Close the wet markets!

Wet market

Close the wet markets! Doctor Anthony Fauci says that there should be a global shut down of wet markets. Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and is considered by many to be the world’s top expert on infectious disease.  He is a chief medical advisor on the president’s coronavirus taskforce.

Wet markets, common in China and other south Asian countries, sell live poultry, fish, reptiles, and mammals of every kind. Add the daily human contacts (including children) with the live animals, and conditions are optimal for the transfer of infectious disease agents that can make sick or even kill humans, as we explained last month.

While the Chinese government initially closed the wet markets, they have recently allowed them to reopen. “The markets have gone back to operating in exactly the same way as they did before coronavirus,” said a Daily Mail, a British newspaper, correspondent who observed the markets reopening in Dongguan. “The only difference is that security guards try to stop anyone taking pictures, which would never have happened before.”

“I think we should shut down those things right away,” Fauci said in a recent interview. He continued: “It boggles my mind how when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we don’t just shut it down. I don’t know what else has to happen to get us to appreciate that…because what we’re going through right now, is a direct result of that.”

He asks a fair question: what else would it take? As of this writing there have been 1.5 million cases and 90,000 deaths, and probably many more that we just don’t know about. Entire countries such as Italy and India have been locked down. Millions of Americans have been made suddenly unemployed. Schools are closed and our social life disrupted. Trillions of dollars have been spent. Many small businesses have closed and entire industries are in danger of collapse.

We hope that this pandemic will encourage more people throughout the world to move towards a plant-based diet, eliminating the demand for wet markets. While the cost of novel viruses transferring to humans is extremely high, as we are experiencing, the best solution to preventing similar pandemics is the simple, low tech, plant-based diet.