How could veganism change the world? | The Economist

By 2050 the world’s population could approach 10 billion and around 60 percent more food could be needed to feed everyone. [Marco Springmann] The
environmental impacts of the food system are daunting. It’s responsible for about a quarter of our greenhouse gas emissions and uses about 70 percent
of all fresh water resources and it occupies about 40 percent of the Earth’s land surface. Food-created emissions could increase to 50 percent by 2050 and fill up the total emissions budget that we have in order to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. Interest in vegan food has been booming across the rich world. A major study has put
the diet to the test, analyzing an imagined scenario in which the world goes vegan by 2050. [Marco Springmann] If everybody went vegan by 2050 we estimated that the food-related greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by three quarters. Cows are the biggest emission contributors. Bugs in their digestive
system produce methane and deforestation for their pasture releases carbon dioxide. These gases warm the planet. If cows were a country, they’d be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter. I’m a ninth generation farmer in this area. I grew up on a farm with
cows and feddling bulls. Jaap Korteweg comes from a long line of farmers in the Netherlands. My goal is to be the biggest butcher in the world. To be doing it for meat lovers, but if you don’t like meat, don’t buy our products. But he’s now a butcher with a difference. I’m the Vegetarian Butcher. We are hooked on the taste of meat, so the only way to change it is to develop products with the same experience without an animal We can produce beef as big as a front door with the right texture of real beef. The equipment we use in
our plant-based plants is the same as in the meat factory. The only difference is there is no blood on the floor. Jaap made the switch to plant-based meat 11 years ago. He now ships to 17 countries with annual sales of 20 million Euros. The ingredients we use are different. We use soy, we use lupine, we use wheat, we use peas. We look to the meat
product we want to copy and look for the right ingredients to get the same experience. Farmed animals are land hungry. Over 80 percent of the world’s farmland is used for animal production. But it produces only 18 percent of the world’s calories. [Marco Springmann] You need to feed a cow about 10 kilograms of mostly grains for it to grow by one kilogram. For pigs that’s about six kilogram and for chicken, three to four kilogram. So a lot of food is
wasted as feed for animals that we would then eat. Growing animal feed means more land per calorie of food is needed to produce beef than broccoli. [Marco Springmann] Two-thirds of all agriculture land is used as pastures and if you saved all those pastures if people went vegan then that would be the size of the continent of Africa that would be freed. And a well-balanced vegan diet, more varied, with less
calories could save lives. [Marco Springmann] If the world went vegan in 2050, we estimated
that premature mortality, and also all cause mortality, could be reduced by about 20 percent. Which could make the global economy healthier too. [Marco Springmann] We know how much money is used to treat certain diseases that are associated with diets. Coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. Then we get to an estimate of about one trillion U.S. dollars in 2050 that could be saved. That would be about three percent of all home health care related cost. But global meat consumption is growing around the world by almost three percent a year since 1960. Nobody like the way we treat animals in factory farms. Nobody like the situation that is not good for our health, not good for the environment, but we all like meat very much. While Jaap’s firm threatens meat farmers, meat companies and butchers are customers and partners. Meat companies don’t own the farmers, so it’s easy to change from chickens or pigs to plant-based meat. If the consumers want it
and the market want it they’re happy to change. Affordable and accessible alternatives could yet see the rich world hit peak meat and head
down the other side. [Marco Springmann] If
you look at past trends it’s probably unlikely to assume that the world would
really go vegan by 2050. We found that without
large scale dietary changes towards more plant-based
diets, we would have a very slim chance of staying below dangerous levels of climate change. But even moving towards a plant-based diet could help. [Marco Springmann] Coming
to our estimates of predominantly plant-based diet could get us probably three-quarters of the way. Governments can play a
crucial role by setting the right dietary guidelines. They can adopt procurement policies where it’s clear that the standard foods that are ordered are plant-based, healthy and sustainable. For the Vegetarian Butcher, plant-based meat is just the next step in a long history of developments in the farming world. It’s always changing in the agriculture world. A hundred years ago there were millions of draft horses to transport, to plow. Now they are threatened with extinction because we don’t need work horses anymore. In the future you will use machines to produce our meat and
the slaughter animals will be threatened with extinction too. And we only had room for wild chicken and wild pigs. And that’s the future, I hope.

Comments 100

  • Yes, the future is vegan. Plant based foods are a powerful answer to many of the worlds biggest problems from human health and longevity to climate change and animal welfare – not to mention developing respect for both other life forms and the planet we live on. God bless the Vegan movement ???

