Impossible has an environmental mission first.
Checkout the sustainability report from 2017
Or the update from 2018
Or perhaps a disclosure. A disclaimer is sort of the opposite:
"I believe X about company Y. Disclosure: I work(ed) there, so could be biased."
"I believe X about company Y. Disclaimer: I have never worked there, so could be completely wrong."
I'm no expert, but I expect land is different in different places. There are different sources of feed. Someone changes a supplier or a farming practice, and it changes a number in a spreadsheet, and you'll get a different answer.
Accounting gets complicated enough with money. When you're doing science it's much more difficult.
This sounds like the sort of thing that scientists and economists can debate for decades. I'm certainly not going to trust some unsourced numbers in a press release.
This article recommends no more than 20% soy in cattle’s diet. The article is from last year. 
>Researchers have found that when the oil content of the ration exceeds 7 percent, it can be toxic to the microbes in the cattle’s rumen and decrease digestibility. Too much oil in cattle rations will lead to scours (diarrhea), cessation of rumen fermentation and, eventually, death.
“Because of these limitations, the recommended upper limit of feeding would be about 20 percent of the ration,” Hoppe says. “Practical feeding levels are probably more like 2 to 3 pounds per head per day. At this low rate of supplementation, soybeans provide an excellent source of protein and energy.”
It is not feasible for a farmer to buy feed during the lifetime of the animal. It’s the reason they have huge pastures for grazing during warm months. During winter they are usually fed hay.
All beef is grass fed period. Some are finished at the end with corn or other dense grains (your soy patties).
Here’s an article from a Meat Scientist.
Visit the Harrison Ranch (on I-5, south-east of SF), and see for yourself how they're treated.
Mad cow disease propagates from feeding cows the ground up bits of other infected cows.
Where I think meat has an advantage is that "we" don't need to use energy to make the patty taste good, the cow does that naturally using the feed. But a soy patty needs all sorts of things added to it and we need to use energy and water to actively process it into something edible.
If we were just eating the soya beans as we pulled them out of the ground, it would be far more sustainable. But beef tastes great right off the cow! Soya is quite bland.
This may be the current case, but it doesn't, indeed shouldn't, be so. It just happens that in the US, CAFO's are the best (financially) way to raise beef cattle.
In any case, livestock's primary food source should never have been soy beans.
...you would have to consume impossible amounts for the smallest of effects
Further, phytoestrogens actually benefit humans
Whereas drinking cow's milk, for example, is high in estrogen because its from it comes from a large female after giving birth.
"You shouldn't worry about this because phytoestrogens aren't present"
"You shouldn't worry about this because phytoestrogens are beneficial"
Both can be true at once, and support the end argument, it's just not particularly helpful or harmful if both are true at the same time.
The FUD being spread around soy is ridiculous.
Other nutrients that tend to be harder to find in plants than animals also tend to be more poorly absorbed than their animal counterparts. B12, iron, d, zinc, etc.
Also, quantity matters. Plants might produce a lot more than mammals do.
In any case, the breast growth on males is no joke. That is just the affect on adults, who are far less susceptible than babies. However it works, soy is a serious hazard and should have the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status removed.
I recommend reading this paper and coming to your own conclusion about "almost no doubt". Within sustainability science, there is little debate about the lack of efficiency to produce protein via cows.
Just to nit-pick one little detail, it seems to treat all land the same: "Significant decreases in land occupation also follow from a shift away from animal-based foodstuffs. The VEG and VGN occupy 70% and 79% less land than the MUD, respectively (VEG = -63% and VGN = -74% for isocaloric diet comparison)."
But, prime farmland and grazing for grass-fed beef aren't the same, so adding them up and taking a percentage seems dubious. (I'm also skeptical of estimates with no margin of error.)
Given that no single scientific paper is definitive (you need to read the literature) I don't see how to come to a conclusion on any of this without a whole lot more work than I'm going to put into it for an online discussion.
There doesn't seem to be ground to overwhelmingly doubt to evidence to the point where the conclusions are radically reversed.
It's a known cognitive bias (assuming you don't know what you're doing) or sophism (if you do).
In the case of nutrition, economics, and ecology, my rough answer is "rather high". (Consider Piketty and spreadsheet errors.) And answering this question combines all of them. If being right matters, I'd hedge my bets.
Most people aren't heavily invested in Impossible Foods, so bet-hedging basically means letting them do their thing and seeing how it turns out. I look forward to trying their new product.
I'm just quibbling with "no doubt". Just like being an expert in most subjects is unnecessary, being doubt-free is unnecessary for most people in most subjects, and I think most conversations would go better if the true believers (and radical cynics) backed off a bit and acknowledged uncertainty.
Look at climate change... are we 100% certain? Of course not but there is overwhelming evidence that is just prudent to act even for the faint possibility of being wrong.
Same here... logic (how could be creating a living thing to slaughter it and eat it be more effecient than processing and eating the feed itself? That would mean raising an animal with all its (unnecessary) complexity was more efficient than our focused industrial processes...) and evidence (e.g., scientific studies and calculations) very much point to the direction that production of meat alternatives would be much more environmentally friendly (at scale).
I don’t think this is so much about “true believers” but there is simply a lot of evidence pointing in the direction that this is really something that could improve the world in many dimensions.
But you are certainly right that like any other pursuit this should be done dillegiently and with care. If you have specific criticism of some evidence that should be discussed... However, there is no need to be overly sceptic and lay bricks on the road if there is no credible evidence pointing in that direction (In this case baseline skepticism doesn’t seem to hold up against the available evidence at this point). Change will be difficult and reinforcing doubt might delay the development and roll out of viable products at high costs to environment and animals.
