How would total veganism affect the economy - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-28-2007, 03:07 PM
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I've done some searching on the Internet but have not managed to find much on the subject of how if the world became vegan, lets say, overnight, how would this affect the economy. Would it be positive or would there be a recession which would then lead to a depression? It's pretty clear that the meat industry generates more money than any other commodity so I would imagine that this is a strong defense for omnivores to eat meat.
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#2 Old 08-28-2007, 03:12 PM
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You'll get some responses to this, I'm sure, and they will be better than mine. It's important to realize that the world will not *poof" go vegan. It will not happen overnight.

That and I have a hard time believing that, "the meat industry generates more money than any other commodity". It might, but I have a hard time believing that. The Market will take care of itself and as the demand lessens the "production" of meat will follow.
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#3 Old 08-28-2007, 03:42 PM
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On a similar note, when a group with a certain point-of-view does not have ethics or logic, or much else on their side - the first thing they resort to in defense of their view is the financial impact a change will have.

"Abolish the slave trade? Why, people will lose jobs! The slave trader's children will go hungry! How could you do that to families? Why don't you support family's eating?"

But to your main point, I'm sure famers could easily switch to a different "crop". And considering it takes less resources to produce grains than, say, beef, I'm sure it will cost less in the long run.

If we all would Learn2adapt, progress could happen quicker.
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#4 Old 08-28-2007, 04:12 PM
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Yeah, sorry, I meant that overnight thing to be hypothetical but even though it would be a gradual change, so many things are derived from animals that it's difficult to imagine walking down the street and there not being one fast food restaurant. Maybe fake meats could be used in burgers instead but I'm not how much that would cost.

Still, the animals that are already alive would need looking after and would still be a source of greenhouse gases and the like. If the farmers aren't making money off the animals then they aren't going to look after them.

However it does seem that a utilitarian (of which most people would like to think they are to some degree) should acknowledge that in the long run a veggy diet will sustain more people than a meat one, so I guess whilst the economy may suffer immediately it is something that can be overcome, like you say, through adaptation.

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#5 Old 08-28-2007, 04:34 PM
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As the demand for meat and animal products would go down, the demand for other foods, clothes, toiletries, etc. would skyrocket. Right now I have to go WAY out of my way to find attractive vegan shoes, that fit and that are comfortable. Imagine if the world went vegan, how many jobs would be created in that arena alone! Not to mention the processed food industry, fruit and vegetable farms, etc. I think it would all balance out - and of course, the change would be gradual so there would be time for these changes to be implemented. I like to think that it's already happening - I can get soymilk in every grocery store I go to, even in the smallest rural town, whereas 10 years ago I could only get it in one particular store.
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#6 Old 08-28-2007, 07:09 PM
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if it happened Over night all hell would break loose and everything would colapse as our food industry would be wrecked and this affects our day to day lives, therefore people would have issues with getting food, there would not be enough vegetables and such to go around inititially and so on...

It would obviously be implemented gradually , and of course with enogh time for the meat and dairy industry to adapt and move into the new markets. (just as the oil industry is moving into alternative fuels)
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#7 Old 08-28-2007, 07:25 PM
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If it happened overnight we'd have a huge vegetable shortage -- plenty of corn and soybeans though. But yeah, the whole 'overnight' thing doesn't work. If it happened gradually, agriculture would certainly have to shift. What I see happening is having less land under cultivation, but that cultivation would be a lot more labor-intensive. Veggies take a lot more man-hours than corn and beans. We'd have to kill the price supports on corn; perhaps shift them to growers trying to increase veggie production.

I see fewer middlemen though (as animal producers are 'middlemen' in the overall food chain), which probably means an economic loss there. On the other hand, the 'hidden' economic costs of dealing with resource depletion and pollution would be less. I can see that I'm not nearly enough of an economist to sort it all out.
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#8 Old 08-30-2007, 09:58 AM
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ah the joy of seeing market capitalism collapse because the whole world went vegan... now that would be a dream! It's like two wins at once.

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#9 Old 08-30-2007, 07:56 PM
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heh heh...I think people are taking my overnight scenario to much to heart, though it could happen with some sort of mass brainwashing device. One that was able to show a rapid montage of different images within seconds, that was capable of infiltrating a person's subconcious with discreet messages and could be put into people's homes...hmmm..I wonder what kind of a device could be capable of meeting those requirements.

Originally Posted by sleepydvdr View Post

I can't imagine a hamburger restaurant just throwing up their hands up and saying "oh well, we're done for". They would offer veggie burgers, of course. Most industries could find some substitute product.

Some may do out of know, like not wanting to concede that after so long being a restaurant that exploited in the worst ways to now have to sell veggy this and veggy that, not because of choice but defeat. What may happen is chains such as the obvious ones (B.K, Maccy D's...) would shut down, but within so many months a new veggy chain opens, which is still backed by the same people, just unbeknownst to the public...Pride and profit both kept in tact.

Thanks for everyone's I am more clear on how alternatives in supply and demand, gradual adaptation and market shifts would stabalise the economy.
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#10 Old 08-30-2007, 08:12 PM
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The Australian Prime Minister has announced that, for humanitarian, health and environmental reasons, the production and sale of all animal products will be banned as from Sept 1st.

Or was that a dream?
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#11 Old 08-31-2007, 10:02 AM
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Economically there would be changes yes but mentally and definately from a health aspect I'm not sure this is just, just a meat or veggie issue...There was this video on youtube -How To Get Fat Without Really Trying with Peter Jennings...The government doesn't fund the growth of healthy foods like fruits and veggies. The subsidies are heavily in favor of meat: 25.9 billion dollars and dairy 2 billion dollars yes but fat and sugar production got 3.8 billion dollars...breads and grains 9.6 billion, fruits 170 million and veggies 000 dollars ...this was in the years 1995 to 2002...Health and agriculture are way out of wack...

There was this bit in the video where this guy talks about what a snack used to be veggies and fruits and what snacks are now...candies and cookies etc...

I think to go successfully vegan we would have to really change what we view as healthy food...and that will affect the economy as much if not more than losing the meat industry...
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