After Meat

After Meat

Jonathan Balcombe (Author, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9553-5.ch018
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Abstract

This chapter describes a future scenario in which humankind abruptly stops eating animals. Its purpose is to explore the impacts of animal agriculture using a fictional device. Several ways, in which the end of meat might happen are suggested, including a virulent global human epidemic originating from the meat supply. The ensuing state of the world is examined along six axes: animals, the environment, human health, the economy, food, and society. Because of the enormous scale of animal agriculture today, a sudden end to meat would cause massive upheavals across all of these domains. However, it is predicted that positive gains would be significant, outweighing negative outcomes.
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Background

Quite aside from how unlikely, or for many how undesirable, it would be for humans to stop eating animals entirely, there is no restriction on asking what might transpire if we did. For this essay I have removed the reins of uncertainty to speculate on such an audacious future. I examine six domains: the animals, the environment, human health, the economy, food, and society.

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