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Global meat consumption by type, 2025-2055

meat food farming agriculture lab grown meat vegan

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11 replies to this topic

#1
wjfox

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Graph showing the rapid change in meat production over the coming decades.

 

Yet another exponential/Singularity-like effect that will ripple through our society, culture and way of life – transforming agriculture forever.

 

On current trends, essentially all meat will be produced either synthetically, or from vegan substitutes, by the mid-2050s. This will have profound implications for animal welfare and environmental impacts.

 

Sources:

 

https://www.theguard...-animals-report

 

https://www.atkearne...d-food-industry

 

 

future-meat-technologies-2040-2050.jpg


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#2
Jakob

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Must everything be exponential to you people? Are there no linear or polynomial trends? In specific, the decline in conventional meat will be a gentle S curve. There will probably always be a few million people eating it.



#3
wjfox

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Must everything be exponential to you people? Are there no linear or polynomial trends? In specific, the decline in conventional meat will be a gentle S curve. There will probably always be a few million people eating it.

 

How low do you think it would go before reaching the "bend" of the S-curve?



#4
Jakob

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Must everything be exponential to you people? Are there no linear or polynomial trends? In specific, the decline in conventional meat will be a gentle S curve. There will probably always be a few million people eating it.

 

How low do you think it would go before reaching the "bend" of the S-curve?

 

The sharp decline? Maybe 15-20 years from now. Longer if the traditional meat industry successfully lobbies for stringent regulations and spreads anti-lab meat propaganda, as they will surely try to do. The asymptotic taper maybe 20-30 years after that. The overall timeline isn't even terribly far off (except that it would probably stabilize at a few % of today's value), but meat somehow goes from being a $300 billion industry in 2050 to literally vanishing 4 years later, which isn't how $300 billion industries work.



#5
wjfox

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I'm reluctant to change anything prior to 2040, as the graph is based on that report I linked to (which contains extremely detailed and thorough research). I will try to create a more gradual decline from, say, 2045 onwards. Basically I need to know the most likely market size for conventional meat in 2055.



#6
TranscendingGod

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This bodes well for our most pressing problem. 


The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#7
wjfox

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Hopefully better now?

 

The report states that lab-grown meat will take marketshare away from the vegan option, so I've kept the cultured meat area unchanged.

 

 

future-meat-technologies-2040-2050-s-cur

 

 

 

 

Also, I'm going to extrapolate a longer-term trend, which goes to 2100.

 

This gives a rough date of the mid-2080s for when cultured meat is ubiquitous globally (I have a good reference to support this too). So I'll be writing a prediction entry for that as well.

 

 

future-meat-technologies-2084.jpg


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#8
Jakob

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The first chart seems legit. Conventional meat probably isn't going to go to exactly 0 even in 2084, but I guess it could just be too small to be visible on the graph. I also don't think meat substitutes will die out entirely, since lots of people are vegetarian for health or religious reasons. I'm guessing its market share might stay at 2050s level, but again, that's just a wild guess.

 

As an aside, in a K2 civilization many thousands of years from now, the conventional meat sector could still be a many trillion $ industry since even if only one in a million people eat conventional meat, that's still a fuckton of people. But that's out of scope of the graph.


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#9
Alislaws

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This is a particularly tough one to forecast I think. Its is too affected by hot button political issues, and there is a strong interest group working against it. 

 

Basically it relies too much on human decisions, like with regulators etc. If the meat people get their way and its illegal to call cultured meat "meat" and there are massive barriers to entry put up and incredibly exacting food safety standards applied, things could stretch out by decades more.  

 

If animal rights groups gain more power, perhaps as part of the rising worry about climate change and increase in environmental awareness and they get their way we could see bans on regular meat farming in sympathetic countries as soon as cultured meat is remotely competitive. This would result in a much faster expansion of cultured meat and shuttering of regular meat production.  

 

If climate change causes major problems this could disrupt the conventional meat industry, and cause massive shifts to vegetarian and cultured alternatives as everyone panics and tries to pretend they have been doing it all along and it is all someone else's fault.  Though this is assuming cultured meat is more efficient, which it could be but that doesn't mean it will be initially, so it could suddenly get dropped as everyone goes full vegetarian in the face of global disaster.

 

Or climate change will be much less of an issue than expected, and there will be a big backswing of people going "hah see climate change is nothing, fuckit i'm going to double my carbon footprint"

 

Maybe a religious group in the USA or Israel (which seem to be two of the biggest countries in terms of research, and both have a significant portion of their population that is devoutly religious AFAIK) gets power and influence and you get cultured meat being banned as "unnatural!" or "playing God!" and suddenly progress is set back decades.

 

 

(Its a bit like electric cars, we can draw lots of charts, but if the USA bans electric cars or china banned gas cars that's going to suddenly wreck everyone's predictions.)



#10
wjfox

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The thing that makes me optimistic is that a number of the food giants (i.e. agricultural lobbyists) are themselves investing in and supporting lab-grown meat research. I also think the science is progressing rapidly, from the research breakthroughs I've seen, and will only require another decade or two before it's essentially perfected for most products. Add in consumer pressure, social media, environmental concerns, etc. – plus vegan options taking further market share – and traditional meat will decline further.

 

Eventually at some point, when costs have declined enough, it simply won't make sense anymore to have these massive farms requiring gigantic areas of land, energy, water inputs, maintenance, and other overheads. It'll just be small/isolated groups doing it for traditional/religious/cultural and other reasons.



#11
Yuli Ban

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Must everything be exponential to you people?

It's really not our fault when all these trends are exponential to begin with.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#12
Jakob

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Must everything be exponential to you people?

It's really not our fault when all these trends are exponential to begin with.

 

In 2030, I'll be 10 feet tall and have 4096 girlfriends.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: meat, food, farming, agriculture, lab grown meat, vegan

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