Not sure if efficiency is the right angle to tackle this. Humans do a lot of things that are highly inefficient just for the sake of a slightly more comfortable or happier life. As long as it's sustainable there is nothing wrong with inefficiency. If we go purely by efficiency we'd all eat grey paste pumped with nutrients. Imagine how much energy we would save if we didn't have to ship and sell untouched vegetables instead of just scrambling everything and delivering it to the paste factory.
The things how they are now have evolved to suit the ever growing demands of humans for both quantity and quality. So far we're doing just fine. I don't believe in a coming world wide food crash, if our current consumption of meat becomes unviable it will become so slowly. Slowly enough that we will take the necessary steps to mitigate it. I'd have absolutely no problem with eating fake meat if they can make it authentic enough.
I believe the "problem" we're currently having is neither ecological, economical or ethical. It's a social problem about the perception of vegan values and the glorification of meat and, forgive me for using the term, toxic masculinity. These arbitrary and toxic values are driven by society and big corporations and that's the thing we have to tackle first. We shouldn't vilify meat and instead promote and normalize a vegan diet. Sadly the most militant vegans are doing the opposite and hurting their case. Thanks to them we're now at a point that's hurting both sides and is socially basically impossible to solve it.
(Homer Simpson voice) Mmmmmmmmm... grey paste pumped with nutrients....
But honestly, I highly doubt that would occur. But we would certainly do a lot better if we ran society far more efficiently: not just in food production, but also in energy production. The lack of efficiency we currently have is largely due to a lack of appreciation and respect for our planet and its limitations. In my lifetime, I have seen what can only be a catastrophic decline in wildlife throughout the world (60% since 1970, which indicates that the amount of wildlife is probably about half of what it was at the time of my birth). A large reason for this is the rapid expansion of the livestock industry, which has nearly quadrupled worldwide since 1970; deforestation has led to a tremendous decrease in the planet's capability at repairing its atmosphere.
Regardless of how we evolved, it is a long time since we could be considered part of the natural world (for the most of us). Natural selection no longer governs us as a species due to our social constructs and culture - we mostly don't eat natural foods sources any longer (the vast majority of meat in grocery stores is from domesticated animals which are unnatural, even the majority of fruit and vegetables are domesticated crops). We are doing heavy damage to the world, and the leading culprit is the livestock industry which has done more damage to lands and damage to the air we breath and fresh water supplies than any other factor in the world today. Part of the issue is farming is that it takes away the horror in how "meat" is made, it's the flesh of an animal that has been slaughtered - instead of hunting down and killing an animal, you just spend 5-30 minutes in an office somewhere crunching numbers, writing reports, or meeting with clients and other colleagues - completely disconnected from their food than one with nothing but a fishing rod and a hunting knife (even a gun makes things way easier and less connected than it perhaps should be) - most people don't want to kill an animal, it's not a natural instinct - instead society has set up this very cowardly system that we call the livestock and meat industry. Anyway, that's my thought on the unnatural connection we have with what we eat, as a people.
I don't buy for a moment that vilifying meat eating is counter-productive, almost all rapid social change has occurred as a result of the vilification of the undesired trait: absolute monarchies, slavery, fascism, racial segregation, fur, ozone depleting chemicals, wife beating, homophobia (and that is fairly recent), child labour, etc... And yes, some people will be furious, even violently opposed, but it has worked. And I very much admire what the vegan community has done (I wouldn't call them militant, because that implies military action) - the recent vilification of meat by vegan groups has curved the growth of the animal products industry and on a per capita basis we now eat less meat as a species than we did just a few years ago - the percentage of vegans has drastically increased throughout Europe and other Westernized nations. It's obvious there is a positive impact; and like most major movements, people are going to be insulted and have their feelings hurt - but it's all irrelevant in the end since this is the right thing to do to help repair the damage we have done to the planet (yes I have been playing Final Fantasy 7 lately!).
Also, nothing wrong with a little dose of toxic masculinity =DLast edited by Jumpin - on 09 April 2019
I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.