Biodiversity: The variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.
We are in a new normal right now. The whole world is standing still and is waiting for this whole thing to blow over. When and how this will end, we can’t say right now. The wait for a treatment and a vaccine could mean living in this new normal for months to come. So right now, the only thing we can do is stay home, stay safe, keep others safe and try to go on. Together as humans we can tackle this challenge, as we tackled so many others before.
We had a hard time at first because how do you respond to an unprecedented situation like this? Danielle’s family is safe but the outlook in the US is daunting and it’s far from over. Here in Austria we are lucky that everything shut down quickly and the numbers are getting better and lower each day. Our hearts go out to anyone who has lost someone in this pandemic. We are really truly sorry.
In the end, we just can hope that this whole thing won’t be for nothing, right? That we as humans will learn from this and try to avoid a pandemic or a global catastrophe in the years to come. And a lot of people are already starting to see what’s important and that money and power alone won’t save anyone. Therefore, we thought we would just give you a small idea why pandemics like this might happen more often and why protecting nature might be the best answer to prevent that.
Right now, traffic is gone, planes in the sky are super rare and all over the world we see first glimpses of what could be, if we actually protect mother nature and treat her, like she should be treated. The waters in Venice are clear, fish and seabirds are coming back, India and China had their best air quality in years and many more things. If we see these changes in just a few weeks, imagine what it would look like if we would continue regulating air traffic, air pollution and water pollution more in the future. This is just a glimpse of what we could do to undo some of the bad things we have caused. And yes, we are directly responsible for this pandemic. This is our doing. Globalization and traveling, consummation of any animals and many other things are part of this bigger problem.
“The choices we’re making in terms of what we eat, what we wear, where we travel, the types on consumer goods — including consumer electronics that we buy — how many children we have — all of those things are putting pressure on the natural world and when we do that we bring wild animals closer to us.”
We are altering ecosystems to a scale this planet has never seen before and it happens so fast, that we cannot even get an idea of what consequences it will have. We are sacrificing animals and plants just to make room for huge animal farms to feed a small percentage of humans and we need even more space to grow food for this livestock. Seems backwards to us here at Spross.
Up to 1 million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction and about 40% of insects are as well. This is mindboggling and should make you think. Why? Because we need them.
Scientists, including Quammen, link the biodiversity loss to the spread of infectious diseases and it makes total sense. Ebola, SARS, Bird Flu and now COVID-19 (or Corona-Virus) are all believed to have started as pathogens crossing from animals to humans. Which means if we keep going like before, we will have a massive problem sooner or later. Pushing against the natural world is killing us as well since we are also just animals. We are part of this earth and we need this earth, not the other way around. Earth would be way better off without us humans. So maybe we should start treating our home planet with care and respect.
This planet has seen five major extinction events in its time and the sixth just started with an alarming rate of 1000 times higher than the normal background rate of extinction. This is on us. We are the problem. We still are able to change things and the proof that it actually helps nature is out there right now. It can heal if we stop ruining it. COVID-19 is a problematic virus but it could be worse and that’s where we are heading. Technology will help us to tackle pandemics in the future, but the key is to prevent infectious diseases to spread to humans in the first place. Banning the consumption of certain animals, banning meat markets and over all transitioning to a plant-based diet is a start.
Domestication of wild animals, hunting them, eating them and taking away their habitats is problematic and should be stopped right away. Animal agriculture, keeping them in tight spaces is essentially creating a breeding ground for viruses. By eating them we are basically inviting any virus into our bodies. Just google or read the three articles beyond this post. You will find a lot of interesting articles about this topic and why it is so important to save biodiversity and finally stop killing millions of plants, animals and insects.
By choosing what you eat, what you buy, what you wear and where you go for vacation (and how you get there) makes a huge difference. Just a few weeks ago, we had a few nice conversations with friends who got inspired by us and are slowly adopting a vegan diet, buying more regional food and reducing their carbon footprint by flying less.
“Be the change you want to see in the world,” as Mahatma Gandhi so famously said.
We hope you are safe and healthy and staying home. Let’s wait this pandemic out together and therefore help our healthcare-system to not collapse. Thanks to all the doctors, nurses, medical responders, grocery store workers and everyone who keeps the country running around the world. We salute you.