COVID-19 IS JUST THE WARM-UP ACT if we don’t address root causes: deforestation — and confining billions of animals.
By Damian Carrington, Environment editor | June 4, 2021
Ending the destruction of nature to stop outbreaks at source is more effective and cheaper than responding to them, scientists say.
The root cause of pandemics – the destruction of nature – is being ignored, scientists have warned. The focus of world leaders on responding to future outbreaks overlooks the far cheaper and more effective strategy of stopping the spillover of disease from animals to humans in the first place, they have said.
The razing of forests and hunting of wildlife is increasingly bringing animals and the microbes they harbour into contact with people and livestock. About 70% of new infectious diseases have come from animals, including Covid-19, Sars, bird flu, Ebola and HIV.
How the Anti-Vaxxers Got Red-Pilled
By Tim Dickinson | February 10, 2021
Trump rose to political dominance promoting the birther conspiracy theory that Barack Obama had been ineligible to hold office. And he won and sustained the presidency by encouraging his white, working-class supporters to blame their social woes on the merciless “globalists” of the “deep state.”
Conspiratorial thinking, academic research shows, often takes root in groups, like many in Trump’s base, that are experiencing economic or social dislocation. “People often turn to conspiracy theories when bad things are happening around them,” says Karen Douglas, a professor of social psychology at the University of Kent in England. “They are looking for ways to cope, people to blame,” she says. “If people believe that powerful, secret forces are responsible, then it isn’t their fault that things are bad for them,” and they can make themselves feel better without having to “tease apart the complex reasons for their disadvantage.”
Eric Oliver is a political-science professor at the University of Chicago who has studied conspiracy theories since the 1990s. He argues that conspiracy belief helps conquer anxiety by giving people a feeling of “I understand what’s happening in the world. I have a narrative that explains things.” They also root free-floating fear in something that feels solid: “ ‘The reason I’m feeling anxious is there’s a secret cabal doing something terrible. And now I’ve identified it.’ ”
As demonstrated by the January 6th storming of the Capitol, perpetrated by many Americans immersed in the QAnon cult, this red-pilling can have deadly, destabilizing consequences, and not just for conspiracy-theory believers. “This may be the most important public-health issue of our time — misinformation, disinformation,” Jha insists. And unlike the coronavirus, the contagion of conspiracy theory is one against which we’re largely defenseless.
Long before the coronavirus hit, America had been gripped by a fierce anti-vaccine movement, which had itself become increasingly unmoored from scientific critique and drifted into conspiratorial waters.
…anti-vax beliefs spread widely, popularized by celebrities like actress Jenny McCarthy and then-Apprentice star Donald Trump, who infamously tweeted in 2014: “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes — AUTISM. Many such cases!” In a 2016 survey, 77% of parents who chose not to vaccinate their children cited a feared link to autism, and 71% cited fear of vaccine additives.
Today’s anti-vax movement has grown increasingly cozy with theories about dark agendas, ruthless profit motives, and powerful enemies, reserving peculiar animus for billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation promotes vaccination globally. For his part, Kennedy continues to promote unfounded links between vaccines and autism, even though thimerosal has been phased out of childhood vaccines: “They replaced it with aluminum,” he says, “which is almost as bad.” (Aluminum salts have been safely used in vaccines for more than seven decades, according to the CDC.)
READ Rolling Stone ARTICLE: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/qanon-anti-vax-covid-vaccine-conspiracy-theory-1125197/
By Joshua Frank | January 28, 2022
Anti-vaxxers have a laundry list of reasons why they will never accept the hard data, let alone give it an unbiased look. Hospitals and public health departments are all in on the big hoax too, you see, paid off by all those covert pharmaceutical agents. Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci are getting rich off the devious scheme, and we are all suckers for buying the tricksters’ plandemic lies. The real goods, the disbelievers confess, are being censored and they alone hold the keys to the truth behind what’s really going on. After all, Big Pharma has a huge incentive to spread their filthy lies. You remember the opioid-pushing Sacklers, don’t ya?
