Home Food & Cooking Healthy Eating Meat Industry Is Under Attack: Is It Really Time to Ditch Meat?
Top Chef Meals AFFILIATE PROGRAM

Meat Industry Is Under Attack: Is It Really Time to Ditch Meat?

Zerxza.com may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page but we only feature brands or products we trust.

Readers' Picks

Low-Histamine Diet: How to Manage Histamine Intolerance with Your Diet | Healthy Eating Series

Histamine has a huge role in our bodies, being involved in our immune, but for about 1% of the population, histamine equals major troubles...

Truth or Myth: Tortilla Chips are Healthier than Potato Chips?

Is there really much of a choice between these two popular snacks? Apart from the fact that one is grain-based and the other’s vegetable-based, they’re...

Is Spicy Food Related to Pancreatic Cancer?

In 2015 alone, over 55,000 American adults were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  And while slightly more men are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it seems...

Vegetarian Sushi for Beginners

You’ve had your first taste of sushi, and now you want to learn how to make it at home! You might not be Jiro...

Dangers of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Regularly

The word “vinegar” means “sour wine” in French. And while it might not earn its place at a Parisian dinner table, health advocates highly...

Grapefruits vs Oranges: Which One Is Better?

In a face-off between these grapefruits and oranges, which one is better? Can one help with weight loss? Is the other better for your...
18-Month Risk-Free Sleep Trial

Going meat-free is a trend. But now that vegan meats are stealing the spotlight, is the meat industry under attack? It seems we have a meat war on our hands. And there’s a good chance that the underdog, vegan meat, is going to come out victorious. Here’s what’s happening.

What are vegan or clean “meats”?

For millennia, humans have been eating meat – the flesh of an animal. But now scientists are challenging this eternal truth. Does meat have to come from an animal? Thanks to the research of various food companies, it turns out that you can have a juicy, succulent burger without any animal behind it.

It might seem hard to believe, but vegan meats and clean meats are not only a thing, but to many taste-testers, they’re a very good thing.

Vegan meats are plant-based, using ingredients like yeast extract, coconut oil, peas, and beets. At least, that’s how the burger produced by Beyond Meat is made. A company called Impossible Burger, instead, makes a burger using wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and a special ingredient called heme to give meat the blood, meaty feel.

Then, there’s lab-grown, or clean “meat”, which is made by taking cells from live animals and growing them in a lab setting until you end up with a viable piece of meat. The animals are not harmed in the cell extraction process.

Cells are then cultured and allowed to grow. Researchers feed these cells nutrients, like water, fats, proteins, sugars, vitamins, and minerals – essentially giving them the same diet a cow would eat.

When the cells have grown to a large enough size, the meat is “harvested,” rather than “butchered,” and it can be sold in stores or restaurants.

In a way, clean meat creates meat the same way it occurs inside the animal, except the researchers have moved the process outside the animal.

Bestseller No. 1
Vejje Meat-Free Mixes (GROUND BEEF-FREE MIX) (Single Box) (Makes 3 Pounds)
DELICIOUS GROUND BEEF-FREE MIX. 100% Made from Plants.; DRY MIX. Each box makes about 3 pounds after rehydration.
$15.00
Bestseller No. 2
Orrington Farms All Natural Vegan Broth Base & Seasoning, Chicken, 6 Ounce
6 ounces per jar; Each jar makes 6 cups; Vegan chicken flavored; Contains sea salt and is Gluten Free.
$6.10

Are vegan and clean meats better than real meat?

There are many ways to look at clean meats in comparison to their animal-based counterpart. Let’s look at four major issues: environment, animal health, human health, and taste.

#1: Environment

One of the biggest differences is that clean, vegan meats are much more environmentally friendly. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, beef production makes up 65 percent of all livestock emissions. This comes to about 7.1 gigatonnes around the world.

Emissions are only one downside to beef production. Cultivating beef takes four times as much land as dairy production, and you need up to seven times more resources for beef production, compared to pork and poultry. Facts like these, from the International Food Policy Research Institute, make it clear that beef is a big deal, and also a big problem.

#2: Animal health

Animals raised solely for human consumption often live miserable lives, crowded into unclean facilities, eating diets their bodies aren’t designed for, receiving medications that nature never intended, and being treated and killed in inhumane ways.