  • Excellent information.  Thanks, "The Economist".  You've done the world a great service.

  • Sadly a polemic here and another Malthus retread.

  • What happens to all the animals when we all go vegan.

  • I don’t understand who the fuck disliked this video

  • A simple question. If animals continue to reproduce indefinitely and we kill 0 of them, what will happen to the world and gas emissions? It's simple math.

  • u know what vegan is the campaign from the pesticide company for you to eat more veggie so they can sell more pesticide, think bout it retarded less brain cell cause by less nutrients from protein and fat you crazy vegan

  • Lab meat will help eliminate current livestock farms almost entirely.

  • By 2050 we will have robot overmasters – so dont worry about it and enjoy it while it last

  • More people being vegan means more steaks for me.

  • I would add that the longest living humans on the planet, Okinawans, Mediterraneans as well as 7th day Adventists vegetarians eat animal products 2-4 times per week. In fact no vegan has ever been recorded to live past 110.

  • Veganism is a mental disorder

  • For a diet to be considered optimal it has to sustain a population for several generations. That can be said for the Mediterranean diet, or the Japanese diet or the Inuit diet. It cannot be said of the vegan diet. There are no vegan cultures. There's insufficient data for a plant based diet to be optimal for humans.

  • The most environmentally friendly way is to kill all those veganists so they can't pollute nor spread their hate on this planet anymore. Bonus: we can eat more meat!

  • If everyone went vegan, the entire Amazon rainforest would probably be destroyed for soybean farming. Vegan or meat-eater, there are just too many people.

  • The future is happening!!!

  • We need Thanos… Keep my family alive.

  • If we just stop wasting 40% of the food we currently produce you wouldn't that much increase in food production but yes it's difficult to deny the mathematical inefficiency of meat.

  • Too bad, my town doesn't have enough options for plant-based diets. If there is, then the food costs expensive. Choosing to eat healthier here is also expensive. If you're on a tight budget you would opt to eat on fast food chains that don't have vegan options. ☹️

  • I struggled all my childhood with iron deficiency and when, at 14, I became a vegetarian, my mum was tremendously worried about my health. After a few months on a proper vegetarian diet, though, my iron deficiency had disappeared. So, for those who worry about health issues of going vegan: that's bullshit. If you eat a balanced vegan diet, you will only be better and better, and the world will thank you.

  • The future is lab grown meat

  • Declining birth rates show it's massive success!

  • ????? LOVE THIS! Yes, the figure is vegan! #vegan4ever

  • Vegan Bodybuilding on The RISE!!!!!!!! Gold's Venice.

  • How about seeing food as fuel for the body instead of source of happiness and pleasure? I find the idea of food which tastes like meat but are not meat, weird.

  • this video makes me give a second thought on why plan b food is having so much effort, is this the new way to get back on track for the world's economy

  • VEGANISM is a diet to destroy human race and make us all slaves again. People on vegan diet are weak and have mental issues due to lack of animal fats that are necessary for correct brain functioning, it's obvious that government wants us to be brainless taxpaying machines, that will be paying lots of monies in pharmacy to survive another day. Veganism is to destroy humans and make a lot of monies to big pharma companies. Funny how this video is mentioning farts, on vegan diet I was farting a lot, each day every day all day. I has gut issues so ended up weak and with paranoia. On meat diet I'm.fine, no farts, I have energy and I have normal functioning gut again. These farming companies are asking vegan agenda to destroy us and nature.

  • minute 0:16 …. and around 60% more food would be needed to feed everyone… According to the statistics of North America made public in 2011-2012 an average US household threw away 40% of purchased food, a Canadian household – 25%. I guess most of us know simple Math…. How about we start educating people on how to leave by the means and not to waste as the first step.

  • What this studies misses out in consideration is the aspect of cultural, anthropological and historical aspect and often religious influences related to food habits. People don't just eat meat just because they can, but it is a result of above mentioned aspect which in turn is found in traditional food of a particular community. Food habits of a community takes ages to form and people are usually proud of it. Food is a community based practice and to change the food habits of people which they like is to change their identity which they relate to food. It might seem very 'perfect' to form a vegan world but is euthopian ideal condition. Unlike in Europe where big processing units who controls most of the food chain of the people, in Asia, Africa and other continents, people eat whatever they get locally. Here, local markets provides people food demand and such influencial processing units are unimaginable. But lets imagine that all the people in the world are to go vegan somehow, the result will be disastrous, as majority of the world's population will have protein and other nutrients deficits which will lead to widespread health related issues as they won't be able to get the vegan products that substitutes cheap protein in meat. It will lead to so much of malnutrition in the world that the world will be in chaos, might even lead to civil wars all around just for food. To survive, people need food whether it be veg or non veg, the world hasn't been able to solve the hunger problem even in 21st century and at this point if someone stops a poor guy from eating meat, he/she will just go violent and like I said before, the violence won't stop, it will just keep increasing. At the end it will not be about the being vegan or non vegan, it will be just about rights and survival.