Scrub land filled with cows is obviously terrible for the environment, but so is the wasteland traditional farming creates. We call it insecticide but it really kills off entire ecosystems. Minimizing impact means minimizing the land we use.
Agreed - there's plenty of room to interpret the specific numbers.
If not, the purpose is to make money and the "mission" is just marketing BS.
They would need change their model to meat based burgers after they gain market share for their mission to be BS. Profit has nothing to do with it.
What you are proposing would prevent them from building a healthy company that can maximize market share and have the largest possible beneficial impact on the environment. I want them to drive all the meat based competitors out of business.
Maybe open source IP model would fail to get critical mass. Maybe the best path forward is to get Burger King as an investor.
If they maximize profits while still being committed to an environmentaly friendly meat replacement, that doesn’t mean they are limiting their impact in any way. It’s just as likely they are maximizing their impact.
I personally don’t care how much money they make, but I do care about the environment and animal rights.
While doing that they have some additional missions, which is cool, but in absence of that first point I do agree it comes off as marketing BS.
When these are significantly cheaper than beef, then it'll be safe to state categorically that they are better for the environment. Until then, it's mostly a game of "pay attention to these metrics that favor my product and ignore the metrics which favor the competition".
Case in point, soy gets 8% the share of agricultural government subsidies while feed for animals gets 34%: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_subsidy#United_St...
Price only reflects what consumers are willing to pay and the effects of subsidies, NOT the environmental impact...
If you ignore that, you get all kinds of obviously wrong things: a cheap gas guzzling car is cleaner than a tesla; natgas for electricity is cleaner than nuclear. etc. And worse, when you start talking about tech that hasn't scaled up yet.. if you go back 10 years, you would get: solar panels are worse than burning coal.
The price is not an indicator of environmental impact.
Obviously at the margins there are costs to environmental impact that may or may not be realized in consumer pricing and there's lots to argue about on the regulatory side.
But in general, if you have to "equivalent" products shipped and produced in bulk, and one costs 4x as much as another (roughly where "beef vs. soy protein" lands for the consumer), it's a really good bet that the cheaper one involved less energy to produce.
And to speak to your point specifically: if it were simply a matter of reducing per-unit R&D costs by achieving economies of scale, they should be selling below cost so that they can grow unit volume. It's hard to achieve economies of scale when your product is more expensive than the competition.
Hook it up to Watson and you don't just get new recipes, but they're combined with new meat! (https://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/trends-news/ar...)
When I want to cook savory foods, there's certain things you can look to:
1. Miso pastes. There's several kinds but in a regular American grocery with international sections you'll usually find a mild white miso and a slightly more pungent red one. Both are usually savory. I am sure Chinese and Japanese groceries will have more options.
3. Certain vegetable broth brands - "Better than Bouillan" vegetable stock, with the green label, is extremely savory
4. Less of an impact, but certain foods, like lentils and tempeh can impart an earthy, savory flavor
You'd be surprised how many flavors you can get mixing these in various quantities, along with other seasonings such as liquid aminos, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, roasted tomatoes, and soy sauce.
My biggest piece of advice for anyone wanting to learn how to cook really good vegetable based meals (and who doesn't want to adopt an already established ethnic vegan diet) is to forget ingredients and instead focus on techniques. Cooking is applied chemistry. You need to understand why certain foods and certain preparations give certain results. You can then replicate similar results.
It's not so much that you want to imitate the "meaty" flavour of beef bones, but rather that you want to create a similarly satisfying broth. If you try to imitate an existing food, you will always end up with a pale shadow of that food. Instead make something that has the same value, but with a different ingredient. It will be different just like chicken stock is different from beef stock which is different than lamb stock which is different than pork stock. But it will be just as good.
For stocks, it's complicated because vegetables are sweet. You want umami for stocks. As much as possible keep the sweetness out of the stock (because it will get in there no matter what you do). Fermented proteins (miso as others have said -- but make sure to get the oldest you can find), beans/lentils, rice, etc. Stay away from things like a mirepoix because it will add too much sweetness. You can add onions, but caramelise them down to being black, etc, etc. To be honest, there is too much to making a good stock to explain here. You just need to practice and adjust until you get what you are looking for. Learning an ethnic cuisine that is already traditionally vegan will help a lot if you pay attention to the techniques they are using. At the same time consider what a bone stock is doing in a stock pot. What is meat? What is connective tissue? What is skin? What is marrow? What happens when you simmer that for 5 hours?
You can make great vegan stocks and it is fun to learn how to do it, but it takes an inventive spirit.
I believe reconciling all of these as ethically equal (including raising the ethical weight of killing a plant as equal to an animal) is important for sanely dealing with our natural ecosystem of food. The "aliveness" of plants is continually researched and shown in a positive light, and it's hard to draw a clear and reasonable line between "life that is acceptable to eat" and "life that is not acceptable to eat".
When you look at the spectrum of life and how ethically impactful killing it for food is, it tends to follow anthropomorphism and social compatibility with humans, which doesn't seem objective enough to be pursued for widely-accepted ethics, but merely for local cultural acceptability.
Ending life to feed our own is how much of nature works, and we have to deal with being a part of that in our ethical thinking, regardless of how associated we are with the life we're ending.
It's simply something to think about: Most people are as flippant about ending the life of a plant, as some are about ending the life of an animal (or various different species of animal, including fish & insects).
