Prof. Amy Greer offered some context to VICE Canada about zoonotic illnesses is response to a celebrity rant on social media.
Singer Bryan Adams took to Instagram this week to blame meat-eating for the COVID-19 pandemic, while pushing fans to go vegan. (After accusations the rant appeared racist, Adams later apologized.)
Greer, who studies infectious disease spread, told VICE that to pin disease outbreaks on eating habits results is false and overly simplistic.
“Even if we all stopped eating meat, we would still have zoonotic diseases,” Greer said. “Not all zoonotic diseases are transmitted by eating animal products.”
She added that humans interact with wildlife all the time, and so we will always risk the creation of new zoonotic diseases.
Holder of a Canada Research Chair in Population Disease Modelling, Greer explores the introduction, spread and control of infectious diseases.
She is currently part of a research team that is analyzing and modelling COVID-19 spread in order to advise public health agencies predict how the disease might spread further.