by Rob English

In case you thought that every sales idea has already been imagined and monetized in our economy, you might be amused to learn that there is a clothing company in this world whose cute and yet semi-serious marketing theme is the arming of animals such as kittens and bunnies. The concept is that if kittens’ baby teeth, puppy’s little growls, and the gorilla’s threatening chest pounding are not enough to protect them from modern dangers, maybe giving them machine guns would make them safer? It’s silly, of course, in a way.

On a related topic, the unhappy news in early April is that four million humans worldwide have died from the Covid-19 virus and millions more are expected to die from it before the planet achieves herd immunity.

So why do I suggest that the ongoing pandemic deaths are related to the idea of arming animals? Well, is it too much of a stretch to consider that Mother Nature has already armed the animals – with viruses?

When engineers proceeded to displace millions of animals from their homes and sacrifice animal lives to build the Panama Canal, it was mosquitos armed with malarial Plasmodia microbes that defended the flora and fauna there from the architects and laborers. The animals lost that war, but perhaps Mother Nature learned lessons for future battles.

Just a year or so ago in a crowded, wet, unhygienic wildlife market in China a bat carrying the Corona virus transferred the microbe to another animal, perhaps to a pangolin, and within months the world was aflame with the pandemic. Throwing up the white flag of surrender, China has now, according to MarketWatch, banned the breeding, hunting and consumption of wild animals for at least five years.

In modern times, several such diseases have formed in animals and have been transmitted to humans. These zoonotic diseases include AIDS, avian flu, swine flu, SARS, MERS, Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19 and others, and no doubt more will come.

Maybe to calm the situation we could stop burning down and shrinking forest habitats. That practice of slashing and burning exposes us to disease carrying animals by forcing them to come in closer contact with us. We might also consider closing disease-rich wet markets. We might also prohibit the hunting and eating of bush meat. We might support anti-poaching organizations and demand of our leaders that they identify and condemn these and emerging practices that put all of us in jeopardy before they surge.

At home we might wash our vegetables carefully and cook everything thoroughly and avoid using the same knife or cutting board for both meat and vegetables. And wear our masks and practice social distancing.

And we might consider moving to a healthy plant-based diet. Yesterday it was eating pangolins that caused the Covid pandemic. Who knows what the next vector animal will be?

As for arming the animals ourselves? No. Neither I nor PAR has any financial interest in Arm the Animals the Clothing Company; but yes, I have purchased some of their t-shirts. Look for me on the street with the gorilla one.

Rob is a member of People for Animal Rights, a grassroots organization comprised entirely of volunteers.

Arm The Animals Clothing Company:

Contact People for Animal Rights

P.O. Box 3333

Syracuse, NY 13220

(315) 708-4520

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