Will humanity ever stop eating meat?
If people stopped eating meat, would it not have catastrophic consequences for the meat industry, as it would leave everyone in the industry unemployed?
1. With every change in civilization there are losers and winners
With the transition from horse to car as a means of transport, many people working in the horse industry had to look for another job. There were many new jobs for this in the automotive industry.
If you stand up against nuclear power plants, some specialists in this field are forced to make their living in another area. At the same time, new jobs can be created in the field of alternative energy sources. Even in the discussion about the death penalty, one rarely heard the argument that abolishing the death penalty would cause the “poor” executioners to lose their jobs.
If there were no more wars, there would also be no need for an arms industry. Should therefore the wars be promoted or those employed in the armaments industry retrained?
If meat consumption drops sharply, this means that demand is increasing in at least one other food sector. So no jobs are lost, they are just relocated. Also, during the very sharp rise in meat consumption after World War II, no one paid any attention to what happened to people who worked in other food sectors and who got fewer jobs due to falling demand. As a result, jobs will only be relocated back when meat consumption falls.
2. It is unlikely that all people will ever follow a purely vegetarian diet
It would help if the meat industry were to adapt to market conditions and, in the future, concentrate on quality instead of quantity. Since the meat industry (as in the planned economy of the former Eastern Bloc countries) has become accustomed to receiving subsidies in the millions from the state for the amount of meat produced, the changeover requires a fundamental reorientation of the entire meat industry and the subsidy policy of the federal government. Both would certainly bring many advantages. To blindly rely on the subsidies of the state and to ignore the real market changes only brings long-term disadvantages for all involved.
In addition, the meat processing industry has long since started to adapt to the changing market conditions and has been developing meat alternatives for a long time.
3. The transition to a vegetarian lifestyle is a slow process
Since the butcher industry has been struggling with young talent for some time anyway, those responsible would only have to give up their efforts to fill as many apprenticeship positions as possible and could adjust to the declining meat consumption due to the natural losses. This would not result in any mass layoffs.
4. Changing jobs is nothing special anymore
Employees in the meat industry can certainly be expected to change jobs just as much as any other person. In a market economy, every branch of industry must constantly adapt to changing market conditions. It is of no use if one tries to demonize the changing market conditions and to force one's products on the market by all means. This would be a strategy used by very myopic managers.
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