Changes in meat, dairy industries?

5/26/2017, 6:52 p.m.

Last Sunday, animal rights activists celebrated the end of the 146-year-old Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus after years of effectively exposing them for animal abuse. Can the meat and dairy industries be far behind?

The shift toward plant-based eating is everywhere. Fast food chains like Chipotle, Quiznos, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy’s offer plant-based options. Parade, Better Homes & Gardens and EatingWell magazines all are touting vegan recipes. 

Indeed, Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing their meat intake. Beef consumption has dropped by 43 percent in the past 40 years.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt views replacement of meat by plant protein as the world’s No. 1 technical trend. The financial investment community is betting on innovative startups such as Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods while warning clients about the “death of meat.” 

Even Tyson Foods’ new CEO Tom Hayes sees plant protein as the meat industry’s future. The industry needs to transition to plant-based foods or shut down like the Greatest Show on Earth.

In the meantime, every one of us can shut the meat and dairy industry out of our own kitchen by checking out the rich collection of plant-based entrees, milks, cheeses and ice creams in our supermarket.