We are in the grip of a global pandemic; a virus that has spread to every corner of the world and is killing, it would seem, indiscriminately. People are losing loved ones and my heart goes out to them. All our lives have changed and many people are scared. People on the front line of this crisis are overworked and everyone is having to adjust to a new normality.
However, this whole situation fills me with hope. I know, bear with me!
People are being kind to complete strangers, they are checking in more often with family and friends. I skyped with my whole family last weekend, something I’ve never done before, and it was so uplifting! Yes, people are still all over social media but they are using it to talk face to face with their loved ones. People are also exercising more. I have seen many more individuals and family groups out walking or on their bikes than usual.
There have been shortages in the supermarkets which has meant people have had to be more imaginative and, perhaps, ‘make do’. Huge events that exploit animals like the Grand National, greyhound races and Spanish bullfights have been cancelled.Airlines are grounded and there is less traffic on the roads which has already seen pollution levels drop.Outlets that cater only to vanity have had to close. Fast food chains like McDonalds, KFC and Burger King have had to close. What if… people start to not miss their carcinogenic burgers? What if…people start to feel healthier and take stock of the way they used to live?
I know people are missing their freedom and ruing the cancellation of events but the longer this goes on, the more normal it will become. My hope is that we are facing a paradigm shift in the way we live. A shift in priorities and in conscience. A shift from consumerism towards a more responsible society; one where we examine our choices and take only what we need, not what we want. A shift away from speciesism and narcissism. A shift towards respect for all creatures.
For too long, we have been the virus. We have spread throughout the world and killed indiscriminately. We have had complete disregard for others.
COVID-19 is a result of our exploitation and abuse of animals and we need to change.
So, while you’re staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives, keep up the online activism, educate yourself and others on why this happened and the changes they can make to avoid it happening again.