Beginning from the 1960s to the 1970s, as factory farming practices were being developed and implemented in the United States, advertising of meat consumption changed from biweekly meals on special occasions, to everyday meals. Hence, the physiques of the population also changed with the changing diets pushed by the agricultural industries.
However, both the US and UK are leading the change from the factory farming of animals as a major part of its economic output, to the production of plant based protein products. With the hugely successful IPO of Beyond Meat ($BYND) which produces plant based products, many other companies, investors and startups are following suit in transitioning from an animal meat consumptive based population to a plant based protein consumptive population.
It has been 9 years since world leaders met at the World Economic Forum in Davos, when major corporations agreed to shift from animal farming to supporting alternative, plant based products. As more companies and restaurants pop up with alternatives to animal products, and as the population consumes more plant-based products, I extrapolate that it will probably be in the early 2050s when production of animal based products is eradicated altogether as we move towards a meatless, vegan society.
The changing landscape of food production and diet are inevitably tied in with our agricultural practices. In the early part of the 1900s, food shortage, malnutrition, lack of clean water and related diseases were common. As industrial farming practices have dominated the global landscape in the last 50 years, and as we think of the environmental impact of food production, in which 25% of all freshwater is utilised to produce food which only ends up in landfills and the amount of energy and resources that are utilised for the factory farming of animals, profitable companies, such as Beyond Meat are leading the way towards a more ecologically conscious world.
For many of us, we grew up with animal meat and it simply tastes good, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t also enjoy plant-based alternatives, because if we examine the entire picture, from the way animals are raised to how they are butchered, it is not simply about the enjoyment of food, but the practices we embody that determine who we are, and how that piece of meat came to be placed on our plate; and even if beautifully presented, it is advisable for us to simply ignore the dreadful and appalling practices behind animal farming? We learn where we come from through our parents and our families, shouldn't we also teach ourselves where our food comes from?
By Sierra Choi