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OP ED: A Balanced Perspective on Plant-Based Veganism and the Meat Industry-Scott Mathias

In recent years, the discourse surrounding plant-based veganism has garnered both praise and skepticism. Critics, usually from the animal meat industry, often attempt to undermine the plant-based movement by highlighting isolated setbacks and short-term trends AND it is doing this right now as 'first starters' in the PB sector report 'sales downturns'.

However, it is crucial to approach this debate with a comprehensive understanding of the broader context, acknowledging the multifaceted factors at play.


Cattle in industrial feedlots

At the heart of the criticism lies the emphasis on occasional failures within the plant-based sector. While some individual companies may face challenges, these instances do not represent the entire movement. Such setbacks are a natural part of any evolving industry and should not overshadow the remarkable progress made by numerous plant-based businesses.

By highlighting only the failures, opponents of plant-based veganism overlook the resilience and adaptability defining the PB sector, not to mention those driven by sheer passion in their desperation for a better world.

The 'old world' meat industry's focus on shifts in consumer preferences should also be seen within a larger framework. Fluctuations in plant-based product revenue may reflect a variety of factors, such as changing consumer tastes, marketing strategies, or supply chain complexities. These variations should not be simplistically construed as a wholesale rejection of plant-based options. Instead, they serve as opportunities for the industry to refine its offerings and cater to a diverse range of consumer needs. In other words, get things right even down to taste and texture.

Central to the plant-based narrative is the imperative to address the environmental impacts of animal farming and slaughter. A critical examination of the meat industry reveals its substantial contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water scarcity.


Broccoli growing in a paddock

In contrast, embracing a plant-based lifestyle holds the potential to alleviate these ecological burdens. By reducing the demand for animal agriculture, we can curtail land degradation, conserve water resources, and mitigate climate change.

Furthermore, the question of resource allocation cannot be ignored. The meat industry requires vast swaths of land and copious amounts of water to sustain livestock and grow animal feed crops. This diverts valuable resources that could be directed towards growing crops for human consumption. In a world where food security is a pressing concern, shifting towards plant-based agriculture offers a more efficient and equitable allocation of resources, ensuring more humans have access to nourishing food.

65-billion animals can be fed annually but 2-Billion 'under nourished or starving humans' go without - there is no logic whatsoever for this other than $$$$$ coming before the fundamental sanctity of human life and a universal right to fundamental nutritional welfare.

I believe a nuanced perspective is essential when evaluating the criticisms and discord directed at the plant-based vegan sector by the animal meat industry. Recognising setbacks are inherent to any industry's evolution and appreciating the broader environmental implications is pivotal.

By acknowledging the strides made by the plant-based movement and understanding its potential to alleviate ecological burdens, we can foster a more informed and constructive dialogue transcending divisive tactics and promoting a sustainable food future for all.

I am hoping Humanity can look back at these times and realise the 'mindless mistakes' when compared to 'mindful progress' for all Human kind and not just those who slaughter animals for profit. - It really is a NO-BRAINER!!


Scott Mathias Editor

Feel free to copy and use this piece along with the usual attribution - Scott Mathias,

Scott resides within rural New Zealand, in the very heart of the industrialised dairy farming sector, which itself is under global pressure for dropping demand and the rise of both process and precision fermentation dairy alternatives - dairy without the animal.

Scott reports on ANZ plant-based developments along with advances in the cultivated meat, alt.protein and 'new fermentation' sectors.


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