Perhaps a clear warning on the impending extermination of the human race by way of contagion of an invincible virus is a message we all should pay heed to. Perhaps it’s the answer from planet Earth to the aggravation and destruction inflicted on it by humans, especially during the last two centuries. It seems that progress has overtaken us and “karma” at long last appears in the form of a giant scythe to collect the bill from humanity for its neglect and abuse.

This pandemic could very well be the price Earth “charges” us for our lack of compassion and careful planning. For instance, it doesn’t appear to be happy with the seas full of plastic that suffocate marine life, or with the toxic waste thrown into rivers, or with the poisoned air, or the soil littered with radiation and rubbish which, by the way, we utilize for planting some of our food.

A hint we should keep in mind is that the months during which people had to “stay home” meant relief to the environment; the lakes partly recovered thanks to the cessation of motored traffic, jungles and forests repopulated with the fauna that had been displaced, the hole in the ozone layer over the North Pole closed the gap, and global warming entered an entente due to lack of industrial and economic activity in general.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that the pandemic, which continues decimating the human population, is benevolent toward animals because they’re the ones deserving a break. They are, in most cases, immune to Covid-19, as if Planet Earth struggled to even forces: on one hand against the apathy and seemingly unlimited power that leads to the destruction of the earthly habitat on the part of humans, and, on the other, the innocence and defenselessness of the fauna being kept in a forceful, pitiful stranglehold.

But the worst crime of which all of us are guilty is first to think that humans “need” to eat other animals to survive as species; furthermore, the lack of human compassion that makes the lives of “domestic” animals a living hell to satisfy the demand of meat and pork. No one seems to care if animals are being kept in overcrowded and confined spaces to attain immobility, are subjected to accelerated growth based on hormones and antibiotics, live in lighted cells round the clock, and worse: the cruelty, pain (lots of it), misery and indifference inflicted by the men in charge. The aim is to produce the greatest amount of meat in the shortest time possible.

Even for an atheist, the terrible exploitation of animals in the food industry suggests a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions, equal or more ominous than the atomic fission for the future of humankind within the next 100 years and beyond.

The commercialization of meat at large has been perfecting an infallible machine that produces and reproduces animals for human consumption exceeding in its cruelty any fantastic tale of oppressive ogres abusing the most innocent and vulnerable beings. (If you don’t believe this, try to spend at least two consecutive 8-hour shifts at a slaughterhouse (as I did) and watch for profound transformations in your life outlook!)

The demand for beef (in the US alone is 9 billion tons per year), and pork, poultry, sheep, fish, and seafood has created an extravagant menu that in turn exacerbates the producers’ greed to the point of rendering them impervious to animal suffering and the cruelty of their operators. Countless sad, and miserable lives take place inside immobilizing cages where animals never get to see the sunlight or walk on the Earth’s soil, or grass.

Arguably, it could be that humankind now has to pay a stiff price for the destruction of natural resources and the dehumanization resulting from indiscriminate slavery, torture, and mass killings of animals. No one should get away with being as irresponsible and neglecting as we have been. It seems that the time to foot the bill has come at last.

And even though it is crucial to spread the word about this monstrosity, my aim here is not to go into detail throughout this cruel and abusive machine to start a crusade seeking to modify diets or (miss)conducts of humans that, by the way, wouldn’t be a bad idea, although impossible.

What I try to do here is to start an effort to read Mother Earth and maybe realize that this pandemic, which worsens by the day, could indeed be a warning to be taken seriously; an omen that should force to descend from its pedestal of arrogance and “superior intelligence” a species bent into destroying their own home… and that of their hosts: the true natives, the animals.