Experts predict that by 2050 nearly twice as much meat will be produced as today, with a projected total of more than 465 million tons being produced each year.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture in 2013, 58.62 million Metric Tons of Carcass Weight Equivalent (the term used to measure livestock production) of beef alone was produced.
What is interesting to note here is that for more than a decade, the strongest increases in production have been in the developing world. In 1995 more meat and dairy products were produced in developing countries than in industrial countries for the first time, and this trend has continued ever since.
Chart 1: Growth in World Beef Production from 2005 to 2014
This enormous volume of meat production each year has been described as an example of the diverting resources to environmentally destructive uses.
The statistics quoted by Shah (2010) point out that more than one third of the world’s grain harvest is used to feed livestock. In addition, 70% of the antibiotics used in the United States are used on animals in agriculture and 18% of greenhouse gas emissions come from meat production. Other resources allocated to meat production include land where meat takes up 70% of our arable lands and it requires 1500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of meat.
A point of contention that then follows is that the large amounts of grain used to feed livestock could be feeding starving people around the world.
Nearly 870 million people or 12.5 % of the world’s population were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2012. Almost all the hungry people live in developing countries and there are approximately16 million peopl...
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...anied by an almost doubling of the greenhouse gas emissions if no actions are taken. It is anticipated that also the global meat consumption will double during the next 40 years.
Hageman (2013) points out that no scientific studies have been conducted yet on society’s acceptance of cultured meat production. A positive attitude was shown by the audiences in national and international debates. Also web-surveys and internet-discussions indicated that many people are in favour of the production of ‘victimless’ meat.
Studies estimate that it will take enormous costs and a very long to make IVM commercially available to the masses. These long time frames will also allow the time needed to research the potential effects of using IVM. Governments need long term studies with statistically significant results so that they can develop the appropriate policies and laws.
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