Surely, we can do better than this, and this is one of the driving forces from animal rights movements, like PETA, to have vegan and clean meats on the table, instead of beef.

#3: Human health

Animal health isn’t the only thing under attack in the beef industry. Human health is, too. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that the average consumer would consume 222.2 pounds of red meat or poultry in 2018 alone.

There are health risks of eating a diet high in meats, along with fats, and refined carbs (the Standard American Diet). These health risks include cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and more.

But beef production also includes problems like food poisoning and food-borne illnesses.

This is not to say that all red meat is deleterious to your health. It’s not. But the meat you find packaged up in the grocery store has dire beginnings and can have dire endings, too. Plus, when people eat such high amounts of it, along with refined carbohydrates – as we do – it’s a surefire way to negatively impact health and wellbeing.

#4: Taste

People who have tried the vegan burgers from companies like, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meats, are shocked at how good vegan beef is – and how similar it is, in both taste and texture, to regular beef.

Vegan meat is on the rise

Back in 2008, the animal rights organization, PETA, offered $1 million to the first research scientist who could create chicken meat with chicken cells. This was a huge endeavor and cost a bit more and took a bit longer than PETA expected.

Research is still underway, but the interest in lab-grown meats isn’t slowing down. Instead, it seems to be gaining traction.

In 2017, China signed a meaty deal – $300 million, to be precise – with three clean meat companies, called SuperMeat, Future Meat Technologies, and Meat the Future.

Meanwhile, American companies like Impossible Food and Beyond Meat continue to move forward, getting funds from the likes of Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tyson Foods, Twitter co-founders, and even the former CEO of McDonald’s.

In short, people are interested in clean meats and vegan meats. And this is something the beef industry must contend with.

Vegan “meat” isn’t meat

In 2018, the U.S. Cattleman’s Association (USCA), filed a petition with the U.S Department of Agriculture, on behalf of the cattle industry. What did their petition entail?

The USCA said the terms “beef” and “meat” should only be used if “the product is derived naturally from animals as opposed to alternative proteins such as plants and insects or artificially grown in a laboratory.”

But CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown, argues that “You don’t need an animal to create meat. Meat is very understandable – it’s lipids, it’s trace minerals and it’s water. None of those have an exclusive residence in the animal, so why use the animal to organize them?”

This sort of initiative is nothing new. France has passed legislation stating that plant-based food products cannot use the words: steak, chops, ribs or burgers.

The same is true in Missouri, one of the biggest producers of beef in the U.S., where lawmakers banned the use of animal-related terms on fake meat.

But will that really change much? Without a doubt, marketing campaigns are already hard at work coming up with catchy, clever and convincing terms that consumers will trust.

Sure, ground “beef” won’t say “ground beef”, but that doesn’t necessarily keep informed and conscientious shoppers from looking for, and investing in, clean and/or vegan meats.

Latest at Zerxza

11 Financial Decisions That Keep You Poor

On first glance, you think you are completely responsible with your finances. You work hard, don't spend overly much but yet you...

Sex Machines: 400 Bucks and Satisfaction for Life

Some sex toys have made their way into the mainstream. Vibrators, for example, are so normal nowadays that most people have at...

Burglars Were “Social Distancing”? Reports Show Potential Rise of Crime After Restrictions Are Eased

The stay-at-home order has brought one interesting perk: the majority of states saw a significant decline in burglaries and in some regions,...

Do You Need Love in Order to Be Truly Happy? New Research Has an Answer

For decades, many people have adamantly believed that the next natural step in their adulthood is to find a partner and get...

If Healthy Food Would Be More Attractive, Would You Eat Them More Often? Professors Say You Might

We are what we eat but what if what we eat is dependant on how it looks like? In the modern visually-dominated world, it's no...

Lack of Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet May Lead to Lethal Consequences

If there's one golden rule of healthy eating that most of us tend to ignore, it's the habit of eating fruits and vegetables. However, lack...

How to Support and Improve Your Baby’s Sensory Development

Sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. By the time we have children, we’re used to having all of our five senses. And we probably...
Relief from emotional PMS symptoms

Related Articles