From The Scientist:
The world may be at greater risk of infectious diseases that originate in wildlife because people are increasingly encroaching on natural habitats in the tropics to graze livestock and hunt wild animals. Devastating pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19, all of which likely originated in wildlife, are reminders of how environmental destruction and infectious disease are intertwined. Tropical deforestation and overhunting are also at the root of global warming and mass species extinction.
All of these phenomena suggest that what we choose to eat has a fundamental impact on our health and that of the planet. We recently conducted a review of the scientific literature to explore how wildlife-origin diseases, global warming, and mass species extinction are linked to the global food system. Our second objective was to explore reparative actions that governments, NGOs, and each one of us can undertake. From the perspective of individual consumers, the global population needs to shift to diets low in livestock-sourced foods to stem human encroachment on tropical areas of wilderness. Second, there is a need to curb wildmeat demand in tropical cities.