    I made a video where I refute this argument. Who dares to watch my video and try to refute my argument?

    #VeganDogma #VeganDelusion #FuckVeganism

  • Look at all the proud vegans in the comment section LMFAO it crazy how we meat eaters don't go to vegans channel/videos and bash on them like they do when watching meat eaters channel/videos LMFAO

  • Vegan alternatives to meat are making much noise now on business oriented media because of companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat making big waves in the stock market but where does lab grown meat fit into this picture?

  • I got a McDonalds ad ?


  • Sorry tree huggers I'm not giving up my steaks

  • Sources?

  • Eat a little less meat. Don't have to be total vegetarian or vegan for an improvement. Better health and less pollution.
    I am not that keen on products trying to copy meat. Just give me a tasty vegi-burger that is what it is.

  • We need to start eating plants AND insects!!

  • According to EPA, cattle in America produce only 2% GHG. Also only 10% of a cows diet is edible by humans. I think the spin and out right lies by this video is higher in dung than animal agriculture.

  • All these Republicans thinking we want to touch your cows no we want to put a cheap filtration system near your land maybe reinvent cow farming inside tower barns to clean the air before it leaves ultimately bringing the costs of beef even lower then they are now vegan wont take over the world meat can still get cheaper and we can feed more people by growing said food and transporting it via a tower farm next door

  • This is very misguided, for so many reasons. One day this era of popular veganism will be known as the largest social, environmental and biochemical deception ever to be executed by our corporate overlords. It will make the unconscionable greed of the tobacco industry and the numerous victims look like a spot of bad PR.

    Did anyone notice what he said at the end? who on earth would hope for cattle and other domesticated meat animals to be extinct in the future?

  • Look at Vegans, mental disorders and physical dystrophy.

  • Fruits and leafy greens are the most natural and most agreeable diet for the human being.

    Horses and humans and other “sweaters” are all herbivores. Humans like herbivores and frugivores (which we more closely resemble) have alkaline saliva (ptyalin) whereas omnivores/carnivores have no carb-digesting enzymes. Similarly humans have smooth tongues like plant eaters and additionally we use the tongue to shovel food in like frugivores. Omnivores/carnivores have rough tongues-especially meat eaters for tearing flesh). We have simple livers and large salivary glands like plant eaters as opposed to the complex (extremely complex for carnivores) livers and small glands. Brian chemistry is different and many other things. Again our molars, incisors, and “canines” are different from meat eaters and we have well-developed [email protected] for chewing whereas omni/carnivores have reduced muscles for wipe mouth gapes as they generally chomp* up and down and swallow their food in large chunks (*meat eaters jaws as mentioned chimp up and down generally and can’t move sideways). The jaws of plant eaters are the same but different from meager eaters both Omni and carnivores, which are similar to each other. Omnivores are generally carnivores who eat some plants. There are many other points too. Human instinct is to feel compassion for hurt animals (because we have advanced understanding such as empathy that interestingly enough animals also share often). We don’t salivate at dead corpses. But we do for grapes and oranges etc. Fruits and leafy greens are our ideal food. The health benefit even have been known for millennia.

  • “It is estimated that a staggering 925 million humans around the world are suffering from the effects of hunger (mostly in the poor and underdeveloped countries of Asia and Africa), and out of that original number, 870 million are affected with malnutrition. Those original 925 million actually outnumber the combined populace living in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Think about that for a moment. That means that there are enough hungry people on this planet to fill up almost two entire continents. Furthermore, it must be made clear that this is not just benign hunger; the type felt by a person in the rich, developed world when they’ve missed their lunch break. Every year, starvation claims the lives of over 2.5 million children under the age of five.

    However, it has been proven that there is enough food on earth to feed every last man, woman, and child. Yet, if this is the case, why do people around the world continue to starve? The answer to that question lies in large part with the production of animal-based foods, such as meat, dairy, and eggs. Even though there are enough plant-based foods grown to feed the entire human population, the majority of crops (including those grown in countries where people are starving) are fed to livestock for affluent nations, and since the amount of animal-based food produced by the farming industry is much less than the amount of plant food put into it, there is a “diminished return on the investment,” the food supply dwindles, and humans end up going hungry.”

