The UK has now confirmed outbreaks of monkeypox, and it’s high time we acknowledged that mistreating animals leads to zoonotic diseases and risks triggering the next global pandemic.
Since the 1970s, there has been a tenfold increase in human cases of monkeypox. A recent report has warned that this disease should “not be underestimated”.
The Link Between Animal Use and Monkeypox
Zoonotic diseases like monkeypox often arise when animals are snatched from their natural homes, confined to filthy cages near humans at markets or on farms, and eaten.
Monkeypox first spread from Africa in 2003 from wild animals being kept as exotic “pets”. The disease can be transferred from animals to humans by touch or by eating animals infected with the virus.
We Must Learn From Our Mistakes
Around three-quarters of recently emerged infectious diseases in humans were transferred from other species. SARS, swine flu, COVID-19, Ebola, MERS, bird flu – the list of diseases transferred from other species is extensive.
How You Can Help
Humans must take action to avoid more death, disease, and disruption – urge the World Health Organization (WHO) to close all live-animal markets:
The best thing we can do to avoid zoonotic diseases is leave animals off our plate and eat a safe, healthy vegan diet.