How do you feel about coal power?
I expect it doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
It's basically boring dirty tech that society has decided it wants to be done with. Surely some people don't give two fucks but thats just how sentiment distribution works.
Luckily for coal, and those employed by it, and the people that benefit from its power generation, it's a bit like a hangover.
Like a hangover, you don't really get to choose when it's over. It will last as long as it will last. You can maybe improve things with coffee but alas, a proper hangover is really the one in control for the next day or two. Hangovers have momentum.
Coal was a party. Now it's a hangover.
So how do you feel about cows?
I expect if you'r reading this you probably think they are wonderful both in barn and barbecue. A well managed, large scale, gift of modernity that feeds people cheaply with "worth it" amounts of negative side effects that mostly can be solved in a short period.
But what if everyone else comes to think cows are like coal? A dirty boring old technology that they want to be done with.
Then the party is over.
I personally presume cows will continue to exist. Good chance there will be a luxury market and zoo's for a long time and perhaps when we populate the stars cattle will be the most robust and simple technology for us to start feeding ourselves on those planets.
But in a galaxy less far away it's very likely that large scale animal agriculture gets branded like coal and treated as such by people and governments.
Alternative proteins, made in a vat, on the other hand will get branded like nuclear. A complicated but clean path to a beautiful ubiquitous future.
So yeah, nuclear hit some rough spots, but so did fake meat. Vegetable burgers have been a joke for decades. Pretty sure thats the past not the future.
With a simple cultural wedge of "cows dirty, alt protein clean" we could very well see this future come to pass.
We have entered the age of the alt protein party.
... and possibly the cattle hangover.
But what would the hangover look like? Maybe better is how could we prevent it?
More fun for sure would be if we even should. But thats not todays fun.
Maybe it looks like a few hundred more years of large integrated operations building supply chains in 3rd world countries with growing populations. This is definitely what a lot of people with boring jobs, old school credentials, and fancy calculators seem to think is most probable.
Maybe this coincides with a full scale illegality of large farms prompted by a pissed and powerful woke mob in the western world.
Maybe not. 🤞
What it means for sure is that if you are a cattle operator, a butcher, a regional supply chain oligarchy or a member of a local milk cult you should not expect for the future to be static or in your favor.
Blindly following a co-op, selling a commodity without scale, and not trying anything actually different, will be your most harmful addictions.
I think one of the most important things for animal agriculture to relearn is to make something people want. Not just what we want to make.
What do you want the future to be?