September 18, 2020

Animals, Pandemics and Global Health

In the first session, we will explore how human use of wild and domestic animals for food, together with environmental destruction and habitat loss, leads to an increase in zoonotic diseases with high potential to turn into epi- and pandemics. We will discuss the consequences for global human and animal health and wellbeing, including: What role does industrial animal agriculture play? How can we prevent the future development of zoonoses that may turn into epi- and pandemics?

First, we will look at the history of zoonoses: What is the common thread for the development and spread of zoonotic infectious diseases? Second, we will analyze why our current interaction with other animals is detrimental for our health: Why is industrial animal agriculture a breeding ground for new zoonotic diseases? What are the eclectic consequences of eating animals? Is the better treatment of animals critical for maintaining human health and preventing future pandemics? Third, we will deliberate why our global food system must be radically transformed in order to protect both humans and non-human animals: Which steps need to be taken to achieve a speedy transition away from animal agriculture towards plant-based agriculture?

More information can be found here.