WATERLOO — Wearing biohazard suits, activists gave an eerie performance at an animal-rights demonstration in Waterloo Town Square Sunday afternoon.
Silently, they held signs up over their heads naming various pandemics past, in order to bring attention to a connection between industrial animal farming practices and pandemic outbreaks.
Around them played the constant drone of air-raid sirens and a voice recording that repeatedly said: “This is not a drill. This is a warning. COVID-19 is a message.” played on repeat.
The protest organizers, K-W Animal Save, said the same scene was also played out at the same time in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.
A few passers-by stopped to take pictures. Patrons at nearby restaurant patio tables looked on.
The activists believe the current COVID-19 and many other global pandemics are caused by the industrial farming of animals.
Mo Markham, an organizer of the Waterloo protest, said this pandemic was predicted by global scientists and experts unless major changes were made.
She points the finger at wet markets where live animals are sold, and increasing amounts of industrial animal agriculture that encroaches on wild animal habitat and increases interaction between virus-carrying wild animals and livestock and humans.