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Africa Geographic Travel

China’s history of exotic meat and deadly diseases

EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: Written by Sangita Iyer for The Huffington Post

Years after a global pandemic of  SARS outbreak spread from China in 2003, global leaders have failed to tackle the root cause of the deadly disease that seems to have originated from consuming exotic meat.

Although Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome never reached pandemic proportions, globally it infected 8 000 people, and killed almost 800 people. Tracing back the source of SARS reveals that the Coronavirus made the leap from a nocturnal animal, the civet cat, to humans in the Guangdong (or Canton) province of China in late 2002.

A closer look into the evolution of SARS suggests the Chinese horseshoe bat, the primary carrier, transmitted the virus to civet cats, and these infected cats were sold in the Chinese markets for human consumption.

Guangdong is renowned for Cantonese Cuisine in China. According to Dr. Peter Li, an associate professor of political science at the University of Houston, “It is this last trait that is troubling people in other parts of China and the outside world. In being creative, some local chefs go out of their way to prepare the most exotic and shocking banquet with delicacies from the mountains and the sea. The creativity of the Cantonese cuisine is not only ruining China’s wildlife, but the impact is also rippling across our planet.”

Read more about China’s historical love for exotic meat and the effect this is having here.


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