At The Good Food Institute, we’re focused on eliminating factory farming and creating a food system that better serves people and the planet. Of course, there’s another obvious beneficiary: farm animals.
At the 2016 Symposium on Multidisciplinary Research in Effective Animal Advocacy at Princeton University, GFI Senior Scientist Christie Lagally spoke about our mission to harness technology and markets to end our reliance on the billions of farm animals we slaughter each year for food.
It’s rare that truly disruptive change ever comes without the assistance of technology and market opportunity. Case in point: The modern animal welfare movement was originally formed to address the conditions of horses used for transportation. This had some problematic impacts on the environment as well: In 1898, the world’s first urban planning conference was entirely dedicated to addressing the problem of horse manure, which was being excreted at a frightening rate of 50,000 tons per month. The conference disbanded early when the attendees couldn’t devise a solution.
In the end, it was neither urban planners nor animal advocates that ended our reliance on the horse and buggy. It was the Model T.
Similarly, the whaling industry, which was at one time the fifth largest sector of the U.S. economy, was made obsolete by the discovery of kerosene as a replacement for whale oil.
At GFI, we aim to replace the products of factory farming with foods that are healthier, more humane, and more sustainable. To do so, we’re promoting the fundamentally disruptive technologies of plant-based and clean meat.
Even the industries we are seeking to disrupt are recognizing the need to change and joining the movement. When multi-billion-dollar food conglomerate Pinnacle Foods purchased plant-based meat company Gardein for more than $150 million, Pinnacle’s CEO predicted that plant-based meats were poised to revolutionize the meat market, similar to the way soy and almond milk have already begun transforming the dairy industry. Then there’s Tyson Foods, the second largest meat producer in the world, which recently invested in plant-protein startup Beyond Meat. Just prior to that, an investor coalition representing $1.25 trillion in assets urged the meat industry to take the material risks of factory farming seriously and investigate new alternatives to feed our growing population.
Just as the inventions of the plane and car have made the idea of travelling from state to state by horse and buggy inconceivable, so too innovations of plant-based and clean meat, dairy, and egg products, will make raising animals to eat them a thing of the past.
To find out more about our work to make factory farming obsolete, visit our website. And to view more presentations from the EAA Symposium, click here.
visit cleanmeat.org for info on the who, what, and why of clean meat.