How the poor treatment of factory-farmed chickens makes pandemics more likely

Like the avian and swine flu outbreaks before it, the jump of Covid-19 from animal to human “hosts” was made more likely by [intensive industrial farming]. Ordinarily, much of this process is hidden, as is the shared biology that makes many mammals and birds susceptible to the same diseases. Yet as viral outbreaks have shown, broilers are not sterile commodities, and animal bodies threaten us precisely because their immune systems are similar (enough) to ours. We would do well to make kin with chickens, pigs, and pangolins.

‘What does it mean to live a “not quite fatal” existence?’, September 2020

One of our student board members, Sadie E. Hale, recently published a blog post on Seeing the Woods, the blog of the Rachel Carson Center in Munich. The post builds on Carson’s notion of a ‘not quite fatal’ existence, in which lives are characterised by dissatisfaction and misery, and asks what applying this concept to the lives of intensively reared broiler chickens can add to our understanding of food consumption and pandemics like COVID-19.

Read it here.

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