Will Meat Substitutes Replace Real Meat?

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Europe is heading for a meatless future if current trends hold. By 2035, a new study from Boston Consulting Group suggests, meat substitutes will reach a price and quality that is on-par with meat from animals. As such, the study suggests, lab-made replacements are likely to overtake “normal” meat in popularity and sales.

And, in truth, this is largely a good thing. After all, factory farming of animals is not only unthinkably cruel, but it’s terrible for the environment. Moreover, keeping large quantities of animals packed into factories to harvest their meat is a perfect breeding ground for diseases. The more time humans spend around livestock animals, the more likely it is that zoological diseases could jump from animals into humans.

Vegan/Vegetarian Diets on the Rise

Both in Europe and globally, vegan and vegetarian diets are on the rise. This is great news for the environment: by 2035, experts predict, the switch to meatless alternatives will likely cut carbon emissions by enough to offset the entirety of emissions from Japan in a year. That’s a huge amount of carbon no longer entering the atmosphere!

Of course, factory farming alone isn’t the only reason people stop eating meat. The ethical considerations of eating animals are a well-known reason for many to avoid meat altogether. While some deride vegans as being “preachy,” there’s something to be said for sticking to a code of ethics.

Health Reasons

Another factor driving many to eat no, or at least less, meat is the health consideration. In general, meat has to be heavily seasoned and salted to strike the palate as tasty, and many forms of meat are generally unhealthy. Switching away from meat to healthier alternatives is a great way to watch out for your holistic health.

Critics of veganism and vegetarianism argue that people who don’t eat meat are unlikely to get enough protein and that they’re more susceptible to iron deficiency. However, between leafy greens and legumes, it’s simple to craft a vegan diet that is high in both protein and iron.

Psychological Resistance

Psychologists believe that the main reason people resent vegans or vegetarians–and have invented the “preachy vegan” stereotype–is that they feel as though people who don’t eat meat sit in judgment of those that do. However, as meatless alternatives become more affordable and higher quality, it’s likely that most people will switch to them as a matter of course. Why not spend less on a healthier food item that tastes just as good?