It looks like 2040 will be a good year! According to a new report from the global consultancy AT Kearney, 20 or so years from now, most meat will not be from slaughtered animals. Instead, the report predicts that 60 percent of humans will likely be chomping down on plant-based or cell-based meat.
The reason is simple: Consumers are increasingly aware of the negative environmental impacts of animal agriculture. Research shows that we could cut global farmland use by more than 75 percent and still feed the world. To put this in perspective, that much land is equivalent to the United States, China, the European Union, and Australia combined.
The dizzying loss of wild habitats to animal agriculture is the leading cause of wildlife extinction. Even more alarming, studies show that animal agriculture produces 60 percent of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, making it a major contributor to climate change. Research leader Joseph Poore from the University of Oxford told The Guardian:
A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.
Equipped with this information, consumers and investors are turning to options that are friendlier to the environment and animals. AT Kearney estimates that a billion dollars have already been invested in vegan companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and Just. These investments are already paying off, with Beyond Meat’s stock prices more than tripling since the company first went public in May. The report states:
The large-scale livestock industry is viewed by many as an unnecessary evil. With the advantages of novel vegan meat replacements and cultured meat over conventionally produced meat, it is only a matter of time before they capture a substantial market share.
There has also been a surge of companies working on growing meat cells in culture, which would bring real meat to consumers without raising and killing animals. While this cell-based meat (aka cultured meat and clean meat) is still in development, the report predicts that it will one day dominate the market because it will be nearly identical to conventional meat in look, feel, and taste. Carsten Gerhardt, a partner at AT Kearney, explained:
For passionate meat-eaters, the predicted rise of cultured meat products means that they still get to enjoy the same diet they always have, but without the same environmental and animal cost attached.
There it is! Experts agree that animal agriculture is on its way out, all thanks to consumers making compassionate and educated choices. You don’t have to wait to help turn the tide: Order your FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide today!