Earth Day 2020 Show: Understanding Zoonotic Diseases and the Spread of COVID-19 and Pandemics, with Dr. Aysha Akhtar

Listen to this show here!

This show is dedicated to Earth Day, which takes place on April 22nd.

Welcome to our annual Earth Day show!

Once again, we are broadcasting remotely from our homes, as the radio station is closed to human-beings, due to the pandemic. In recent news, we’ve been hearing about farmers in both the U.S. and Canada disposing of thousands of liters of cow’s milk, since most restaurants are closed down and so human demand for cow’s milk has drastically decreased. Millions of chickens’ eggs (also produced for human consumption) are being thrown out as well. The animals have already been forced to produce these lactations and reproductive products, as the massive drop in the market was not expected.

To start this show, we discuss the implications of wasted milk as a result of COVID-19 – milk that actually is made for the calves who have already been torn away from their mothers at age 1 day old.

Dr. Aysha Akhtar on Zoonotic Diseases, the Development of Vaccines, and What to Expect in the Future Months and Years to Come in Our Global Pandemic

For our feature interview, for Earth Day, we have Dr. Aysha Akhtar on the show. Dr. Akhtar is a double Board-certified neurologist and preventive medicine/public health specialist. She also serves as the CEO of the Centre for Contemporary Sciences, based in Washington, DC. Its goal is to end animal experimentation in 30 years and replace it with much more effective human-based technologies. She also serves as a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

Dr. Akhtar has authored the book, Animals and Public Health: Why Treating Animals Better is Critical to Human Welfare, which examines how the treatment of animals impact human health. In her Ted X Talk, Dr. Akhtar discusses how treating animals better is not only good for the animals, but also good for humans.

Dr. Akhtar has spoken and written extensively on the connection between animal protection and human health, and in this detailed interview, she explains the nature of zoonotic (animal-borne) diseases, pandemics, and the outbreak of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 that is taking over life in the world as we know it these days. We also learn how the vaccine for COVID-19 will be developed, and what impacts and results we can expect in the months and years to come, in the journey of this global disaster. This interview shares relevant scientific knowledge about this coronavirus, and the way it is spread, that you will have not heard reported in any mainstream media radio or television shows.

You can watch Dr. Akhtar’s Ted X talk here, entitled “Do animals hold the key to your health?”:

YouTube player

Spring Fundraising Drive

We are amidst our Spring Fundraising Drive here at Vancouver Co-op Radio! The bi-annual fundraising drive goes until April 26th. If you appreciate the work that we do here every week at Animal Voices to bring you original, quality programming on the topics of current animal issues and the vegan lifestyle, now is the time to show your support, during our Spring Fundraising Drive, if you can afford to do so during these difficult times. Any amount helps to keep Animal Voices on the air.

It’s Co-op Radio’s birthday as well this week! We’ve been ruling the local airwaves for 45 years! We are mostly volunteer-run and listener sponsored here at Vancouver Co-op Radio (with just a small handful of part-time staff). Our 200+ programmers at the radio station, such as we at Animal Voices, produce weekly shows completely as volunteers, because we feel impassioned to share news, views and community-building and animal advocacy stories that would normally not be shared on mainstream media channels. We don’t have corporate sponsors, so we speak on and report the truth without any biases of corporate giants to answer to.

It currently costs $50 to create one hour of programming.
That’s a total of $438,000 per year.

If you are able to, we would be so grateful if you could make a donation to us at Animal Voices and Vancouver Co-op radio, by going to to make a secure and tax deductible contribution. (We are a registered charity.) You can also send an e-transfer to Or, you can send a cheque or cash to Vancouver Co-op Radio, 370 Columbia Street, Vancouver, BC, V6A 4J1 . And remember to indicate on your donation that it’s going towards Animal Voices.

We thank you in advance for your contributions to help us spread the word of animal advocacy issues and compassionate living. Also, we so appreciate you helping us spread the word by SHARING this podcast, and any others that spark your interest. We have over 10 years of informative podcast archives on this website to listen to and share, on a variety of numerous topics. Our past podcasts are also available to listen to on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

We are incredibly grateful to you for your continued support of our community radio station! And although the physical radio station is closed during the pandemic, we continue to work from our homes to remotely broadcast our radio shows to you, our listeners.

“Lockdown”, by Jenny McQueen

To close this show, for Earth Day and in accompaniment with the theme of zoonotic diseases and pandemics, we present to you A Vegan Poetry Jam by Toronto-based animal activist Jenny McQueen. This was a challenge from Jane Unchained News as part of National Poetry Month, and this poem, authored and performed by Jenny is entitled “Lockdown”. We thank Jenny for producing a special edition of this original poem for this week’s Animal Voices Earth Day show.

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