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Philosophy of Meat

I'm writing this post after watching an episode of the Netflix show Explained: The Future of Meat. Meat consumption in the world is going through a disruption. Developed countries are waking up to alarms of how unsustainable eating meat has become due to their enormous farming practice and land abuse. Here's a video that highlights the issue and sheds light onto where we're headed.




Meat Alternatives

There are a plethora of meat alternatives in the market and literally one each in every country. Some are made from plants but have what experts say heme iron developed in the lab to make the meat substitute bleed like real meat, while some are literally grown from chicken cells in a lab.


Source: Netflix
The stock price of Beyond Meat ($BYND) jumped 130% on end-of-day of IPO

The Philosophy

The underlying philosophy of developing alternative meat is a very altruistic one. It is that

we cannot expect meat-eating people to just switch to plant food. They like meat for reasons beyond just the taste. It's cultural, accessible, etc...

This is a very very compelling argument and I can see why the traditional billion-dollar meat industry is challenged by this new and upcoming another billion-dollar industry. The quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry has jumped on this alternative meat buzz with everyone from McDonald's to KFC adding them to their menu list. This change is set to be a very impactful one. And, imagining a future where QSR restaurants serving up plant-based or lab-grown meat is very inspiring and would be a great time to be alive in. The scale of operations of QSR chains along with people's adoption of alternate meat can truly help reverse the global warming trajectory towards a better one.


An Alternate Thought

The above philosophy is based on the underlying assumption that moving from a philosophy of consuming meat to a plant-based or lab-grown one is an ideal, gentle, and reasonable change, for people living on meat today. However, it's still an assumption. There are even bigger assumptions that it will reach scale. I'm not trying to be a nay-sayer here but just wish to turn every stone when it comes to exploring philosophies or the "why" of things.


Are we making another leap of philosophy by thinking there cannot be a strong uniting reason which will move masses to switch from meat to plant-based food? Maybe we didn't have a strong reason or consciousness about our food yet. Maybe that will change. I feel hopeful because I saw a glimpse of it in another Netflix documentary called The Game Changers. In this documentary, a number of athletes who are traditionally meat-eating people have made a sharp switch to a vegan diet and have seen a phenomenal change in how they feel, their fitness, and athletic performance. We're talking about the fittest people in the world here, Olympic athletes, martial artists, etc.


However, most striking of all was the story about the narrater's father. He's a humble American farmer who now has a heart condition. He took up a vegan diet. He witnessed change and even felt good at eating it. Hence, my hope, that if an American farmer can make such a change in the interest of something so personal then the philosophy of meat changes and becomes a very compelling one.


This gives me a lot of hope for times ahead.