After coronavirus: Our relationship with meat and the next pandemic

DM

All pandemics in recorded human history have come via the animal kingdom. With mutations abounding and our interaction with wildlife widening, when are we finally going to address the sick animal in the room? When Denmark announced plans to exterminate all farmed mink across the country in response to confirmation by a state research institute that a mutated strain of coronavirus had jumped back to humans and could hinder the effectiveness of any impending vaccine, media publications — even reputable ones — were quick to proclaim fears of a “new pandemic.” As overblown as these fears may seem, they reflect both a heightened sensitivity to, and growing understanding of, the risk posed by zoonoses — pathogens like Sars-COV-2 (the virus causing COVID-19) that are transmitted from animals to humans.

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