    Hare Krishna

  • Much of the land that is used in animal production can't be used for other crops. You can't eat grass, but ruminants can and are very efficient at turning it into rich nutritious food.

  • In your dreams Economist. In your dreams.

  • 2050 u won't be here lol

  • My name says it all

  • Feeling for a juicy fat steak with dry spice ?

  • The lights at 4:07 looks like eyes.

  • fuuuuuuk dat m8

  • This is all B.S. I'll have beef, deer, pork, and eggs with my vegetables, all grown on my farm and all washed down with fresh milk and well water. My family elders all lived into their 90s and had a standard breakfast of eggs and beacon every morning. they never "worked out" either but have done natural work every day. Worrying about your diet raises your cortisol levels which will cause cardiovascular problems and will kill you long before meat will. Are you worried about killing poor animals? Name any common pasture animal that lives in a natural environment that lives a full natural life without being killed by a predator. When they are injured or weak, they are killed and eaten by other animals. That is life. Why worry about adding a few years to the end of your life, when you are sitting in a wheelchair due to bad knees from all the "working out" and running you have done. You are all killing yourselves.

  • Vegan is very profitable ..supplements ,processed foods..many long term vegans suffer from depression,cloudy thoughts and sleep issues..most wont believe me

  • More like 80% of health problems would disappear!


  • If you are concerned about taste try Indian food most of Indian food is actually vegan (except deserts and paneer), and it's original vegan recipe and tastes much better than nonveg food

  • If everybody went vegan by 2050 we would still have climate change due to the human activities (oil, gas, landfill, transportation, aviation, plastic production, incineration etc etc etc)
    what are obviously the most harmful to our environment not the animals

    Agriculture feeds the world yet only contributes to 15% of green house gasses. Far more worse things on the earth than cows.

  • Always the same argument – "You have to feed a cow so many pounds of grain to…." Have they ever thought of how nutritionally dense animal foods are? And how nutritionally void grains are?

  • Vegans are gassy. If everyone went vegan by the year 2050, we'd be in a real mess. What will happen to all of the cattle?

  • I will rise a question… In this Utopic 100% vegan world… did everyone change because they wanted? or were they forced?
    *Now, I understand the advantages for ecology (and I would, happily, argue against the alleged advantages related to health) but I wont support an option that forces people into something they dont believe in.
    ** I do love meat, and because of videos like these I am currently trying to reduce it in my diet. My points being there should be a more realistic option than this.

  • Interset in Ketogics has been booming too.
    Cabondioxide is caused by forst fires, bush fires, grass fires, volcaic eruptions of which there are many every year. House fires, Oil fires. Did you forget about all that while you blame the poor cow for fucking up the atmousphere?

    So now we're going to have meat factories instead of farms. What sort of shit is going into that meat? The drug companies will make a fortune out this massive adventure, you can bet your balls on that one. They'll get into it with all the preservatives and other chemicals they can think up, colours and fake flavours. Oh yes the drug companies will make a fortune and the health of the people will really sink in the hole.

  • If the world went vegan you lot would destroy the planet all together. Best of luck.

  • You bloody idiot, diabetes is caused by sugar and it too is causing all the others, stroke heart desease, the whole lot is being caused by a high carbohydrate diet. What's more you know it.

  • A clear and resounding "No" will be the answer.

  • There is no logical argument against Veganism. "We are quite literally, gambling with the future of planet – for the sake of hamburgers" – Peter Singer ???

  • Going vegan is a the worst thing you can do for your health. We're not herbivores. Plants are full of oxalates, phytic acid, and anti-nutrients. Plants are missing many vital vitamins (A, B12, D,K2 for starters) and nutrients. The fact you have to take a supplement means it's not sustainable. Get your nutrients from food not synthetic vitamins. Veganism is American propaganda.

  • But if we all go vegan then there will be no one left for us to constantly announce our veganism to.

  • Awesome!!

  • I do keto. Losing weight, blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides and appetite normalizing. No more hypoglycemic symptoms. Meat is delicious. I feel good!

  • I've always wanted to be a vegetarian but there is no way in hell I will ever become a vegan. I can't live without milk, cheese and eggs.

