THE EDITOR: The viral epidemic, coronavirus 2019-CoV, is causing world governments to panic. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently said that “a wind of madness is sweeping the globe.” He wasn’t, though, referring to the coronavirus. He was discussing increased conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya, et al.
However, with due respect to the secretary-general, global conflicts have been with humankind from time immemorial. And, as the world gets more powerful weapons, it makes these conflicts increasingly more dangerous with the potential to escalate across borders.
We have to ask ourselves, why are legally binding UN resolutions disregarded by nations, and what can the UN and other global organisations do to change that paradigm?
Humankind is a violent and warring species. Is it because we live in an extreme environment where animals are raised and slaughtered for food and apparel? This violent food preparation is carried out in diverse places such as mega-farms in developed countries to backyards in developing nations and impoverished villages.
Children know from birth that the food they eat is animal-derived from multiple sources, such as eggs from hens, to dairy from cows and goats, to meat from cattle, chickens, fish, and other seafood. They are also aware that animals are killed for their meat.
Apart from food, animal cruelty – bullfighting, fishing, sporting events such as horseback riding, hunting, et al – is endemic to the culture of many people:
If we want to make humans more empathetic and compassionate as a species, we have to care for all life on the planet. Now that plant-based food is commonplace, ramping up production will decrease costs and bring it within reach of everyone.
To that end I am urging the UN and other global organisations to work towards ending animal slaughter as a global necessity. Children should be taught to treasure all life, animal as well as human. Research has shown that children who treasure, love, and care for animals grow up to become caring adults who value all life.
Finally, let us not forget that zoonotic diseases are spread from animals to humans and are a known cause of coronaviruses and other illnesses. Therefore, ending the use of animals for food will solve that problem as well.
A petition to the UN can be signed at: http://chng.it/dpZDQ77M92
Trinidad Animal Protection Agency