How about the line between "life that will likely suffer when prepared for us to eat" and "life that will likely not suffer when prepared for us to eat"?
IIRC, trees release specific substances into their root systems in response to damage or illness in order to communicate to nearby trees. Dying trees will even give up their sugar reserves to feed younger, healthier trees.
So, while it may not be on the same level as animals, I can see an argument being made that trees respond to something resembling "pain" or "suffering".
I did a quick search and stumbled across this article from the Smithsonian Magazine which corroborates some of this and expounds on it a bit. It waxes a bit... mystical, I guess? It does seem to be based on science, but the only thing it links to are books on the subject. So, you know, grain of salt. It's a place to start, though.
Life both begins and ands and you don't have to run away from the end of things or think that making life as long as possible is necessarily better.
I eat meat solely for the taste, which, when I get down to thinking about it, is a shallow and selfish reason
> Animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends. --George Bernard Shaw
Sorry to bring this up, but I'm curious as to the circumstances around this. Did you not know you were eating meat? Or did you eat, and realize later that it was incompatible with your ethics?
Appreciation for the life that was given for my nourishment is important to me and I really take it seriously. I make an effort to not waste any meat I buy and I've definitely shifted to eating less than I used to.
sounds like "we take security very seriously"
Sadly if everyone did this it would probably mean we would only see cows, sheep etc in zoos, rather than grazing in fields.
Downvoters - I live in the Midwest. I grew up on a farm. Much of my family still farms and raises livestock. Factory farming of livestock is not the norm for non-poultry.
I grew up in Indiana. Now, I've not lived there in 5 years, but I did live quite some time in a place that pigs outnumbered people in the county. The county seat was 3000. Even smelling pigs was becoming a rarity while out on a country drive and a flood meant that thousands of pigs drowned in a flooded barn ("pig factory").
Perhaps you are in a place where the pigs usually roam free, but I certainly wasn't.
According to Dr. Hershaft, a holocaust survivor which has dedicated his life to researching animal rights, it is estimated that less than 1% of the meat in the US are from smallscale family farms, he and his team did an AMA on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2h8df0/i_am_an_80year...
> A factory farm is a large, industrial operation that raises large numbers of animals for food.
That's an _extremely_ broad definition that says nothing about the condition of the animals.
On the flip side, I also get to interact with the animals - stroke them, feed them apples etc. It makes me happier that they have a good life, and also sadder as I can see that they're actual creatures with a life.
Eh, not really, as cows and sheep and goats still provide valuable resources. Milk and wools, for example. I'm guessing lots of other things can be taken as they die naturally - leathers and stuff from bones and pet foods and whatnot. Sure, we could eventually engineer ourselves out of needing farm animals, but it is going to take some time.
Granted, I am excited for this meat/burger to be available to the public even if you shy away from eating it. I don't eat meats outside of fish anyway and I'm always excited to get tastier edible stuff.
I think they would just kill the boy calves, and keep the girls.
It takes time to breed a herd of cattle. My friend had an outbreak of foot and mouth and he lost his whole herd one time. It took years and years and years to build it back up. At best you can double your herd size every year. In practice, though, some cows don't produce a calf every year. Also, there are cows that you don't want because they don't have the traits you want. But once you have the herd size you want, it is a steady state thing.
I tried to find some place to find the volume of cattle traded that's not destined for slaughter, but the data doesn't exist. It seems that dairy cows are traded mostly via want ads on the internet these days. Here's a typical site that specializes in it: https://www.dairylivestockservices.com.au/stock-for-sale/ Notice how all of the livestock is fully grown. That's because these are livestock from failed farms. I don't think anybody sells calves because there just isn't a market for it. You can't sell calves for meat either, because as I mentioned earlier, it's not economical (the price for a meat calf going to slaughter is only $125!)
It is sad to think about it, but the reality is that milk production necessarily relies on the death of cows to stay economical. If we drank a lot less milk and were willing to pay maybe 10x the price for it, then you could change that fairly easily. However, it's just not possible at anywhere near the price point we have for food right now.
Nut milks are an odd thing. They aren't really nutritionally the same nor do they behave similarly while cooking. The taste is lacking and I highly doubt they can make cheese. And if I remember correctly, many nuts milks are also bad for the environment - much better to just eat the nuts. I don't know if this is the same for oat milks. Soy milk is simply not edible. (I don't personally drink milk, but do cook with it).
Milk is truly one of those things that has to replace all functions for it to be a viable switch. The same goes for eggs.
All this basically to say that just because there is an alternative doesn't really mean it is viable. Cotton doesn't replace wools and neither do synthetic fabrics, for example. Not to mention that at least some synthetics are made with petroleum products. I always hope they are otherwise waste products from producing fuel (like many other plastics), but I'm not sure.
I'm don't disagree with the rest of your comment, but I think the better comparison here would be to compare nut milk to what it's substituting for, which in this case is regular milk.
Meals more often revolve around beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan.
I think since many meat eaters are less familiar with cooking meals around these, they assume vegs are just subbing meat 1-to-1 with foods like Impossible Burger, Tofurkey, Quorn.
More often they are a food for convenience, special occasions like cookouts, specific recipes, or they happen to be the only option at a restaurant. Some I've known have used them as sort of an aid to transition to a plant based diet, if they happen to have cravings for meat.
However it's great to have more choices, and seeing brands like these in store gives more visibility to veg diets. (It's weird to me that this is the case, when the whole produce isle is vegan, but that's the way it is in a meat-by-default culture).
