The campaign to expose the harmful, violent, and destructive reality of the animal agriculture industry.

Veggie burgers caught in a war over the future of meat

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JAIME ATHOS: The meat industry has been propped-up by agricultural subsidies and misrepresents the true nutritional value and necessity of meat in the American diet. We know better. These are not healthy things.

LAURA REILEY: ‘For decades veggie burgers were the token offering to vegans at the backyard barbecue… But as plant-based meat goes from an afterthought to a financial juggernaut that aims to change how most people eat, the opposition has suddenly awakened: Many of the country’s 800,000 cattle ranchers have declared war on newcomers Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, which use technology to make products that hew closely to the taste and texture of meat, and now “first-generation” veggie burgers and similar products are caught in the crossfire…

In 2019, officials in nearly 30 states have proposed bills to prohibit companies from using words such as meat, burger, sausage, jerky or hot dog unless the product came from an animal that was born, raised and slaughtered in a traditional way… The states, in most cases backed by cattlemen’s associations, claim consumer confusion as the driving force for the laws… The future of ranching faces a big threat if plant-based meat, thought to be much better for the environment, becomes a mainstay of the American diet…

Traditional animal agriculture is looking to the lessons learned by the dairy industry, which saw cow’s milk sales dwindle by $1.1 billion last year, much of that business scooped up by alternative milks such as almond and oat. And as the stock price of Beyond Meat, which went public this year, has soared, some of the biggest retailers and restaurants in America have got on board with plant-based alternatives…

On July 22, Tofurky joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union, the Good Food Institute (a nonprofit that promotes plant-based meat) and the Animal Legal Defense Fund to file a lawsuit claiming Arkansas’ new labeling law, which went into effect July 24, violates the First and Fourteenth amendments. “If we lose, there’s something wrong with our judicial system,” said Tofurky chief executive Jaime Athos. “The first thing to get out of the way is that people are confused. It’s all [the cattlemen’s associations] can come up with to censor speech”…

“The meat industry’s chickens are coming home to roost. Their industry was propped up by agricultural subsidies and misrepresented the true nutritional value and necessity of meat in the American diet,” he said. “We know better. These are not healthy things.” Despite being dragged into the fight, Athos said he’s not miffed at what’s transpired. “When it comes down to it, we’ve undertaken a monumental task and we now have partners to help us achieve those goals,” he said. “What a great thing to be able to live your values. What we’re seeing with plant-based is the conversation shifting from ‘why’ to ‘why not.’ “.’  SOURCE…

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