Date: 6 Jan 2017
Author: Michael Morris
An excellent response to this article The end of the world as we know it: What a vegan New Zealand would look like. The article is written by the editor of NZ Farmer, but Michael Morris has put more thought into it... This article paints a totally unrealistic picture of a vegan world. The most likely outcome would be gradual change. With more information out there about the damaging effect that animal products have on the environment, human health and animal suffering, more people will start to cut down on animal products. Others, perhaps those who already have a more attuned social or environmental consciousness, will cut them out altogether. Eventually most people will become vegan, and when that happens, the country - and other countries with a similar degree of moral development, will be ready to provide legal protection for animals against mistreatment for trivial reasons like taste. As demand for meat declines, demand for other products such as plant based alternatives, will go up. The same happened when demand for coal was replaced - firstly by oil and gas, and more recently by renewable energy. The economy didn't collapse; it thrived. Those in the farming industry, who have land and agricultural skills, will retrain in plant based agriculture. Smart businesses will understand market trends and will adapt. There will be a short term re-adjustment period, but in the long term the result will be more prosperity, plus a cleaner environment and a healthier population. Because it takes less land to feed people on a plant based diet, much of it could revert to native forest, which would support more wildlife. Our number one export industry, tourism, would boom. Cows and sheep would not disappear overnight, but we would no longer be breeding them. Cats and dogs would still be around, but responsible vegan pet owners would ensure no more breeding, and would not buy from puppy or kitten mills. Even now, responsible pet shops like Animates have a policy of supplying animals from shelters and not breeders. If the world went vegan overnight (a totally unrealistic scenario, but, hey, we can dream), then this would only be possible through a sudden surge of compassion infecting the entire population. Compassionate people would find a way to look after the cows, sheep, and even the farmers, who would need help transitioning their businesses. A vegan world is possible. In fact, if our species is to survive and feed 10 billion people (the UN projected figures for the near future), it is not only possible, but mandatory.