We’ll All Be Vegetarian Soon: Report

Time to savour that juicy steak, chicken wings and delicious pork tenderloin, because within the next 40 years we’re all going to have go vegetarian. That’s according to a group of scientists from the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). Researchers there point to water usage in livestock production as the main limiting factor of our current meat-heavy diet.

While some, like the Huffington Post, offer articles on how to become vegetarian slowly, because this is apparently a) a good thing and b) inevitable, I chose to look at the actual study rather than the vegetarian label most media outlets are focusing on. Buried further in the reporting are two statistics I think we should be looking at more closely (and, in fairness, SIWI itself leads with.

Read the actual discussion from SIWI here): one, that a shocking percentage of food is wasted either in storage or in the home, and, two, that while a billion or so people on earth don’t have enough to eat, a billion or so are obese. Do we all need to give up meat, really? Or are there other issues that need to be addressed first or concurrently?

North Americans currently eat a whole lot of meat; per capita the U.S. has the second highest meat consumption in the world. A past story on RealAgriculture.com highlights that Americans eat nearly 300 lb of meat a year. That’s a lot of protein to displace in just a generation or so.

What do you think? Are we headed to all veggies all the time, status quo or somewhere in between?