The best way to motivate people to change their ways to protect wildlife and to reduce the suffering of livestock in factory farming is through the mechanism of capitalism and convenience. Capitalism is destroying the planet, but it can with technology save it too.
Nathan Winograd tells us that 74 billion land animals are raised and killed for food. And about 1 trillion fish are killed for food annually. My research indicates that fish feel pain.
Factory farming is inherently very cruel. Most of humankind is aware of it. Animals in factory farms live miserable, unnatural lives. They don’t know what contentment means. They don’t know what living naturally means. They are stressed and deprived. They are only released from this agonising life when they are killed for consumption.
This mountain of pain caused by humans in their survival might have reached its peak because over the last decade Germany’s per capita meat consumption fell by 12.3%.
Tech + capitalism
Technology in the area of fake meat has advanced tremendously. It’s expected that sales of plant-based meats will have tripled worldwide by 2013.
The driving factor for this is the need to protect the planet from global warming and technology which allows the production of genuine-looking fake meat which can be bought conveniently and which in turn provides a better profit for the manufacturers.
When fake meat turns a better profit than the real thing, capitalism dictates that there is more fake meat than real meat and consequential improved animal welfare worldwide.
Humans tend to find the easiest route. It’s called convenience. And the production of fake meat can be and will be more convenient to produce than the real thing.
You don’t need sprawling farms, fleets of trucks to transport distressed live animals, shocking slaughterhouses and all the other trappings of factory farming which are detested by many people.
But people tend to block out the reality of factory farming when the product is packaged in the reality hidden.
That’s basically why it continues but when technology can allow business to make more money from laboratory grown meat they can from the messy and cruel factory farming business, they will take that option.
Forests and wildlife
The natural and consequential spin-off is that there is no need to destroy the Brazilian rainforest to make way for livestock farming.
It seems feasible to me that lab produced meats can save wildlife as well as livestock. Although when forests are chopped down it is for the wood they produce and vast plantations as well as cattle ranching.
It looks as though technology needs to find an alternative to wood. A material which can be made and used in a way which mimics wood. And it’s got to be able to turn a big profit for the capitalist to tear down the forests. The forests are limited in size. They will run out.
Capitalism is short-sighted and based upon short-term gain normally. Thinking long-term they should stop cutting down forests and find an alternative.
What stands in the way of technology and capitalism benefiting animal welfare both wild and domesticated is superstition.
Superstition is illogical. And capitalism is based on logic: if the process makes more profit do it rather than the process which makes less profit.
The consumption of tiger body parts is based upon superstition. Eating cat meat is based upon superstition. In fact, the whole wild animal body part consumption business in China is based upon superstition. They call it Chinese culture but it’s actually all superstition. Eating tigers does not benefit people except emotionally. Science does not support it.
If technology could produce a substitute for tiger body parts which benefited the consumer it probably would not work because superstition dictates that it has to be the real thing.
However, it might work because eating tigers does nothing health wise. The whole construction is built upon a belief and faith that it does.
If technology can produce a product which genuinely improves health and welfare of the person consuming it then they may move towards the product.
But the bottom line is whether capitalists would sell the product. They will if it makes more money than killing Bengal tigers in India and shipping their bodies across the borders to China.
Tech + capitalism = improved animal welfare potentially.
My thanks to Nathan Winograd for giving me the idea to write this. I am not saying what I say it entirely correct. They words are my thoughts. Correct me if you wish.