If it's just straw men... nothing is black and white - the same people who say boo to "synthetic foods" (which is obviously a massive scale too) are not the same people who say "meat production is bad for long-term human survival". The issues are complex and overlap in weird ways.
Oftentimes it's not even intentional. e.g. An ingredient supplier from China delivers whey tainted with Cadmium, this gets mixed into a protein shake powder. Nowhere on the ingredients is Cadmium and the company producing protein shake powder had no intention whatever of producing Cadmium-laced shakes.
This type of thing has occurred multiple times quite publicly in pet foods. Contaminated cat food made from contaminated Chinese ingredients killed an ex coworker's cats years ago, if memory serves the contaminant was Melamine.
An effective means of protecting ourselves from these industrial errors is to avoid eating industrially manufactured foods altogether.
There was a case back in I believe it was the 80s where a red food dye was being derived from Coal tar. When the process worked flawlessly, there was no problem. But the dye was found to be carcinogenic, because the process, as one would expect, had a non-zero error rate. The public reaction to this news is what led to red M&Ms being deprecated for years, even though they supposedly didn't use the red dye in question. Which is the only reason I even know the story. I presume there are many instances of this kind of thing occurring that manage to fly under the radar.
Soylent was in the news fairly early on with contaminated China-sourced ingredients as well.
An even more recent incident has been chopped romaine lettuce as supplied to fast-food chains like Chipotle. Some supplier had contaminated heads with e.coli, the processor then spread the contamination to a much larger scale as they consolidated supplies from multiple farms, chopped it all up, then shipped it out.
By simply avoiding consumption of chopped lettuce, a minimal amount of processing, one significantly reduced the probability they would be exposed to the e.coli.
You seem to have an issue with globalization, not processing.
What does globalization have to do with chopping lettuce on an industrial scale that disperses pathogens across massive batches?
It doesn't matter where the consolidated lettuce came from, the real problem is that it was processed.
Furthermore, in the example I'm referencing, which was thoroughly covered in the US news as the CDC got involved, we were dealing entirely with domestic suppliers from California and Arizona. But I don't see how that is relevant in the least. The problem is that the stuff was processed in aggregate.
I don't want to have to link to the site guidelines, since I'm sure you're aware that this isn't a particularly nice thing to say :/
> What does globalization have to do with chopping lettuce on an industrial scale that disperses pathogens across massive batches?
Chopping the lettuce had nothing to do with E. Coli getting in it; the problem was that the lettuce came into contact with it after being picked. The reason why it ended up getting to a lot of people was because of improvements in transportation and preservation allowing it to be distributed further, not because it was processed.
Processing expanded the contamination substantially increasing its reach to consumers, while also making it more difficult to narrow down which supplier had introduced the contamination.
From the consumer's perspective, by simply avoiding processed lettuce they significantly improved their chances of consuming untainted lettuce.
Talking health here. Nothing to back it up, just common sense about cholesterol and different fats.
Both require, well, processing. I would assume the meat one requires more energy to make.
What matters is how it is processed.
Edit: I believe that there's definitely a potential version of the future where corpse eating will be looked at the same way we look at cannibalism now.
I have not seen meat recommended as food to give newborn infants, ever. They don't even eat solid meals!
The point you were making was clearly "we're feeding newborns dead 'corpses'", so I felt the need to make sure your appeal to emotion was at least somewhat factually correct.
And it would be nice if it came in bulk forms, rather than just as pre-formed patties. I eat ground beef a lot more often than I eat burgers.
Until then, good luck with the test kitchen research. The results so far indicate that the developers understand the problem they need to solve.
But what those 'vegan proselytizers' are asking you for, is to not be so selfish and make a bit of a sacrifice to spare the lives of others. But of course, you 'can't stomach' to be asked to not be selfish, and they are the ones to blame.
Maybe that's your intention, but it's a really bad way to persuade people of anything.
So you're against animal anti-cruelty laws? Are you okay with animals like dogs and cats being torture for human entertainment?
"I do not consider animal lives worth valuing or deserving of rights" is not necessarily the same as "I don't want animals to have rights". It can simply be "I don't care if animals have rights".
We can, but it seems like we often don't.
For the sake of discussion, do you have a pet? Or have loved ones that have a pet?
If you were to torture that pet would you feel anything? Would your loved ones object for any reason?
I totally get that there's a difference between the scenario you're describing and factory farms. In fact, I've posited before that those animals would never have any life if there wasn't a demand to eat them at some point.
But the statement in question reads as "I don't give a fuck what happens to any animal". My question about pets wasn't meant to be tricky, it was trying to ascertain if the statement was an absolute or a general lack of care of where his food comes from.
What exactly is wrong with that statement, though? I personally do give fucks about certain kinds of animals, but I recognize that my choices as to what animals to care about is entirely subjective and is a result of my upbringing. I have no problem with a person who draws the line at "entirely no fucks given about any animal" (though that seems kinda sad to me).
Which... is also different from caring or not caring about malicious cruelty. And I think you could make a further distinction between being a proponent of cruelty (as in "I enjoy torturing animals in my backyard") and being indifferent to it (as in "I personally think it's gross to torture animals, but don't feel it's my or the law's place to force other people not to do it").
(Before I get labeled a monster, I personally think malicious animal cruelty is likely a sign of mental illness and am fine with legislating it away. Regarding animals used as food, I think ultimately we're finding that healthy, sustainable food production often aligns pretty well with increased animal welfare, but I consider that a bonus, not a hard necessity.)
