- Type: FiNe
- Development: l-l-
- Attitude: Unseelie
There is some problems in trying to make humanity go completely meatless. Yes, taste is the main driving force behind our over-consumption (and production) of meat, but it is not the only one. If we are to follow scientific recommendations, appropriately planned vegan diets should be nutritious and healthy for everyone at any age. There is a drawback though: Some nutrients are lacking in vegan diet–the vital one being Vitamin B12–which needs to be obtained via supplementation. This isn’t something drastically impactful for majority of people. Most of us are already deficient in some way and often obtain Vitamin B12 from fortified foods like cereals, protein bars, etc.
However, there are some diets that have been gaining momentum currently, like keto or raw meat diet. Okay, if the majority of society agree to outlaw the consumption of real meat, maybe those minorities would be forced to submit to majority anyway. But seeing the current political climate, how more people are becoming more wary of certain political agenda being forced upon them, somehow I doubt if they would even be that minority enough to ignore. Maybe we’ll need another century, if not more, for near-complete effect to take its place. But yes, majority of society will definitely go into that direction, it’s just a matter of when.
Unfortunately, I really doubt that “everyone” would happily choose plant-based meat over the real one even if the taste is completely identical, or if it would reduce animal suffering. For some reason, this dietary choice seems to have become an integral part of some people’s sense of identity or tied to their ideological beliefs. I once stumbled upon a Youtube commenter, saying something along the line of, “I eat meat because it’s pleasurable to know the simple fact that what I am consuming was once a living and breathing animal.” Unironically, mind you. Maybe he’s trying to find justification for his position, I don’t know. Some people also love to hunt (which by the way, is far more merciful than factory farming if we’re talking about quality of life). Some people are just capable of distancing themselves from animal’s suffering–you won’t believe the way some are able, with full intention, to prepare a dog, as example, for consumption in the most cruelest fashion (this is happening on one particular region in my own country). And I don’t know if this is still up, but there’s even a mukbang channel on Youtube of a woman eating and “playing” with sea creatures alive, complete with some free-royalty jolly music spinning in the background. People are just… random, selfish, purposeless when left to their own account. And I’m not even trying to be judgmental here, but my point is suffering eventually feels kind of inevitable. You make the world a safer place, then does its tolerance of pain becomes lower? In the end everything probably balances out. The way I can be mistaken is if we somehow able to completely annihilate pain, which just doesn’t compute in my mind.
Sorry, just wandering a bit to the philosophical side.
Getting back to the topic–another reason that I doubt plant-based meat will be the future is the fact that we care for other animals, including those carnivorous little fellows such as felines, snakes, etc. Even the most die-hard vegans won’t be able to deny that these creatures need meat. This is just impossible to cater in a wholly plant-based society, unless you’re willing to make some exceptions for them. And that would raise many ethically ambiguous positions regarding animal rights, I mind you. So the solution can’t end simply on Beyond Meat patties if that’s one of your concern. But luckily for you, there’s another alternative that food scientists have been working on since the past decade: that’s where in-vitro or cultured meat come into the picture. The name basically says what it means: meat grown artificially in a lab.
It’s also said to be able to drastically reduce greenhouse transmission such as methane. But there’s a possible downer to this. According to this article citing a 2019 study, even if methane emission is reduced, CO2 produced by the labs could create a far worse issue for environment in the long run. The study is running on the assumptions that we’ll be using the same method of energy generation that we currently use in power production over the span of 1,000 years. If humanity is able to find another method to produce energy, then the technology could be the most feasible solution to reduce environmental impact while considering aforementioned issues. The only question left is if people are willing to make the switch. There are many that seems to be skeptical with eating anything made in a lab although they had probably just munched some junk foods or even fruits that were probably altered genetically in a lab.