What many of the skeptics do not realize, however, is that by discounting vaccine efficacy and overlooking the mountain of science supporting their use, they are inadvertently aiding and abetting the very Big Pharma villains they claim to despise. How is that, you ask?
There is one big reason: Big Pharma does not want to inoculate the world’s poor against covid-19 and neither do the anti-vaxxers. Their agendas end up being the same, just executed by different means.
Most around the globe have not been as lucky as those of us who live in the US or Europe, yet so many in these countries still buy the vaccine misinformation being sold by the likes of RFK Jr., Jimmy Dore, Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson, and a handful of other privileged, mostly, white men — all of whom discount Covid vaccines because greedy Big Pharma really sucks.
Yes, Big Pharma does suck. But they don’t suck because the vaccines they’re producing aren’t life-saving drugs. Big Pharma sucks because they are withholding the formulas of these vaccines from much of the world, and the anti-vaxxers, unwittingly or not, are their partners in crime.
READ Counterpunch ARTICLE:
By Jan Dutkiewicz, Astra Taylor & Troy Vettese | April 16, 2020
Science and political economy, however, tell a more complex story. The principal driver of zoonotic diseases (such as the virus Sars-Cov-2, which spread from animals to humans) is industrial animal agriculture. When food production encroaches on wild habitats, it creates opportunities for pathogens to jump to livestock and humans. Industrial agriculture also breeds its own diseases, like swine flu and avian flu, on hellish factory farms. And it contributes to antibiotic resistance and climate change, both of which exacerbate the problem.
We need to have an honest public discussion on how to produce our food. Individually, we must stop eating animal products. Collectively, we must transform the global food system and work toward ending animal agriculture and rewilding much of the world.
Oddly, many people who would never challenge the reality of climate change refuse to acknowledge the role meat-eating plays in endangering public health. Eating meat, it seems, is a socially acceptable form of science denial.
READ The Guardian ARTICLE: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/16/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-food-animals
6.6 million DEATHS | 1.09 million in U.S.
Covid-19 (SARS-CoV2) is just one single, not especially deadly virus humanity now faces.It’s not the first — and won’t be the last — new virus we bring into human populations because we continue to:
1) cut down wild forests and;
2) confine billions of animals, worldwide, into crowded, unnatural, unsanitary industrial conditions.
Over 6 million people around the world have died from the Covid-19 Coronavirus (Covid is short for: CO-rona VI-rus D-isease) and its variants. The over 100,000,000 American lives lost exceeds the number of Americans who died in WWI (115k), WWII (400k), the Vietnam (58k) and Korean (36k) Wars…combined.
The seasonal flu kills 10-20,000 Americans each year — only 1/10th as deadly as Covid-19 (according to The World Health Organization). This is the key reason Covid-19 can’t be treated as cavalierly as the seasonal flu. If allowed to spread freely through our unhealthy population, 10x the number of old, sick and vulnerable people will die from this Coronavirus than from the seasonal flu.
If you think this is a “third world” sanitary problem, think again: America has its own version of Chinese “wet markets” some Americans want to blame: they are U.S. animal factories slaughtering millions of cows and pigs — and literally billions of chickens — in crowded, unsanitary conditions.
If we wanted to breed and spread pandemic viruses, we couldn’t do much better than U.S. slaughterhouses which feed America’s habit of eating animals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
VIDEO: How to reduce pandemics AND global warming. (It’s the animals, stupids.)
John Oliver has the guts, smarts (and potty mouth) to focus on the cause, not just the effects, of Covid-19 and most pandemics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v-U3K1sw9U&feature=youtu.be
VIDEO: How To Cause A Pandemic
(Keep eating billions of animals.)
Instead of just reacting to novel (new), zoonotic (animal-generated) viruses, we can (and must) prevent them from developing in the first place.
