When the money stops, animal exploiters will quit. They lose the incentive to hurt animals and they will stop hurting animals. Cases in point: veggie meats and greyhound racing.
Veggie meats are growing in popularity. At the same time, selling the flesh of dead animals is becoming less profitable. As a result, some meat market industry insiders suggest a solution for meat producers: make veggie meat! The potential market is enormous, since many people can’t tell the difference between quality veggie meats and animal flesh. Want proof? Watch this video and read this article.
Meat & Poultry, a business journal, has an article up now titled “Are meat analogs in industry’s future?” Take a look:
Years ago while interviewing Bob Rust, professor emeritus, Iowa State Univ., on how best to manufacture sausage and new retail sausage trends, we somehow veered off onto the topic of the growing popularity of new meat analogs [...]
During our conversation, Rust said something I never forgot — “Who better to make meat analogs than meat processors themselves?” he asked.
He was right and since then I have asked many meat processors I’ve interviewed along the way why their companies haven’t entered the meat analog arena. Most replied because it’s a category primarily for vegetarians or vegans, some looked at me like I was crazy while others said it was a good question worthy of further consideration.
[...]there are an increasing number of consumers seeking convenient, value-added products they perceive as being healthier alternatives, as well as being better for the environment. And of course, animal activists and vegetarians, in particular, love the fact that such products contain no animal protein.
At present, the leading brands of frozen meat analogs include Morningstar, Boca, Gardenburger and Amy’s, just to mention a few. I’m waiting for meat analogs to be launched by such heavy industry hitters as Tyson, Smithfield, Cargill and Hormel. Will this ever happen? Time will tell.
And in regards to greyhound racing… that’s becoming so unprofitable that the trackowners are nearly begging the government for permission to close their tracks!
In many states, gambling like slots and poker are only allowed at racetracks. The history goes like this: When profits from racetracks decreased, track-owners lobbied for other forms of gambling in order to make the tracks more profitable. They succeeded. The tracks became more profitable. Animal advocates who worked so hard to shut down the tracks then had a more difficult battle to fight. Because of this alliance between greyhound racing and other forms of gambling, many animal advocates partnered with anti-gambling advocates in their fight to shut down the operations. But a better strategy might have been to follow the money. Turns out, the poker and other animal-friendly gambling done at these racetracks is far more profitable than the racetracks themselves. And now track-owners are lobbying to allow gambling without racetracks. The New York Times explains:
[A]fter years defending greyhound racing against attacks that it is inhumane, a growing number of track owners are, to the astonishment of opponents and the dismay of fans, joining the critics among the animal rights groups. Complaining that they are being forced to spend millions of dollars a year to subsidize a pastime that the public has all but abandoned, greyhound track owners in Iowa, Florida and Arizona have been lobbying for changes in the law that would allow them to cut the number of races, or even shut down their tracks, while keeping their far more lucrative gambling operations. [...]
We’ve been fighting the racetrack owners for years, and to suddenly have them as allies takes some getting used to,” said Carey Theil, executive director of Grey2K USA, a nonprofit group focused on ending greyhound racing. [...]
David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said that the decline in interest in dog racing appeared to be more intense than what had happened with horse racing. “All live racing is declining in popularity,” he said.
Vegas shut down the horse racetracks decades ago in part because other, animal-friendly gambling was much more profitable. The largest city park in Vegas, Sunset Park, used to be racehorse breeding grounds. Now it’s filled with baseball diamonds, children’s play equipment, volleyball courts, running and bicycling trails, a large pond, and a disc golf course.
It certainly makes me wonder if that might have been the goal for some track-owners all along. Perhaps they wanted to change their businesses to be more animal-friendly but needed the laws to change. For animal advocates reading, it’s clear that we must pay attention to the research about social trends because if we do that then we can capitalize on those trends by partnering with businesses that are also interested in capitalizing on those trends. In other words, casino owners were never the enemy, but animal advocates didn’t pay enough attention to be able to realize that.
As strange as it may sound, meat producers may not be our enemy either. Imagine the billions (of animals saved and dollars made) if we can just cooperate to make excellent veggie meats.
By the way, Sunset Park in Las Vegas makes a great spot for a vegan potluck.