All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast

By Gene Hall

Bad news, meat lovers: We’ll all be vegetarians by the year 2050 because we’ll run out of water to produce livestock. That’s the theory in this article on Yahoo.

 These sweeping and absolute statements can be a lot more about someone’s agenda than futuristic forecasting. When you see something like this, you should ask, “Who doesn’t want anyone eating meat?” Or, “Who wants a grant to study livestock and water supplies?”

Without knowing how much rainfall there will be in the next 40 years, and where, this is a pretty tough call. It’s true that cows drink a lot of water, but water shortages have as much to do with distribution as with total supply. For example, does a cow drinking out of a stream in Montana or from a windmill pump in Mills County, Texas have anything to do with available water in Australia or sub-Saharan Africa? Yeah, I know, I don’t believe it either!

The environment, according to those that advocate for it, is and always will be on the edge of disaster. The same is true of animal rights causes. It’s very hard to raise funds without a disaster. “Everything is great” just doesn’t raise much money.

Looking back over the history of environmental extremism, you can find some pretty outrageous predictions. One had it that human life expectancy would be only 42 years by 1980. We should be in the throes of another ice age or altogether extinct by now, according to the disaster prediction industry.

The thing is people like meat, especially beef. It’s good for us, too. Some who have tried vegetarian diets don’t do well on them.  Just for the record, I am 100 percent in favor of vegetarian diets for any and all who want to eat that way.

All cattle consume grass for the majority of their lives and there are places where nothing but grass will grow. We need livestock to harvest that for human consumption. There is no doubt that water supplies will impact agricultural production in the future, but I’d bet on some kind of livestock production so that we can, in effect, eat grass.

In the year 2050, I would be 96 years old. I don’t expect to be around, though my beef-devouring grandfather made it to 101. If I am, and if I have enough teeth to do so, I expect to bite into a hamburger at my 96th birthday party.

Gene Hall

Public Relations Director
Texas Farm Bureau
I believe that the only hope for a food secure world is capitalism and reasonable profits for America’s farm and ranch families–that the first element of sustainability is economic survival.
Follow Gene on Twitter and Facebook.

3 Responses to “All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast”

  1. Billy B. Brown says:

    Could cattle be added to the endangered species list? Scary thought.

    The ingenuity of the farmer and rancher and the continued advancement of technology for both production and animal agriculture will enable food to be available despite the challenges. You won’t have to ask that very old TV commercial line, “Where’s the Beef?”

  2. Gene Hall says:

    What? Billy Bob? You mean that we’re not all drinking out of the same big tank? Regional supply, distribution and ingenuity really do matter? Well I’ll be danged.

    The enviro left has been screeching “wolf” for so long we don’t really know how to sort out the real disasters.

  3. Janeth Moreno says:

    I refuse to believe that we will become vegetarians not only because we love meat, but also because for many of us meat is not only a source of food. Being able to produce and deliver a piece of meat into someone’s plate means a way of living. The majority of people that work in the industry producing meat, do it because it’s their passion. Because it’s a family tradition, because a torch was handed down to them to carry out the tradition that their parents started. Ranching is more than a job, is a way of living is a passion that only a few are blessed to know the real meaning of the phrase “Beef is whats for dinner.” I refuse to believe that we will become vegetarians not only because I love meat, but also because I will do the impossible, I will go the extra mile to keep this way of living, this passion alive.

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