As I prepare for my talk at #BIO2020 later today it seems Jane Goodall shared similar sentiments and more at the Compassion in World Farming event yesterday, humanity must now change its ways if we want to survive and thrive beyond COVID19.
Seredipity then that the theme for BIO2020 this year is #changethewaywethink.
People must move away from factory farming and stop destroying natural habitats as a matter of urgency, she said, because of the threat of diseases and of climate breakdown. Factory farming is linked to the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs, which threaten human health. “If we do not do things differently, we are finished,” she said. “We can’t go on very much longer like this.” She called for people to be lifted out of poverty, pointing to its strong impact on the natural world, as people with no alternatives and who are desperate to feed their families will cut down forests to survive, and in urban areas will choose the cheapest food whatever the harm caused by its production, because they have little other choice. War and violence also fuelled the destruction of nature, she warned, and so did our overweening consumerism and urge for “stuff that we accumulate”, as well as our diets. The wealthy should put pressure on leaders and take care over what they buy to avoid adding to the problem, she said. “We have got to stop buying their products,” she said, of companies that use factory farming and exploit nature. “We have come to a turning point in our relationship with the natural world,” she warned, saying there was only a small window of opportunity to make drastic changes before facing disaster. “One of the lessons learnt from this crisis is that we must change our ways. Scientists warn that to avoid future crises, we must drastically change our diets and move to plant-rich foods. For the sake of the animals, planet and the health of our children.”