprint issue explains how routine antibiotic misuse in industrial agriculture is behind the rise of dangerous antibiotic-resistant viruses. Even if people don’t consume meat from these factories, they’re still affected by it.

Animal waste contains a large number of undigested antibiotics, which is usually stored in large lagoons. The waste is also released in water bodies around the factories contaminating local water supplies and reach the neighbouring population in physically or sensorial capacity. These harmful drugs make our bodies more immune to diseases.

Lower the Risk of Pathogens Jumping Species

While eating a disease-ridden animal is one of the significant ways to catch a virus, people handling those infected animals --skinning, butchering and killing-- are at a much higher risk.

Close contact between animals and humans at these slaughterhouses provides an easy way for pathogens to make the jump between species. Due to the close contact with the septic animals, these workers become a susceptible host for the virus to survive, reproduce and transmit to other individuals.


In their recent report, the United Nations urged the world to “Unite human, animal and environmental health to prevent the next pandemic.” Going completely plant-based is no longer a drastic change, especially when we have so many alternatives available in the market which don’t pose a threat to humanity, the animal kingdom and the planet. It’s about time we all get conscious about what we eat, where we shop and who we support financially. Let’s vote with our money and use our power as consumers to create a healthier world.


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