The End of Livestock Production?

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If you’re busy planting corn or calving cows this week, rejoice. The end of those chores is near. That’s because scientists, entrepreneurs, and activists are building an animal-free food system. So says Jacy Reese, Research Director at Sentience Institute, one of those “think tanks” where some educated folks go to dream up silly stuff.

Reese is promoting his new book, “The End of Animal Farming,” which describes why building an animal-free food system is “one of the most important social movements of our time.”

In a recent TEDx Talk, Reese cites what he sees as the problems with animal agriculture – the cost, environmental damage and the suffering of animals “trapped in this system.”


TED is a non-profit launched in 1984 to spread ideas through short, powerful talks – from science to business to global issues. In his 13-minute talk – viewed 49,000 times, Reese said, "The most powerful tool we have is innovation: the amazing thing is, we don't have to give up meat, dairy or eggs to end animal farming.”

He refers to the fact lab-grown meat and plant-based products can replace the animal products now in production.

"Think about it - what's meat? It's fat, protein, water, and trace minerals. All of these ingredients are readily available in the plant kingdom, they are just not assembled in the traditional architecture of meat."

Such meat-free ideas are in direct conflict with those of Allan Savory, whose stunning TED Talk a few years ago challenged conventional thinking about animal agriculture. In his talk, “How to fight desertification and reverse climate change,” Savory says managed grazing of livestock can “protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.” 

Savory is a soft-spoken Zimbabwean biologist, farmer and environmentalist who has spent a lifetime studying and practicing techniques that combat desertification around the globe. His work through the Savory Institute, which he founded, determined that livestock are a solution to climate change and an effective means by which to fight hunger, poverty and violence across much of the Third World. Savory’s TED Talk video has been viewed more than 4.5 million times.



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