VIDEO: How to simultaneously mitigate pandemics, global warming, and deforestation.
With one simple societal shift, we can end zoonotic (animal-generated) viruses, and slow our own heating of our planet.
WE SAW THIS COMING: Numerous medical experts and global health agencies predicted this pandemic, having studied other recent viruses including SARS, MERS, Nipah (see “60 Minutes” video below) Ebola, and the infamous “Spanish” flu pandemic 100 years ago that killed an estimated 50-100 million people. (READ MORE.)
We were warned repeatedly by both American and international health agencies this plague was coming. Our current government ignored the warnings. We are now paying the price in tens of thousands of lives and massive economic damage. If we don’t end our environmental destruction, and change our animal-laden diets, we will bring more — and more deadly — diseases upon ourselves. READ MORE about the hazards of billions of humans eating billions of animals.
2004 “60 Minutes” episode predicted Covid-19: the Nipah virus was an eerie foretelling of our current pandemic. Nipah is deadlier, but more easily contained. Watch this short, chilling, informative story; relevant today — and tomorrow:
The medical establishment foretold the Covid-19 pandemic because 25-to-50 million people died from the so-called “Spanish Flu” (H1N1 influenza virus) pandemic of 1918-19. That’s more than all the people who died in World War I (20-22 million), the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan… combined. Historians believe that virus started on a rural pig and chicken farm in America, in Kansas. Hence its other name, “swine flu,” by eventually making headlines in Spain. (Watch short documentary film below, “A Warning from History.”)
The videos and articles below call attention to the changes we can make in our societies to dramatically reduce the spread of zoonotic diseases reduce the harm they do — and save millions of human lives.
BRILLIANT. SCATHING. INSIGHTFUL.
VIDEO: “Wet Markets in America” – Comic gadfly Bill Maher sums up much of the info on this webpage, boiled down to his usual blistering, funny, profane “New Rule” segment. Drawing connections between the pandemic and our callous treatment of animals worldwide — including eating them right here in the U.S. April 24, 2020
MUST-WATCH VIDEO: Animals, Disease and Human Pandemics. Interview with infectious disease specialist, Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. By Ed Winters. (Interview begins @ 2:30 mark.) April 15, 2020
“When we overcrowd animals by the thousands, in cramped football-field-size sheds, to lie beak to beak or snout to snout, and there’s stress crippling their immune systems, and there’s ammonia from the decomposing waste burning their lungs, and there’s a lack of fresh air and sunlight — put all these factors together and you have a perfect-storm environment for the emergence and spread of disease.“
– Michael Greger, “Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching”
Dr. Gregor (above, right) is a physician, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety and public health issues. He’s lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, and was an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “meat defamation” trial. He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture, and Tufts University School of Medicine. His book, “How Not to Die,” is a New York Times best-seller. His latest book: “How To Survive A Pandemic.”
ANALYZING the “Plandemic” CONSPIRACY VIDEO
Dr. Mike Varshavki (family medicine, M.D.) fact-checks and analyzes the many disturbing claims by Dr. Judi Mikovits in the popular “Plandemic” documentary — e.g., that the virus is “activated” by mask-wearing. Huh? What? Please explain that startling claim! But neither Dr. Mikovitz nor interviewer/filmmaker Mikki Willis do so.
Dr. Varshavski is no cheerleader for the AMA or Big Pharma, but provides essential details where Plan-demic does NOT. Which changes everything.
In these challenging times, conspiracy theories abound. Their broad and simple explanations are appealing — “they” are out to get us — so it’s critical to rigorously question simplistic, over-arching assertions. And beware your own confirmation-bias — something we all inevitably have.
VIDEO link, May 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWpjc1QZg84&t=232s
OR, if you (are old enough to) prefer reading over watching videos, read this analysis of Dr. Mikovits’ claims, in Science Magazine: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/fact-checking-judy-mikovits-controversial-virologist-attacking-anthony-fauci-viral
DON’T SANITIZE THE UNIVERSE; HELP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM DO ITS JOB.
