It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two decades since the last time anyone ate meat.
That’s thanks to a couple of unexpected developments: the rise of veganism, and the spread of GMOs in the food supply.
For the first time in nearly a century, we’re no longer dependent on a factory farm.
We’re eating our food and living our lives more sustainably.
But we’re still in the grip of a meat-centric, meat-dominated culture.
If you think that’s bad, wait until you see the world we’ve made for ourselves.
The Rise of Vegans The first major transition in the meat-centered, meat to plant-based paradigm occurred in 1980 when, in response to rising animal welfare concerns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of hormones in feed and feed-labor practices.
This prompted a boom in vegetarian restaurants.
Soon after, the first vegan restaurant opened in New York City.
Since then, more than 30 million people have become vegans, and now there are more than 600 vegan restaurants in the United States.
Vegans are now also the largest group of consumers in the U!
By 2015, nearly one in five U. S. adults had become vegan.
But even though veganism is now widespread, the meat industry still dominates the conversation about meat consumption.
Many of the most powerful activists for the vegan movement are also among the most outspoken meat-eaters.
Take Michael Pollan, who famously called the meat we eat a “cancer.”
Many people are surprised that his vegan diet is so popular, but it’s because the mainstream media and the food industry have been largely resistant to his message.
Pollan is not alone in using meat as a political tool.
In 2015, President Obama named a new ambassador for veganism in the White House.
This year, the United Nations has been working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop a global standard on meat-free meat.
As an activist, Pollan has always been critical of the industry, especially the meat giants.
But this year, he took on meat and dairy in an unexpected and powerful way.
In a piece for National Review, Pollans new book, What We Eat: A Journey Through the Future, he writes, “We are becoming increasingly dependent on meat, and in this new era, we are not doing enough to combat the growing epidemic of animal suffering.”
Pollan goes on to list the reasons that we’re on a path to veganism: our food supply is becoming healthier; we’re consuming more plant-foods like soybeans, peas, and kale; and we’re eating more animal-friendly foods.
Pollans main takeaway is that the meat companies need to stop destroying the planet and stop killing animals.
By 2020, we should be eating at least 5 billion fewer pounds of meat.
According to the U, the global meat industry consumed 9 billion pounds of animal products in 2016, and according to a UN report, that figure is expected to grow to 9.7 billion pounds by 2050.
That means that we could save nearly 5 billion lives per year by reducing our meat consumption by an average of one-third by 2020.
And if we don’t cut back, by 2050, meat will account for more than two-thirds of the planet’s total meat consumption and will represent over 20 percent of the global animal supply.
If we’re serious about stopping the slaughter of the animals, it’s time to start eating less meat.
How to Be Vegan in the age of Meat If you’re looking for a healthy, plant-loving way to reduce your meat consumption, the next step is to find a vegan restaurant that is vegan-friendly.
Here are some key things you should consider: Where you shop It’s important to know what’s in your grocery store, and if there are veg options, what they are.
Vegan restaurants that serve vegetarian fare often serve veggie-friendly options.
Check out the ingredients in a vegan menu, or if you have the time, research the meat options.
When choosing your favorite restaurant, consider the quality of the meat you’re ordering.
Is the meat humanely raised?
Are they cage-free or cage-proof?
Are the animals kept in large, clean cages?
If you can find vegan options, ask yourself if you’ll ever eat the same animal again.
And be aware of the environmental impact of meat production.
If a vegan’s menu includes tofu, for example, they may not consider it a plant-made product, and may not even know that it’s made from a plant.
You can learn more about how meat and farming are impacting the environment and the climate by visiting the National Vegetarian Resource Center (NVRC).
The NVRC is a non-profit, non-commercial organization dedicated to advancing the use and distribution of vegetarian food in the USA and around the world.
If your restaurant offers a vegan meal option, you can also learn more by checking out the NVRC’s