Humanity is finished if it fails to adapt after Covid-19

Jane Goodall, primatologist calls for overhaul of food habits to prevent a future pandemic

Humanity will be “finished” if we fail to drastically change our food systems in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis, the prominent naturalist Jane Goodall has warned.

She blamed the emergence of Covid-19 on the over-exploitation of the natural world, which has seen forests cut down, species made extinct and natural habitats destroyed. The coronavirus is thought to have made the jump from animals to humans late last year, possibly originating in a meat market in Wuhan, China.

Intensive farming was also creating a reservoir of animal diseases that would spill over and hurt human society, said Goodall, one of the world’s foremost experts on chimpanzees and a longtime conservation campaigner, speaking alongside two European commissioners at an online event held by the campaigning group Compassion in World Farming, on Tuesday.

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