VIDEO: Bill Maher spot on again: We should be strengthening our immune systems by being in better health — over 1/2 of Americans have a pre-existing medical condition like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, pre-diabetes, etc — not fearfully, futilely trying to sanitize the universe and controlling everyone else’s behavior. May 2, 2020
The Meat We Eat Is A Pandemic Risk Too
– Vox, April 15, 2020
It’s easy to point the finger at… “foreign” places and blame them for generating pandemics. But doing that ignores one crucial fact: The way people eat all around the world — including in the US — is a major risk factor for pandemics, too.
For years, expert bodies like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been warning that most emerging infectious diseases come from animals and that our industrialized farming practices are ratcheting up the risk.
Obesity is a major risk factor for dying of Covid-19.
…the sheer volume of co-morbidities and complications associated with obesity make the adoption of broad lifestyle changes within this vulnerable population both necessary and potentially life-saving during a widespread pandemic.
If patients can change their lives before suffering chronic disease consequences, they have a far greater chance of living longer, healthier lives with or without Covid-19. But this change requires the type of intensive doctor-patient relationship that goes beyond conventional engagement on diet and exercise.
READ Medical Economics article, May 4, 2020: https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/covid-19-and-obesity-reducing-risk-healthy-habits
READ The Guardian ARTICLE, June 15, 2020: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/15/obesity-is-a-major-risk-factor-for-dying-of-covid-19-we-need-to-take-it-more-seriously?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
Slaughterhouses are a breeding ground for disease and hotspots for Coronavirus…
…it’s time to dismantle factory farms and get used to eating less meat
– Gene Baur, The Guardian, May 19, 2020
Slaughterhouses are a breeding ground for disease and hotspots for coronavirus, and dozens closed after thousands of workers became ill. …the government is spending $200m per month to support the meat and dairy industries, while agribusiness lobbies for more stimulus money to return to killing as normal.
Industrial animal agriculture harms people, animals and the earth, and it should not receive government bailouts. It should be dismantled and replaced. To put it bluntly: it’s time to get used to eating less, or no, meat.
READ The Guardian ARTICLE: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/19/its-time-to-get-used-to-eating-less-meat
VIDEO: Where Many Viruses Originate – Dr. Neal Barnard. Barnard, MD, FACC, is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Host Chuck Carroll. March 14, 2020.
VIDEO #3: Covid-19 Chronicle
Jack Gescheidt, TreeSpirit’s founder talks with Dr. Will Tuttle, author, “The World Peace Diet” about how we got into this viral mess, and why we can get out of it. And how we can even benefit from having been through it.
APRIL 20, 2020
VIDEO #2: Covid-19 Chronicles commentary by Jack Gescheidt, TreeSpirit’s founder.
APRIL 7, 2020
VIDEO #1: Covid-19 Chronicles commentary by Jack Gescheidt, TreeSpirit’s founder.
April 3, 2020.
Media outlets, politicians and we the public were, for years, ignorant or skeptical of the many warnings from the medical and scientific community of a possible, even likely, global pandemic. (Same with global warming.)
Covid-19 is our wake-up call. And just the warm-up act. Simple, societal changes can prevent future pandemics — and the other, far more harmful crises headed our way. Lest we forget, that’s the climate crisis which will bring far more, and worse, than just one viral pandemic. An ounce of prevention is worth millions of human lives of cure.
THINK Covid-19 IS BAD? Sure, it’s highly infectious, but it’s not especially deadly. Ebola was deadly — with a 50% mortality rate — but not highly infectious. Imagine a future virus — it’s easy if you try — that was BOTH highly deadly AND infectious, for which there was no vaccine or treatment.
That scenario, a science-fiction-meets-horror-film scenario would mean the end of human society as we know it. Covid-19, in comparison, would be a common cold.
