Did factory farming help spread Covid-19?
It’s not certain by any means, but for the moment, pangolins—a scaly, armadillo-looking mammal—are thought to be the source of the global Covid-19 outbreak. Allegedly pangolins picked up the virus from bats, then were sold in a Chinese “wet” market, along with other fresh meat, fish, and seafood. But why would this happen now? Pangolin meat has been sold and consumed for years. Science journalist Laura Spinney reports in The Guardian that factory farming could be the culprit. The theory, roughly, is that Chinese farmers have been pushed deeper into untested ecosystems, where bats and viruses lurk. And when those viruses find their way into the food supply, well. Just look around.