Word from European countries that they will be killing millions of minks because of coronavirus outbreaks jumping from animals to humans on farms is shockingly upsetting.

But the real offense here is that the minks were being farmed to be killed anyway for the fur industry and that atrocity doesn’t really garner headlines anymore.

By now the world is aware that zoonotic diseases – diseases that spread from animals to humans such as COVID-19, Ebola, HIV, H1N1, Mad Cow Disease and Avian flu – have caused millions of deaths worldwide and yet humans continue to treat animals as a means to a human goal and not sentient beings worthy of their own rights to live their natural lives undisturbed.

The origin of the COVID-19 outbreak last winter has been linked to wild animal meat markets in China where bats and other wildlife such as pangolins were stacked together in cages waiting to be bought by patrons and consumed. Trade in wildlife is a primary contributor to zoonotic disease outbreaks, as is habitat destruction that expels wildlife from their natural ecosystems and overdevelopment.

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