How Meat Will Be Replaced*

Can you picture it? A vegan world? When will it come?

A lot of people ask me this when they find out that I am vegan.

“Do you really think all human beings will give up meat??”

“How will you convince everyone to give up meat?

I think I have an answer:

Make meat unappealing.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking that’s kind of obvious, and you’re probably thinking I mean increase the awareness over the animal rights, environmental and health disaster that is animal agriculture.

And while I do think all three of those things are incredibly important to educate people about, that’s not what I mean.

Maybe I’ll put it differently: make alternatives the appealing choice.

Yes, I’m talking about fake meat.

Here’s the deal — meat from animals is inefficient. You pretty much can’t argue this. It’s just physics. It’s ecology. Eating higher on the food chain is inherently inefficient. Eating lower on the food chain will always be more efficient.

Why? Because things higher on the food chain require more inputs (water, food, fertilizer, antiobiotics, etc). Those inputs cost money and resources and are thusly inefficient.

Plants are lower on the food chain and are more efficient, both from a resource perspective and a cost perspective.

So alternatives (yes, I mean fake meat) outperform meat from animals in cost and environmental efficiency. They also obviously outperform meat from animals from an ethical standpoint. No dead cows means a more ethical burger.

The remaining question: taste.

Well if you haven’t tried fake meat in awhile, they are damn good. I’ve fooled many meat-loving peers of mine with fake meat products. I’ve served them without telling them what it was and they’ve been floored. I’ve asked them “if fake meat tasted identical or better to the real thing would you eat it?” I’ve never had a friend answer anything other than “yes.”

Then there’s this: a vegan burger just won Best Burger in the World.

Note: that didn’t say “Best Veggie Burger in the World.” Meat burgers were in the running, but one made from plants won the day.

So if plants can be cheaper, better for the environment, more humane, more nutritious and tastier???

We may not have to convince anyone to go vegan, we merely have to continue to work to make alternatives win in all these categories. If it’s cheaper and tastes just as good, this will be the end of meat and no one will miss it.

For more meat-free products check out Gardein, Beyond Meat, Tofurky, and many others. If you live in the Minneapolis area you can check out the world’s first Vegan Butcher for artisanal vegan meats and cheeses at The Herbivorous Butcher.

*That burger is 100% vegan. It won Best Burger

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