Unfortunately as the wealth of the Chinese middle class has grown, these several 100,000,000 extra people have wanted the traditional medicines that supposedly there ruling ancestors once enjoyed. The start of the epidemic that we are just starting to recover from, was caused by poaching of wild animals. It is likely that there are many more forms of bacteria and virus living deep in rainforests and other wildernesses around the world. Might the risk of a further outbreak, finally force the Chinese government to halt the insane poaching that its people have caused around the world?
In order to deliver these raw materials for so called chinese medicine (I say so called, as no scientific study has been able to show a link between any of these treatments and a change in human conditions) animals have to be hunted. These animals are protected, and so this demand drive poaching that can locally eliminate these animals from ecosystems.
Obviously there are several serious problems with this
- It creates a market, for which many poor or Africans will happily risked their lives to fulfill
- Once this market has been created,even if China starts to shut it down country such as Vietnam I ready to take it up
- Any harvesting of wildlife in one place quickly leads to the eradication of the same species in places where they are less a secure
- It does no good for the people in question, while some of it is simply superstition there is little more than a placebo impacts on the taker – yet animals such as rhino have been pushed to the brink of extinction to supply the horn supposedly to treat various ailments.
If the epidemic can severely restrict the number of species that people will consume, and at the same time make the Chinese government take poaching seriously-for health reasons if nothing else, this can only be good. Animals ranging from elephants big cats rhino pangolins and many others, are likely to be saved.
It is true that for some of these species it may be too late, however for many others it maybe the lifeline they need to survive. It should be noted that, survival of these animals is not only good for the natural world – with survival of these creatures, tourism to the area could bring in much needed money