Really, your question just illustrates the fact that this debate is entirely subjective and based on emotion.
As a further thought experiment, we're obviously already working on growing human organs for the purpose of organ transplants. Would people be ok with growing individual human organs for the purpose of food? I expect most people would think that would be gross and be against it, but ethically it seems in the clear.
The argument against this has nothing to do with Eloi thoughts and feelings, and everything to do with their ability to invade the Morlock tunnels and wipe them all out, as a matter of survival. That is, it doesn't matter if the Eloi object, if they lack the means to enforce their objections. Eloi thoughts do not carry any weight in Morlock arguments.
Besides that, feeding themselves to humans by the billions as captive domesticated prey species may be the only shot those species have at reaching other planets.
I think some chicken processors will use controlled-atmosphere stunning — or “gas stunning” — which desensitizes the chickens to pain before slaughtering. (that last bit was copy/paste from another source).
There's no inherent quality that makes a cat or dog more or less deserving of humane treatment than a cow or pig. There's no inherent difference (aside from judgments around taste) that makes it acceptable to eat the meat of a cow but not of a dog (and, indeed, in some cultures, the opposite can be the case).
At the end of the day it's all just what we've been socialized from a young age to believe is acceptable or not, sometimes reinforced with religious beliefs.
I personally will never be swayed by vegetarian/vegan "the poor animals!"-type arguments (but fully respect people who choose not to eat meat for those reasons). Arguments around health, sustainability, and cost (in that order) are what I care about.
(For the record, I think torturing any animal out of malice is messed up and is probably an indicator of some sort of mental illness. However, other people simply being indifferent toward animal welfare is just not something I care about. Everyone has different emotional attachments to different things.)
We can see people on tv acussing other people of being torturers and organising harassment plans against them, whereas happily showing their "baby" toy-dog in their arms.
The same dogs selectively breeded to keep cute deformed craneus, jaw bones like an acordion, popping eyes, crossed teeth, deformed humerus and femurs, no tail, chronic fatigue, all sort of health problems. Dogs feeded with "vegan dog food" for years... and castrated of course. All for human entertainment. How this is not an extreme evil form of torture for them?
Maybe they should give example and kill those pets humanely as soon as possible to end their endless life of suffering?
Similar (at a different level) to me snapping a stick, vs snapping my kids "favourite" stick that he found. Identical actions in one respect, but the human emotional impact is very different.
Whether you agree or not, if your behavior is criminalized, the matter is settled (as a point of law at least).
To be fair, I don't know that violence against you (or others) would really convince you that these lives are valuable or not, just that you might value not being violently punished for acting on your beliefs.
So here is the kicker, exactly because vegan people see these animal lives as worth valuing, they don't consider your "agree to disagree" stance as a "peaceful solution", as it implies the death and suffering of these entities.
It's one of those subjects where you can't have an "agree to disagree" or a "live and let live", or a "to each their own" type of deal, because one side is considering that a third party is involved and hurt, while the other side doesn't consider that a third party is involved at all. i.e: sentient being vs food.
The tension between vegans and non-vegans is not unique or unprecedented. The only thing that's new is veganism's recent growth spurt, which has produced a lot of new converts that mainstream society is slowly learning to tolerate, and vice versa.
Abortions need supervision, paperwork, a studied persons decision. Slaughterhouse killing of often done by immigrants, unable to find any better work.
Where the embryo can potentially harm the mother, the animals we kill every day have zero possible negative impact on our lives.
So I agree there are similar cases, but all these cases are very ---very--- unique in their dynamics.
We kill them because in doing so they have a positive impact on our lives.
Although I'm not one of the other replies, I do think I'd actually disagree on this point. I used to feel the same way like GP (and still do, to some extent), but my view has definitely softened after learning more. After being presented with some ethical dilemma's, and seeing descriptions of how we actually treat animals, I found out I actually can be affected by the suffering of animals - just not to the same scale.
In other words: even though it might feel like a fundamental disagreement, I've experienced that there can still be room for your opinion to change to at least move somewhat in the other direction.
Edit: I'm not vegan because I'm lazy and love bacon cheeseburgers, etc. Beyond Meat and their ilk are helping to address the last part and I'm excited for it.
No, it's not. Do you truly think that there would be no self-proclaimed "meat purists"? Many would still enjoy real meat and would be prepared to pay a premium for it. Heck, even now, there are people who pay attention to the grade of their meat.
Pre-framing the debate in (hostile) terms of just how selfish I am gives me the inkling that you are not looking for an honest, factual, and productive discussion, and that my participation might be seen as an invitation to browbeat me with guilt and propaganda. Instead of wasting your words on convincing me that you're so prejudiced in this matter that the outcome of any discussion we might have is already predetermined, go buy an Impossible Burger--or a thousand--and let them do all the arguing for you, because their actions speak louder than your words. They'll win over my stomach with a $2.00-off coupon, while you're still trying to recover from implicitly devaluing every sacrifice I have ever made for the sake of someone else.
Your post is an exemplar of exactly the sort of vector that I can't stomach--unnecessarily hostile and loaded with assumptions.
Meat comes from the corpses of animals slaughtered on our behalf. Selfishness does not come from eating it, or from insufficiently valuing the environmental impact of it, or from getting annoyed with people that have made it a cornerstone of their personal religion.
I don't feel challenged at all by vegans, in the same sense that I am not challenged by missionaries knocking on doors or distributing flyers. When they speak, and I detect the emotional investment, I tune out, because I have learned long ago that one cannot argue with religion. I don't want a religion; you can't convert me by preaching.
