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·         Still Eating Meat? Don’t Be Shocked if We Face a Future of Pandemics

·         A new coronavirus that could be even more dangerous was just discovered in China



Still Eating Meat? Don’t Be Shocked if We Face a Future of Pandemics

The voices of those who see a connection between diet and rogue viruses are getting stronger and the market for meat substitutes is flourishing


Anat Georgi, Haaretz (Israel)

Oct 16, 2020


In June 2019 Chinese researchers identified a virus that causes swine flu and warned that if it mutated, it could lead to a pandemic, as happened in 2009. To prevent that, China killed about 1 million pigs suspected of being infected. Shortly afterwards, Vietnam followed suit and killed almost 3 million pigs. The outbreak never came.


But only a few months later a mysterious new lung disease originating in bats began to spread in China. This time human beings were also infected by the virus, and COVID-19 to date has claimed over 1 million lives worldwide.


The coronavirus crisis has begun to raise questions about the connection between meat consumption and pandemics. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says animals are the source of 75 percent of infectious diseases. Most of those animals are consumed or traded by human beings, such as swine, fowl and wild animals.


Zoonotic diseases, those that originate in animals, pose a persistent pandemic threat. That’s what happened in the late 1970s, when the Ebola virus developed in the bodies of monkeys and fruit bats, and was transmitted to human beings. It happened again with the AIDS pandemic that erupted in the early 1980s, apparently as a result of hunting chimpanzees that were carrying the virus. It was also the case with the SARS pandemic, which began in 2002 and originated in a carnivore called the Asiatic palm civet.


“There’s a direct line that connects our nutrition, which is largely based on animal produce – beef, pork and fowl – and the destruction of the natural environment, of habitats, and at the end of the day – the outbreak of viral epidemics such as COVID-19. It’s an elusive connection, far away and hidden from the eye, but it’s very powerful,” says Dr. Asaf Tzachor, a researcher at the University of Cambridge and a lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya.


“Since the beginning of the coronavirus, people have been talking about the huge health-related and economic crisis, about remote learning the day after, and about the face of future medicine. But the close connection between eating meat and the ecological crisis, and as a result the probability that pandemics will erupt, is outside the discussion,” adds Dr. Alon Sapan of the environmental studies department and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University, and the chairman of the Israeli Forum on Sustainable Nutrition.


Tzachor says that recent decades have seen a “disastrous consolidation” of trends that favor the eruption and spread of epidemics like COVID-19.


According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, over the past 50 years consumption of animal proteins has grown by about 30% per capita in developed countries and by about 110% in developing countries. All told, animal products provide more than 30% of the global consumption of proteins; by 2050, the figure is expected to grow by over 70%...





A new coronavirus that could be even more dangerous was just discovered in China


·         A coronavirus strain found in pigs in China is thought to have originated in bats, which is the same route of transmission that the SARS-CoV-2 virus took.

·         The virus attacks the gastrointestinal tract rather than the respiratory system, causing uncontrollable diarrhea and other serious symptoms.

·         Existing coronavirus treatments have proven effective against the virus so far.


By Mike Wehner, BGR

October 15th, 2020


As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage many parts of the world, researchers have been working hard to develop a safe and effective vaccine that could bring life back a bit closer to normal. Of course, the development of a vaccine and the good it could do for humanity assumes that another, separate strain of the virus isn’t poised to make a jump to humans and start the process all over again.


Now, researchers are warning that a type of coronavirus seen in pigs may indeed be capable of jumping to humans, and if it does, it could cause even more problems. It’s called SADS-CoV, which is short for “Swine Acute Diarrhea Syndrome Coronavirus” and, yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds.


As you might have gathered from the virus’s name, the SADS-CoV virus infects pigs, but it originated in bats. It’s been found in China, and it appears to be taking a similar route to the virus that causes COVID-19. Humans and pigs are shockingly close when it comes to genetics, making it easier for a virus to jump from pigs to humans.


One of the biggest differences between the two viruses is that SADS-CoV produces symptoms related to the gastrointestinal tract rather than the respiratory system. That doesn’t necessarily make it any less dangerous, however, as loss of fluid leading to dehydration and even malnutrition can arise from a mammal not being able to keep food down and expelling it rapidly. As a result, the new virus could be even more dangerous in many instances.


The researchers explain:


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