We can PREVENT this by addressing pandemic root causes, NOW, not just reacting to the symptoms, which is all we’re currently doing.
The majority of the global pandemics are entirely preventable.
That’s because we humans create them with our actions in the first place.Including the biggest, self-created crisis of all: global warming. Its effects will include more pandemics, and worse. READ MORE.
COVID-19 and many other zoonotic diseases are made possible by our worldwide custom of crowding literally billions of animals into unsanitary factories — including the U.S. Animal factories for cows, pigs, chickens are the Western equivalent of Chinese wet markets Westerners now blame. (The world’s most destructive pandemic, the Spanish Flu of 1918-19 discussed on this page, was made in the good old U.S.of A., then exported to the world.)
In the U.S., 80% of our potentially life-saving antibiotics are used on animals in confinement. They’re needed to keep animals alive in the unnaturally crowded, unsanitary factory environments that don’t exist in nature. Animals aren’t adapted to survive in them. Cruelty issues aside, these are not conditions that cows, pigs & chickens have evolved to endure for months or years, until they’re slaughtered for consumption. This is the primary and unnecessary way we’re rendering antibiotics useless, while breeding super strains of antibiotic-resistant bugs that can — and do — mutate across the species barrier to bite us humans. COVID-19, Now it’s Human Time.
Humanity vulnerability is increased by the overall poor health of our nation, and the rest of the world we export our processed foods diet to. Processed foods, high in sugar, salt, and fat, create obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc. — half of all Americans have a “pre-existing medical condition!”
The good news is our epidemic of so-called “lifestyle” diseases are entirely avoidable. You are not powerless to improve your overall health, including your immune system. You needn’t be a victim of this or any Coronavirus. You hold a key to dramatically improve your health and increase your immunity to all diseases. Your mother probably told you much of it; so did your kindergarten teacher and your doctor too: “Eat your vegetables.” “Get some exercise.” “Don’t eat so much junk food.”
If you think Covid-19 is bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Or you haven’t read (or watched) your history, especially about the Spanish flu (video below) you’re likely now hearing about. WATCH SHORT VIDEO BELOW:
“Spanish Flu: A Warning From History” – by Cambridge University
We’ve been pushing our luck for decades and the bill is coming due. The infected, disease-laden chickens and pigs and turkeys and cows right here in America (and of course bats and pangolins and myriad other species raised and sold for food outside the U.S.) have come home to roost in our RNA and DNA.
“…it pays [in corporate profits] to produce a pathogen that could kill a billion people…”
Says evolutionary ecologist Rob Wallace, author of Big Farms Make Big Flu, argues that a factory farm-spawned pandemic is not just possible; it’s probable. “Agribusiness,” he writes, “backed by state power at home and abroad, is now working as much with influenza as against it.”
Agribusiness has known for decades that packing thousands of birds or livestock together results in a monoculture that selects for such disease. But market economics doesn’t punish the companies for growing Big Flu – it punishes animals, the environment, consumers, and contract farmers. Alongside growing profits, diseases are permitted to emerge, evolve, and spread with little check. “That is,” writes evolutionary biologist Rob Wallace, “it pays to produce a pathogen that could kill a billion people.”
There is no shortage of news items on hundreds of thousands of hybrid poultry – each animal genetically identical to the next – packed together in mega-barns, grown out in a matter of months, then slaughtered, processed and shipped to the other side of the globe. Less well known are the deadly pathogens mutating in, and emerging out of, these specialized agro-environments. In fact, many of the most dangerous new diseases in humans can be traced back to such food systems, among them Campylobacter, Nipah virus, Q fever, hepatitis E, and a variety of novel influenza variants.
Dr. Michael Greger on Pandemic Prevention | Infectious Diseases, Aids, Influenza, Coronavirus
Dr. Michael Gregor BIO: A founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, and was an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “meat defamation” trial. He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. His latest book, “How Not to Die,” is a New York Times best-seller.
