The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that three-quarters of “new or emerging infectious diseases” in humans originated in animals. Medical scientists call them zoonotic infections. Furthermore, six of every ten known infectious diseases can spread from animals to humans. Diseases that originated in animals include SARS, Zika, Ebola, West Nile, HIV, COVID, and Monkeypox. Some diseases, such as HIV, have jumped to humans because of sexual relationships between humans and animals.
As the human population grows, people have more contact with animals and use more animals for food. In addition, the pet trade has seen a massive increase, with a wider variety of animals being confined to homes and sharing everything from beds to meals with their human owners.
Those who blame God for the diseases that are such a serious problem should understand that God never intended for animals to replace humans as family members. A virus that may be of no consequence or even helpful to an animal can cause severe problems for humans. The Old Testament contains strict hygienic rules designed to minimize disease transmission when raising and using animals for food. The rules also forbid using blood as food and any sexual relationship with animals. (See Leviticus 17:12 and Deuteronomy 27:21.).
We may think the biblical instructions for using and managing animals were just for religious purposes. However, it is evident that God knew infectious diseases can spread from animals to humans, and He wanted to protect His people. This is one more example of the consequences of rejecting the Bible as a source of information on how we should live and what our priorities should be.
— John N. Clayton © 2022
Reference: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention