Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix have penned an essay about wet markets in North America.

The animal rights activists wrote the piece on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic which some reports suggest started at a wet market in China.

“China is hardly the only country where live animal markets and other squalid operations are common. Some 80 of them operate within the five boroughs of New York City alone, according to Slaughter Free NYC, a nonprofit group that opposes them. They are near residences, schools and public parks,” Mara and Phoenix wrote in the piece published by the Washington Post.

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“The unsanitary living conditions inside CAFOS weaken animals’ immune systems and increase their susceptibility to infection and disease. The factory farms’ response has been to pump the animals full of antibiotics that make their way into our food supply and onto our dinner plates, systematically fostering in humans a lethal resistance to the medicines that once quelled everyday infections,” they said.

The couple added, “such practices have brought humanity to the point that the WHO now estimates that more than half of all human diseases emanate from animals.”

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Mara and Phoenix implored people to re-evaluate wet markets.

“Covid-19 is a devastating indicator of what’s to come if we don’t make rapid and sweeping changes, the least inconvenient of which is closing down all live-animal markets and CAFOs in the midst of this global pandemic,” they noted at the end of the piece.