With a global zoonotic pandemic that originated from the consumption of an animal, an increase in the price of animals’ flesh and bodily secretions, a decrease in the price of many plant based products, an increase in the number of vegan restaurants and vegan options in non-vegan restaurants, a shutdown (at least temporarily) of some animal corpses processing plants and of animal murdering facilities which brought about a meat shortage, more and more evidences of the severe effects of climate change, outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in 16 countries, doctors in the U.K advising in an open letter to the government that a plant-based diet is an effective way of fighting health issues such as obesity, T2 diabetes, and heart disease, which are all major risk factors for COVID-19, and many other incentives from various fields, everything was ready for 2020 to be the most vegan year in human history.
The ground was set, and was supposed to be even more conclusive and persuasive than ever. Veganism couldn’t have asked for a better ground to flourish. Yet its rise is still extremely marginal compared with the fact that going vegan, especially this year, should have been utterly unequivocal, self-evident and the only reasonable thing to do, from every possible aspect. This year, considering all, the number of vegans shouldn’t have been “merely” increasing, but a real revolution in humans’ diet should have occurred. But it didn’t happen. Not even remotely close.
There was a growing interest in plant-based protein consumption but mostly as a result of the flesh shortage during the temporary shutdown of slaughterhouses and flesh processing and packing plants, as well as the price increase of flesh, and humans’ fear of food safety issues involved with flesh production during the pandemic.
More humans consumed more plant based products during the passing year, but it doesn’t seem that the vast majority of these humans have decided to go vegan, or even to occasionally choose plant based options over animal based options once animals’ corpses have become as available and as affordable as they were before the shutdown.
In the past 50 years, it is estimated that at least three dozen zoonotic infectious diseases have emerged, among them are Bird Flu, Swine Flu, SARS, the Zika virus, MERS, and Ebola. Yet, factory farming, not to mention animal consumption all together, is far from being under any threat of being finally and permanently shut down. Even wildlife trade “only”, will not be ended as a part of drawing conclusions from 2020. In fact, as we claimed in a former post, even the very specific live animal market from which the current pandemic had emerged is not and will not be closed down.
The World Health Organization had stated more than a decade ago that infectious diseases were emerging at a rate that had not been seen before, and many scientists are saying that new diseases with the potential of becoming pandemics are four times more frequent in the past half-century. But obviously it is way too much to expect humanity to do something about a scientifically based warning, no matter how severe it is. In the passing year it became apparent to anyone who still had expectations of humanity that even when some of these warnings actually became realized, expecting humanity to seriously deal with the issue is also way too much to ask.
During 2020, humanity should have gone through a serious and profound understanding regarding its way of life, habits, intentions, management and etc., and change it for good. But it didn’t happen. It seems that no profound understanding of anything had occurred.
Therefore, it is the animal movement that should have gone through a serious and profound understanding regarding its way of life, habits, intentions, management and etc. The lack of any serious and profound response to the origin of the problem by humanity is, in our view, totally expected. We didn’t really expect significant parts of humanity to seriously reflect on their lives and start to seriously change them, however we do expect the animal movement to finally realize that it’s never going to happen. We do expect the animal movement to finally realize who we are dealing with. Even though the origin of most of the pandemics is animal exploitation, and that by far the most prevalent way for diseases to start and spread is through the food industry, people would not stop exploiting and consuming animals.
Like in every other year in history, humanity is not likely to learn anything from 2020. Every year in history is an indication that humans never learn. Unfortunately, that also includes many activists, who insist on not learning from every year in history, and keep entrusting the fate of trillions upon trillions of nonhuman animals in the hands of humans, instead of removing them forever.