Our global focus on producing cheap meat, dairy, and other animal products has put the planet in an incredibly difficult spot. Around half of the world’s arable land and a majority of our freshwater stores are dedicated to grazing livestock and growing feed – and yet, nearly one billion people currently suffering from hunger. If our collective demand for animal products continues to grow as we approach a population of 9.8 billion by 2050, we simply won’t have the space or water needed to keep up.
The question of how we’re going to meet the protein needs of the planet is rapidly becoming the biggest challenge of our time. But for some of the world’s top food producers and business owners, they have found the answer: lab-grown, cultured “clean” meat.
That’s right, it was recently announced that Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Jack and Suzy Welch, Kyle Vogt, Kimbal Musk, New Crop Capital (Bruce Friedrich, the managing trustee, who was recently featured on #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias) SOSV, Fifty Years, Inevitable Ventures, top venture capital fund DFJ, as well as Europe’s largest venture capital firm Atomico, and KBW Ventures (led by Prince Khaled, who was also recently interviewed) have all invested in Memphis Meats, a San Franciso-based clean meat company.
VANCOUVER — Lobby groups for the meat and dairy sectors are up in arms over indications that Canada’s next food guide could discourage the consumption of beef, butter and cheese.
The guide, expected to be released early next year after its first overhaul in a decade, has been instrumental in teaching generations the importance of nutrition and a balanced diet. And while it may not be Health Canada’s intention, it can also serve as a key marketing tool for certain food industries.
Earlier this year, Health Canada published guiding principles and recommendations, one of which promotes eating more protein-rich foods derived from plants.
We’re often described as lazy, entitled, and unwilling to leave our parents’ homes. But this isn’t the truth, nor is it what I’m here to discuss. We need to talk about what we’re eating and how it affects the world, our health, and the countless animals at factory farms.
We’re not only the world’s largest generation; we’re the largest generation of self-identified vegetarians and vegans. Concerned about health, the environment, and animal welfare, nearly 12 percent of us avoid animal products.
While it’s great that so many of us care, it’s important that we all understand the negative impact that eating meat, dairy, and eggs has on the world.
Geumdeung and Depo are two indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins who were illegally captured off the coast of Jeju Island in South Korea back in 1997 and 1998. Now, after 20 years, the two animals will finally be given their freedom! The wonderful news was shared by the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS), who has been following the work of HotPinkDolphins, a marine mammals welfare organization based in South Korea, as they rehabilitated the dolphins.
In spite of how much time Geumdeung and Depo spent in captivity, in conditions very different from what they would be in their natural habitat, both animals are doing very well in the sea pen where they were transported on May 22, 2017. In the sea pen, they were able to readjust to life in the ocean, learning how to navigate currents and catch live fish all over again.
An 11 year campaign came to a screeching halt on June 21st when NYC lawmakers voted to ban the use of exotic animals in circuses. The bill, which has been championed by Council Member Rosie Mendez since 2006, passed with 43 votes. Only 6 Council Members voted against it.
NYC’s Public Advocate, who presided over the Council meeting when the vote took place, broke protocol by allowing animal rights activists in the Council chambers to break into applause when the vote count was announced, “Let it rip,” said Letitia James, who herself was a supporter of the ban.
The question of how we’re going to feed a population of 9.7 billion people by 2050 is possibly the most burning one facing humanity. Our current food system, which is heavily focused on meat and dairy production, already occupies around half of the world’s arable land and uses a majority of freshwater resources – and still, around one billion people lack access to food. What’s more, the massive amounts of air and water pollution, coupled with the greenhouse gas emissions produced by animal agriculture are contributing to climate change and endangering our ability to grow more food for people in the future.
The bottom line is we’re doing a better job at feeding animals than we are at feeding people – and if we continue to do so, we will be absolutely incapable of feeding ourselves in the near future. Luckily, many individuals and companies are taking note of the failures of our food system and looking to new technology and innovation to solve this pressing issue. Being that we’re familiar with the statistics surrounding just how damaging our food system is to people, animals, and the environment, we are cautiously optimistic about the change that has been happening with a rise in plant-based protein companies and consumer trends that favor eating less meat and dairy – but we recently heard something that has given us tremendous amount of hope for the future of food and the planet.
When it comes to debating which is better, overall, eating plant-based or eating a diet heavy in meat and dairy, there are countless (extremely heated) arguments on both ends. One can argue that eating more plants is better for your health, the other can argue that there are humane ways to raise animals for meat consumption. We could go in circles all day – but what these questions often fail to ask is how we are going to feed a rising population, which is set to hit 9.7 billion by 2050, with our current food system.
We might not be readily aware of this fact, but our current global food system is already being pushed to its absolute limit and as it stands, we are running out of land and water to produce more monoculture crops that primarily go towards feeding livestock. When you look at the volume of corn and soy we grow versus how many people are suffering from food insecurity, it becomes pretty clear we’re feeding our “food” more effectively than we’re feeding people. So how do you unite these feuding fronts to create a viable food system that can support the planet, people, and animals? Well, Gene Baur, President of Farm Sanctuary has some pretty impactful ideas.