Humans have different lifestyles and immune power as compared to that of animals and immunity and healing power differs from animal to animal. Immunity and self-healing power of animals and insects have always been area of studies for medical research under its dedicated area of studies viz. biochemistry and Biotechnology. Biochemistry is the branch of science that explores the chemical processes related to living organisms. It is a science that brings biology and chemistry together to gain knowledge for development of medicinal compounds that may help for medical treatment and solve biological problems. Biotechnology on the other hand is a broad area of biology, involving living systems and organisms to develop or make products, or “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use”. The above areas of science study wildlife and insects to develop specific products proven safe after due experiments safety measures. Such products are then released in markets for human consumption. If something is proven healthy and consumables for human by science, we can consume the same without any sense of fear. We also consume the meats of animals or birds grown up under controlled environment without any sense of fear. Because we treat those practices as axiom which have evolved out of experience over an unknown period. But what about consuming products made from those animals which we do not know about? Is it safe to eat a wildlife animal? Is it healthy to eat animals grown up in uncontrolled environment? Is it safe to eat insects like centipedes, snakes, cockroaches, lizards, frogs, salamanders, etc? What about the meat market of Wuhan that has simply no delimiters over what to sell and what not? Is Chinese Govt. so irresponsible that it cannot even control or educate its citizens to practice safe consumption guidelines? Are fooding habits in China need to be changed forcibly to protect the people across the Globe? I have prepared a draft research through which I have tried to answer the above questions which have become relevant in recent days when the world is fighting against an invisible enemy i.e. Coronavirus or COVID-19.
Is it safe to eat a wildlife animal? Is it healthy to eat animals grown up in uncontrolled environment?
Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences first revealed in 2013 that the source of the SARS virus was the chrysanthemum bat. This kind of bat can be found in Southeast China and Southwest China. Paradoxically, it is less than 15 kilometers from the Wuhan seafood wholesale market to the Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is one of nation’s most advanced virus research institutes in China. A researcher from the Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences warned in 2018 that “although SARS has not made a comeback for so many years, in nature, viruses similar to SARS still exist. If we humans do not pay attention to such a potential threat, the next viral infection may come and infect humans through other animals. It is just around the corner.” In less than one year, the words came true.
The spread of a deadly coronavirus COVID-19, sourced to a meat market of Wuhan and now a global health emergency has now forced us to think over and re-create delimiters on the consumption of animal meats and products produced under uncontrolled environment. In reality, to many Chinese, consuming wild animals is a cultural trait. State-controlled media outlets such as China Daily have published scathing editorials denouncing the practice and calling for a permanent wildlife trade ban. These calls in turn are amplified by thousands of Chinese citizens on state-censored social media networks such as Weibo, indicating that the government seems to be letting the momentum build. World Health Organization (WHO) has taken serious note of China’s live wild animal trade. Also, many countries across the globe is wooing China over repeated invention and launch of completely unknown viruses in the World that have never ever been studied before. On January 26, under great pressure from the world community and from the widespread of COVID-19, China announced a ban on its wild animal trade until the crisis is over. But what will happen after the crisis is over. Will we wait for the next crisis to happen and engulf the whole world in its grip again? Or will the world community force china to accept the international guidelines on trade of wild lives? Will WHO force china to accept and ensure implementation of food safety standards and safe consumption guidelines in its territory?