If you just listen to the audio, you’d think you were listening to a video about COVID-19 guidelines. The narrator lists various safety measures: Avoid going into crowded places. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Stay home and self-isolate.
But add the visuals, and you realize you’re watching something completely different.
In an impactful and jarring new video, Mercy For Animals and narrator Earthling Ed, a vegan activist, encourage viewers to consider a “new normal” for farm animals, just as most people have had to consider a “new normal” for themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the minute-long video, disturbing black and white images of cows, pigs and chickens suffering on cramped, dirty factory farms flash across the screen. At the end, text on the screen reads: “They also hope for a new normal.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic forces our society to find a new normal, we have the opportunity to rethink our relationship with animals.
Let’s build a new normal for animals too: https://t.co/CqGLw3tweE
Special thanks to #EarthlingEd for narrating this video. pic.twitter.com/Y0xJYL87hQ
— Mercy For Animals (@MercyForAnimals) September 17, 2020
“Mercy For Animals is working to highlight the ways the pandemic has exposed the cracks in our food system,” the organization said in a statement about the video. “As media attention continues to focus on slaughterhouse conditions and the impact on workers, farmers, and animals, we are hoping that this video will move viewers to recognize the ways in which humans and animals are connected.”
COVID-19 has demonstrated how the inhumane treatment and abuse of animals raised for food has dire consequences for humans, as well. The novel coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it transfers from animals to humans. It is widely believed that the start of the virus is linked to the live animal trade in China— a “wet market” where live fish, meat and wild animals are sold and killed on-site. But that’s just the beginning. Around the world, animals are also raised and killed in deplorable conditions. COVID-19 spread rapidly through slaughterhouse workers because of crowded conditions and lack of sanitary precautions.
But you can help make change. Choose plant-based foods instead of animal products to help end the suffering and disease.