Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
As if we didn’t already make things easy for viruses by providing them with perfect farm-based Petri dishes, we give them a second shot at transmitting to people when we cut down the world’s natural spaces to grow feed for factory-farmed animals. We do this because animal agriculture needs so much more land than plant-based agriculture, and it is taken from nature.
Animal agriculture is the world’s leading driver of deforestation and habitat loss. In Latin America alone, it is responsible for destroying 2.71 million hectares of tropical forest each year. When we cut down forests, we destroy the habitats of wild animals, cutting loose the deadly pathogens they incubate, and allowing them to come into contact with people.
Not only can adopting a plant-based diet help to prevent future pandemics, but eating this way also appears to help us as individuals if we get sick as a result of one. Studies suggest that those who eat a plant-based diet suffer less severe symptoms of Covid-19 than those who do not.