EXCERPTS: 99% of farmed animals in the U.S. are from factory farms. Globally, it’s 90%. The vast majority of meat, dairy, and eggs consumed today come from operations in which billions of cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, and other immunologically-compromised animals are confined in cramped, unhygienic conditions, and often transported long distances. These operations have been identified as hot spots for the cross-infection of diseases and the mutation of viruses, some with pandemic potential.
Numerous studies demonstrate how intensive animal farming increases the risk of pandemics. Research shows that confined [incl. cow, pig, chicken] animal feeding operations amplify novel influenza strains and that large-scale commercial animal farms increase the risk of outbreaks and transmission of zoonotic disease, function to maintain and disperse highly virulent strains of influenza and increase the frequency and scale of highly pathogenic outbreaks.
Now is the perfect time to change your habits and dramatically improve your health, and the planet’s health too. YOU, single-handedly, can do this today.
With just one simple behavior change — FAR easier than “sheltering in place,” you can reduce the use of antibiotics for animals — and drastically reduce your carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
How? Simply eat more plant-based meals featuring grains, legumes, fruits & vegetables. Swap these healthy foods in, and swap meats out, especially cows and pigs. READ WHY THIS MATTERS MORE THAN YOU KNOW.
You can do this today. You can make a huge difference. Together, we can prevent immeasurable suffering and death of humans and animals too, since they’re raised and killed under brutal conditions inside de facto factories. The only question is: can we live up to our name — homo sapiens means wise man in Latin — and act intelligently, in our own best interests?
VIDEO: How animal agriculture is rapidly reducing antibiotic effectiveness in humans.
– by Ed Winters
The disease-ridden, antibiotic-resistant chickens are coming home to roost. They have been for decades, you just didn’t know it. That’s because zoonotic diseases are hidden by the billion dollar animal slaughterhouse industries that profit from it being kept hidden. And because cultures and we consumers worldwide demand meat, from habit, by our conditioning, including from advertising that tells us it’s healthy even though it’s not.
The current 2020 Coronavirus pandemic is only the latest of many such zoonotic diseases (animal-related diseases passed to humans), and not the last. These diseases come from confining and breeding and slaughtering and processing and eating literally billions of animals worldwide. The vast majority of it is unnecessary, unhealthy, and driving global pollution and global warming, too.
Health officials should emphasize the relation between obesity and Covid-19 — and treat obesity like other chronic diseases.
EXCERPTS: In the wake of Covid-19, we need to treat obesity not just as a disease, but also as a public health emergency. As an internist, I know how hard it can be for some patients to adopt healthier lifestyles. But the road to a healthier lifestyle requires a change in the doctor-patient relationship itself – and perhaps a radical one.
Obesity increases the risk of respiratory failure, alters the immune system and may cause chronic inflammation that can rapidly escalate out of control with coronavirus infection.
The conditions that lead to the emergence of new infectious diseases — in the U.S., not just China — are inflict horrific harms on animals. – April 13, 2020
EXCERPTS: Those who think that this is a Chinese problem rather than a human one should think again. There is no shortage of zoonoses [zoonotic diseases] that have emerged from human maltreatment of animals. The most likely origin of H.I.V. (human immunodeficiency virus), for example, is S.I.V. (simian immunodeficiency virus), and the most likely way in which it crossed the species barrier is through blood of a nonhuman primate butchered for human consumption.
In the future, we should fully expect our maltreatment of animals to wreak havoc on our own species. In addition to future pandemics, we face the very real risk of breeding antibiotic resistance. The major contributor to this is the use of antibiotics in the animal agriculture industry, as a growth promoter (to bring animals to slaughter weight as quickly as possible) and to curb the spread of infections among animals reared in cruel intensive “factory farmed” conditions.
“Sheltering at home” in an apartment building? This one’s for you: