Musician Paul McCartney slammed Chinese wet markets Tuesday in the wake of the coronavirus, given numerous reports saying the pandemic originated in a Wuhan wet market where exotic animals are freshly slaughtered in unsanitary conditions.
The former member of The Beatles is a staunch vegan and outspoken animal rights activist, and he made his perspective on the issue quite clear to SiriusXM host Howard Stern, the Hollywood Reporter said.
'It is a little bit medieval eating bats'
"I really hope that this will mean the Chinese government says, 'OK guys, we have really got to get super hygienic around here.' Let's face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats," McCartney said, according to the outlet.
The iconic songwriter of timeless hits such as "Yesterday," "Hey Jude," and "The Long and Winding Road," told Stern that celebrities like them should call for the end of the wet markets, the Hollywood Reporter said.
"It's not a stupid idea, it is a very good idea," McCartney insisted, the outlet said. "They don't need all the people dying. And what's it for? All these medieval practices. They just need to clean up their act. This may lead to it. If this doesn't, I don't know what will."
He added that "they might as well be letting off atomic bombs because it's affecting the whole world. Whoever is responsible for this is at war with the world ..." the Hollywood Reporter noted.
McCartney also told Stern there would be pushback since wet markets have been around for so long, but that "they did slavery forever, too, but you have to change things at some point."
TheBlaze reported late last month that wet markets have reopened across China after the nation's communist government publicly declared victory over COVID-19.
At one market in Guilin, a southern Chinese city, a Daily Mail correspondent watched as cats and dogs were being sold for their meat. At another market in Dongguan, a second correspondent for the outlet photographed signs advertising the sale of bats, scorpions, snakes, lizards, and other exotic wild animals.
Horseshoe bats and exotic mammals, such as civets and pangolins, act as hosts to the dangerous viruses that bats carry.
USA Today op-ed writer Jeremy Hurewitz noted last week that he observed wet markets selling porcupines, raccoons, otters, and frogs.
More from his piece:
I would later learn that the Chinese appetite for these animals and the conditions they were kept in weren't the only genesis for disease creation in China. Chinese animal husbandry practices were such that people frequently lived in close proximity with their livestock, often keeping these animals in their homes. In fact, the traditional character for home, jia, features a pig under a roof, which shows just how elemental this type of arrangement has been in Chinese culture. Pigs, like birds, have a distinct biological ability to share their viruses with humans compared to other animals.
The combination of living closely with animals, in particular animals that can share their diseases with humans, with a centuries-old tradition of eating strange animals and/or using them for medical purposes, combined with unsanitary conditions, created a uniquely fecund environment for human sickness.
Calls to close global "wet markets" amid coronavirus pandemic youtu.be