It is easy to enter the new year of 2023 with a sense of optimism and anticipation. New Year's resolutions and the slogan of “New Year, New Me” are circulating, as they do practically every year. Unfortunately, as we enter a new rotation around the sun, new catastrophes snap us back into reality. Instead of “New Year, New Me,” the adage of “history repeating itself” rings true with two spinoffs of recent national and global disasters in 2023. This year’s latest economic decline has already drawn comparisons to 2008’s Global Recession. Although we haven’t officially entered full blown global recession levels quite yet, almost seventy percent of economists of the World Economic Forum predict that a full recession will be declared this year. Already, big corporations like Amazon and Google have begun to lay off workers due to this rising issue. Coupled with this financial crisis is another global health crisis. Fortunately, it is not another Covid spike that has experts concerned, it is a bird infection known as the “bird flu” or avian influenza.
The bird flu typically infects wild birds through their intestinal tracts and can eventually find its way to domesticated birds. Although the bird flu does not typically infect humans directly, a big concern is how poultry and bird products such as eggs are being adversely affected. Experts have concluded that the disease’s negative impact upon the egg and food economy may have started in Europe with flocks becoming susceptible to disease during the war outbreak between Ukraine and Russia last year. Having reached the United States as well as much of the globe, 44 out of 50 states have had reported cases of the avian flu within its flocks and poultry products.
Economists are now seeing that the bird flu is now connected with the possible economic recession. The original causes of the current economic downturn are all of the housing, employment, and global market issues that occurred during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 to mid 2021. The bird flu is now making the economy worse, because although the disease is not infecting humans directly, the prices of poultry products, with eggs in particular, have begun to skyrocket at local supermarkets. In the United States, egg prices have increased sixty percent in the past year, and wholesale prices in Japanese stores have reached historic highs.
One way global citizens are trying to deal with the shortage of the breakfast and baking staple is by acquiring their own chickens and flocks. New Zealand currently holds the top spot globally for the most eggs consumed per person, and its stores have had a significant decrease in the amount of product to sell due to tighter farming regulations. People in New Zealand and across the globe have decided to scour the internet in search of chickens, feeders, coops, and food for their own personal chickens. What has become a grave concern for health, economic, and conservationist experts alike is that new chicken owners are not prepared for the care of a chicken. Chickens can live up to ten years and require several different specific needs to be able to live a full life. The answer to how best to overcome this agricultural and economic conflict is not clear and unfortunately may not be clear for a while.
The Student Movement is the official student newspaper of Andrews University. Opinions expressed in the Student Movement are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors, Andrews University or the Seventh-day Adventist church.