  • And after 30 to 40 years on vegan diet you realise that you're slowly dying. The Vegan diet is a therapy not a life style. Our bodies can digest plans much slower than animal products and the worst part of it that we can not absorb all nutritions from plans. Veganism isn't the cure for the world problems it's just a step. Vegetarianism and mindfully using resources and raising animals for animal products like chesse and eggs is a healthier way than hardcore Veganism. A 80% Plants to 20% animal products ratio diet would be the best.

  • Not for me. After being largely organic vegetarian for 30 years, I went vegan and destroyed my health. I'm good on its high carbs, processed foods, GMOs, hybrids, crap made in labs & dependency on Big Pharma pills & powders

  • Vegan agenda is the most dangerous one for the planet

    Over farming, hormones and antibiotics is the problem for us and planet

    What made us humans is HUNTING, our DNA still says we need a good balanced diet that includes also animals and animal products

    Animal products is by far the most nutrient dense food

    Animal product has by far the most bioavailability

    Plenty of nutrients in meat that can't find in plants

    10Billions ppl turning vegan makes the crop situation far worse for the planet than organic meat farming

    Vegans and crops kills and displace far more animals than meat farms

    Pesticides and chemicals for 10B ppl crops will makes our planet toxic in only few years.

    (avocado in Canada can't grow)
    Greens and fruits needs to be packed and shipped all over the world raising the CO2 skyhigh
    How is that "green" anymore??

    1 cow can feed hundred of ppl at time while greens requires far more amount per serving with less bioavailability and less nutrients .
    Crop farming footprint needs to be stretched.
    How is that "green" anymore???

    Not a single tribe on planet Earth is vegan from the beginning of time.
    How is that explained from vegans??

  • I can understand cutting back on meat, but I refuse to go Vegan or be Vegetarian unless I'm forced to for health reasons. I like meat, and I don't like being fed this so called 'moral reasons to stop eating meat'.

  • Veganism will change the world by population control.

  • How about Cats and dog pets?
    They have no idea how their food hits the table!
    And they won't stop the killing for them…
    I can't help but wonder what other vegetarians or vegans think about that!
    I have a dingo who's 13 she was wild, once when she got to fat I fed her cooked cabbage and carrots and another time it was grated apple on dog biscuits….
    She ate it!

  • No farm's no food!!

  • vegan for 7 years and I feel greater everyday 🙂

  • Poor animals. They don't want to die.

  • So some by 2050 will have to go hungry and stop breeding . But me and mine will continue to eat meat

  • Just let me have my fucking meat, dear god

  • The butcher is wrong.
    There will be and are animal sanctuaries that will keep the animals for their own existence rather than to be exploited to serve man's needs.

  • Tell the trump monkeys. Your world is at an end apes.

  • Good progress ((°}°))

  • Fuck you!!
    I will never be vegan..

  • veganism wont change anything stop making vegan people relevant they are adopted fucks who force other people to go vegan

  • I don't understand one thing. If we went vegan and let all the slaughter animals free, won't they still multiply at the same rate. Only this time, no one's killing them. Won't their population explode? Which means more green house emissions.

  • We need meat in our diets

  • I haven't ate a single peace of meat since my birth and I'm proud of that. #BeingVegetarian

  • Mmmmm, cant wait to go to the bbq tommorow

  • If you eat suffering and death ? you become it. All my health issues vanished when I went vegan ?. Amazing transformation in a matter of weeks.

  • The vegetarian butcher made a great business decision when he switched to plant based. Way ahead of the curve. He's actually opened his own restaurants now in Den Hague selling and highlights their products. Good job. It's great when good ethics become good business. I think this will be more and more relevant in all areas of business from now on.
    (And for all you free marketeers, please try to eat less meat, so the state doesn't have to step in with regulations and Pigovian taxes (although removing subsidies to meat industry could help reveal the true costs)).

  • You need live stock to grow vegetables because the need Fertilizer and that comes from animals like cows pigs chickens

  • I dont mind going vegan for the sake of Earth…. But tell the other billions of sheep who cant let go of meat.

  • That would be a dream. Unfortunately the govermenr wouldn't do a thing. Because they earn as well the huge meat lobbyists…. I wished meat would be sooooo freaking expensiv and a meat tax. That people would stop, only for the sake of saving money. Since being a vegetarian more than a half year and vegan almost a month, I saved sooo much money!!!

  • in the West, the Jewish doctrine flourishes in all areas of life. This is a great misfortune of mankind.


  • Finally a news source being honest and open about the elephant in the room! Go Vegan – It is the best decision you will ever make – for yourself, and for others ✌️

  • Vegetarian butcher had me in the first half. Not gonna lie.

  • Wow….

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