Europeans and North Americans need to get angry about the live animal markets of Asia

There is a Twitter post by the Humane Society International which pleads with the president of Indonesia to shut down his country’s ‘extreme animal markets’. The plea is supported by a photograph of a Sunday Mirror article entitled: STOP THIS TRADE NOW. Celebrities such as Ricky Gervais, Paul O’Grady and Philippa Forester support the campaign.

Sunday Mirror campaign supported by Ricky Gervais and animal advocate and Paul O’Grady.

It caught my eye and made me angry. It is not too early to get angry about these grisly live animal markets in Asia. Why isn’t there more anger about this? Anger is good sometimes. It motivates. As long as it is followed by good sense and calm behavior it is beneficial. It is established that they cause the spread of animal viruses to humans as evidenced by the Cover-19 pandemic which is the biggest threat to the world economy and therefore human welfare since WW2.

We should be livid. There is no need for these markets. They belong to a byegone age. They are uncivilised. I know people are reluctant to get involved in the culture and lifestyles of the peoples of other countries. Ordinarily we would steer clear and not criticise as it would be xenophobic. We must avoid xenophobia but this goes far beyond being polite and decent. This is about survival. It’s about the deaths of tens of thousands of people in countries thousands of miles away from the source of the pandemic: a bloody live animal market in Wuhan, China.

As Jane Goodhall said, if humans mess around with nature there’ll be consequences. The consequences of unregulated slaughter of wild animals in wet markets in Asia (this is ‘bushmeat’ in African jargon) is the potential and actual transfer of animal viruses to people which spread across the globe causing chaos and suffering on a unimaginable scale. Before Covid-19 there was SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Both were animal viruses originating in these same markets (believed to originate in bats).

What happens in Asia has consequences in America and Europe and elsewhere. Sometimes dire consequences. This should get our juices flowing. We should be angry. Why should we put up with it quietly? They’ve messed up our lives.

Relevancy to this site? Cats and dogs are killed at these damnable markets. That is the relevancy.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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