So when someone tells me I am selfish, knowing little of me beyond the words in my initial post, I have exactly the same emotional reaction as with someone telling me that I will go to Hell for being atheist. It only makes sense to a believer, and I am not one. I tuned my bullshit detector with years of pointless arguments with kooks and crackpots, and no one but an expert is going to slip a rhetorical cheat past it.
If I am selfish, by definition, I wouldn't care whether other people think I am selfish. Ergo, attempting to sway someone by suggesting they might be selfish is implicitly dishonest. It would only work on someone already concerned that they might be too selfish, while not knowing of any specific reasons why that might be so. By introspection and by comparison with acquaintances, I have reached the conclusion that I am not selfish, or at least not more than one standard deviation above the median level of selfishness. I am stubborn and skeptical; sometimes it comes out looking similar. Since I know myself better than anyone else does, whenever someone comes out and says I am selfish, my bullshit detector pings, and I look for the ulterior motive.
Aha! The person making the claim has no specific interest in me or my prior claims, but is using me as a prop to preach to the more accessible listeners in the audience, and to their own choir. They are treating me exactly as I treat a piece of meat--a thing to be used to advance their own ends, rather than something of inherent value. That's hypocrisy, of a sort, and I dislike it in vegan preachers, and every other kind of preacher.
I doubt you'd see anyone arguing with you for any reason other than it benefitting them in some way, but it doesn't necessarily have to be because they are treating you "as a piece of meat". For example, I might ask you to reduce your meat consumption because in doing so you reduce your impact on the environment, even though you are a random stranger on the internet that I will likely never meet, because in doing so your actions indirectly have an effect on me.
I'd make the counter-argument that you are optimizing without profiling first, and the environmental benefit yielded from convincing me to live slightly greener is insignificant compared to spending the same amount of breath on petitioning and lobbying for environmental legislation, but it's your own time you're spending. But even then, I won't back your political effort unless it includes pollution standards for container ships, research money for aneutronic fusion, research money for efficiently storing and returning energy from inconstant sources such as wind and solar, negotiation rules for including environmental considerations in international trade agreements, externality taxes on proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, and a laundry list of other points that I feel would each be more effective than trying to push an omnivorous species towards more vegetarian by word or by force.
If a company meets the criteria from my original post, it's an immediate victory, without any arguments at all. The price of beef becomes anchored by the cost of its closest cheaper alternative, and that price determines the price of livestock, and that price determines the size of herds. The argument from the pocketbook is superior to the one from hot air or hot lead.
...Some people will argue, just because someone is wrong on the Internet.
I point this out to suggest that at the end of the day all of this is emotional and is largely driven by how we were socialized and raised from a very young age. It's often difficult to get people to agree with rational arguments when those arguments contradict a lifetime of programming.
Having said all that, I've found that the environmental argument is the only one that gives me pause around my meat consumption.
To ask those with the smallest prints to wear smaller shoes is ridiculous while some still wear a different yacht on each foot. You ask the man with the ha'penny to give a farthing, while the man on the gold throne is unmolested.
If I save the whole Earth, will I get to keep some of it, or will title to the vast majority of the habitable area remain with those who made my interventions necessary?
It's a matter of incentives. Why should I bust my ass to live green on a rented 1/8 of an acre, while my neighbor that owns the 400 sqmi ranch is buying pipes and pumps specialized to move liquefied manure by the cubic meter, and blowing cigar smoke in my face when I complain about the smell? Go annoy the asshats that can actually make a difference by changing their behavior, or save your arguments for a political campaign. My only stake in the environment is my own survival. If it down comes to that, I already know I'm expendable. I won't just lay down and die, though; I'm going to at least try to eat the rich, instead of my vegetables.
Sure, but you're not going to do that, so the best thing you can possibly do is alter your lifestyle and do your best to help others do the same. Pointing your finger at someone else and crying "but he's worse than I am, so why should I change?" isn't a very convincing argument for doing nothing.
> My only stake in the environment is my own survival.
Do you perhaps have children, or people that you care about that are younger than you?
Votes for higher tax rates on wealthier tax brackets, and for stricter environmental laws, and more enforceable penalties for breaking them, are all more effective than me, individually, setting my thermostat just one more degree towards discomfort, separating my recycling into just one more category, shortening my showers by just one more minute, and doing all that stuff we were told would make a difference.
But then one (allegedly) rich jackass screws it up for everybody, unilaterally withdrawing from international environmental agreements, and putting a fox in charge of the EPA's henhouse. It can make someone question their commitment. Why should I voluntarily endure all this eco-sterity, when I can reduce my environmental footprint to zero and still live to see the melting methane clathrates roiling arctic seas, because we were all apparently targeting the wrong people?
The people who collectively claim to own most of the planet are the ones who are destroying it. They can do as they please with their other possessions, can't they? I lost whatever direct stake I had in this planet in the wake of the 2007 mortgage crisis. I used to own land. Or I thought I did. Now I have to rent the ground on which I sleep. So if the planet is dying, I don't really have to worry about my piece of it dying. If my home is demolished by floods and tornadoes, that's more the landlord's problem: I move on to the next place. I'm just in a race with all the other doomed souls, to work hard enough to make enough money to win the bidding war to rent the last habitable place on Earth. In doing that, I may have to discard any pretense of environmental responsibility, and think solely of my own small tribe, because clearly, the cartel in place to ensure cooperation for the greater good of all civilization is not effectively checking the renegades who are choosing personal benefit over collective benefit, at a world-altering scale.
