Laura Spinney, author of „Pale Rider. The Spanish Flu of 1918“, about the ecological context of the corona virus. Trying to answer the question to what degree factory farming is making this and others pandemics more likely, she is also referring to Rob Wallace, who published „Big Farms Make Big Flu“ in 2016. The reason for flue pandemics in the past „include the density with which chickens, turkeys or other poultry are packed into factory farms, and the fact that the birds in a given farm tend to be near genetic clones of one another … If a virus gets introduced into such a flock, it can race through it without meeting any resistance in the form of genetic variants that prevent its spread. Both experimental manipulations and observations in the real world have demonstrated that this process can result in a ratcheting up of the virus’s virulence. If it then spills over into humans, we are potentially in trouble … Though it may not feel like it now, Wallace says, we have been lucky with Sars-CoV-2. It appears to be far less lethal that either H7N9 – which kills around a third of those it infects – or H5N1, which kills even more. This gives us an opportunity, he says, to question our lifestyle choices – because chicken isn’t cheap if it costs a million lives – and vote for politicians who hold agribusiness to higher standards of ecological, social and epidemiological sustainability. “Hopefully,” he says, “this will change our notions about agricultural production, land use and conservation.”
Hier geht es zum kompletten Artikel in The Guardian.