As we experience the fear and dislocation COVID-19 is spreading, we wonder: could this terrible reality allow us, in time, to rethink the terms of our relationship with the natural world?
The sound of a pig at a slaughterhouse is somewhere between a scream and a roar. Whirring industrial fans, beeping machinery, and shouting workers add to the hellish chaos.
In recent months following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the world has been introduced to “wet markets”. They are places common across Asia for all things perishable, such as fruits, vegetables, and – most notably – animals, dead or alive.
A billion animals is not a billion animals. A billion animals is one individual, and then another, and then another, and again another. In fire-ravaged Australia these last several months, they are the kangaroo succumbing to billowing flames and smoke.
In the media coverage of the Australian bushfires, which have so far burned 10 million hectares of land, few headlines have mentioned the suffering and deaths of cows, sheep and other farmed animals.