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A Shift Toward Peace

“A Shift Toward Peace”

Laura Henderson, Executive Director

There have been a series of announcements recently that indicate a major shift is well underway. A shift toward peace.

Consider this:

Don Thompson, former McDonald’s CEO, recently joined the board of Beyond Meat, a vegan startup known for its plant-based chicken and beef products.

Earlier this week Mark Bittman, a beloved New York Times food columnist, left his position to join The Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal delivery service.

And then of course there’s Hampton Creek, a San Francisco-based food technology firm backed by Bill Gates.  Hampton Creek is looking to replace eggs in all products and just landed on a list of 49 of the most innovative companies in the world (joining previous winners such as Google, Kickstarter and Dropbox). 

And there are more where those came from.  This is the new guard. Innovation at its best; turning a problem into a solution that actually makes the world better.  And the old guard is taking note.

In January, NASDAQ sent out a sent out a warning that the decline in meat consumption and growing awareness of the health and environmental implications of meat should be a serious concern for the industry. Financial research firm StreetAuthority also warned:

“Annual per capita red meat consumption in the U.S. fell 15 percent to 101 pounds in the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s down by a third since the early 1970s, when per capita consumption was pushing 150 pounds per year. And the downward consumption trend could soon accelerate, with major negative implications for the meat industry.”

Is this a sign of changing times? You bet it is.

According to the latest research, enthusiasm for plant-based eating is accelerating.  In fact, a recent survey shows that 12 percent of millennials already identify as committed vegetarians.

Another sign? While McDonald’s recently closed more than 200 restaurants in the U.S., other national chains are adding dozens of plant-based items to their menus.

As more and more people become aware of the staggering impact of eating animals, millions are choosing to avoid animal products altogether.  And the market is responding – in a big way.

This is huge news for the animals. Every person who reduces or eliminates animal products from their diets is directly reducing animal suffering. And it all adds up; in 2014 400 million fewer animals were slaughtered for food because of reduced demand.

In the words of Gandhi, “Violence begins with the fork.”  The beautiful news is that peace can begin with the fork as well.

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