So instead of tsking at the person who threw brown glass into the clear glass bin, get violently pissed at the person who is secretively trucking those bins to the landfill, because glass recycling isn't profitable this month. Instead of frowning at the person eating a real meat hamburger, go ape on the person whose animal waste lagoon breached a levee and washed into the local watershed. I'm not going to do one more damned thing to my own lifestyle for the sake of environmentalism, as long as I think that nothing that I have already done, and nothing I am currently doing, really matters.
If becoming an eco-terrorist is the only plausible way to avoid Venus 2: Methane Boogaloo, then yeah, I think I could maybe make a difference that way. There are definitely better paths to pursue, collectively, but I think maybe the folks telling me, "Hey, you! Stop eating meat. Thanks!" while trading Bitcoin and designing the next Juicero-like company (but better this time), are not fully understanding the problems at hand, and will not be effective allies.
I would certainly not call that cheap or even affordable.
I'm wanting to try it out someday, and am willing to pay the price for a "restaurant burger" made using the product - but the cost is too great currently for the home market. If they can reduce this, while making the product better, then I'm all for it.
That said - before I would be willing to switch fully, they'd have to be able to replicate a few kinds of cuts that are currently - well - impossible:
1. Well marbled aged rib-eye - steak and roast form, bone in
2. Pork shoulder
3. Full-size beef brisket, fat cap and all, plus tip
One day, perhaps...
So far no option like that exists on the shelf. All the fake meat options cater to the people who shop at whole foods and I'll take value priced 80/20 over that any day.
I’m pretty sure I will never be a strict vegetarian, but I honestly don’t see the point of eating cheap mass-produced meat over some more environmental- and/or animal-friendly produced alternative anymore. Quality over quantity please. I cannot understand how so many people disagree, especially those who claim to love meat.
I eat cheap mass produced meat because it's often an ingredient in the things I put on the menu (hamburgers about once a week and tacos about once a month). I buy the store brand. If someone wants to make a more environmentally friendly semi-meat or non-meat product that is a drop in replacement for meat in my use case and is superior in any other way (shelf life, price, health, taste, etc) and equal in the rest then I will use it. At present nobody has done that for beef.
Well for starters, a lot of them probably can't afford higher quality meat. Quality over quantity doesn't work if the quantity goes down too far.
Beyond seems to be moving into that space, and Impossible is giving them the moment. Whether (or if) Impossible can recapture that market segment remains to be seen.
Possible but seems pretty unlikely. Also, I don't think they'd be allowed to use Impossible's trademark in that case.
I feel like the GP must be misremembering.
Edit: the meatloaf was served by the deli premade, it wasn't sold individually packaged.
More options in the mix is always good, but trying to replace everything with vegetable stuff is not going to work in the long run.
From another article ( https://www.cnet.com/news/impossible-burger-2-0-tastes-like-... ):
> But Impossible Foods can produce a burger using a fourth of the water and less than 4 percent of the land -- and emit one-tenth of the greenhouse gases -- than a conventional burger, Brown said.
So yeah, we might still destroy forests to make veggie burgers, but it'll be 1/25th of the forest destruction (if you believe the numbers).
The grass hills are beautiful, it would be a great shame to see them converted to crops. I would argue they won’t be, and therefore the cattle raised on them is effecient.
In 2010, the British livestock industry needed an area the size of Yorkshire just to produce the soy used in feed. But if global demand for meat grows as expected, the report says, soy production would need to increase by nearly 80% by 2050. 
From a completely theoretical standpoint, if humans were to stop consuming meat we would actually need to close 1000's of crop farms, not open them on rolling hills, even when accounting for our dietary increase in plants. I'd therefore argue that it's a shame the land has to be used for agriculture at all. Better would be to maintain them as national parks and the like.
 (PDF WARNING) https://www.wwf.org.uk/sites/default/files/2017-10/WWF_Appet...
So in our current system it does appear that cattle, even if they occupy some grassland space which could not be more efficiently used, do inevitably use resources which could be more efficiently used to feed humans directly.
(I have no idea if there's an efficient way to scale beef).
If you're interested, https://twitter.com/drsplace is a good follow. She writes and cites a lot on this topic (because she is employed by the beef industry).
(And of course, if the soy that is currently fed to cattle is fed to humans directly, we can feed quite a few more humans from that than that cattle currently can, without needing to use more resources. That's not to say it does not come with its own problems, but they're unlikely to be as severe as the ones we get with meat anytime soon.)
>At Hopdaddy in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Impossible Burger (using the original recipe) goes for $12.25. A classic burger made of Angus beef with the same basic toppings costs just $7.25.
Crops -> Animal feed -> Cattle -> Meat -> Eat
Crops -> some processing -> Eat
Doesn't seem like such a clear win for cattle. They do note that "For an estimated 100 million people in arid areas, and probably a similar number in other zones, grazing livestock is the only possible source of livelihood.", so not everyone might be able to afford a vegetarian diet, but 91% of beef seems replaceable.
Besides, the range land you're talking about isn't needed for crops anyway. We have more than enough arable land to grow crops for direct human consumption.
EDIT: sorry here is the better link:
Edit: Vastly better than Beef*
What if I want a well-marbled aged beef ribeye?
Or if I want to smoke a pork shoulder or brisket?
Those kinds of products are going to take some time before they become manufactured from plant-based sources (or before they are "grown" - indeed, the first versions of that nature are likely to be too lean, which will be a real problem, especially for taste and texture).
