As of today, COVID-19 has infected more than 3 million people and killed at least 210,000 worldwide.
Those are big numbers, considering the fact that six short months ago, few members of the general public had ever heard of the coronavirus. And almost no one was harboring fears of a looming and deadly global pandemic.
But here we are. As our new reality sinks in, as we adjust to lockdowns and home schooling and long lines at grocery stores, as we look for ways to protect ourselves and our families—and as some grieve for lost loved ones—most of us are also seeking answers.
Why does this virus cause so many mysterious symptoms? Why are some cases mild, others deadly? How can we protect ourselves? Whose advice should we follow?
But the biggest questions of all are these: Where did COVID-19 come from? And how can we prevent this from ever happening again?
The answers to these questions may be too disturbing to ponder, especially while we’re still grappling with the impact of the virus on nearly every aspect of our lives.
But our failure to investigate, and directly address, the origins of COVID-19 almost certainly guarantees our failure to protect ourselves from future, possibly even more deadly, pandemics.
Read Ronnie’s essay: ‘Murder Most Foul: The Perps Behind COVID-19’
Most people associate the words “genetic engineering” with GMO corn and soy crops, Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller and the anti-GMO movement’s hard-fought (but ultimately lost) campaign for GMO labeling laws.
As harmful as genetic engineering is when used to modify the foods we eat, the technology has an even more potentially deadly use: biowarfare.
It’s time to stop allowing—and funding—the dangerous and illegal activity of genetically engineering viruses, under the guise of “biodefense,” in the U.S. and worldwide.
The debate over the origin of the COVID-19 virus is heating up. We may never get a straight answer from either the U.S. or Chinese government on the origins of this particular virus.
But there’s no refuting this fact: Genetic engineering has long played a key role in U.S. and international biowarfare. Allowing scientists to conduct experiments with genetic engineering/gene editing and viruses—especially the type of “gain of function” experimentation used to make viruses as lethal as possible to humans—is sheer madness.
As scientists warn in this recent article on GM Watch, sooner or later, accidents happen:
“In their view, it is now ‘100 seconds to midnight’ and humanity is in its greatest moment of peril.”
SIGN THE PETITION: Stop the Genetic Engineering of Viruses! Shut Down All Biowarfare Labs Immediately!
“Every crisis creates a void. And whatever force fills that void, inherits power.” —James Bailey, management professor at George Washington University
“Callous disregard” doesn’t come close to summing up the Trump administration’s attitude toward workers in the U.S. agriculture system, especially those working the worst jobs in the world—slaughtering and processing animals in factory farms.
It doesn’t matter that low-paid factory farm workers, most without access to health insurance, are succumbing in alarming numbers to COVID-19.
Trump wants them to keep working, without protection, so consumers can get their cheap burgers and KFC chicken.
He wants them to work faster, which is why his administration is ignoring line speed regulations and giving Big Meat companies a free pass from any accountability for sick or injured workers.
After all, Big Meat contributed millions to Trump’s 2016 campaign.
OCA has long advocated for an outright ban on industrial factory farms. For years, we’ve lobbied for strong support for organic regenerative farmers and ranchers, and for helping industrial farmers transition to non-chemical, non-industrial farming methods.
Factory farms shouldn’t exist, period. That was true before the COVID-19 crisis. It’s wildly apparent during this crisis. And it will be true once we emerge from this crisis.
When COVID-19 finally lays bare all the obscene flaws and corruption in the industrial factory farm system, will we succeed in bringing down that system? And if we do, will we fill the void with a regenerative alternative?
Will we allow huge corporations and the politicians they elect to inherit the power? Or will we inherit the power?
It will come down to us, to our choices—what we buy, who we vote for, how hard we’re willing to fight back.
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Unlike millions of Americans, Bill Maher isn’t watching “Tiger King” during the COVID-19 lockdown. Why not?
“Because torturing animals is what got us into this mess,” Maher says. “You can’t trash the environment, including animals, and not have it come back and kill you.”
COVID-19 may not have originated in a factory farm. But the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been warning for years that most emerging infectious diseases come from animals crammed into factory farms and feedlots.
As Maher says in this video, animal cruelty leads to human catastrophe. “Factory farms have a lot more lobbyists, but ecological timebombs tick the same.”
Watch Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ rant on factory farms
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to pass this bill to ban factory farms
If we’re serious about supporting America’s family farms, we better get serious about changing how we allocate the $20 billion/year in federal subsidy dollars for agriculture.
In this U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal podcast, Julie Davenson talks about how the U.S. subsidy system for agriculture is scaled to support two major crops and Big Ag. “Small family farms are left out,” she says.
Davenson, who runs Stonewall Farm in Keene, N.H., a regenerative agriculture education center that includes a certified organic dairy operation, says the few programs available to small farms like hers involve so much paperwork and regulations, that it simply isn’t worth the effort.
“The financial benefit isn’t there,” Davenson says. “We need to level the playing field.”
Last September, along with Regeneration International and the Sunrise Movement, we launched the national coalition of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal. The coalition is committed to advancing policies that support organic regenerative producers.
We recently launched the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal Podcast, to help elevate the voices of regenerative organic farmers. Check here for past and future podcasts.
Listen to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal podcast with New Hampshire dairy farmer, Julie Davenson
More about the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal
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