Schmitt: The right to choose your food | Opinion

Columnist Dawson Schmitt explains how alternative meat companies are trying to eliminate animal farming altogether.

Anti-food choice has become a widespread problem around the world, especially in the United States and the European Union, with meat consumption coming under heavy attack in the general debate.

Between the new controversies following the COP26 climate summit, ongoing activism for a ban on “factory farming” or concentrated animal feed operations groups (CAFOs) seek to eliminate meat from the plate.

Beyond groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), although the provocative organization has lost a lot of credibility among normal animal rights activists, the end goal of other seemingly moderate groups does not is not to ensure animal welfare but to eliminate animal agriculture.

According to Vox, groups such as the Humane League have stepped up efforts to advocate for the humane treatment of animals. By expanding its presence in Brazil, Mexico, India and Japan, the group has almost diverted its attention from Western countries to target others who may be more receptive to their agenda.

I want to make it clear that animals must be treated ethically. Activist groups have advocated for cage-free laying hens for years, and with good reason. However, the same groups will not stop advocating as long as animal agriculture ceases to exist.

Mercy for Animals and other coalitions have supported legislation to ensure animal welfare, but their main goal is to increase non-meat consumption to eliminate it from human consumption, often use the red carpet convince consumers.

I’ve argued before that “real meat won’t go away” even with the growing popularity of plant-based alternatives. However, the goal of alternative meat companies is not to compete with animal agriculture. The idea is to crush competition completely, creating a virtual monopoly on the global supply of “meat” proteins.

Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown has previously admitted that “the real mission of the company is to wipe out the livestock industry.”

Animal protein, especially beef, is a healthy choice on the plate, but big companies are focused on eliminating that choice. However, the reality is that the demand for beef and meat continues to increase despite higher prices with inflation.

As the United States and the world continue to experience supply chain disruptions, which have impacted the meat industry and pushed up prices, consumers are showing a level of confidence that keeps meat on their plates, proving that real meat remains highly valued.

Yet proclamations urged Americans to cut back on meat. Colorado Governor Jared Polis attempted to declare a “MeatOut” day in March, which sparked a major backlash from the farming community and some consumers. Not only did Colorado residents react, but producers in the United States took it as an attack on meat consumption and responded by hosting several “MeatIn” events.

Other governors followed the counter-events. Montana Governor Greg Gianforte proclaimed March 20 Montana Meat Day. The governor posted his statement on Twitter on March 19, stressing that meat is produced more sustainably than ever and that ranchers face growing hostility from individuals and organizations. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts declared Saturday “Meat on the Menu Day,” while Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds declared April “Meat on the Table Month” to support ranchers. Iowa cattle. Governor Polis’ proclamation only included one day a year to encourage Colorado not to eat meat, but this comes at the expense of the culture and economy that ranchers and ranchers have provided to the State.

It’s simple. Americans want the right to choose their food. They don’t want the government to control what they eat, especially when their food provides adequate nutrition. Food choice should be a protected right, as many people have varying dietary needs. Others just want to enjoy a rich and tasty meat meal.

Profile picture of Dawson Schmitt

Columnist Dawson Schmitt has degrees in agriculture and life sciences.

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