Frequently I get questions like the ones below from readers and from audiences to whom I am speaking:
What would happen to the many billions of farm animals alive today if everyone suddenly stopped eating them?
If everyone shifted to eating only plants, wouldn't we run out of plants in the near term?
The key word in both questions is "everyone." When it comes to global changes in human behavior, few new things happen overnight--except FaceBook and Twitter. Seriously, both of these social media platforms have happened lightning fast when compared to the rollout of earlier inventions, like railroads or the printing press. But it still took FaceBook over a decade to reach one billion members.
I mention social media here, because it comprises the communications tools that will help us completely change the way the world eats in a mere blink of the eye of history. Even so, in the best of circumstances, it will still take at least ten years. Here is my vision for how we can quickly change the most important process in the history of humanity--our food choices in the 21st century.
As people everywhere begin to learn the complete truth about their food choices, millions will start replacing most, if not all, of their animal-based calories with healthier & greener plant-based alternatives. As we begin working on the "demand" side of the equation, markets will quickly respond, people will begin getting healthier, the cost of healthcare will plummet, water will become more plentiful, trees can be planted on the freed-up land and our fragile ecosystem will begin to heal.
Eventually, we must also deal with overpopulation, over-consumption and the excessive burning of fossil fuels-but those tasks will take many decades, if not centuries. Taking URGENT action NOW with our food choices can buy us the time we need to address them all.
So we don't need to worry about moving too quickly. As for those unneeded chickens, "If there is rapidly declining demand, there will be an equally-fast reduction in the hatching of new, baby chicks.