Tragically, while we are still trying to battle the current COVID-19 pandemic, our continued exploitation of animals is threatening to make the efforts of countless people and billions of dollars useless.
On November 4th, the Danish government announced, then later retracted, that it will kill all minks being raised on farms, about 17 millions individuals, due to a very serious mutation of the virus in minks that potentially puts the effectiveness of vaccines currently being developed at risk. It is much too early to know the impact of these mutations, but statistically the more often and extensive a virus mutates the more likely it is that one of them will cause serious problems.
To understand what is happening, we need basic information about viruses. Viruses mutate for various reasons—one of them is survival. There are many ways to develop a vaccine, but for some it’s dependent on the spike protein of the virus. While some viruses have very short life cycles prone to error and mutation, like HIV, others, like SARS-CoV-2, have a longer life cycle with less mutation, which makes using their spike protein as a vaccine mechanism possible.
However, many viruses will have more significant mutations in an attempt to jump from one species to another, in this case from humans to minks, and minks back to human animals. This is why our exploitation of animals is so dangerous. The Statens Serum Institut stated:
The presence of an extensive reservoir of virus in mink poses a serious threat to public health, as viruses spread from animals to humans. The risk of mutations makes this risk particularly serious. Mutations in the spike protein also occur in viruses in humans (worldwide) unrelated to mink farms, but not or very rarely the same mutations which occur in mink. However, it has been shown that the current vaccine candidates will be able to cover variations of viruses that have emerged among humans over the spring.
As you know, the Vegan Society of Canada has different ways of addressing these types of problems. Our exploitation of animals, besides being unethical, is neither necessary for our survival nor thriving as a species. On the contrary, as we have seen with pandemics and many other problems, like our antibiotic crisis and climate change, it may end up being a cause in ending society as we know it.
We know of no other efficient means for individuals to fight our climate emergency, loss of nature, global acidification, eutrophication, fresh water shortage, prevent pandemics, antibiotic resistance, health problems, save countless lives and much much more without the need to wait for government, corporations or technological innovation. Go vegan today! Contact us for help in your change of lifestyle and to link up with one of the many local communities in your area.