But we have to eat... what do you recommend we replace our protein intake with?
Aside from making it so that anyone with coeliac can't consume their burgers, it's just not as effective for humans as animal protein. Pea and soy, however, are nearly as effective and much better for the earth/environment.
Wheat protein is easy to complete. This is acknowledged at the link you gave:
> when combined with other food proteins such as legumes, oil seeds or animal products the proteins of wheat exhibit excellent nutritional complementarity.
Lysine is the limiting amino acid in wheat protein. Lysine is easy to find in other places, and wheat protein can be made fully complete using half as much pea protein, for example. A single 20 g portion of wheat protein similar in size to one impossible burger contains over a quarter of the RDA of lysine . Nearly any other protein you consume in a day will easily provide the rest, even with sensible vegan diets.
1 - https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-myth-of-complementary-pr...
2 - https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Wheat_flour%2C_whole-grain_nu...
Optimal daily intake of all essential amino acids is easy to achieve with any sensible dietary habit, even for very active adults. If you're consuming adequate protein each day, given your activity level and health, then the amino profile of your protein intake is completely irrelevant unless your diet is really goofy.
I'd encourage you to read that Forks over Knives article.
There is compelling evidence supporting supplementation of some conditionally essential amino acids such as carnosine (perhaps vis-a-vis beta-alanine) and glutamine. There's also increasing interest in restriction of specific amino acids, namely methionine, for anti-aging and cancer treatment.
But all this talk of supplementation and restriction, outside of what occurs naturally in foods, stands in opposition to the dietary notion of protein completeness. My hope is that it will eventually lead to more appropriate and flexible measures of dietary protein quality.
1 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20844186
So, is the IB 2.0 a source of complete protein or not? I'm asking this from a pure "what's the spec sheet here" point of view.
And that would be true even if the burger consisted only of wheat protein. The listed ingredients include protein from wheat, soy, and potato, so it's quite possible that the amino profile is close to optimal. But again, that doesn't really mean anything in practice, unless you want to try to survive on just a couple of impossible burgers per day.
In other words, scrutinizing amino acid profiles has almost no benefit in a practical diet. Even if you're a vegan, if you eat a sensible amount and variety of protein during the day (grains, beans, nuts, etc) then your daily amino intake will be readily completed.
You're not wrong, but I think you're taking a very narrow view here. There are situations when having a good source of complete protein is important. E.g. you're working out and you need to increase the muscular mass. In that case, you better make sure your main source of protein is indeed complete.
The real world is annoyingly diverse sometimes.
Try this as an exercise: Suppose you're a 100kg power lifter targeting 1.5 g per kg body weight protein intake (which is at the lowish end of common protein recommendations for athletes, resulting in 150g protein per day in this case). Suppose you don't want to eat anything but beans. Only beans, breakfast lunch and dinner. You make sure you get your 150g of protein per day from beans, which is a lot of beans, but well worth it because you love beans.
By your criteria, your main protein source is horribly incomplete, and I would agree. But now tell me, will you actually end up deficient in any essential amino acids? The answer is, perhaps surprisingly, probably not. Lets briefly look at the numbers:
The limiting EAA in most pulses is methionine. Sometimes tyrosine is low as well, but let's stick with methionine. That means that the only EAA deficiency possible with your bean-only diet is methionine. To get 150g protein you'll need around 600-800g of beans, depending on the type of bean, which yields between roughly 1.2 and 1.8g of methionine, again depending on the type of bean (I'm using USDA data for lentils and pinto beans for this example).
So the question is, is 1.2-1.8 g/day of methionine enough? As far we know, yes, that amount of methionine is at or at least near the amount that your body can use in a day. I've never seen evidence that any amount over that range is of any benefit, any excess over utilization being either oxidized for its caloric value, or excreted. There is evidence that some athletes need more than 1.5 g/kg/day of protein, but this is based on increased oxidation of all dietary amino acids, rather than higher utilization of specific EAAs . So if you need more protein, you can just eat more beans.
In other words, your 600-800g bean-only diet probably gives you complete protein each day. But even if it didn't -- if you somehow turned out methionine-deficient -- then you could easily "complete" your daily protein intake by eating another serving of beans. Or an egg.
Now suppose you're not an athlete, but just a schmuck like me, eating a more typical 0.8 g/kg of protein. Now you're eating only 80g of protein, and thus only around 0.6 to 1.0 g of methionine per day. Now you might end up methionine-deficient, but even here the evidence is thin, and all you'd have to do to correct it is eat an egg or two. Or more beans. (Interestingly, there is great interest in methionine restriction as an anti-aging and anti-cancer strategy, so methionine deficiency is decidedly a rare and speculative condition).
Does this make sense? Do you see how easy it is to consume complete protein each day? This is a specific example, but the arithmetic works out for grain-heavy diets just the same. All you need to do is make sure you're getting the daily amount of protein recommended for your athletic activity level. As long as you do that, you're highly unlikely to be deficient in any EAAs, even on a whack diet. You can live your whole life unaware of protein completeness or amino acid profiles, and your body will never know the difference.
1 - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nbu.12215, Protein intake for athletes and active adults: Current concepts and controversies
The world outside the pixel matrix is a very different thing.
If you're ever interested in learning more, I'd say just try running some numbers yourself. Pick a diet with some "incomplete proteins", and then figure out what specific EAA deficiencies might result. Try to use at least a semi-realistic diet. See if you can do it.
Would you consider wheat protein to be the only kind that can scale? If so, why?
I'm not sure what you think the alternative is. People need to eat.